Education and Culture

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The questions and answers are organised along the following categories:

1. Participant Portal

The Participant Portal is the single-entry point for the electronic administration of EU-funded projects related to the Erasmus+, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and EU Aid Volunteer programmes. It offers you the possibility to use some services and tools that facilitate the monitoring and the management of your proposals and projects.

2. User Registration and Authentication

Access to the portal is based on an ECAS account. ECAS stands for the European Commissions Authentication Service. It provides single sign-on across a large number of Commission information systems: you will need to use only one username and password to access different IT systems and once you have authenticated yourself to ECAS, you do not have to re-enter your credentials (username and password) within the same browser session. Protected information systems request ECAS to supply the current users identity - if it has already authenticated you, it does not ask you to do so again (provided that you have not disabled the use of cookies in your browser). You can find more information in the ECAS FAQ page. The "Role management changes in brief" quick information sheet gives also introductory information about user authentication.

Please make sure that you have selected the correct domain on the ECAS login page. People outside of the Commission should choose the "External" domain. You can change your domain on the login page itself (look for the "use a different domain" link below the login box) or you can go to this ECAS domain selection page and retry your login. Note that cookies must be enabled on your web browser.

  • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service subject: Your password / Votre mot de passe is not "queuing" in the mail server.
  • The problem could occur if the email is treated as a spam. Ask your IT administrator to remove ecas-admin@ec.europa.eu or the domain ec.europa.eu from the spam filter.
  • If it does not solve the problem, please contact DIGIT-USER-ACCESS@ec.europa.eu and give them the details of your first name, last name, email address and username (if created).
  • This problem could be caused by using an incorrect domain in the ECAS service when trying to obtain a new password. If you are a LEAR/ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATOR, your domain should be "External".
  • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service subject: ECAS Password Initialisation is not "queuing" in the mail server.
  • The problem could occur if the email is treated as a spam. Ask your IT administrator to remove ecas-admin@ec.europa.eu or the domain ec.europa.eu from the spam filter.
  • If the above do not solve the problem, please contact DIGIT-USER-ACCESS@ec.europa.eu and give them the details of your first name, last name and email address.
  • This problem could be caused by using an incorrect domain in the ECAS service when trying to obtain a new password. If you are a Contact person/LEAR/ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATOR, your domain should be "External".
  • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service subject: ECAS Password Initialisation is not "queuing" in the mail server.
  • The problem could occur if the email is treated as a spam. Ask your IT administrator to remove ecas-admin@ec.europa.eu or the domain ec.europa.eu from the spam filter.
  • If the above do not solve the problem, please contact DIGIT-USER-ACCESS@ec.europa.euand give them the details of your first name, last name and email address.

When a participant is logged into the Portal, he/she is using the single sign-on technology provided by ECAS (see Q: What is ECAS). To log out of the system: 1. Select "logout" and close all your browser windows.

If you are logged-in, simply go to your user detail page then select Modify my personal data and enter a new valid email address in the e-Mail field. Note that certain ECAS account that was created with a heightened security procedure (e.g. LEAR accounts) cannot change their email address directly from within ECAS afterwards.

Note that certain ECAS account that was created with a heightened security procedure (e.g. LEAR accounts) cannot change their email address directly from within ECAS afterwards.

3. Roles

Account administrator: The person who registers the organisation and the contact person of your organisation will receive this role upon registration. Once the validation starts, these roles are removed and only the LEAR will be able to assign this role.

LEAR: The LEAR, Legal Entity Appointed Representative, is a person within an organisation appointed by a legal signatory of that legal entity to be the correspondent towards the Commission / Executive Agency on all issues related to the legal status of the entity.

This role is only foreseen for each organisation that has a direct contractual relationship with the Commission / Executive Agency.

The LEAR provides the Commission/Executive Agency with up-to-date legal (including supporting documents, where necessary) and commits to maintain the organisations account up-to-date. This would enable the quick use of updated information for grants and other transactions between the entity and the Commission / Executive Agency.

