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Frequently Asked Questions: Health Programme Call 2013

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  • GENERAL QUESTIONS:

    • How are the responsibilities between EAHC and DG SANCO divided?
      The DG SANCO is responsible for the health policy of the European Union. The Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) is entrusted by the European Commission to implement the Health Programme.

      Can the EAHC be asked for legal action against the health policy at European or national level?
      No, the EAHC has no legal basis to initiate legal actions against the health policy of Member States (or either the Commission). The main task of EAHC is to implement EU programmes (including the second Health Programme 2007-13) but does not have any competence to act in case of questions relating to the health policy. The competence of the European Union in the area of public health is defined in Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: the health policy of the Member States belongs to their national competence and therefore the actions of the EU shall complement them.

      Does the EAHC support national projects?
      The EAHC only awards grants for projects with a European dimension. The transnational character of the proposed actions, covering the EU/EEA Member States and Croatia is a main criterion for this. To receive funds which focus on the national level, please check the funding opportunities under the Structural Funds which are allocated by the Member States to regional and local level.

      Does the EAHC offer Trainee- or Internships?
      The EAHC offers Traineeships through the official Traineeship programme of the European Commission (Blue-Book). Please visit http://ec.europa.eu/stages/index_en.htm for more information

      Which countries can participate in the Call for proposals?
      In addition to the 27 Member States of the European Union, the call is also open to the EFTA/EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Eligible entities from these countries can receive funding from the second Health Programme.
      Other third countries, in particular the European Neighbourhood Policy countries, countries that are applying for, are candidates for or are acceding to membership of the European Union, and the western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process, may participate in the Health Programme provided that the necessary agreements are in place. Of these countries, Croatia has concluded these arrangements and participates in the Programme. Therefore, eligible entities from Croatia can receive funding from the second Health Programme.
      Finally, collaboration with the above third countries not participating in the Programme should be facilitated. This should not involve funding from the Programme. Nevertheless, travel and subsistence expenses for experts invited from or travelling to such countries can be considered eligible costs in duly justified, exceptional cases, where this directly contributes to the objectives of the Programme.

      What does "European added value" mean?
      European added value refers to the European dimension of the problem and of the project. Projects funded within the EU Health Programme are expected to contribute to solving problems at the European level, and the expected impact of co-ordinating the work at European level should be greater than the sum of the impacts of national activities. The EU added value of proposals for projects and other funding mechanisms will be assessed by looking at their relation to the existing EU policies in the field of public health and in other policy fields, and by checking whether they do not duplicate actions that can be taken at Member State level. The proposal therefore should have a precise technical dimension, which is then reflected in an appropriate geographical context: countries involved need to bring in specific competencies or target groups or both.

      Seven important ways to add "EU value" to an action are the following:
      • Implementing EU legislation with the objective to ensure that legislation is correctly implemented
      • Economies of scale with the objective to save money and to provide better service to citizens;
      • Promotion of best practice with the objective to grant to all citizens the benefit from state of the art best practice and to ensure capacity building where necessary;
      • Benchmarking for decision making with the objective to facilitate evidence based decision making, focusing on real time data available for comparison and on indicators with a real impact on decision making;
      • Cross border threats with the objective to reduce risks and mitigate consequences of health threats;
      • Free movement of persons with the objective to ensure high quality Public Health across EU Member States taking into account patients crossing borders, migration issues and Brain drain - movement of workers across Europe;
      • Networking activities that are a side effect of all other actions.

      What kind of funding is relevant for universities?
      Universities can apply for project grants and can participate in calls for tenders. Moreover, universities can also be awarded grants for conferences if they are considered public or non-profit making bodies under the law of the Member State where they are established, or for operating grants e.g. as a leader of a specialized network in case they fulfil the criteria in Annex VI of the work plan 2013.

      Are there Helpdesks in the individual MS where you can get information on the Call?
      Yes, in a few countries there are. Please ask your National Focal Point about the situation in your country.

      What is the deadline for submission?
      The deadline for submission of proposals is 22 March 2013 The date of delivery to the European Commission will be proven by a signed and dated receipt. If the proposal is submitted by private courier service, the date of delivery to the private courier service will act as proof of delivery. It is the responsibility of the submitter to ensure timely delivery of the proposal. Proposals which are delivered to the Agency by post or private courier service after 19 April 2013 will not be considered, even if late delivery is due to postal delays or to other reasons beyond the control of the submitter.

  • SPECIFIC QUESTION CONCERNING THE ACTIONS:

    • PROJECTS: BUDGET
      • What are "public officials"?
        An official of a public administration or body who is directly remunerated by the budget of the State or a local authority and his/her work concerns the implementation of tasks typically devolved to public institutions. By extension, it does concern all public officials who work in international organisations.

        Do partners have to contribute to the costs of the project?
        Yes. Normally, at least 40 % of the total cost of a project must be covered by the main partner and the associated partners. The financial contribution from the European Commission (EC) under Health Programme amounts usually to 60 % of the eligible costs of the project. In exceptional cases, where a project has a high exceptional utility (see Annex VII of work plan 2013), the Community grant can cover up to 80 % of eligible costs. However, only 10% of the total number of funded projects may receive co-financing above 60%. Partners are not obliged to ensure 40% of co-funding each.

        How can the main and associated partners contribute financially?
        The beneficiaries shall provide their financial contribution either by way of own resources (also including expected income generated by the action, or contribution pertaining to public officials), or in the form of financial transfers from third parties. For example, the grant agreement will provide that a project, which costs €100,000 should receive a maximum co-financing of €60,000 that is a maximum EU co-funding percentage of 60 %. Thus, in the initial agreement, the partners are asked to contribute an amount of €40,000.

        How do I establish my provisional budget?
        The estimated budget for the action is an obligatory annex to the grant agreement and allows verification of the co-financing principle.
        It is recommended that the beneficiaries provide an estimation of costs and revenue tailored to reflect the actual situation, as far as possible, to avoid subsequent amendments.

        Why must costs for public officials appear as an income?
        The co-funding of costs pertaining to public officials may produce a profit for the beneficiary because these staff costs are already covered by the budget of the Member State (or regional or local authorities) in the framework of their normal activities. However, these costs can be considered as part of the own co-funding of the action by the beneficiary and appear as an income in order to balance the budget of the action.

