The proposal is submitted. What happens now?
After a long period of intensive work, the proposal is finally sent to the European Commission. A feeling of relief, soon to be replaced by many questions: When can I expect the results? When will I get money? How much of the funding will I get as pre-financing? When can I begin to work with the project? The clients, excited over the work on the proposal, often miss to ask these questions. However, the answers are crucial to set up the optimal plan for the months after submission of the application.
The application is sent. When can I expect the results?
The maximal evaluation time for Phase 1 is 2 months and 4 months for Phase 2. Is it longer than you expected? Don’t worry, based on our experience, this time tends to be shorter. The Phase 1 results come usually between the 3rd-5th week after the deadline. Regarding the Phase 2 results, they usually come during the second or third month after the cut-off date. The evaluation time depends on the number of applications and the availability of expert-evaluators for the cut-off.
"The GA is the formal agreement between the EC and the Applicant. The document is legally binding and sets out the terms of the grant"
How will I be informed about the results?
The information about the outcome will come via email sent to the company's contact person and via the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) that will be published in the Participant Portal. It's common that the EC requests additional documents before the publication of the official information that the project is granted. Is the EC writing to you asking to provide the confirmation of the company registration? This is a good sign.
My project has got funding. What happens now?
An email saying, “Hereby we are pleased to inform you that your project has been selected for funding…” initiates a new intensive work period: Signing the Grant Agreement (GA). The GA is the formal agreement between the EC and the Applicant. The document is legally binding and sets out the terms of the grant. It is good to know that the submitted proposal will be included into GA as an appendix. Have this in mind, for example, setting deadlines for milestones in your proposal.
Signing of grant agreement, counted from the moment results are published to the signature of the grant, takes an average of 1 month for Phase 1 projects and 3 months for Phase 2 projects.
During this time, you will be invited to provide paper evidence for the validation of the company and the legal representative (e.g. the CEO of the company) of the organization must appoint a Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR). All these activities will launch the chain of trust confirming signatories' identity. It is necessary as the GA is signed electronically via the Participant Portal.
“After the GA is signed the successful applicant receives the pre-financing (in general 40% of EU-contribution)”
When can I start the project?
The project usually starts the first day of the month after the Commission signs the GA. This means that if the EC signs the GA on 16th of May, the project will start on the 1st of June. In justified cases, the project can starts earlier but it always needs to be the first day of the month.
When will I get the money?
After the GA is signed the successful applicant receives the pre-financing (in general 40% of EU-contribution). In the Phase 1 project, the rest is usually paid after the final report is approved by the EC. In the Project 2 project, the next part of the financing can also be paid during the project (when the status report is approved). The rest of the amount is paid after the project is finished and after the final report is approved by the EC. The payments regulations are defined in the GA and are specific for each single project.
My application didn’t get funding. What can I do now?
If you submitted a Phase 1 project and it scored above the threshold (13.00), the project might be qualified for funding by the national agency supporting R&D projects. In Sweden, for example, the Phase 1 projects scored above 13.00 are supported by the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova. Unfortunately, Vinnova doesn’t offer a similar support for the Phase 2 projects. What can you do if your Phase 1 proposal was scored under threshold or your Phase 2 project didn’t get funding? Analyze the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) carefully in order to pinpoint areas to improve your proposal. We discuss the importance of the ESR here.
To sum up: be patient, the evaluation of the proposals takes time. Make sure that you are available on the phone numbers and emails provided and respond quickly when contacted. Check your calendar and be reachable during the grant preparation period to speed up the process. If your proposal is granted follow the ECs instructions carefully. If not, it is no catastrophe, as the application can be improved and resubmitted (an unlimited number of times).
Research and Innovation Funding Specialist