The LEAR can:

  • Request online the update of the organisation-related legal and financial data; view the history of changes for the data,
  • View the list of all roles of personnel representing the organisation
  • Nominate and revoke Account Administrators within their organisation;
  • Request (via the helpdesk) to revoke users from roles within his/her organisation.

Account Administrators can:

  • Request online the update of the organisation-related legal and financial data; view the history of changes for the data,
  • View the list of all roles of personnel representing the organisation,
  • Request (via the helpdesk) to revoke users from roles within his/her organisation.

The legal entity has to provide with the required documents. Both documents have to be duly signed. The LEAR Appointment document needs to be completely filled in.

The LEAR can be anyone in the organisation who has the capability to execute this task. Please do not forget that a legal signatory must sign the appointment letters.

4. Organisation registration and organisation data management

The Unique Registration Facility (URF) is a service hosted by the Participant Portal which provides the users with an intuitive and user-friendly web based interface allowing participants to register and submit their legal data. LEARs/Account Administrators will be able to access the URF to perform updates on the legal data of their organisation.

The Unique Registration Facility or URF is hosted into the Participant Portal.

You should login the Participant Portal and select the "My organisation" tab. There will be a link available to create a new organisation.

Once your organisation is validated, it is only the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) who can see the organisation(s) he/she is responsible for. For more information on the LEAR please visit: LEAR information page

From the registration of your organisation until the validation process is completed, the contact person defined for an organisation will be the central contact point. Once your organisation is validated, the only contact point for the organisation will be the LEAR. Please visit the LEAR information page for more detailed info.

If your organisation is not validated, you can change the Contact Person details as a self-registrant in the Unique Registration Facility (URF) – see the organisation registration user manual for details.

Duplicate registrations (the same organisation has been registered twice through temporary PICs) are identified by the VS if the proposal is successful, so the participant will be informed about any PIC related updates should the submitted proposal reach the negotiation stage. From that moment on, you should only use the PIC provided by the VS (displayed when you log in URF). Typically the valid PIC will be the PIC obtained with the first registration.

Note: If the organisation applies for EACEA funding and de-centralised funding, only the validated PIC shall be used.

Once your organisation is validated, you cannot log in the URF to change organisational data, if no LEAR has been appointed. As soon as a LEAR has been appointed by your organisation and has been authorised by the European Commission, the LEAR will receive the credential to log in to the URF and manage the data. To find out how to appoint a LEAR, please follow this link: LEAR information page.

Once your organisation is validated, you can not edit your data in the URF, if no LEAR has been appointed. As soon as a LEAR is appointed, the LEAR will receive the credentials to log in to the URF and will be able to edit the data. To find out how to appoint a LEAR, please follow this link: LEAR information page.

If you already have a PIC displayed in the webpage, you should not use this link. The link to the page inviting to create a registration concerns only new participants, as they register to obtain a temporary PIC. If you are a new participant and want to register your organisation, you should click the "register here" link to start the registration of your organisation and you will then obtain a PIC (the PIC will be a temporary one until it will be validated, but it can still used for proposal submission).

Until the validation process starts, the person who registered your organisation and the contact person of your organisation will be able to modify your organisations data.

For all validated participants, it is only the appointed LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative) or the Account Administrator who can make modifications in the Unique Registration Facility (URF), using the PIC code of the validated entity.

Once the modifications have been made in URF, they are automatically sent to the Participant Data Management System (PDM) where the Validation Services (VS) will evaluate the accuracy of the changes and , if possible, validate the changes in PDM.

If something more needs to be clarified or provided, the VS will contact the LEAR.

The Validation Services (VS) carries out the validation of the legal entity status of participants (public or private bodies, education organisations, etc.). The VS acts on behalf of the Commission. The validation of the status of participants is required before grant agreements can be signed with the EACEA or EAC.