        Should staff costs refer to gross or to net salary?
        Staff costs refer to the actual gross salary costs for the employer. They typically include security charges and other statutory costs included in the employment contract. Exceptional bonuses (e.g., rewards given to employees for achievements) or dividends are not eligible.

        Do local authorities have to prove their financial capacity?
        No. Local authorities are not required to prove their financial or operational capacity, due to their statute as public entities. However, an association of municipalities does, as it has a legal statute different than that of its members and is not covered by their exemption.

        How can costs related to collaborating partners appear in the budget plan?
        Exceptionally, the costs related to collaborating partners may appear in the budget and only in terms of reimbursement of their travel costs and subsistence allowances. Collaborating partners are normally not financed by the project. However, if the project wishes to facilitate collaborating partners' participation in project's meetings, travel costs for collaborating partners can be included as 'Other costs' for the main or one of the associated partners.

        How can costs related to ineligible countries appear in the budget plan?
        Costs related to ineligible countries cannot appear in the budget plan of the action. The only exception concerns costs related to collaborating partners (see above, as well as question on participating countries).

        What is the difference between "Subcontracting costs" and "Other costs"?
        "Subcontracting costs" refer to the implementation of specific tasks being the part of the action as described in the technical annex, by a third party to which a procurement contract has been awarded.. These costs are eligible provided that the conditions laid down in the grant agreement, articles referring to subcontracting (Art. II.10), are met. The use of subcontracting if project is under way shall be subject to prior approval by the Executive Agency.
        "Other costs" are costs which arise directly from requirements imposed by the grant agreement (e.g. dissemination of information, specific evaluation of the action, audits, translations, interpretation, production or reproduction of documents, etc.). They also include costs of financial services (especially financial guarantees and audits if required by the grant agreement).
        Note: Call 2013 introduces so called "Implementation contracts". These contracts refer to the procurement of ordinary services, goods or equipment necessary to carry out the project (e.g. dissemination of information, specific evaluation, audits, translation, reproduction), including the purchase of consumables and supplies, etc. These contracts do not imply any externalisation of activities foreseen by the project but impose on partners the necessity to seek tenders offering best value for money.

        Can all costs related to the project's administration be subcontracted?
        Subcontracting the project’s administration in its totality is not allowed. Participants are expected to have the necessary resources and expertise to ensure the technical and financial co-ordination of the project. Nevertheless, subcontracting of a part of a project’s administration (e.g. several man/days of accountant) is possible if it proves to be cost-effective and if the project partners keep the sole responsibility for implementing the project and for compliance with the provisions of the grant agreement.

        Are depreciation costs eligible?
        Yes, depreciation costs for equipment included in the estimated budget annexed to the grant agreement are eligible, provided they meet the conditions of eligibility set out in the grant agreement.

        What is the depreciation period for equipment?
        The depreciation period is the one that is set out in the beneficiary's internal rules. When there are no internal depreciation rules, beneficiaries should apply the depreciation period generally accepted for items of the same kind.
        As a rule only the portion of equipment's depreciation corresponding to the duration of the action can be charged as direct cost.

        Can infrastructure investments on the national or regional level be funded within the Call for proposals?
        The Health Programme 2007-2013 falls under the so called “European Funds”. Thus there is a need for projects to have a certain European dimension. The transnational character is a main requirement for being eligible. In case your project aims at improving regional or local health infrastructure or is focussing on national health systems in general the structural funds (ESF and ERDF) have to be consulted. Please visit the Homepage of DG Regio to get further information:
        http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/cf/index_fr.htm

        How will the budget be implemented during the project lifetime?
        As a first step, a provisional budget must be provided for the project. This budget will be analysed when assessing the proposals to evaluate its coherence and its cost-effectiveness. If the proposal is awarded EU co-funding, you will be invited to negotiate both the technical and financial aspects of the proposal with the Executive Agency. At this stage, the budget may be reviewed. The budget that will be agreed upon as a result of the negotiation will appear as an annex of the grant agreement.
        In accordance with the grant agreement, the Agency will provide pre-financing payment(s) via the main beneficiary. The number and programming of pre-financing payment(s) will depend on the project’s budget size and on the duration of the project as specified in the grant agreement. If during the project’s lifecycle modifications to the budget are required, you should follow the requirements of the Grant agreement. However, the maximum amount of Community co-funding cannot be exceeded.
        After approval of the final reports (technical and financial), the Executive Agency will proceed with the final payment. This payment will be based on the real expenditure and revenues incurred by the beneficiaries and taking into account the co-financing amount and co-financing percentage as set up in the grant agreement.
        The Executive Agency may ask you to provide evidence (supporting documents), to justify the expenditure and revenue reported. The maximum global percentage of co-funding shall not exceed the one referred to in the grant agreement.

        What is the flexibility between the provisional budget and the effective amount transmitted for the final payment?
        During the implementation of the project, real costs may be higher or lower than initially projected.
        When necessary budgetary adjustments are possible under specific rules foreseen in the grant agreement AND provided that they do not affect the scope and the implementation of the project.

        Can a newly established organisation be a main or associated partner?
        Yes. Applications are not automatically rejected based on the fact that the organisation is new and cannot yet provide evidence on financial stability. While filling in the application, in the section 9.1 you can select the option entitled 'New entity' which implies that no financial data is required at this stage. You could also provide the latest relevant data on financial activities if your organisation existed in a different form.

        Is VAT an eligible cost?
        According to the Art. II.14.4 of the grant agreement VAT is considered as a non-eligible cost which will be deducted from the final cost statement unless the beneficiary institution can show that, according to its national legislation, it is unable to recover it.
        According to the DG BUDG circular, the beneficiary must provide evidence in the form of an official document, from the appropriate tax authority, certifying that the beneficiary institution is not subject to or is exempt for the actions in question. If it is not possible to obtain such a certificate from the appropriate tax authority, then the beneficiary must provide a copy of the national tax/law legislation which will justify impossibility to recover the VAT. Article (s) concerned should be clearly marked.

