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Socio-economic Research

Frequently asked Questions

Types of action supported under the Key Action
Definitions
Participation
Costs
Types of Costs which differ in Thematic Networks ?
Types of costs which differ in RTD projects ?
Budget


Types of action supported under the Key Action

Research and Technological Development Projects (RTD)

Thematic Networks

Accompanying Measures

Definitions

What is a Research and Technological Development project (RTD)?

Projects obtaining new socio-economic knowledge intended to develop or improve and/or to meet the needs of Community policies.

What is a Thematic Network?

Thematic Networks bring together research carried out by organisations, universities, research centres and end users, in a particular field of analysis or reflection, by facilitating the transfer of knowledge and the mobility of researchers so as to ensure that a greater account is taken of the needs of policy makers.

What are Accompanying Measures?

Actions contributing to the implementation of the Key Action or the preparation of future activities of the programme. Call for Accompanying Measures

Participation

Who can participate?

The Framework Programme with its corresponding financial support, is open to all legal entities established in the Member States of the European Union-e.g.individuals, industrial and commercial firms, universities, research organisations, etc.including SMEs.

What about countries outside the European Union?

The Programme is also open to all legal entities established in any of the other States associated to the Programme. ( See attached table )

How many can participate?

Although no fixed number for participants is envisaged, it should permit a consistent co-ordination. As a general rule there should be at least two legal entities, independent of each other, and established in two different Member States, or one Member State and on Associated State. The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission is considered as a participant of a Member State.

What is in general the number of participants for RTD Projects?

Approxilately 7 participants (this is an estimate based on the figures of the Second Call of the Key Action).

What is in general the number of participants for a Thematic Network?

Approxilately 10 participants (this is an estimate based on the figures of the Second Call of the Key Action).

Costs

What are the types of Financial contribution from the Community?

You should indicate one of the following cost participation models.

FC : Full costs, actual overhead rate (i.e., you will contribute at least 50% of the full costs of your participation in the project);

Full Cost, actual overhead rate (FC) model :

This model applies to organisations, which have an accounting system that allows the share of their direct and indirect costs relating to the project to be distinguished and which can identify their real overhead costs . For these organisations, overheads are calculated according to the organisation's normal practice and on a basis considered reasonable by the Commission. They may be charged in full.

FF : Full costs, flat overhead rate (i.e., you will contribute at least 50% of the full costs of your participation in the project);

Full cost, Flat overhead rate (FF) model :

This model applies to the same organisations as above, which opt for this cost basis, as well as those organisations that can identify their direct costs to the project but not their real indirect costs. In these cases the overheads are charged at a flat rate of up to 80% of the personnel costs .

AC : Additional costs (i.e., you do not have an accounting system, which allows you to separate the direct and indirect costs of the project or does not allow you to identify your direct costs. You will contribute to the costs of the project through your normal operating budget. The additional costs for your participation in the project will be reimbursed at 100%).

Please ensure that you indicate the correct cost participation model and that your organisation uses the same cost model in all the research projects the organisation participates to.

Additional Cost (AC) model :

This model applies to organisations, which do not have an accounting system that allows the share of their direct and indirect costs relating to the project to be distinguished or which cannot identify their real direct costs. The extra costs, incurred as a result of their participation in the project are identifiable (i.e., additional, non-recurrent costs). An example of additional costs, would be the costs of the temporary personnel engaged specifically to perform work on the project, but not the personnel costs charged to the organisation's recurrent budget. These organisations may charge up to 20% of all direct cost categories, except subcontracting , as overheads.

Can co-ordinators receive supplementary costs?

The following information applies only to RTD projects.

Project co-ordinators may be required to perform considerable administrative / financial co-ordination tasks directly related to the co-ordination of the project and to incur the associated costs. Such costs will be considered as eligible costs only for the co-ordinator. Co-ordination costs may include costs falling under all categories of costs, except subcontracting. They may cover in particular:

Personnel : remuneration of administrative and clerical personnel for performing co-ordination tasks for a specific project. Contractors participating on an additional cost basis (AC) must use additional staff to carry out these tasks if they are charged directly.

NB! Subcontracting is not an eligible cost category for direct co-ordination costs.

Durable equipment, consumables and computing : expenditure used strictly for co-ordination purposes in the project.

Travel and subsistence : related to administrative and clerical personnel performing co-ordination tasks specific to the project.