The VS functions currently as a department within the Research Executive Agency, which was entrusted by the European Commission to carry out the validation of the status of the participants who will receive funding through specific European programmes.

The Participant Identification Code (PIC) is a 9 digits unique identifier for every validated legal entity. Participants will not have to submit their legal and financial information (and supporting documents) each time they submit a proposal or negotiate a grant agreement, but just their PIC.

Yes. An ECAS account is required in order to log into the Participant Portal where the URF is hosted. Through the URF you can register your organisation and will then receive a PIC.

First, try to find out within your organisation who is the LEAR of your organisation; he/she will be able to tell you what the PIC is. If you still cannot find the PIC of your organization, please use the "Search PIC" functionality which you will find under the tab My organisation.

Participants will not have to submit their legal and financial information (and supporting documents) each time in applying for new grant agreement for the Erasmus for All, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and EU Aid Volunteer programmes. but just their PIC;

If your organisation does not have a PIC, then you should create an account in the Participant Portal in order to be able to register your organisation in the Unique Registration Facility (URF). A PIC is provided at the end of the registration process and can be then used for proposal submission. During registration, URF does not check for duplicate registrations; this will be done if your proposal is selected.

In the Electronic applications for the Erasmus for All, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and EU Aid Volunteer programmes there will be fields available where you will be able to enter the PIC, and by that to provide the identity of your organisation.

No, we do not take into account all different departments from one legal entity. Hence, all departments should make use of the same PIC of the legal entity. As for the contact person currently only one person should be appointed for the entire legal entity.

You might have received two PICs, if your organisation has been registered twice, and thus one registration is a duplicate. Duplicate registrations (and the respective temporary PICs) will be identified during the validation by the VS. Your organisation would be notified then about the PIC which has been validated as permanent, and it is that permanent PIC you would use in any applications. Until a PIC is validated as permanent, you can use any of the received temporary PICs when submitting your proposal.

New participants register their organisation in the Unique Registration Facility hosted by the Participant Portal. After the registration, they will receive a PIC. This PIC can be used immediately in the submission system.

Until the validation process starts, the modified data will be taken into account immediately

Once the process start, modified data need to be first validated by the Validation Team. The modification requests sent by LEARs receive are considered as high priorities for validation.

  • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service subject: Your registration request in URF is not "queuing" in the mail server.
  • The problem could occur if the email is treated as a spam. Ask your IT administrator to remove fp7-urf-no-reply@ec.europa.eu or the domain ec.europa.eu from the spam filter.
  • If it does not solve the problem, please contact EC-RESEARCH-IT-HELPDESK@ec.europa.eu and give them the details of your first name, last name, email address, username (if created) and the legal name of your organisation.

Your data will not be lost. This is not a problem, since duplicate registrations (through temporary PICs) will be identified by the VS if the proposal is successful. From that moment on, you should only use the PIC validated by the VS.

Please refer to the call for which your organisation wants to apply in order to see which documents have to be uploaded in URF.

Example of documents that organisations have to upload in PDM/URF to be later used to validate legal status of organisations:

  • For Public Entities: a copy of the resolution, law, decree, decision or any other official document establishing the organisation. This official document should have been issued recently and in any case no more than 6 months ago.
  • For Private Entities: an extract of registration (or its equivalent: Company Register, Official Journal) clearly indicating the name of the organisation, the address of the head office, its registration number . This official document should have been issued recently and in any case no more than 6 months ago.
  • For Private Entities: A copy of the VAT registration, including the VAT number (EVEN for those countries where the Registration & VAT numbers are identical).
  • For informal groups of young people: the individual responsible for registering the group needs to upload a supporting document for identification, such as a copy of an ID card or passport. In the absence of such a document, consider another supporting document for identification (e.g. drivers license).
  • The requested documents can be submitted in all official EU languages and official languages of participating countries (Member State and non-member State countries). For third countries (partners in KA2-Strategic Partnerships), a certified translation of the docs into English is to be requested.
  • Private organisations requesting grants over €60.000 will be also invited to upload additional documents during registration in PDM/URF to speed up the issuing of the grant agreement should they be selected. The documents requested for the financial capacity check would be:
    1. 1. The Annual Balance sheet for the last approved accounting period;
    2. 2. The Profit and Loss account for the last approved accounting period.
  • Other documents can be required in relation to specific calls for proposals .Please verify the cals,l guidelines and programme guides in order to know which other documents related to your organization have to be uploaded.