        As from Call 2011 EAHC is in line with the DG BUDG provisions when it comes to the VAT paid by public bodies. It should be noted that VAT paid by a public body (for example, a ministry) to operators who are subject to VAT (when purchasing goods / supplying services within the framework of the implementation of the co-financed action), is not eligible. The VAT thus collected by operators liable for tax will in fact be returned to the accounts of the Member State of the public body in question. Considering this VAT as an eligible cost would lead to double financing (first by the Community grant, and secondly by the fiscal revenue paid by the operator subject to VAT to the Member State of the public body).

    • PROJECTS: SCHEDULE
      • When can the project start?
        The project should start when the grant agreement is signed. However, in application of the Article 112 of the Financial Regulation (or 130 of the new Financial Regulation), a grant may be awarded for a proposed action which has already begun, "only where the applicant can demonstrate the need to start the action before the grant agreement is signed".
        In such exceptional cases, it may be acceptable to consider expenditure that was incurred from the date of the submission of the grant application but not earlier.
        The EAHC highly recommends not starting an action before the grant agreement is signed.

        Can a project overlap with another project implemented by the same applicant funded under the Health Programme?
        No. A new project by the same applicant can only start when the preceding one has ended.

    • PROJECTS: PARTNERS
      • What is the difference between a main partner and associated partner?
        The main partner is the organisation that takes charge of the project and represents the partners in all contacts with the EAHC, during the negotiation and implementation of the project. The main partner signs the grant agreement on behalf of the associated partners, except when no mandate is given by an associated partner to sign the agreement on its behalf. The main partner's eligible expenditure will be co-funded by the EAHC.
        An associated partner also has a contractual relationship with the EAHC and appears on the grant agreement, even though mandating the main partner to sign it. An associated partner participates in the project on the same basis as the main partner. However, as a rule, contacts with the EAHC will go via the main partner, and the EU co-funding of the associated partners' eligible expenditure will be done via the main partner, too. For further details and explanations please see article II.1 of Model Grant Agreement.

        What is the difference between an associated partner and collaborating partner?
        A collaborating partner provides added value to the project and participates in the project together with the main and associated partners, but has no contractual relationship with the EAHC. A collaborating partner carries no legal title to the project and does not receive any EU funding.

        What is the difference between an associated or collaborating partner and a subcontractor?
        A subcontractor is a third party who provides specific services for the project under a contract awarded by one of the beneficiaries. Subcontractors are not mentioned in the grant agreement. Justifying the use and choice of subcontractors must be produced at the time of the application. If the sum involved is significant, the main beneficiary must put the work out to tender.
        Subcontracting should not concern core activities of the project (i.e. technical and financial management) and may under no circumstances alter the main substance of the project.
        As a general rule, it should not exceed 40% of the total cost of the project.

        What is the task of a work-package leader?
        A work-package (WP) can be led by any main or associated partner. The partner in question should have the expertise related to the WP objectives, coordinates the tasks and activities specific to the WP and ensures the involvement of the partners contributing to it. The WP leader reports to the project coordinator and Steering committee.

        Can a main partner (coordinator) be the only participant of a project?
        As a general rule proposals should involve at least two legal entities from different Member States.
        Theoretically when the project can demonstrate a genuine and significant European dimension and as long as the project is not limited to a national or regional dimension,, the main partner/ coordinator may be the only participant .However, this is exceptional and such proposals have not received funding to date.

        How many partners should take part in a project?
        This depends on the project's objectives and scope. For example, a project that aims to collect health information in a standardised way or disseminate and implement an intervention is likely to involve a much larger network of partners than a project that aims to test a data collection method or a new type of intervention. However, implementing a project with a large number of associated partners is often difficult, time-consuming, and costly and requires specific skills. Applicants must ensure that they will be able to manage the project efficiently and effectively. They should select associated partners who have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to enable the project to meet its objectives and deliver its expected outcomes.

        How many countries need to be represented among the partners in a project?
        This depends on the scope, objectives and target group of the project: a project aimed at developing and testing a new approach or method will not require the same number of countries as a project which widely implements the approach. A project should take account of the geographical, cultural and social variety within the EU and involve a sufficient number of organisations from different Member States and candidate countries, but a credible geographical coverage refers to the representative nature of the participating organisations for the EU, rather than to the number of countries involved.

        Can projects include partners from countries that do not participate in the programme?
        Only partners from countries that participate in the programme can be formal partners and receive EU co-funding (see also section participating countries). However, experts from other countries may be invited to meetings, conferences or other events within a project. Their travel and subsistence expenses can be covered if this is included in the project proposal and the accepted budget.

        Can an international organisation such as WHO or OECD be an associated partner?
        The WHO and the OECD can only be funded through direct grant agreements, so they cannot be an associated partner in a project this year. However, WHO or OECD can become a collaborating partner, as this status excludes funding.

        Can an international organisation such as WHO or OECD be a collaborating partner or subcontractor?
        Yes. See the answer to the question above.

        Can the International Federation of the Red Cross be a main or associated partner?
        No. The International Federation of the Red Cross is established outside the EU, in Switzerland, and is thus not eligible as a main or associated partner. The IFRC can however be a collaborating partner or subcontractor.

        Is it possible to submit a proposal with associated partners that are not yet identified?
        No. A project must be well defined and its partners well chosen and identified. The evaluation of submitted projects includes the assessment of the quality of the partnership and of the financial management of the project, which is difficult to establish for unknown associated partners. The grant agreement will mention all the associated partners' names.

        How can one get in contact with other groups submitting proposals to establish a partnership?
        We advise you to contact your National Focal Point (NFP).

        What is the main partner's responsibility if a partner drops out of the project?
        The implementation of the actions described in the annex to the grant agreement is the collective responsibility of the main beneficiary together with the associated beneficiaries who sign the grant agreement . If one of them breaches the agreement, the remaining partners must make up for this to ensure the full implementation of the activities that have been foreseen.
        The main beneficiary and each associated beneficiary are also liable for the use of the financial contribution of the EAHC in proportion to its share of the project, up to a maximum of the total payments he/she has received.
        Except in cases of "force majeure", the beneficiaries shall compensate any damage sustained by the Awarding authority as a result of the execution or faulty execution of the action.
        Moreover, the beneficiaries shall bear sole liability vis-à-vis third parties (e.g. subcontractors) including for damage of any kind sustained by them while the action is being carried out.
        Within the framework of the articles on liability of the grant agreement, the beneficiaries may adopt more detailed rules in their consortium agreements.

