The following explanations are provided for clarity and easy-reference. They have no legal authority, and do not replace any official definitions set out in the Council decisions.
Forms signed by all project beneficiaries once the grant agreement has been signed between the project coordinator and the EC. Signing confirms the beneficiaries acceptance of the grant agreement.
Acknowledgement of receipt
Applicants are informed electronically after the deadline that a proposal has been successfully submitted (but not that it is necessarily eligible).
Associated countries (AC)
Non-EU countries which have agreed, negotiated and paid to participate in the Framework Programme. In the context of proposal consortia, organisations from these countries are treated on the same footing as those in the EU. Associated countries are: Switzerland, Israel, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia. ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/third_country_agreements_en.pdf
The term used generally in this guide for a person or entity applying to the Framework programme. The term ‘participant’ is used in the more limited sense of a member of a proposal or project consortium
Otherwise known as the Technical Annex or Description of Work and forms "Part B" of the proposal, this document outlines the technical content of the project.
Title given to a member organization of a project that receives EC funding, can be thought of as "project member" or "participant". Primarily refers to an organization rather than an individual.
The part of the work programme giving the basic data for a call for proposals (e.g. topics covered, budget, deadline etc). It is posted as a separate document on the CORDIS web page devoted to a particular call.
Call for Proposals (or "Call")
The European Commission publishes calls for proposals. It is an open invitation to write a research proposal addressing the Work Programme. Calls for proposals are officially published in the European Union Official Journal and on Cordis. http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm
Calls for Experts
A public invitation to express expertise in a given field. Click here for details of current calls for experts and specialists in various aspects of EU RTD Policy.
“Capacities” is the fourth Specific Programme of FP7 and is worth over €4 billion from 2007 to 2013. It aims to enhance research capacities throughout Europe and ensure their optimal use. It is made up of the following broad areas: Research Infrastructures; Research for the Benefit of SMEs; Regions of Knowledge; Research Potential for the Benefit of Convergence Regions; Science in Society; Support to Coherent Development of Research Policies; and International Co-operation. http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/capacities
Certificates on the Financial Statements (CFS)
Certificates on the Financial Statements are used to enable the Commission to ensure that the costs charged to a European Community funded research project meet the conditions for financial support. In most contracts, contractors shall provide financial certificates prepared and certified by an external auditor (for public bodies by a competent public officer). A CFS is mandatory for every claim (interim or final) in the form of reimbursement of costs (Form C) whenever the amount of the EC contribution is equal or superior to EUR 375,000 when cumulated with all previous payments for which a CFS has not been submitted. Once a CFS is submitted, the threshold of EUR 375,000 applies again for subsequent EC contributions but the count starts from 0. Although the threshold is established on the basis of the EC contribution, the CFS must certify all eligible costs.
The financial certificate shall certify that the costs:
Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP)
The Competitiveness and Innovation Programme will run from 2007 to 2013. With a budget of €3.6 billion, it is made up of three Specific Programmes: the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme; the ICT Policy Support Programme; and the Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme.
A Consortium is a group of organizations (e.g. universities, research institutes, governmental and non-governmental organization, large industries and SMEs) working together as partners in an FP7-project. Most funding schemes require proposals from a number of participants (usually at least three) who agree to work together in a consortium.
The Consortium Agreement is a document that partners finalize amongst themselves, which allows them to define in detail the administrative and management provisions necessary to carry out their project.
A project participant who has a wide-ranging role in the project throughout its lifetime. Means a signatory to the contract (and the JRC when it participates in the contract via an administrative agreement), other than the Community.
“Co-operation” is the first Specific Programme of FP7. Worth over €30 billion between 2007 and 2013, it is made up of ten thematic areas: Health; Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology; Information Communications Technology (ICT); Nanosciences, Nanomaterials, Materials and New Production Technologies; Energy; Environment; Transport; Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities; Space; and Security.
Coordination and Support Action (CSA)
Coordination and Support Action - service projects to bring different actors together on a specific topic, do benchmark studies, etc. (envisaged budget: 1 million euros, consortium: 1 - 15 partners).
The coordinator is the organisation coordinating the preparations and execution of an FP7 project. The coordinator is responsible for all communications with the European Commission, he will submit the proposal, negotiate the grant agreement, and inform the European Commission about the progress of the project through reports. Although the coordinator has many additional responsibilities, he is, legally, equal among the other partners.
