Research & Innovation - Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

Back Print
IT help

Signing a contract and payment


If you are selected as an expert, you will be offered a contract through the Participant Portal. This defines all the rights, obligations, terms and conditions applicable to you, but is not an employment agreement.

Your contract will be based on the model contract for experts.

Code of conduct
You will be expected to adhere to the code of conduct in Annex 1 of the model contract, which includes provisions on the performance of the contract and obligations of impartiality and confidentiality.

Signing the contract
You must sign the contract online in the My Expert Area of the Participant Portal - the contract must be signed by both yourself and the Commission by the day on which you start working as an expert.

Once you have signed the contract, you will be granted access to the system for the relevant proposals or project reports.

Conflicts of interest and confidentiality

Conflicts of interest
When selecting independent experts, the Commission ensures, to the best of our knowledge, that you, as an expert, do not have any conflict of interest as regards the proposal or project you are called upon to assess.

You should be independent, impartial, and objective and behave professionally at all times.

Before starting work, you sign a contract including a declaration that you will abide by the Code of Conduct (Annex 1 of the contract) which includes keeping your work as an expert completely confidential. In addition, you declare that no conflict of interest exists and that you will inform the Commission if any such conflict should arise in the course of your duties.

Definition of the conflict of interest, when does it arise?

Extract from the Code of Conduct:
For a given proposal, a conflict of interest exists if an expert:

  • was involved in the preparation of a proposal
  • benefits directly or indirectly if a proposal is accepted
  • has a close family or personal relationship with any person representing an applicant
  • is a director, trustee or partner or is in any way involved in the management of an applicant
  • is employed or contracted by one of the applicants or any named subcontractors
  • Such an expert may, however, exceptionally be invited to take part in the evaluation session, if all of the following apply:
    • the expert works in a different department/laboratory/institute from where the action is to be carried out
    • the bodies operate with a high degree of autonomy and
    • such a role is justified by the requirement to appoint the best available experts and by the limited size of the pool of qualified experts (and this is documented).
  • is a member of an advisory group (set up by the Commission to advise on the preparation of EU or Euratom Horizon 2020 work programmes) in an area related to the call
  • is a National Contact Point (NCPs) or persons directly working for the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)
  • is a member of a programme committee
  • for Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie actions: is acting as a referee of the applicant.

If necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, the Commission may withdraw experts from evaluation or monitoring duties. If you knowingly conceal a conflict of interest and this is discovered during your evaluation activities, you will be dismissed with immediate effect and the measures laid down in the contract will be taken.

Submitting proposals while working as an expert
You can still submit your own research proposal and be allowed to perform evaluations as an expert - provided there is no conflict of interest. You will not be assigned to evaluate your own proposal or any proposals competing with it.

If your role involves handling classified information, you will need security clearance before entering into a contract.

The Commission publishes an annual list of experts who have worked for us but we do not disclose who has worked on which proposals.

Before assigning a project to you for monitoring activities, the Commission may inform the project consortium of your name. The consortium may reject our choice of expert in the interests of commercial confidentiality.

Keeping supporting documents

Working as an expert, you must keep records or other supporting documents for two years from the date of the last payment. The Commission may ask you to provide these documents as evidence that the contract was carried out correctly and that any expenses claimed are genuine.

Your correspondence with the Commission

All your correspondence with the Commission is electronic. Use only the 'My Expert Area' (Participant Portal) for correspondence about your contract, e.g.

  • signing your contract (only electronic-signature)
  • submitting your identity/bank account details
  • making requests for payment



You will be paid EUR 450 for each full day actually worked. For remote work, the payment will be calculated according to the table in Annex 2 of the Horizon 2020 contract that presents conversion rates from number of proposals evaluated remotely and participation in remote consensus meetings to this daily rate.

The maximum number of working days together with an indicative planning is set out in the contract and cannot be exceeded.
The maximum total number of days sets the upper ceiling of days for which you can be asked to perform tasks under the contract. This number may be higher than the number of working days defined under the indicative planning and it is intended to cover events unforeseen at the date of the signature of the contract, which could give rise to the need for the contracting party to assign you supplementary tasks resulting in additional working days.

Unless the assignment of supplementary tasks is agreed in writing, the number of days you may claim for payment corresponds to the number of days you actually worked within the limits of the indicative planning and according to the terms of the contract and its annexes.

The reimbursement of travel expenses and payments of accommodation allowance and daily allowance (details provided below) are made in accordance with the Commission Rules on the reimbursement of expenses of experts.

Travel expenses

In addition to the fees, expenses are refunded for work-related travel - normally between your official address as stated in the contract (the address registered in your expert profile) and meeting venues. If you exceptionally need to travel to or from a different location than your official address you need the Commission's agreement prior to purchasing your tickets.

Accommodation and daily allowances

The Commission also pays accommodation allowances and daily allowances to experts. The accommodation allowance is EUR 100 per night. The daily allowance is a flat rate of EUR 92 to cover all expenditure at the place where the meeting/work is held, including meals and local transport (bus, tram, metro, taxi, parking, motorway tolls, etc.) as well as travel and accident insurance.

Other expenses

Expenses that an expert has incurred as a result of special instructions received in writing, different from the contract terms, may be reimbursed in justified cases on presentation of supporting documents.

Please note that no other expenses will be reimbursed. This applies in particular to:

  • the cost of buying equipment or other material needed to carry out your duties
  • any expenses already declared under another EU contract or grant.

Any payment you receive is not exempted from national taxes and you are obliged to ensure compliance with your national legislation on taxes and social security law.

Requests for payment

Once your work is completed, you will receive an e-mail inviting you to submit your request for payment through the My Expert Area on the Participant Portal. To claim your travel expenses, upload scanned copies of all the original supporting documents as requested. (You must keep records and other supporting documents to show that you have complied in full with the terms of your contract.)

You must submit your request for payment within 30 days of the deadline for submitting the report or deliverables specified in the contract, or after the last day of the meeting or remote evaluation session, whichever comes latest.

You must request payment on one of the bank accounts which you have listed in the My Expert Area. The Commission will make payments within 30 days of receiving the reports, deliverables or completed payment requests, whichever comes latest - provided it approves them.