    • PROJECTS: POLICY AND CONTEXT RELEVANCE
      • What if I have project idea that does not fit to the priority areas of the Work plan 2013?
        In 2013 there are six very specific calls for proposals. For some one of those, a specific application form is available with the priority area already inserted.

        How can I demonstrate the strategic relevance of my project?
        The strategic relevance of a proposal depends on the way the project brings added value to the existing public health knowledge and enhances the use of that knowledge in public health practice in a given context. A project is expected to contribute and add value to EU policies that have been formulated or are in the process of being so, and to have a positive implication for the health of the citizens.
        Moreover, it has to demonstrate that the reproducibility and transferability of the actions have been planned, so as to cover the whole population concerned in the future. Health Programme is not expected to fund recurrent projects, so the proposal should prove that the result is sustainable.

    • PROJECTS: SIZE AND SCOPE OF THE PROPOSAL
      • What types of projects can be submitted?
        Different types of projects are eligible for co-funding within the Health Programme, including research projects providing an evidence base for decision making in public health practice; projects aimed at developing and testing public health interventions; projects concerned with the wider dissemination and implementation of an existing public health intervention in a particular target group or population; or a combination of the above. As each type of project requires a different methodology and management, the technical and management quality of each project will be assessed against the backdrop of the project type and scope. It is important, however, that the project contributes to the existing knowledge and state of play, relates to the priorities of the Health Programme, and shows an "added value" at the European level.

        What is the minimum and maximum duration of a project?
        The maximum duration is three years. There is no lower limit, but given the administrative task to set up a project, it is not recommended to submit a proposal for less than one year.

        What is the optimal budget for a project?
        The budget of a project strongly depends on its objectives, scope, duration and number of partners involved, so there is no absolute reference for the "ideal" amount of a grant. Based on experience with previous calls for proposals, the amount of co-funding could range from € 100,000 to € 3 Mio, with an average of approximately € 700.000.
        Please note that indicative amounts are indicated for each call for proposals for projects in the work plan 2013. Important criteria for selection of proposals are that the budget is coherent with the project's objectives and scope, well balanced among the work packages and partners, and that it observes the financing rules stated in the Guide for applicants.

        Under what circumstances may a project receive more than 60% co-funding?
        A project may receive more than 60 % co-funding, if it requests such a funding on the basis of the "exceptional utility". The indicative criteria for assessing "exceptional utility" are published in Annex VII of the work plan 2013.

        Where can I find information on projects that have been awarded in previous calls?
        The EAHC website contains a database of projects selected for funding.

    • PROJECTS: PROJECT MANAGEMENT
      • What defines good management of the partnership?
        As most projects rely on the collaboration between organisations, the success of the project requires strong partnership and management qualities. The quality of a partnership depends on its extensiveness, the sharing of common goals and objectives, the synergy (added value) and the commitment of the various partners to be involved in the project, as well as on a good communication within and management of the partnership. There should be a clear organisational structure with a division of tasks and responsibilities between the various partners, the project manager and other decision makers. On the personal level, the project manager must have the necessary skills, expertise and authority to lead a team and to achieve the project objectives. Managing a multi-partner project also requires the systematic monitoring of the project activities to check whether the activities are implemented according to plan, whether results and deliverables are attained at the milestones, and if there are obstacles or difficulties which may hamper the results of the project.

        Can a new partnership be created for the purpose of the project?
        Yes. It is not required that the partnership formally exists before the project. However, to ensure the synergy and commitment, there should be a logic explaining why certain partners are involved. For example, the network could be based on previous links or collaborations, or be based on a search of adequate partners in the geographical area of interest.

        How detailed should the timetable in the application be?
        The timetable should serve as a tool to allow a proper monitoring of the project implementation by the EAHC. Therefore, it should specify milestones (i.e., scheduled events signifying important decision making moments or the completion of deliverables), and give the expected time when each milestone should be reached. The timetable should be realistic, taking into account the available resources (person days) and capacities, as well as the fact that some activities must be completed before others may start.

        What is the purpose of a risk analysis?
        Even in the best-planned projects there are uncertainties, and unexpected events can occur. A risk analysis at the start of the project will help to predict the risks that could prevent the project from delivering on time or even failing. A risk is an uncertainty of outcome of an action or event. A risk analysis addresses the questions what could possibly go wrong, what is the likelihood of things going wrong, how this may affect the project, and what can be done to address these problems.

        What information is expected in the description of the "financial circuits" on the application form (section 3.3. for Operating grants; section 5.4. for projects and Joint actions; section 4.1. for conferences)
        In the above sections you are required to provide information on the financial circuits, responsibilities, reporting systems and controls which ensure appropriate financial management of the co-funded action. A common definition of the financial circuits has not been provided for due to the heterogeneity of the applicant organisations. This is a point on which each organisation has certainly some internal documents or standards of operating procedures, which they can describe. Just as an example, in several countries, public institutions such as universities have put in place a separate accounting system for all EU funding, so as not to mix co-funded actions with the financial management of regular operational expenditure.

    • PROJECTS: SPECIFICATION OF THE PROPOSAL
      • What is the difference between general and specific objectives?
        General objectives (or aims) indicate the project's contribution to society in terms of its longer-term benefits (e.g., contribute to the reduction of cancer mortality; reduce the social inequality in health in the population). These aims will not be achieved by the project itself, but the project should contribute to their achievement.
        Specific objectives are concrete statements describing what the project is trying to achieve in order to reach its aim(s). They should be specified at a level, which allows them to be evaluated at the conclusion of the project. A well-worded objective is often referred to as "SMART": Specific, Measurable, Acceptable for the target group, Realistic and Time-bound (i.e., containing an indication of the time within which it must be reached). A distinction can be made between short-term (immediate), medium-term (intermediate) and long-term (ultimate) objectives.

        How many objectives should a project have?
        This depends on the aim and scope of the project. The number of objectives should be high enough to reflect the relevance of the project, but limited enough to keep the project realistic and manageable.
        The project application template limits the number of specific objectives to six.