If your PIC number has been previously confirmed by the Validation Services (VS) and you still get the mentioned message, you should contact support@epss-fp7-org. Please also provide the details of your PIC.

The financial capacity of the coordinator and any other applicant requesting an EU contribution exceeding EUR 60,000 is assessed, except for public bodies, higher and secondary education establishments, international organisations and entities whose participation is guaranteed by a Member State or an Associated Country

5. Proposals and their submission

Proposals are submitted electronically via sending application forms to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency or to the national agency of your country.

For Erasmus+ programme, please visit:
http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_en.htm

For actions of Erasmus+, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and EU Aid Volunteers managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) please visit:
http://eacea.ec.europa.eu

You can search for the PIC code at any time by clicking the Search button in the Organisation Register page on the Education Participant Portal.
6. Experts for EACEA

1. I have never been registered as an expert. What should I do?

Experts will access the Registration Service from two different locations, as follows:

Experts wishing to take part in Research programmes will access the service from the Participant Portal.

Experts wishing to take part in Education, Audiovisual and Culture programmes will access the Registration Service from the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency page on Europa.

a. Registering as a Research programme expert:

You should go to the Expert area in the Participant Portal at the following URL: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/experts.

From here, you will first have to create an ECAS (European Commissions secure Authentication Service) account, if you dont already have one. To do so, click on step 1 Create your ECAS account at the bottom of the page. Follow the instructions on the ECAS registration screen. Upon successful registration, you will receive a confirmation email from ECAS with a link to change your password.

Once this is done, go back to the Expert area in the Participant Portal, log-in with your ECAS user name or email address and password. Then click on step 2 Register or update your profile. This leads you to the introductory page of the expert registration service.

Once you have read the introduction, click on the button Create profile.

b. Registering as an Education, Audiovisual and Culture programme expert:

You should go to the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency page on Europa: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/index_en.php.

From here, you click the Call for Experts link in the About EACEA box at the top of the page.

You will be taken to the Call for Experts page.

In the section How to Apply, follow the instructions provided to register as an expert.

2a. I have previously entered my details in the Cordis EMM (Experts Management Module) database. Should I register again in the Expert area in the Participant Portal?

Yes, you should create a new profile at the following URL:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/experts

You will first need to create an ECAS (European Commission Authentication Service) account if you dont already have one. This can also be done from the link above.

For data protection reasons, it is no longer possible to migrate your profile from the previous CORDIS database. Experts who migrated their profile, but did not validate it on time also need to create a new profile.

2b. I have previously entered my details in the Lumese database (previous EACEA database). Should I register again?

Yes, you should create a new profile by following the procedure described in the first question of this section.

3. How can I register my organisation to recommend experts?

You can send an email to EC-expert-recommendations@ec.europa.eu

Subject of email: organisation registration and expert recommendations

The email should include the following text:

On behalf of my organisation, I would like to recommend experts to the European Commission for tasks in connection with the 7th Framework Programme.

The details of my organisation are as follows:

Name of organisation:

Full address of organisation:

Contact person:

Telephone number:

Email address:

I would like to recommend the following experts:

Family name:

First name:

Email address:

Research area:

The message should be sent from your organisations email account.

4. I would like to apply as evaluator/review/monitor expert. Is it necessary to be recommended by an Organisation or can I apply on my own?

It is not at all necessary to be recommended by an organisation in order to register in the experts database.