Community Research & Development Information Service – is the official website and database of FP7. All information you need about FP7, projects and proposals you can find on http://cordis.europa.eu
European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research is a framework for scientific and technical co-operation, allowing the co-ordination of national research on a European level.
'Council' refers to the 'Council of Ministers', the principal decision-making body within the European Union. It has both executive and legislative powers, the latter in some cases exercised jointly with the European Parliament (co-decision procedure). The Council is composed of one representative at ministerial level from each member state.
CREST is the Scientific and Technical Research Committee responsible for assisting the Community institutions in the field of scientific research and technological development.
For a particular call, the moment after which proposals will not be received by the Commission, and when the Electronic Proposal Submission Service closes for that call. Deadlines are absolutely firm and enforced to the minute by the Commission. No exceptions are made for extenuating circumstances (failure of courier services to deliver on time, strikes, bad weather, late airplanes, trains, crashing computers etc.). Do not take a chance - proofread your proposal carefully and send it in early and to the exact address specified in the call.
A deliverable represents a verifiable output of the project. Normally, each workpackage will produce one or more deliverables during its lifetime. Deliverables are often written reports but can also take another form, for example the completion of a prototype etc.
DEvelopment of a Simplified Consortium Agreement for FP7: http://www.desca-fp7.eu/download-desca/.
Description of Work (DoW)
Annex 1 of the Proposal and is similar for all funding scheme.
Directorate General (DG) is an administrative unit of the Commission. Currently the Commission is divided into about 30 DGs (and comparable services). Five of them are involved in the management of FP7: DG Research, DG Information Society and Media, DG Enterprise, DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, DG Energy and Transport. The Director General is the top civil servant in charge of an individual Directorate General.
Electronic Proposal Submission Service (EPSS)
All research proposals must be sent to the European Commission electronically. The Electronic Proposal Submission System is an on-line tool to prepare and submit an FP7 research proposal. It is obligatory to use this system to submit your proposal.
The minimum conditions which a proposal must fulfill if it is to be evaluated. The eligibility criteria are generally the same for all proposals throughout FP7, and relate to submission before the deadline, minimum participation, completeness and scope. However, specific eligibility criteria may apply to certain calls, and applicants should check the work programme.
The objective of the ERA-NET scheme is to develop and strengthen the coordination of public research programmes conducted at national or regional level. Only "Programme owners" (typically national ministries/regional authorities) and "Programme managers” (such as research councils or funding agencies) are considered as eligible partners in an ERA-NET action. It should be stressed that research organisations or universities which are NOT programme owners or managers are NOT eligible partners for ERA-NET actions.
An ethical review will be implemented systematically by the Commission for proposals dealing with ethically sensitive issues. In specific cases, further ethical reviews may take place during the implementation of a project. Participants in FP7 projects must conform to current legislation and regulations in the countries where the research will be carried out. They must seek the approval of the relevant ethics committees prior to the start of the RTD activities, if there are ethical issues involved.
The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) was set up in 1957 and is legally separate from the European Community. Euratom will have €2.7 billion from FP7 to fund nuclear research and training activities between 2007 and 2011.
EUREKA is a Europe-wide network for industrial research and development.
European Commission (EC)
The European Commission - made up of 27 commissioners nominated by the member states - is the executive body of the European Union. It drafts proposals for new European laws, which it presents to the European Parliament and the Council. It manages the day-to-day business of implementing EU-policies and spending EU-funds. The EC drafts the Work Programmes for FP7 and controls the FP7-projects. http://ec.europa.eu
European Parliament (EP)
The European Parliament is a directly elected Parliament representing the citizens of all European Member states. The European Parliament, in agreement with the Council, decides on the European research and development policy. The European Parliament is not directly involved with the individual projects in FP7.
European Research Area (ERA)
The European Research Area is a concept to create an “European internal market” in research, an area of free movement of knowledge, researchers and technology; structuring and coordinating national research policies and activities and developing a common European research policy. FP7 projects are an instrument to help achieving the objectives of the European Research Area.
European Research Council (ERC)
The European Research Council, which is the Ideas Specific Programme of FP7, is worth over €7 billion from 2007 to 2013. New to the Framework Programme, the ERC will fund investigator-led, frontier research. It consists of two grant schemes, the Starting Independent Researcher Grant and the Advanced Investigator Grant.
European Science Foundation (ESF)
ESF is an association of 77 member organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries, whose core purpose is to promote high quality science at a European level.