Other specific costs : project specific co-ordination costs other than those charged under the categories mentioned above.

Overheads on co-ordination : Overheads may be charged on co-ordination costs at a real rate by co-ordinators participating on a full cost actual overhead basis (FC) if these costs have not already been included in the overhead for the scientific/technical work. Co-ordinators working on fixed overhead basis (FF) may charge up to 80% of personnel costs as an overhead on co-ordination costs and co-ordinators working on additional cost basis (AC) may charge up to 20% of direct co-ordination costs as an overhead on co-ordination costs.

Types of Costs which differ in Thematic Networks?

1. Categories of staff

You should identify each category or grade in a clear and unambiguous manner to enable the European Commission to monitor the labour resources allocated to the Project, to analyse cost claims and to carry out audits.

You may only charge for personnel involved in the administration, management and co-ordination of the project.

Generally the number of productive hours per month is about 135 hours. Please note that the number of productive months in the Project work programme should be consistent with the figure inserted in this form.

2. Personnel costs

Personnel costs for a concerted action or a thematic network may only include the administrative, management and co-ordination costs of the project, including the preparation of reports.

All the clearly identifiable personnel costs of the contractor (including intra muros consultants) should be included here. Only the costs of the actual hours worked on the project should be detailed here. This shall exclude the personnel costs of staff while they are employed in research activities. The costs of non-professional, administrative and secretarial staff not charged as direct costs under this article shall be deemed to be covered by the contribution to overheads.

3. Overhead costs

A maximum fixed rate of 20% of the direct costs excluding subcontracting costs may be charged under the overheads for concerted action and thematic network contracts. These overheads are designed to cover in particular the costs of non-professional, administrative and secretarial staff not charged as direct costs, the depreciation of buildings and of equipment, water, electricity, telecommunications and postal services, office equipment.

Please note that certain items cannot be charged either in direct costs or indirectly in overheads, for instance costs such as: any interest or return on capital employed; provisions for possible future losses or charges; interest; provisions for doubtful debts; contributions in kind; unnecessary or extravagant expenses; marketing, sales and distribution costs for products and services; indirect taxes and duties - including VAT; resources made available to the organisation free of charge; any cost incurred in respect of another project

Types of costs which differ in RTD projects?

1. Personnel costs

Costs of the scientific and technical personnel of the participant excluding overheads. For RTD projects only costs for research, technical and specialised staff are eligible costs and can be charged to the project. Subject to the contractual terms, costs of persons directly engaged by the participant on work contracts (see Financial Guidelines for definition of work contracts) for the projects may be considered as eligible personnel costs. Administrative and secretarial staff must not be charged directly (except for the administrative co-ordination costs of the co-ordinator), but should be included in the overhead costs.

Personnel costs include social charges. You should include all direct employment costs in the hourly rate (e.g. salary, social charges, such as pension contributions or unemployment insurance, etc.). See also notes for overheads, average salaries, productive hours per year, additional costs for participants. Organisations that participate on the additional cost basis, can only charge for additional scientific and technical personnel employed specifically for the project. Personnel costs paid from the recurrent budget (i.e., for permanent personnel) cannot be charged.

NB! See special notes for the INCO programme. ( CORDIS website: /inco/home_en.html) .

2. Overhead costs

Only contractors using the full cost models (FF or FC) should fill in the columns for overhead on personnel costs. These contractors should also fill in the percentage and make sure that the overhead percentage match the rates reported.

Contractors using the additional cost model (AC) should NOT fill in figures in the overhead columns, but only provide the overhead percentage they use (up to 20%), as overheads for contractors on the AC cost model is calculated on the basis of all direct costs except subcontracting.

Overheads are intended to cover general indirect costs needed to employ, manage, accommodate and support directly or indirectly the cost of personnel performing the work on the project. Overheads should primarily relate to on-site infrastructure and RTD support services of the cost centre (that is, the department carrying out the work in the project) and must exclude those items chargeable separately as direct costs. Overhead calculation and allocation must be justified for the contractors using the full cost real overhead (FC) model.

Please note that certain items cannot be charged either in direct costs or indirectly in overheads, for instance costs such as: any interest or return on capital employed; provisions for possible future losses or charges; interest; provisions for doubtful debts; contributions in kind; unnecessary or extravagant expenses; marketing, sales and distribution costs for products and services; indirect taxes and duties - including VAT; resources made available to the organisation free of charge; any cost incurred in respect of another project except of the unused depreciation period of equipment or, reimbursed by third parties.