1. How can I contact the IT help-desk?

The IT Helpdesk can be contacted by clicking on the link below. Please describe your problem in the web submit form.

EC Research IT Helpdesk

Choose as Domain: Expert registration. Please include your candidature number in all email exchanges (if you already have one).

For any issues with the ECAS log-in, please consult the Authentication and security help section:

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/cas/selfreg/help.cgi

1. What happens if I do not fill in all the fields? Can I complete the application later?

You do not have to complete your profile in one go. Your record remains available at all times for completion. However, please save all changes before exiting the application.

The progress indicator on top displays the advancement of your profile and shows which sections are valid and which ones still need to be completed.

You should note that your profile will only be considered for selection by the European Commission when it is valid.

Once your profile is valid, a pop-up message on the screen will confirm this. In addition, you will receive an email confirming that your profile is valid.

2. Which fields do I need to complete?

Data Privacy: The Data Privacy section is where you declare the programme(s) for which you wish to be considered ("expert for FP7", "expert for Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)" and "expert for other funding programmes"). Therefore, if you wish to be considered as an FP7 expert, you must select "expert for FP7". Similarly for those who wish to be considered as an expert for EACEA, you must select "expert for EACEA" plus at least one of the EACEA programmes. Your choice of programme will determine which trees are displayed in the area of expertise section for you to indicate your particular expertise.

In addition, for those who select "expert for FP7", your authorisation is required for research funding bodies with a public service mission, in the Member States and countries associated to the Framework Programme and/or other structures implementing EU research activities such as Joint Technology Initiatives (long-term Public-Private Partnerships) and entities set up involving the EU in joint research programmes with several Member States, to view your data.

Personal Details: You should enter your title, first and last name, gender, date of birth and nationality as well as your address and phone number.

Languages: You should enter your level in reading, writing and conversation for each of your languages. Note that English is usually the common language for assignments.

Education: For each qualification, the title, subject or field, name and country of institution as well as the year awarded needs to be indicated in the new forms.

Area of expertise — Specialist fields: Identify your specialist field(s) using the interactive tree. A minimum of one field per programme must be selected.

Area of expertise — Pre-defined themes: A minimum of two themes per programme should be selected from the interactive tree.

Area of expertise — Open keywords: A minimum of three keywords or phrases that best represent your expertise should be recorded.

Each word/phrase should be entered separately by clicking on Add keyword/phrase.

Professional Experience — Employment History: It is important for the European Commission to readily identify experts with industrial expertise and this is explicitly asked for in this section.

You will also need to indicate your current work situation here. Please ensure that the current work situation includes a starting date.

You should also indicate the number of years that you have worked in your specialist and/or related fields.

For each employer, the organisation name, address, type and size should be indicated as well as job title and employment dates.

Professional Experience — Experience in Field: Experts with previous experience in tasks related to the European Commissions programmes are asked to specify in which capacity they assisted the European Commission with its activities. In addition, other experience in peer review or evaluation should be described.

Professional Experience — Publications and Achievements: If you dont have any publications, you can enter any major achievements in this section. It is mandatory to complete either one publication OR a major achievement.

3. Why does my profile appear as "invalid"?

In order for your profile, to be considered as valid, all fields should be filled in, unless marked as optional.

In addition, please take particular note of the following points:

  • In the data privacy screen, at least one expert type should be selected. In addition, for FP7 experts only, please select either yes/no for the two questions on authorising access to your data.
  • You should complete at least one qualification and at least one language.
  • With regard to area of expertise, at least one specialist field, at least two pre-defined themes and at least three open keywords should be completed. If you have indicated that you wish to be considered for more than one programme, you must select at least one specialist field per programme and at least two pre-defined themes per programme.
  • In the professional experience -> employment history screen, at least one employer should be completed.
  • In the professional experience -> publications & achievements screen, either one publication OR a major achievement should be completed.
  • You can see your profile is invalid by clicking on the "See details" button in the left-hand panel.