        Should evaluation and/or dissemination of the project be listed as objectives?
        No. They are important methods to ensure the quality and assess the outcome of the project and to make the results and deliverables available to stakeholders and to the wider audience, but they are no objectives in their own right and should thus not be listed among the objectives.

        What is the difference between an objective and an outcome?
        Objectives describe what the project is trying to achieve in order to reach its aim(s). Outcomes are the changes that are expected to occur as a result of the project when the objectives are reached. They can be distinguished from outputs, which are products, services, activities, attributes or plans which result from steps in the project implementation process. An outcome is linked to one objective, but an objective can have more than one outcome.

        What is the difference between an outcome and a deliverable?
        Deliverables are a specific type of outputs or outcomes. They refer to physical items (i.e. reports, plans, tools, products) or activities (e.g. workshops, conferences) to be delivered by the project. Internal deliverables are produced for the purpose of executing the project, and are usually only needed by the project team and the commissioning authority, in this case the EAHC. External deliverables, in contrast, are created for customers and stakeholders.

        Are there any outcomes or deliverables that are mandatory?
        Yes. The intermediate and final reports stipulated in the grant agreement are mandatory deliverables. In addition the main beneficiary is expected to prepare a promotional leaflet for the project as well as a publishable, laymen version of the final report.

        Can project objectives, outcomes or deliverables be changed after the proposal has been submitted?
        The objectives, envisaged outcomes and deliverables of the project will be discussed during the adaptation phase with the EAHC preceding the grant agreement. This may lead to some small adjustments, in the light of the comments from the evaluators, yet within the scope of the project aims and set-up.

        Can project objectives, outcomes or deliverables be changed after the grant agreement has been signed?
        No. The objectives, envisaged outcomes and deliverables of the project will be listed in the annex to the grant agreement, and will be the basis for the project implementation. Only in exceptional cases a change can be allowed, yet only after written authorisation has been requested and obtained by the EAHC.

        How many deliverables could be included in the proposal?
        The application form for projects asks you to limit the number of outcomes of deliverables to a maximum of 10. As a consequence, you will have to prioritise.

    • PROJECTS: TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE PROPOSAL
      • What is meant by "relevant evidence base"?
        Evidence-based public health refers to the application of principles of scientific reasoning, including the systematic and appropriate use of data and information systems and of behavioural science theory and program planning models, to the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs and policies in public health. The evidence base for proposals submitted to the Health Programme should thus consider the analysis of the health problem and its impact on quality of life and on society, the risk and protective factors underlying the problem, the effectiveness of proposed measures, and their applicability in the proposed context.

        Where do I find information regarding the evidence base?
        Information regarding the evidence base for public health interventions can be derived from the literature. Reference should be made to epidemiological findings, to existing models and review studies from biostatistics, behavioural epidemiology and the social and behavioural sciences, to reports of evaluation studies, and to information regarding the context in which the project will be implemented.

        How can I assess the value of the existing evidence?
        The "value" of the existing evidence depends on the information sources that are used and the research design that has been applied to collect information or to study effects. The traditional hierarchy of knowledge gained for evidence distinguishes between systematic reviews and meta-analysis, randomised control and double blind studies, cohort studies, case control studies, case series, case reports, opinions and editorials, animal research and in vitro research (in descending order of value on this scale).

        What if there is no evidence available?
        If no empirical evidence regarding the size and impact of the health issue, the underlying factors, the effectiveness of proposed measures, and/or their applicability in the given context can be found, prior research and development with pre-testing of an intervention based on the available theoretical know-how should be considered. The undertaking might better fit under the national research programmes or the EU Research Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

        Does a project always need to be innovative?
        Projects funded within the Health Programme should not duplicate existing initiatives, but provide an added value. The innovative nature of a project can refer to the health problem, method, or target group that is envisaged. The added value in relation to what already exists can be documented by giving a "state of the art", pointing out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the current field of play, and describing how the project addresses shortcoming and represents an improvement in comparison with the current situation. On the other hand, compatibility with existing actions should also be ensured by giving the communalities, compatibilities and complementarities.

        How much detail must be provided regarding the method?
        The methods that will be used and the activities that will be undertaken to achieve the project objectives need to be referred to if published or described in sufficient detail to serve as a guideline for the project implementation and follow-up. The methods should be explicitly linked to the objectives, in the sense that for each objective at least one method is specified. The choice of methods should be based on the analysis of their effectiveness. Only those methods should be used for which empirical evidence exists that they are effective, and which are suitable and acceptable for the target group.

        Why does the evaluation strategy have to be specified before the start of the project?
        Although the effects of a project are usually achieved at the end, evaluation must be planned from the outset and conducted throughout the life time of the project. Formative (or process) evaluation is done during the project to improve the work in progress and increase the likelihood that the project will be successful. Summative (or effect) evaluation is typically done towards the end of a work package and/or the project and provides evidence of achievements and the quality of the outputs and outcomes.

        How much detail must be provided regarding the evaluation?
        An adequate evaluation methodology involves the formulation of specific evaluation questions regarding the quality and effectiveness of the project. For process evaluation, the evaluation questions should be linked to the planning and organisation of the project and focus on whether the activities are implemented according to plan, how obstacles and difficulties will be identified during the implementation and dealt with, and how the quality of the project implementation will be assured. For effect evaluation, the evaluation questions should be linked to the specific objectives, and verify if the stated objectives have been achieved. For each evaluation question, indicators must be defined to measure the performance of the project, and the methods for data collection must be specified. These can be quantitative methods such as questionnaires, surveys, records, usage logs and web server logs, or qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups, observation, or expert opinion and peer reviews.

        What are good evaluation indicators?
        Indicators are variables that measure the performance of a project and the level to which the set objectives are reached. Ideally, they should be simple metrics that are easy to measure. By quantifying relevant aspects of the project (e.g. attendance at meetings) they should provide a possibility to monitor the progress of the project and to assess the extent to which the objectives are attained.

        Why must a dissemination strategy be specified?
        Although a project is by definition limited in time, the purpose is to make the results and outcomes sustainable. A dissemination strategy can ensure the transfer of knowledge and the processes needed for embedding and future take-up.