Co-ordinators can choose to include the costs of the administrative / financial co-ordination of the project in the overhead costs as an alternative to charging them directly).

NB! See special notes for the INCO programme. ( CORDIS website: /inco/home_en.html)

3. Average salaries

Rates based on average salaries (see Part C of Annex II to the Model Contract) may be used for a single category of staff, or for a combination of several different categories, if they fairly reflect the grades working on the Project. In either case, the average must reasonably reflect the cost of personnel on the Project.

4. Durable equipment

Cost of equipment purchased or leased to buy for the purpose of the project. The amount you can charge to the project is calculated in the following way:

(A/B) x C x D

where:

A. = the period in months during which the durable equipment is used for the project after invoicing;

B. = the depreciation period for the durable equipment: 36 months for computer equipment costing less than 25 000 EUR or 60 months for other equipment;

C. = the actual cost of the durable equipment;

D. = the percentage of usage of the durable equipment for the project expressed as a fraction of 1 (e.g. 70% corresponds to 0.7).

Costs for durable equipment may be eligible if the equipment has been purchased or leased (i) within 6 months before the starting date of the project, or (ii) for the performance of a contract previously concluded with the Community and provided that the depreciation period has not lapsed. In the last case, the eligible costs will depend on the length of the remaining depreciation period.

Note that costs related to rented equipment should be charged under “Subcontracting”.

5. Description (of equipment)

Give a brief description of the equipment to be purchased specifically for use under the project.

6. Month of purchase

This is the expected month of purchase after the start (commencement date) of the project (month 0), e.g. month -6 for equipment bought 6 months before the commencement date of the project, month 14 for equipment bought 14 months after the commencement date, etc.

7. Cost of purchase (euro)

This is the purchase price of the equipment in euro (excluding VAT) or the total value of the contract for equipment acquired under a lease to buy agreement.

8. Period of use (months)

This is the period (in months) during which the equipment is to be used for the project after its delivery.

9. Depreciation period (months)

Equipment must be depreciated on a linear basis over a depreciation period of either 36 months (for computing equipment with a value of less than 25,000 EUR) or 60 months (in the case of all other equipment).

10. Percentage usage on the project

This is the percentage of time for which the equipment is used for this Project in relation to its total usage (i.e. including usage for other purposes) during the same period.

For example, if the equipment is used for 6 months and in that time the equipment is used for a total of 300 hours for the Project, but for no other purposes, then the percentage usage is 100%.

However, if during the same period the equipment is used for 300 hours for the Project and is also used for 100 hours for purposes other than the research Project, then the percentage usage is 75%.

11. Amount charged to project (euro)

Only the depreciated value in euro of the equipment as calculated according to the formula in note 86 may be charged to the project.

12. Consumables costs

According to the usual practises of the participant, these costs may be included in overhead costs for contractors using the full cost, actual overhead rate model. Otherwise, the amount for consumables can be entered here.

13. Travel / subsistence costs

The amount for travel and subsistence costs of personnel categories working for the project, calculated on the basis of the usual practices of the participant. The prior agreement of the Commission will be required for any destination outside the territory of a Member State, an Associated state or a third country where a principal contractor or assistant contractor is established. The inclusion of such costs in this form does not constitute a request for such approval. Upon successful completion of the contract negotiations a short description of these travels and the estimated costs, agreed between the consortium and the Commission officer, should be included in the Technical Annex to the contract. Any subsequent travel, not included in the list in the Technical Annex to the contract, must be agreed in writing with the scientific project officer.

The travels should be briefly described, for example, travels inside the EU and associates states and travels outside the EU and associated states, and the total amount(s) should be entered in this line.

14. Computing costs

The costs for using own computing facilities or services (to be established in accordance with usual applicable rules, including, for instance, recorded computer usage).

For full cost participants charging actual overhead rates, such costs may, in accordance with the usual practice of such participants, be charged as part of the overheads.

Budget

What is in general the average budget for RTD Projects?

Approximately 1million euros (this is an estimate based on the figures of the Second Call of the Key Action).

What is in general the average budget for a Thematic Network?

Approximately 400.000 euros (this is an estimate based on the figures of the Second Call of the Key Action).




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