4. How many languages can I enter?

There is a maximum of 8 languages which can be completed.

5. How can I print all the data I have entered?

On the left side of the bottom bar, click on the Print Profile button. All the data you completed will be displayed and at the bottom of the page, click on the Print this page button.

6. How does the "Area of expertise" section work?

In the "Area of expertise" section, there are three different sub-sections to be completed: Specialist Field, Pre-defined Themes and Open Keywords.

The principle for selecting items is the same for the specialist field and pre-defined themes. In order to select the corresponding field/theme, you can:

1. Expand the tree to find a specialist field that corresponds to your profile. Click on the Select button on the right side of the selected field. The selected field/theme will then appear on the left side panel. In order to save your selection, click on the Save button.

or/and

2. Enter search criteria in the Search box. After a few seconds, all specialist fields and sub-fields containing your search word(s) will appear below the search box. A down-arrow symbol beside the field indicates that the field has sub-fields which you can access by clicking the down-arrow. The field and respective sub-fields are displayed in a black box. Click the Select button beside the relevant specialist field. The selected field/theme will then appear on the left side panel. In order to save your selection, click on the Save button.

For the specialist fields, at least one should be selected for your profile to be valid.

For the pre-defined themes, at least two should be selected for your profile to be valid.

Specialist fields and pre-defined themes should be selected at the appropriate level on the tree. If you only have one pre-defined theme that you wish to select, you may also select the corresponding parent field. For example, if you have selected Literary translation within the Creative Europe programme, you may also select its parent field Culture. This ensures that you meet the mandatory requirement of selecting at least two pre-defined themes. Likewise if you have selected EU Aid Volunteers within the EU Aid Volunteers programme, you may also select its parent field EACEA - EU Aid Volunteers.

EACEA candidates who have indicated that they wish to be considered for more than one EACEA programme are reminded to make sure that they select specialist fields and pre-defined themes for each of their selected programmes.

Finally, the Open Keywords screen, allows you to introduce free text in the text box provided and enter this by clicking on the Add keyword/phrase button. Each word/phrase should be entered separately by clicking on Add keyword/phrase.

For the open keywords, at least three should be selected for your profile to be valid.

7. I would like to apply to be selected as an expert in a field which is not specified in the specialist fields or pre-defined themes. What should I do?

You may enter your expertise in the open keywords tab. There you can enter any keywords that best describe your expertise (max 2000 characters).

Please note that each word/phrase should be entered separately by clicking on Add keyword/phrase button.

8. I am already registered as an expert for FP7. Do I need to register again as an expert for the EACEA programme(s)?

The forms are common for experts for all programmes so you dont need to register again. However, you need to add the EACEA programme(s) to your existing profile. This involves updating certain sections of the profile:

  • Data Privacy section: indicate the EACEA programme(s) you wish to be considered for.
  • Area of expertise section: add the specialist fields, pre-defined themes and open keywords that reflect the expertise you have in your selected EACEA programme(s).
  • Professional Experience / Experience in filed: there is an additional question to be completed on whether you have previously assisted the European Commission with its EACEA programme(s).
  • Professional Experience / Employment History: select an organisation type which is specific to the EACEA programme. Organisation types should be selected from both the FP7 and EACEA lists and hence, the use of the category others may be required for either FP7 or EACEA.

1. When do I receive an acknowledgement of my registration?

You will receive an initial acknowledgement by email once you start creating your profile. This will include your candidature number which should be kept for future correspondence with the European Commission.

This does not mean that your profile is valid. In order to validate your profile for potential assignments, please review, update and complete all sections with the help of the wizard navigation. Once your profile is valid, a pop-up message on the screen will confirm this. In addition, you will receive an email confirming that your profile is valid.

2. When receiving my candidature number, what should I do with it?

It is important to keep a record of your candidature number. It is recommended to mention your candidature number in every email exchange with the IT Helpdesk and in all communication with the European Commission in matters regarding your candidature as an expert.