European Technology Platforms (ETPs)
This is a new Euro buzz word introduced late 2003, as part of the planning for FP7. Initially it was a set of meetings per important technology sector at which the major European actors could be mobilized to identify strategies and future directions. It was initially seen to be an open initiative with no funding. However, the pilots that have been set up are essentially closed and will seek funding in FP7 perhaps using Article 171. European Technology Platforms provide a Framework for stakeholders, led by industry, to define research and development priorities, timeframes and action plans on a number of strategically important issues where achieving Europe’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability objectives is dependent upon major research and technological advances in the medium to long term. They play a key role in ensuring an adequate focus of research funding on areas with a high degree of industrial relevance.
European Union (EU)
EU – a political and economic union of 27 member states.
The criteria against which eligible proposals are assessed by independent experts. The evaluation criteria are generally the same for all proposals throughout FP7, and relate to S/T quality, impact and implementation. Relevance is also considered. However, specific evaluation criteria may apply to certain calls, and applicants should check the work programme.
After proposal submission each proposal is individually evaluated. This is done by an independent evaluation commission of experts in the field. The experts in an evaluation commission do not work for the European Commission. They work on personal basis and can not be influenced by outsiders.
Evaluation Summary Report (ESR)
The assessment of a particular proposal following the evaluation by independent experts. It normally contains both comments and scores for each evaluation criterion.
Experts Management Module (EMM)
Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
FET is the ICT incubator and pathfinder for new ideas and themes for long-term research in the area of information and communication technologies. Its mission is to promote high risk research, offset by potential breakthrough with high technological or societal impact.
Part of FET program where topics are not predefined and runs under continuously open calls, is a 'roots-up' approach for exploring promising visionary ideas that can contribute to challenges of long term importance for Europe. The scheme stimulates non-conventional targeted exploratory research cutting across all disciplines and acts as a harbour for exploring and nurturing new research trends and helping them mature in emerging research communities.
Second part of FET program which is implemented via fixed calls and on specific long term research topics, is a 'top-down' approach fostering novel non-conventional approaches and foundational research in selected themes in response to emerging societal and industrial needs. The scheme supports initial developments on long-term research and technological innovation, and helps related research communities to develop and mature.
FPs (FP5, FP6, FP7)
“Framework Programmes” (FPs) have been the main financial tools through which the European Union supports research and development activities covering almost all scientific disciplines. FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU’s main instrument for funding research in Europe and it runs from 2007 to 2013. The EC budget for seven years is € 50.5 billion.
Further information on FP7 can be found at: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7
The type of support that can be given to a project within a call. The funding schemes have different bjectives, and are implemented through different grant agreement conditions.
A Gantt chart shows the timing of the different WPs and their components from start to finish of the project. A Gantt chart is part of almost all project proposals.
Grant Preparation Forms help to identify the beneficiaries who will sign the Grant Agreement and to determine the eligible costs and EC contribution http://ec.europa.eu/research/negotiation/. These are submitted via the NEF online tool. If a project is invited to start negotiations all partners have to fill out the Grant Preparation Forms electronically using the GPF-editor. The Grant Preparation Forms give additional information on your organisation and the grant you apply for.
Green Papers are communications published by the European Commission on a specific policy area. Primarily, they are documents addressed to interested parties who are invited to participate in a process of consultation and debate. In some cases they provide an impetus for subsequent legislation.
The Grant Agreement is the legal agreement between the European Commission and the Consortium. It states the start- and end-date of the project the amount of the grant and all legal provisions. The Grant Agreement is signed by all partners.
International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPC)
International Cooperation Partner Countries are lower-income, low-income, lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries targeted by the European Commission to increase research cooperation. Organisations from these countries can participate and receive funding in FP7, providing that certain minimum conditions are met. Republic of Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia are all International Cooperation Partner Countries and thus eligible for funding.
“Ideas” is the second Specific Programme of FP7 worth over €7 billion from 2007 to 2013. New to the Framework Programme, Ideas fosters Investigator-driven ‘frontier research’, within the framework of activities commonly understood as ‘basic research’, and is a key driver of wealth and social progress, as it opens new opportunities for scientific and technological advance, and is instrumental in producing new knowledge leading to future applications and markets. It is implemented through the European Research Council and consists of two grant schemes, the Starting Independent Researcher Grant and the Advanced Investigator Grant.
