General provisions for participants
Any company, university, research centre, organisation or individual, legally established in any country, may participate in a collaborative project (known as an indirect action) provided that the minimum conditions laid down in the Rules for Participation [PDF] in FP7 (RFP), Chapter II, Section 1, p.12 [PDF], have been met, including any additional conditions laid down by specific programmes or individual work programmes (see Article 12 of RFP). Please note:
- An individual defined as a legal entity is any natural person, or any legal person created under the national law of its place of establishment, or under Community law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting under its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations;
- In addition to the minimum conditions laid down in the RFP, specific programmes or work programmes may lay down conditions regarding the minimum number of participants, or additional conditions on the type of participant or place of establishment.
While FP7 participants can in principle be based anywhere, there are different categories of country which may have varying eligibility for different specific and work programmes:
- MEMBER STATES - The EU-27;
- ASSOCIATED COUNTRIES – with science and technology cooperation agreements that involved contributing to the framework programme budget;
- CANDIDATE COUNTRIES – currently recognised as candidates for future accession;
- THIRD COUNTRIES - the participation of organisations or individuals established in countries that are not Member States, candidates or associated should also be justified in terms of the enhanced contribution to the objectives of FP7.
View the list of the International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPC) [PDF]
View the Associated Countries [DOC] Version: October 2011
In most cases EU research funding through FP7 is to be sought by building a consortium in order to submit a project proposal in response to a call. The eligibility of these consortia also varies according to different conditions related to the type of action of instrument. These instruments are set out in Annex III ‘Funding Schemes’ [PDF], of the RFP, while the minimum conditions for eligibility are detailed in Articles 5 to 10 and summarised as follows:
- INDIRECT ACTIONS (COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS)
At least three legal entities (defined as organisations or individual researchers as above) must participate, each of which is established in a Member State or Associated country, and no two of which are established in the same Member State or Associated country. All three legal entities must be independent of each other in accordance with Article 6 of the RFP, meaning they are not subsidiaries of the same organisation or of each other.
- INDIRECT ACTIONS CONCERNING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PARTNER COUNTRIES
While participants from non-EU or Associated countries are still eligible consortium members for most projects, special conditions apply for collaborative projects addressing the participation of international cooperation partner countries in parity with Member States or Associated countries. These minimum conditions, mainly relevant to the International Cooperation activities under the specific programme for Capacities, as identified in the work programme, are the following: (a) At least four legal entities must participate; (b) at least two of the legal entities referred to in point (a) must be established in Member States or Associated countries, but no two may be established in the same Member State or Associated country; (c) at least two of the legal entities referred to in point (a) must be established in international cooperation partner countries, but no two may be established in the same international cooperation partner country; (d) All four legal entities referred to in point (a) must be independent of each other in accordance with Article 6 of the RFP.
- COORDINATION AND SUPPORT ACTIONS, AND TRAINING AND CARREER DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCHERS
For coordination and support actions, and actions in favour of training and career development of researchers, the minimum condition shall be the participation of one legal entity.
- INVESTIGATOR-DRIVEN ‘’FRONTIER’’ RESEARCH PROJECTS
For indirect actions to support investigator-driven ‘frontier’ research projects funded in the framework of the European Research Council, the minimum condition shall be the participation of one legal entity established in a Member State or in an Associated country.
- SOLE PARTICIPANTS
Where the minimum conditions for an indirect action are satisfied by a number of legal entities, which together form one legal entity, the latter may be the sole participant in an indirect action, provided that it is established in a Member State or Associated country. The participation of natural persons will ensure that the creation and development of scientific excellence and ability are not limited to Community funding of projects involving only legal persons, ensuring also the participation of SMEs that are not legal persons.
Appointment of independent experts
The European Commission will appoint independent experts to assist with evaluations required under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and its specific programmes. For coordination and support actions, referred to in Article 17, independent experts shall be appointed only if the Commission deems it appropriate. The Commission will choose independent experts considering the skills and knowledge appropriate to the tasks assigned to them.
The European Commission will contact FP6 registered experts and transfer their data to the FP7 database of experts. The registration service for FP7 is now available on Participant Portal.
Independent experts shall be identified and selected on the basis of calls for applications from individuals and calls addressed to national research agencies, research institutions or enterprises with a view to establishing lists of suitable candidates.
The Commission may, if deemed appropriate, select any individual with the appropriate skills from outside the lists.
Appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure reasonable gender balance when appointing groups of independent experts.
When appointing an independent expert, the Commission shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the expert is not faced with a conflict of interests in relation to the matter on which the expert is required to provide an opinion.
The Commission shall adopt a model appointment letter, hereinafter ‘the appointment letter’, which shall include a declaration that the independent expert has no conflict of interest at the time of appointment and that he undertakes to inform the Commission if any conflict of interest should arise in the course of providing his opinion or carrying out his duties. The Commission shall conclude an appointment letter between the Community and each independent expert. The Commission shall publish periodically in any appropriate medium the list of the independent experts that have assisted it for each specific programme.
Experts who have participated in the proposal evaluation process under FP7 are asked to provide feedback through an online survey.
Main results and final summary tables of the 2007 survey
Main results and final summary tables of the 2008 survey
Note: view the lists of experts that participated in the evaluation of proposals received in response to calls made under the FP7 activity areas.
The following links provide basic information for experts who may be visiting Brussels. Please note that the provided information may be specific to them.
Last updated on: 2012-07-31