        What are core elements of a dissemination strategy?
        A dissemination strategy starts from a stakeholder analysis to elaborate a plan explaining how the project will share its outcomes with stakeholders, relevant institutions, organizations, and individuals.
        Specifically, the dissemination plan should explain what will be disseminated (the key message), to whom (the audience), why (the purpose), how (the method), and when (the timing). Attention should be paid to the sustainability of the project, which may involve capacity building initiatives, the review of the project objectives and results in view of continuation, the elaboration of a follow-up project, and the identification of organizations to continue the activities.

    • PROJECTS: WORK PACKAGE DESCRIPTION
      • What is the difference between a horizontal and a core work package?
        The core work packages are related to the specific objectives of the project. They contains sets of coherent tasks grouped together in order to facilitate the project management. The three horizontal work packages concern the coordination and evaluation of the project as a whole, and the dissemination of the results. The coordination work package is made up of all the actions to manage the project and to guarantee that it is implemented as planned. The dissemination work package contains all the actions to ensure that the results and deliverables of the project will be made available to the target groups. The evaluation work package contains all the actions to verify if the project is being implemented as planned and reaches the objectives.

        How many work packages should a project include?
        In addition to the three horizontal work packages, there should be at least 1 and maximum 7 core work packages. Each core work package should be linked to at least one specific objective and produce one or several deliverables. It is not possible to find the same specific objective or the same deliverable in more than one core work package.

        Are the horizontal work packages mandatory?
        Yes. They are required for every proposal. Therefore the title and description of these three work packages are fixed in the application form.

        Can the horizontal work packages be combined?
        No.

        Must each work package be assigned to a different work package leader?
        No. For each work package a work package leader must be assigned, but an organisation may be in charge of more than one work package. It is however advisable to ensure a good division of the tasks among the different partners.

    • CONFERENCES

        EU financial contributions may be awarded for the organisation of conferences.
      • Can private organizations receive a conference grant?
        Conference proposals can be submitted by a public body or a non-profit-making body established in a country participating in the EU Health Programme.
        In order to be eligible, the latter (including universities, higher education establishments, non-governmental organizations, foundations and other organizations) shall submit their statute that provides a justification for their non-profit making status.

        When can conferences funded in the 2013 Call be held?
        For organisational reasons, conferences must be held in 2014.
        The grant agreement will be signed as soon as possible in function of the needs.

        What kind of conferences can be funded?
        Conference grants may be awarded for the organisation of conferences that correspond to the three objectives of the Health Programme. To be awarded funding, conferences should promote the priorities of the European Union as set out in Commission Communication COM(2010) 2020 of 3 March 2010 EUROPE 2020 — A Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Particularly relevant issues include active and healthy ageing, sustainable health systems, health workforce, health threats and patient safety.

        Are training sessions eligible for conference grants?
        No, training sessions are not covered by the call for proposal for conferences, but they could be supported under the other actions related to capacity building.

        What is the Community contribution to conferences?
        Selected conferences will be eligible for co-funding by the EU up to EUR 100 000 and maximum 50% of the total budget.

        What information is expected in the description of the "financial circuits" on the application form (section 3.3. for Operating grants; section 5.4. for projects and Joint actions; section 4.1. for conferences)
        In the above sections you are required to provide information on the financial circuits, responsibilities, reporting systems and controls which ensure appropriate financial management of the co-funded action. A common definition of the financial circuits has not been provided for due to the heterogeneity of the applicant organisations. This is a point on which each organisation has certainly some internal documents or standards of operating procedures, which they can describe. Just as an example, in several countries, public institutions such as universities have put in place a separate accounting system for all EU funding, so as not to mix co-funded actions with the financial management of regular operational expenditure.

    • OPERATING GRANTS
      • How is the financial independence being verified?
        To be eligible for funding, an applicant for an operating grant has to be independent from industry, commercial and business or other conflicting interests. This will be assessed in accordance with the provisions of Annex VI of the 2013 work plan. The assessment will be done on the basis of a unilateral commitment-declaration form to be signed by the legal representative of both the applicant as well as associated partners, provided as integral part of the application form.
        This updated form already covers (as last year) the financial independence: to be considered financially independent, applicant organisations must unilaterally commit not to receive more than 20 % of their core funding from private sector organisations representing a conflicting interest, or from other sources representing a conflicting interest during the financial year covered by the grant. The financial independence will be assessed based on the financial information for the financial year for which the grant will be attributed at the time of the final report.
        This information has to be provided according to the form published with the call for proposals and must be certified by an independent auditor. Take note that if there is any sign that during any of the financial years covered by the grant, the beneficiary has received more than 20 % of their core funding from private sector organisations representing a conflicting interest, or from other sources representing a conflicting interest, the entire amount of the grant shall be recovered.
        The awarding authority reserves the right to request from the applicant (s) any additional information that is deemed necessary in order to assess compliance with the above eligibility criterion at any stage of the procedure.

        What is an operating grant?
        The purpose of an operating grant is to support financially the functioning of an organisation which promotes a health agenda in line with the Programme.
        It provides financial support for the existence and functioning of a body over a period that is equivalent to its accounting period, to enable it to carry out a set of activities, namely the development of health policy at European level, and to defend and promote the health interests of European citizens.

        Who can apply for an operating grant?
        In addition to the 27 Member States of the European Union, the call is also open to the participation of EFTA-EEA countries within the context of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Croatia. Organisations from these countries can receive funding from the second Health Programme.
        Non–governmental bodies or specialised networks from any of these countries can submit an application for an operating grant. A specialised network is a European network representing non-profit bodies active in the Member States or in countries participating in the second Health Programme and promoting principles and policies consistent with the objectives of the Programme, which has a relevant track record of joint achievements and established rules of collaboration (e.g. SOPs or a memorandum of understanding).
        Financial contributions up to 60% for operating grants can only be given. In cases of exceptional utility Community contribution may increase to 80% of costs (see Annex VII of work plan 2013).
        Organisations applying for operating grants must have members in at least half of the Member States with a balanced geographical coverage across the EU.
        Grants can be given to new organisations, provided their member organisations have financial accounts for the year preceding their application. In all cases organisations must be able to show they have the resources necessary to ensure they can operate with co-financing from the Commission.