Open events organised by the Commission to explain the characteristics of specific calls, and often as well, a chance for potential applicants to meet and discuss proposal ideas and collaborations.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
For EC co-financed projects, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) normally belong to the project participants. For projects or actions where the EC bears the full cost the property is generally the property of the Community.
IPR Help Desk
Established by the Innovation Programme to help protect Intellectual Property Rights and to assist with patent issues. More info: www.ipr-helpdesk.org.
Innovation Relay Centre (IRC)
Created to help local companies access the European technology market by promoting their technologies across Europe, and by identifying and importing technological solutions. The IRC network has become a leading European network for the promotion of technology partnerships and transfer between SMEs. More info: www.ircnet.lu.
Joint Research Centre (JRC)
The EC’s Joint Research Centre acts as a scientific and technological laboratory in support of EU policies, with a range of institutes and research activities. The "official mission" of the JRC is to: provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, private or national.
Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs)
Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE)
The primary aim in funding Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology research under FP7 is to build an European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (food, feed, forest, fisheries, agriculture, aquaculture, chemistry, etcetera) by bringing together all industries and economic sectors that produce, manage and exploit biological resources and related services, supply or consumer industries, such as food, fisheries, forestry, agriculture, etcetera. The Knowledge Based Bio-Economy will play an important role in a global economy, where knowledge is the best way to increase productivity and competitiveness and improve our quality of life, while protecting our environment and social model.
Large Collaborative Research Projects
Large projects focusing on research and development, envisaged budget of 5-6 million euros, of 10 – 15 partners.
Legal entities are natural persons or any legal persons created under the national law of their place of establishment, under Community law or under international law, having legal personality and being entitled to have rights and obligations of any kind in their own name.
Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR)
LEAR is the person who is a unique point of contact with the EC for each FP7 participant on legal and administrative matters.
Marie Curie Fellowships
Within the PEOPLE programme there are a number of different grants which allow individual researchers or groups of researchers to work in another country. These fellowships are named after the double Nobel Prize laureate Marie Curie.
Member State (MS)
The EU-27 - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK.
Milestones are control points where decisions are needed with regard to the next stage of the project. For example, a milestone may occur when a major result has been achieved, if its successful attainment is a pre-requisite for the next phase of work.
National Contact Points (NCPs)
Persons officially nominated by the national authorities to provide tailored information and advice on each theme of FP7, in the national language(s). The NCP systems in the different countries show a wide variety of architectures, from highly centralised to decentralised networks, and a number of very different actors, from ministries to universities, research centres and special agencies to private consulting companies. This reflects the different national traditions, working methodologies, research landscapes and funding schemes. NCPs are the first to contact if you have any questions about FP7. More info: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/get-support_en.html.
NEgotiation Forms (NEF)
An EC online tool used during the negotiation process to collect legal and financial data as well as background information about the partner involved with a particular project. See also GPF.
NEF User's Guide for Coordinators and Participants: http://ec.europa.eu/research/negotiation/nef-ug-co_en.pdf
The process of establishing a grant agreement between the Commission and an applicant whose proposal has been favorably evaluated, and when funds are available.
Networks of Excellence (NoE)
Large projects focusing on increased cooperation in a scientific field, envisaged budget for a project is 5-6 million euros, consisting of 10 – 15 partners.
Official Journal (OJ)
The Official Journal of the European Union is the only periodical published every working day in all official languages of the European Union (EU). It consists of two related series (L for legislation and C for information and notices) and a supplement (S for public procurement). There is also an electronic section to the C series, known as the OJ C E. Documents published in the OJ C E are only published electronically.
The part of a proposal dealing with administrative data. This part is completed using the web-based EPSS.
The part of a proposal explaining the work to be carried out, and the roles and aptitudes of the participants in the consortium. This part is uploaded to the EPSS as a pdf.
To participate in European research it is almost always necessary to be part of an international Consortium. It is not always easy to find the right partners within your own network. To facilitate the building of strong Consortiums, CORDIS, NCPs, ICPs and a number of dedicated European projects help you to find partners.
Programme Committee (PC)
A group of official national representatives who assist the Commission in implementing the Framework Programme. The Programme Committee is a management body to the European Commission. The Committee consists of expert from all EU-MS and ACC. The Programme Committee must approve the Work Programmes, the evaluation procedure and Grant Agreements. The Programme Committee can have considerable influence in drafting the Work Programme.