3. I have lost my candidature number. What can I do?

You can find your candidature number by logging on with your ECAS account to the Expert area in the Participant Portal: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/experts

Once connected, you will find your candidature number on the top left of the screen under your name. It is a number starting with EX20XXX..

4. I have completed my registration. What happens next?

Once your profile is valid, a pop-up message on the screen will confirm this. In addition, you will receive an email confirming that your profile is valid.

You will be contacted directly if you are selected to take part in any particular activity. The selection of experts depends on each European Commission Directorate-General, Agency or other body which selects experts according to their needs and in accordance with the privacy statement.

5. Can I update my profile?

You can update your profile at any time by adding or changing any information. Please make sure to save all changes correctly in order for your profile to appear as valid. In case it appear as invalid, click on the "See details" button in the left-hand panel to see what is missing.

6. How can I change my email address?

Your email address in the Expert Area in the Participant Portal is linked with the email address of your ECAS account.

If you want to change the registered email address, you have to change the email address of your ECAS account.

In order for you to change your ECAS email address please do as follows:

  • On the log in screen enter your username and password, click on "more options" and select the 3rd one "View my ECAS account details after logging me in". Then click "log-in"
  • On the second page, click on your username on the top right. Then click on "Modify my personal data".
  • Change your email address. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to the new address. Follow the instructions in the e-mail to validate it.
  • Close your browser. Connect again to the Participant Portal and log-in with your new email address. The email address in your personal details has been changed automatically.

1. How much time do I have before a session times out?

If you are logged into the Expert area in the Participant Portal and do not press any buttons for 20 minutes, your session will expire and you will be asked to log-in again. Note that changes made will only be saved from the last time you clicked on save.

2. Which web browser can I use?

You can use Firefox and Internet Explorer (versions 6 to 8) on Windows. Other browsers and operating systems may also work with the application.

3. Which bookmark should I use for the Expert area in the Participant Portal?

For security reasons, you must log in with your ECAS password every time you access your profile.

Experts wishing to take part in Research programmes should bookmark this URL:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/experts

Experts wishing to take part in Education, Audiovisual and Culture programmes should bookmark this URL:

http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/index_en.php

4. How can I log-out?

If you close your browser, you will still be logged in the Expert area in the Participant Portal. You can log-out from the application by clicking on the blue (ECAS) logout button.

1. Who can be an expert?

You have a chance of being selected as an expert if you:

  • have a high level expertise in research or innovation in any scientific and technological field, including managerial aspects for the FP7 programme OR a high level expertise in education, audiovisual and culture matters for the EACEA programmes
  • have at least a university degree and
  • can be available for occasional, short-term assignments

2. Is there any remuneration provided for the experts?

a. For Research Programmes:

Remuneration will be in the form of a payment per day worked, plus travel and subsistence expenses. A daily payment of 450 may be claimed.

If selected to serve as an expert, the person will be sent an appointment letter with all the terms and conditions (including a declaration on confidentiality and conflicts of interest) before he/she is allowed to start work. The expert is informed that the appointment letter is neither a public procurement nor a service contract.

The payment the expert may receive, if claimed in their reimbursement request, is an ex gratia payment, under a specific support action. It is not a payment for the supply of services to the Commission. Therefore, it is not subject to VAT and the Commission does not provide the expert with a VAT exemption on supplies of goods and services or the consignments of goods to eligible institutions/individuals referred to in Article 15(10) of Directive 77/388/EEC and Article 23(1) of Directive 92/12/EEC (1510 form).

In cases where the expert asks the Commission to pay the honorarium to the bank account of his/her employer (this possibility is allowed by the payments provision of the appointment letter), for the same reasons, the Commission doesnt provide the employer with the 1510 form. The Commission contract is between the expert and the Community and the Commission does not intervene in any agreement between the employer and the expert.

b. For EACEA programmes

Explanatory annexes on payment and reimbursement are published together with the new call for expression of interest for experts accessible from the EACEA web page, call for experts:

http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/index_en.php

3. What is the amount of work requested from an expert?

Evaluations usually take place in the context of short sessions lasting a maximum of around 10 days a year. These may be carried out remotely (i.e. at the evaluators home or place of work) and/or in Brussels - or Luxembourg for some innovation actions.