        What is intended under the eligibility criteria for operating grants with "independent from industry"? If an organisation has a representative from an industrial association in its membership or board, should this be considered as it being "dependent" from industry?
        In order to be independent of industry, commercial and business or other conflicting interests, the applicant organisations shall comply with the criteria of legal independency, financial independency and transparency. For this, the detailed rules can be found in Annex VI of the Work Plan 2013.
        In respect of legal independency, the assurance of 'decision-making' independence is given on a bona fide basis and might eventually be verified by EAHC. It is relevant to refer to your position statement and/or relevant codes that apply to your association in your documentation, or provide a declaration of non-conflicting interest by the specific Member of the Board.

        In which areas will operating grants be given?
        Operating grants contracted in the framework of Work Programmes should contribute to reaching the priorities of the European Union as set out in Commission Communication COM(2010) 2020 of 3 March 2010 EUROPE 2020 — A Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Particularly relevant issues include active and healthy ageing, sustainable health systems, health workforce, health threats and patient safety.

        Is it possible to get operating grants for more than one year?
        Yes, but a new application must be submitted and accepted each year.

        If I apply for an operating grant in the 2013 Call, when in practice my organisation will be supported by that grant?
        The grant will be given for operations of the organisation in 2014 starting 01/01/2014. In case of countries where the budgetary year is different from the calendar year, operating grants will be offered to cover eligible costs during one budgetary year.

        Can an organisation that has a running project, or is submitting a project proposal, also submit an application for an operating grant?
        Yes, however, the basic principle of non cumulative grants means that costs declared in connection with one grant may not be declared and covered by another grant. The body should have the accounting tools needed to manage such situation in an accurate and verifiable way. In particular, indirect costs shall not be eligible under a grant for an action awarded to a beneficiary who already receives an operating grant financed from the EU budget during the period in question.

        What information is expected in the description of the "financial circuits" on the application form (section 3.3. for Operating grants; section 5.4. for projects and Joint actions; section 4.1. for conferences)
        In the above sections you are required to provide information on the financial circuits, responsibilities, reporting systems and controls which ensure appropriate financial management of the co-funded action. A common definition of the financial circuits has not been provided for due to the heterogeneity of the applicant organisations. This is a point on which each organisation has certainly some internal documents or standards of operating procedures, which they can describe. Just as an example, in several countries, public institutions such as universities have put in place a separate accounting system for all EU funding, so as not to mix co-funded actions with the financial management of regular operational expenditure.

    • JOINT ACTIONS
      • How can I participate in the Joint Action?
        Joint actions allow the competent authorities of the Member States/other countries participating in the Health Programme and the European Commission to take forward work on jointly identified issues. Member States/other countries participating in the Health Programme who wish to participate in a specific joint action must declare this intention to the European Commission.
        Participation in a joint action proposal is open to public bodies or non-governmental bodies based in a Member State/another country participating in the Programme. However, in order to do so, they have to be expressly mandated by the authorities of the Member State/ other participating country concerned. Such participation is also open to NGOs operating at EU level (see point below on European stakeholders organisations).
        Please contact your NFP for more information.

        How can Member States delegate national non-governmental organisations/public bodies to participate in a Joint Action?
        A Member State can choose to have a national non-governmental organisation or a public body to participate as a main or associated partner in a JA.
        In order to be designated by the Member State authorities, the public body/NGO has to receive a letter from the Ministry of Health. This letter should be addressed to the public body/NGO designated and from this forwarded to the Joint Action Coordinator. The coordinator will submit the letters of all partners together with the full application package.
        Please remember that managing a Joint Action with many partners is a logistical and administrative challenge, however the exact number of partners per Member State and in total as well as the composition of the consortium is to be defined by the consortium in discussions with DG SANCO.

        How do European stakeholders organisations apply for participation in the Joint Action?
        European stakeholder organisations should express their interest to the European Commission. A letter expressing interest can be sent to the DG SANCO Unit responsible for the Joint Action in question. Also, please check the criteria for eligibility of your organisation to take part as an associated partner by examining the work plan 2013 (especially Annex IV and VI). For questions and further information, please contact EAHC (EAHC-PHP-CALL@ec.europa.eu).

        Is there a limit of participants’ organisations per JA country?
        The Joint Action should involve a reasonable number of associated partners, although there is no minimum number of participants (at least two in respect to the European dimension). In general the form allows the applicant to introduce up to 40 associated partners. Please bear in mind that the management of Joint Actions with a very large number of associated partners has proven to be administratively difficult.
        Furthermore in the application form you can list up to 15 collaborating partners participating in the Joint Action, even though it is not mandatory to have collaborating partners.

        How is the financial Independence verified?
        Non governmental organizations wishing to participate in a Joint action have to be independent from industry, commercial and business or other conflicting interests. This will be assessed in accordance with the provisions of Annex VI of the 2013 work plan.
        The assessment will be done on the basis of a unilateral commitment-declaration form to be signed by the legal representative of both the applicant as well as associated partners, provided as integral part of the application form.
        This updated form already covers (as last year) the financial independence: to be considered financially independent, applicant organisations must unilaterally commit not to receive more than 20 % of their core funding from private sector organisations representing a conflicting interest, or from other sources representing a conflicting interest during the financial year covered by the grant. The financial independence will be assessed based on the financial information for the financial year for which the grant will be attributed at the time of the final report.
        This information has to be provided according to the form published with the call for proposals and must be certified by an independent auditor. Take note that if there is any sign that during any of the financial years covered by the grant, the beneficiary has received more than 20 % of their core funding from private sector organisations representing a conflicting interest, or from other sources representing a conflicting interest, the entire amount of the grant shall be recovered.
        The awarding authority reserves the right to request from the applicant (s) any additional information that is deemed necessary in order to assess compliance with the above eligibility criterion at any stage of the procedure.

        What is the timeframe of JA?
        The duration of a joint action should normally not exceed three years.

        What is the task of a work-package leader?
        A work-package (WP) can be led by any main or associated partner. The partner in question should have the expertise related to the WP objectives, coordinates the tasks and activities specific to the WP and ensures the involvement of the partners contributing to it. The WP leader reports to the project coordinator and Steering committee.

