Grant Agreement

After the evaluation of proposals is completed, the next step is the Grant Agreement preparation and signature

If the proposal has been selected for funding, the Project Coordinator will receive the Evaluation Summary Report and will be invited to prepare the Grant Agreement. The Grant Agreement is signed between the Coordinator and the EC and is deemed to enter into force on the day of the last signature (that of the EC Director in charge of the programme). The other project participants sign Accession Forms to accede to the Grant Agreement. See the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreements for more details. All this is done electronically via the Participant Portal. 

The Grant Agreement is accompanied by 6 Annexes: 

   1.  Annex 1 - Description of Action (DoA)

   2. Annex 2 - Estimated budget of the action

   3. Annex 3 - Accession Forms

   4. Annex 4 - Model for the financial statement

   5. Annex 5 - Model for the certificate on the financial statements

   6. Annex 6 - Model for the certificate on the methodology 

The Coordinator will have the task to transform the project proposal into a new document, called a Description of Action (DoA), which will become the technical annex (Annex 1) of the Grant Agreement. The structure and content of the DoA does not differ significantly from the proposal and it is organized in 2 parts:

  •  Part A - workplan tables (e.g. WP descriptions, deliverables, milestones) - the information for Part A needs to be entered directly on the Participant Portal. 
  •  Part B - needs to be uploaded to the Participant Portal and it must be derived from Part B of the proposal. Part B should not contain any workplan tables as these are already included in Part A. 

For most H2020 projects, the consortium will be required to prepare and sign a Consortium Agreement. Whereas the Grant Agreement defines the rights and obligations related to the project, of the beneficiaries (signatories of the Grant Agreement) on one side and the EC on the other side, the Consortium Agreement deals with the rights and obligations between the beneficiaries themselves with regard to the execution of the project. See the DESCA H2020 Model Consortium Agreement for more details.

The Consortium Agreement should define in particular:

  • the project management structure and decision making process, which must be appropriate for the size of the consortium and the nature of the project;
  • the budget distribution among the beneficiaries, and the procedure for the implementation of the EU payments
  • the mutual liability of the parties;
  • mechanisms for conflict resolution, including the handling of defaulting partners, and in case of very severe problems for excluding them from the project;
  • the procedure for accepting new participants;
  • all provisions concerning access to, and exploitation of, Intellectual Property Rights in order to implement and supplement the provisions of the Grant Agreement.
The Grant Agreement and its annexes, as well as the Consortium Agreement, need to be reviewed by the departments concerned and by several administrative services, including External Grants, Legal Service, and Knowledge Transfer (for the IPR aspects). The EU Projects Office is in charge of coordinating this internal review procedure, and upon its completion, of bringing the Grant and Consortium Agreements for signature to the Directorate.

Normally the EC imposes tight schedule for the Grant Agreement signatures, and that is why it is very important that all CERN services concerned must be either directly involved, or kept fully informed about the preparation of the Grant Agreement and the related documents.

Because of its juridical status as an international organisation, CERN has some specific requirements concerning EU project agreements. These conditions are covered by some special clauses, which have to be added to the relevant articles to the Grant Agreement:

  • Article 22.4 - Audits
  • Article 53.2 - Privileges and Immunities
  • Article 57.1 - Applicable law
  • Article 57.2 - Arbitration
  • Financial Statements/methodology included in the Annex of the GA, but not in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreements where only flat rates apply.
These special clauses need to be inserted into the Grant Agreement by the Participant Contact of CERN, regardless of the status of CERN in the project, as beneficiary or coordinator. 

More information on how to add the specific legal data for CERN on the Participant Portal can be found in the Mandatory GA options for CERN section of the Grant Agreement Preparation procedure.