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Proposal submission

Submission of proposals


If the proposal has been prepared on paper following the format given in the appropriate Proposals submission Form, it may be submitted on paper to the European Commission. If the proposal is made with the Pro-Tool and is then printed out on paper, this paper version may also be submitted.

If the proposal has been made with the Pro-Tool it may be submitted electronically. This electronic submission may be made by any member of the consortium (not only the Co-ordinating partner). The partner who makes the submission must obtain certification (see below) so that electronic submission can be securely carried out.

The co-ordinator has to have in his possession either the original signatures of the participants who would contribute to the funding of a project (i.e.) principal contractors and assistant contractors (or the commitment letters from the participants stating that the co-ordinator is authorised to submit the proposal on behalf of the consortium and that the proposal is agreed by the partners.

Submission modalities

Proposers should submit either on paper or electronically, not both. If a proposal is submitted in both forms, the Commission will evaluate the electronic version.

  • By electronic means

    • Certification

      In order that a proposal can be sent electronically to the Commission, the co-ordinator (or other partner who is submitting the completed proposal) must request in advance a certificate which will allow him to digitally sign the proposal.
      A standard certificate (Class-II) or either a one-time certificate (Class-I) can be requested. Both are provided free of charge.

      Standard certificates (Class-II) can be obtained by downloading, installing and using the ProTool (in the version to be launched early April 1999). Proposers are requested to complete and sign a request form and to send this to the FP5-CSP. Once the FP5-CSP has received and accepted the form, a certificate will be provided. This certificate allows electronic submission of proposals for the duration of the certificate (normally one year, but extendible), without any further exchange of paper information.
      This form of certificate will allow encryption of the proposal. (It should be noted that national regulations may impose certain conditions to the use of the encryption software. It is the responsibility of the proposers to ensure that such national regulations are adhered to).
      One-time certificates (Class-I) can also be obtained from the FP5-CSP, by use of the ProTool and electronic communication only. This form of certificate allows electronic submission of only one proposal, for those co-ordinators who want to try the system out, or who expect not to send another proposal soon. Electronic submission with this certificate requires in addition the sending of a manually signed form A.1 from Part A of the Proposal Submission Form on paper to the Commission before the deadline set out in the relevant Call for Proposals.
      This form of certificate does not provide encryption. Security is restricted to the standard available on the secure servers used (SSL).

      A request for certification is made by using the ProTool.

    • Procedure

      The tool for sealing the proposal forms part of ProTool. This tool is used by the co-ordinator to package the administrative and technical proposal information parts A, B and C into one file and produce a "fingerprint" or validation file of the proposal, which uniquely identifies the proposal file. Submission of the validation file signifies the time of proposal submission. In case of communication problems this file can be printed and faxed before the deadline of the Call. The proposal itself must be electronically received no more than 48 hours after the Call deadline. While the sender will be returned an electronic message indicating successful transfer of file, this is not however the formal acknowledgement of receipt of proposal.

      Holders of a Class-II certificate will also be able to encrypt the proposal file. The precise method is explained in the sealing tool.

      On receipt, the Commission will electronically archive, under secure conditions, the validation and proposal file as received. After decryption and unpacking also a copy of the proposal as provided to evaluators will be archived electronically under the same conditions, together with the necessary information on the tools and information used to decrypt and unpack.

      If the Commission receives multiple electronic versions of the same proposal, it will evaluate only the last version received before the Call deadline, and discard the others.

      Senders are warned that the Commission cannot be held liable for unlawful use of the encryption tools provided, the use of which may be forbidden in some circumstances in some Member States.

    • Electronic submission fall-back procedure

      Failure in downloading or an inability to decrypt or read a proposal file will result in a fall-back procedure being initiated by the Commission. The Commission will within 24 hours request those proposers to submit a back-up copy of their proposal. The back-up should arrive within 48 hours and must be identical to the file produced during sealing, which will be checked by use of the unique identifier provided in the validation file. (Proposers planning electronic submission are recommended to prepare such a back-up copy in advance, for use if called for).

  • On paper

    • Procedure

      Where national regulations concerning the sending of data do not permit the use of encryption, and thus confidential transmission cannot be ensured; or where proposers for some other reason prefer it, proposals may be prepared using the ProTool then printed out on paper, or may be fully prepared on paper using the appropriate Proposal Submission Form.

      ProTool permits preparation of proposals for the main types of activity within the Fifth Framework Programme. In exceptional cases an appropriate version of ProTool may not be available, in which case only paper submission will be possible.
      This guide for proposes for the call concerned indicates the structure of the proposal required, and forms are available).

    • Number of copies

      Paper proposals should be prepared:
      - with five bound copies of Part A
      - with five bound copies of Part B
      - with five bound copies of Part C
      - with one complete unbound paper original with original signatures.

      The complete set of proposal documentation should be placed in an envelope or envelopes, marked "Commercial-in-confidence" with additionally the following information:

      - The name of the Programme to which it is submitted, the date of publication of the Call and the Call identifier;
      - The proposal number (if one has been issued by the Commission);
      - A reference to the work addressed by the proposal (e.g. the name or number of the key action, action line etc., as given in the Work Programme or Call for Proposals).

      The package should also contain a completed "Acknowledgement of receipt" form (see Annex I) so that the Commission can return notification of safe arrival of the proposal.

      This envelope/these envelopes should then be sealed within a second envelope or packaging, which is addressed to the Commission office for receipt of proposals given as specified in the call text.

      Proposals on paper may be sent to the Commission by mail, by trusted delivery service or by hand as described in the call text.

      If you use more than one package, please clearly mark them 1 of x, 2 of x....

      When preparing a proposal on paper, the proposer must indicate the proposal short name (acronym), the proposal number (if a number has been allocated before submission by the Commission) and the date of preparation at the top of every page of the parts B and C, and on all annexes. Pages must be clearly numbered.

Please note that electronic submission is not applicable for the Expressions of Interest for the needs. All topics for the Expressions of Interest call must be submitted in paper form, with a copy (including administrative information) on floppy disk, preferably in Word format (see Annex 1).

Acknowledgement of receipt

Once a proposal, either electronic or paper, has been received and registered by the Commission, an acknowledgement of receipt will be despatched. Proposers who do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt within three weeks after the deadline, and fear their proposal is lost, should contact the programme Infodesk. Proposers are reminded that it is their own responsibility to ensure the safe delivery of their proposal.

Delivery of proposals Proposals must be submitted before the deadlines to the address specified in the call text -

see list of running calls by publication date or by type