        What is the deadline for the confirmation of the potential partners per JA? And the expression of interest to lead a work-package?
        There is no specific deadline for the final confirmations of partners per JA, other than the general deadline of the Call. The planning of the Joint Action consortia is decided individually for every Joint Action.

        Who can apply for a joint action?
        Member States/other countries participating in the Health Programme which wish to participate in joint actions must declare this intention to the European Commission. With the exception of NGOs operating at EU level, only organisations established in Member States or other countries participating in the Health Programme which have made this declaration can apply for participation in joint actions.
        Please contact your national focal point (NFP) for more information.

        Can international organisations be funded?
        Some international organisations have unique capacities needed to tackle identified public health priority areas for the EU. This may be due to their global reach, geographical coverage or high concentration of technical skills. Direct grant agreements may be offered to such organisations for actions specified in the work plan. As these organisations cannot apply separately for funding under a Joint Action, applicants to the call for proposals should not include these international organisations as potential partners. Instead, agreements will be made directly between the Commission and the international organisation.
        In 2013, direct agreements are intended to be concluded with the, OECD, WHO, Council of Europe and the European Observatory on Health Policies and Health Systems. Other international organisations could be considered as collaborating partners or be subcontracted to perform specific tasks in a given proposal.

    • TENDERS
      • Calls for tender, how does this work?
        In the first quarter of 2013 the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers will launch Calls for tenders listed Annex I in the 2013 Work plan for the EU Health Programme.
        In general, the aim of a tender is to purchase the provision of services, the execution of works, the supply of assets or to conclude building contracts. The Work Plan for 2013 foresees a significant number of calls for tenders for the provision of services, in particular preparation of studies, surveys and analyses concerning various areas of public health.
        To be informed when tenders are launched (this is the case 1-2 times/year) subscribe to the tender alert e-mails by mailing to EAHC-HP-TENDER@ec.europa.eu.

    • SUBMITTING PROCEDURE
      • Are there application forms and guidelines for applicants available in other languages? Do the applicants have to write their proposal in English?
        The application template and guidelines are only in English, but you can write the application in any official EU language. However, should you choose a language other than English, we would invite you to include also an English version, be it a simplified one, for the ease of the evaluation process.

    • IT ASPECTS
      • How can I submit a proposal?
        Proposals must be prepared using the standard form, which can be downloaded from the EAHC website. The form contains fields for entering information about the applicant as well as the content of the proposal, the budget, and the applicant's financial data (profit and loss account, balance sheets for the past two complete financial years) and operational capacity (description of the institution's competences in the area and of the key staff involved in the project). It also contains a declaration by the main and associated partners that they are not in any of the situations listed in paragraph 2.1 of the "General principles and criteria for financial contributions to the actions under the 2nd Health Programme". A signed declaration is required from the main partner and from each of the associated partners.
        Proposals must be submitted before the deadline in one original printed version and four copies, as well as in electronic format, saved on one CD-ROM, using Adobe Acrobat Reader. In addition a checklist, included in the application form, has to be submitted, by the main partner only, as original, duly signed. One copy of the signed declarations of honour of the main partner and of each associated partners and one copy of the supporting documents referred to above must be attached to the original printed version. Please refer to the call for proposal documents published on the EAHC web-site for detailed information.

        Which supporting documents must be supplied with the application?
        Please refer to the call for proposal documents published on the EAHC web-site for detailed information.

        Do the supporting documents have to be original, or is a copy sufficient?
        Please refer to the call for proposal documents published on the EAHC web-site for detailed information.

        Which programme and version must I use to open and complete the application form?
        The programme used to open and fill in the form is Adobe Reader, version 10.1.3 or higher.
        Please download the requested version of Adobe Reader before opening the form from the following link:
        http://get.adobe.com/reader

        Is it possible to add images or charts to the application form?
        No, it is not possible to add images or charts. The application form is structured in a specific way to allow the automatic transfer of the content to a database for evaluation.
        That is why only plain text is accepted.

        Is it possible to add bullets to format my text?
        See the FAQ above.

        Is it possible to copy and paste text in the application form?
        Yes, it is possible to copy and paste text from or to the Application Form using the common keys (menu Edit / Copy or key CTRL-C; menu Edit / Paste or key CTRL-V). It is suggested to first copy and paste the text in a Notepad document in order to avoid semi-graphic characters (e.g. bullets) which would be counted double in the Application Form.

        How can I check the spelling of my input to the application form?
        You may use either the F7 key or the menu "Edit / Check Spelling / In Comments, Fields, & Editable Text…". A window will open verifying whether the words match the dictionary. You can then change the word or add it into the dictionary.

        Is it possible to change the content of the application form after validation and before locking?
        Yes, this is possible. The Lock function performs a Validation before locking the Application Form. It is strongly recommended to save a version of the Application Form before locking, in order to be able to make further changes if needed. Be sure that the content of the signed paper version is the same as the content of the CD you will send.
        This can be done by verifying if the IT reference number at the bottom of each page is the same in the signed paper version as in the locked Form.

        Are the application forms and guidelines for applicants available in other languages? Do the applicants have to write their proposal in English?
        The application template and guidelines are only in English, but you can write the application in any official EU language. However, should you choose a language other than English, we would invite you to also include an English version, even in a simplified form, for the ease of the evaluation process.

        Why I cannot enter the number of characters indicated in the form or in the guide?
        The limit of the boxes is the number of characters without adding spaces for the formatting and paragraph returns.

        Reason:
        - All the applications will be transferred to an EAHC database and all the specific formatting or style will be lost
        - The form is already structured and it is not necessary to add a structured text in the field
        - The boxes have to be limited not only with the number of characters but also in size especially for the projects and joint actions.

        How can I change the month and the year of a date using the calendar?
        To change the month, use the arrows left and right; to change the year, click on the year "2010" and a new drop-down list will appear.


        I cannot access the last numbers of a drop-down list placed on the end of a page (for example: in the project form – section 6.2.3 Milestones)

        This problem can appear if you are too near to the bottom of the page.
        Choose a number on the list, select it with the mouse and move with the directional arrows to the correct month.