The number of proposals which an expert deals with depends very much on each area.

4. When shall I know if I have been selected to assist the European Commission as an expert?

If you have fully completed your registration as an expert and your profile is valid, the European Commission will inform you in due course if you have been selected. This will be on the condition that there are proposals for evaluation or projects for review requiring your particular expertise. This could be at any time during the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme (i.e. up to the end of 2013). Assistance in the review of research and innovation projects may also be requested as long as there are still project contracts funded by the Framework Programmes which are not yet finally terminated. Similarly, assistance in monitoring the progress, outcome and impact of research and innovation programmes/ giving advice on the shape of future research and innovation activities may be requested from the end of 2013.

5. If I register in the database, does it mean that I will be appointed as an expert?

Registration as an expert in the experts database does not guarantee automatic selection.The selection, which is made by the Commission services, not only depends on the skills of an individual expert but also on the Commissions requirement to match these skills to the proposals received or projects to review. All applicants who complete their application are entered into the database, but this does not mean that they will necessarily be used. The Commission will need thousands of experts during FP7, but it is clear that there will be a number of persons having applied who will never be contacted.

6. What is the difference between evaluation, reviewing and monitoring?

Evaluation work requires experts to examine (i.e. peer review) proposals for funding against published criteria and provide scores, comments and recommendations to the Commission.

Reviewing work involves assisting the Commissions project officers by supervising the progress of on-going projects already funded by the European Commission.

Monitoring experts assist the Commission with the monitoring and follow-up of programmes, i.e. their work is much less concerned with the technical issues of individual proposals and projects but with assessing the implementation and results of a whole programme of activities at a more strategic level.

7. I have applied in order to be selected as an expert. Do I have the right at the same time to submit a proposal?

When an expert is appointed for an assignment, he/she is asked to sign a declaration stating exactly which proposals he/she has a link with and which may create a conflict of interest. He/she also undertakes to inform the Commission should he/she have a conflict of interest with any proposal he/she is asked to examine. The European Commission takes all the necessary steps in order to avoid any conflicts of interest. While an expert could not be an evaluator of his/her own proposal or of proposals competing with it, he/she could be an evaluator of other proposals.

8. Can a person coming from a third country apply to be an expert?

A person coming from a third country (i.e. a country that is not a Member State, Candidate Country or FP7 Associated Country) is welcome to register their profile in the expert database with a view to assisting the European Commission as an expert.

9. If I am selected, can I subsequently refuse to work for the Commission for whatever reason?

It is always possible to decline an invitation to act as an expert. Obviously, it is best if this is done as early as possible. The Commission will usually contact experts before sending a formal appointment letter, so it is possible to decline the invitation at this stage. When the expert receives the appointment letter of the European Commission and for some reason he/she is not able to attend during some or all of the days proposed for the evaluation, he/she must contact the Commissions services immediately. Evidently, an expert must always refuse to evaluate a proposal or review a project if he/she feels that there would be a conflict of interest in doing so.

10. What are the language skills required of an expert?

Experts are expected to have language skills appropriate for reading and understanding the proposals and/or project reports in the language in which they are submitted. In reality, this means that a good knowledge of English is absolutely essential and a good knowledge of other European languages is welcome.

11. When recommending experts, should an organisation recommend only its own experts?

No. An organisation is free to recommend lists of its own experts or experts from other bodies and the latter is particularly encouraged. An organisation should rather seek to recommend experts who they might want to see as future evaluators on their own submitted applications. There is no advantage to be gained from an organisation nominating its own experts. It should simply invite the appropriate people to register their profile directly in the Expert area in the Participant Portal.