The third Specific Programme of FP7 is worth over €4 billion during the period from 2007 to 2013. Made up of the Marie Curie Actions, it aims to improve the quality of the human resources in European R&D and increase the number of employees working in the European R&D sector. It aims to achieve its goals by promoting a career path in research, encouraging European researchers to stay in Europe and making Europe more attractive to the best researchers from around the world. At the same time, training and career development of researchers will be actively supported.
A Pert diagram is a clear representation of the interdependencies of the different Work Packages. A Pert diagram is part of almost all project proposals.
Participant Identification Code (PIC)
Participant Identification Code, needed for all participants in FP7 projects. All organisations participating in FP7 will be assigned a Participant Identification Code (or PIC). The organisations that already have signed an FP7 grant agreement have already been assigned a PIC. Organisations without a signed FP7 grant agreement may obtain a PIC by registering in URF (see URF).
Project Officer (PO)
The project officer is the officer of the European Commission responsible for the project on the part of the European Commission. The project officer negotiates the terms of the project on behalf of the EC, monitors the progress of the project and approves reports. All communication with the EC goes through the coordinator and the project officer.
A project under FP7 is a Research and Development project. The aim is always to create or facilitate the creation of new knowledge. The exact objectives and activities of an FP7-project are laid down in the Grant Agreement. A project can have a number of activities: research, training, demonstration, management and other activities.
A description of the planned research activities, information on who will carry them out, how much they will cost, and how much funding is requested. In order to get EC funding for a project, applicants have to write a complete and detailed proposal describing the objectives, relevance and planned activities in a project. Proposals are individually evaluated by a team of independent experts. Only the very best project proposals will get funding.
Due to budgetary constraints it may not be possible to support all proposals that have been evaluated positively. In such conditions, proposals on a reserve list may only be financed if funds become available following the negotiation of projects on the main list.
Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF)
A new mechanism to foster private sector investment in research, by increasing the capacity of the European Investment Bank and its financial partners to provide loans for European RTD projects.
Research and Technological Development (RTD)
Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreements
Countries with signed S&T agreements: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Egypt, India, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine and United States.
Small Collaborative Research Projects
Small projects focusing on research and development, budget amounting 3 million euros, consisting of 5 – 8 partners.
Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SMEs)
This definition applies to businesses with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover less than €50 million. Small businesses employ fewer than 50 people and have a turnover of less than €10 million, while micro businesses employ fewer than 10 people and have a turnover of less than €2 million.
Specific International Cooperation Actions (SICA)
In some calls on topics of mutual interest, special conditions apply to promote research collaborations between European organisations and those based in the International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPC). This usually entails a minimum of two participants from EU or Associated countries, and two from ICPC.
Specific Programme (SP)
FP7 is made up of seven Specific Programmes: Co-operation; Ideas (implemented through the European Research Council); People (the Marie Curie Actions); Capacities; the Joint Research Centre (JRC); Euratom and the JRC implementing Euratom.
The highest level of development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field, achieved at a particular time. It also applies to the level of development (as of a device, procedure, process, technique, or science) reached at any particular time usually as a result of modern methods.
Countries that are not EU Member States, Candidate or Associated Countries. In principle all third countries can participate in FP7-projects. However, only International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPC) can get funding from the European Union.
For a proposal to be considered for funding, the evaluation scores for individual criteria must exceed certain thresholds. There is also an overall threshold for the sum of the scores.
Some calls require proposals to be submitted in two stages. In this case, applicants initially present their idea in a brief outline proposal. This is evaluated against a limited number of evaluation criteria, or sub-criteria. Applicants successful in the first stage will be invited to submit a full proposal at the second stage, which will be evaluated against a broader range of criteria.
Unique Registration Facility (URF)
Unique Registration Facility is an online system each organisation needs to use to register with the EC before participating in an FP7 project.
White Papers are documents containing proposals for Community action in a specific area. They often follow a Green Paper.
FP7 projects are, in general, complex projects. To improve the management of the project the work is divided into Work Packages. Each Work Package in a project is managed by a Work Package Leader and has a verifiable end-point - normally a deliverable or a milestone in the overall project.
Work Programme (WP)
A formal document of the Commission that sets out the research objectives and topics to be addressed. The individual ‘Work Programmes’ are the detailed implementation plans for the specific programmes research themes and other activities under FP7. They specify the concrete scientific-technical, economic and societal objectives of each activity, providing both a broad background and the detailed technical content. They project a ‘road map’ of the planned calls for proposals. They also indicate for each call the instruments that will be available and the evaluation criteria that will be applied.