Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This page is updated with the answers to the most frequent questions that were submitted to the IT Helpdesk .

You can find additional guidance in H2020 Online Manual that gives you all the steps for applying for funding as well as for the electronic management of grants. To better understand the roles and access rights of the Participant Portal, see the related manual section.

If you want to have more detailed information about the tools of the proposal submission, beneficiary registration and grant management and see their screens, please click on the icon in the H2020 Online Manual. Besides you can find the same information in the following pdf manuals of the tools:

  • What is the Participant Portal?
    The Participant Portal is the single-entry point for interactions about the EU research and innovation programmes with the European Commission and its Executive Agencies. It offers you the services and tools that facilitate the monitoring and the management of your proposals and projects.
  • What services and tools are available on the Participant Portal?
    The following services are available on the Portal:
    • Calls of Horizon 2020 and other EU funding programmes: the Participant Portal is the single authoritative web site that publishes the calls of the EU research and innovation programmes.
    • H2020 and FP7 Reference Documents : all the legal and guidance documents of the research and innovation programmes.
    • For all the following services you need an ECAS account:
    • Proposals submission system: accessible from the topic (thematic sub-division of calls in H2020) pages, this service allows you submitting electronically your project proposal to the Commission.
    • Beneficiary register: the service allows a participant to register his/her organisation and to get a Participant Identification Code (PIC) that is obligatory in order to participate in a submitted proposal. The Beneficiary register also includes an SME self-assessment tool to determine whether your organisation is an SME or not.
    • Services for signing electronically a grant agreement and managing your EU funded project: Depending on your role on PP (after login), you can access the grant management tool to prepare and sign a grant agreement, submit amendments and periodic reports.
    • Expert area where experts can register and manage their expert profiles, contracts and payments.
  • Are there any slide shows presenting the Participant Portal?
    You can download the following presentations on the Participant Portal:
  • You can also watch the following videos
    • eSignature of grant documents
    • LEAR appointment
  • How do I register and then log into the Participant Portal? What is an ECAS account?
    Access to the portal is based on an ECAS account. ECAS stands for the European Commission's 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 logged in to ECAS, you do not have to re-enter your username and password within the same browser session. Protected information systems request ECAS to supply the current user's 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 H2020 Online Manual gives also introductory information about creating an ECAS account.
  • Although I am certain that I am using the correct username/password combination, the system refuses to give me access. What shall I do?
    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.
  • After ECAS registration, I did not receive any email. What shall I do?
    • 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).
  • I tried to change my password by using the link in ECAS "Change password" or request my forgotten password by using the link in ECAS "Forgotten your password". After I filled in the username or my email address as requested, I never received the email to initialise my password.
    • This problem could be caused by using an incorrect domain in the ECAS service when trying to obtain a new password. With any Participant Portal organisation, proposal or project role, including LEAR/ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATOR, your domain should be "External".
    • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service <ECAS-ADMIN@EC.EUROPA.EU> 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.
  • Why can I not log-out directly from the Participant Portal?
    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 2. close all your browser windows.
  • How can I change my email address in ECAS?
    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 accounts that were created with a heightened security procedure (e.g. LEAR accounts) cannot change their email address directly from within ECAS afterwards.
    LEAR's can change it in the Beneficiary Register on the Participant Portal, choosing the page My Organisations after ECAS login. There you will inform the Validation Services via the messaging option. The e-mail address will subsequently be updated. Please note that a new e-mail address triggers for a LEAR a new ECAS account meaning you will receive a new PIN code.

About the role management in general

  • What is the Identity and Access Management (IAM) or role management in the Participant Portal (PP)?
    The role management of the Participant Portal assures that its personalised services after log-in correspond to each user's, specific role in the proposals submitted on the PP calls/topics pages or in the projects managed on PP. It also includes organisation-related roles, that is, persons who are entitled to update the legal and financial data of an organisation on the Participant Portal, sign grant agreements on its behalf, etc.
    Each user involved in interactions with the Commission - e.g. registering an organisation for a PIC number, negotiating a grant agreement, preparing a report - has a personalised page, where access to the different tools and services depends on the person's role in the proposal and/or project and/or organisation.
  • What are the main principles of the role management?
    The Participant Portal offers a unique entry point for the interactions.
    • Each person has to register for an ECAS account (European Commission Authentication System). The unique identifier for a physical person is the e-mail address used for the creation of the Participant Portal (ECAS) account.
    • Each organisation needs to have a nine-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC) number for the identification of the entity.
    • Only one login, the PP ECAS login, is enough to get access to all the different tools and services.
    • The Commission can only approve/modify the 'top' role in the consortium - the Primary Coordinator Contact who will then grant access rights to the project to the contact persons of other participating organisations (Participant Contact) and of his/her own organisation (e.g. roles of Coordinator Contacts, Team Members, etc.). Participant Contacts can appoint further roles to the project to their own organisation. Thus, except for the Primary Coordinator, allocation of roles in a project is delegated to the members of each consortium.
    • Depending on their role in a proposal or project, users can have access to grant preparation, signature of a grant agreement, amendments and/or financial and scientific reporting, see the Roles and access rights section of the H2020 Online Manual. .
    Check your roles by choosing 'My Roles' under the button with your name in the top right corner.
  • Where can I check my rights in the projects?
    After logging in with the ECAS account to the Participant Portal, users can check their roles in their organisation(s) and project(s) in the My Roles menu under your Account button.
  • How can I nominate/revoke colleagues?
    If a user has the necessary rights to nominate/revoke other users, nomination is possible through the My Area section:
    • For adding project -related roles go to the My Projects menu, click on the yellow Project consortium button in the table.
    • For adding organisation -related roles go to My Organisations menu, click on the blue View Roles (OR) button in the table.
    Give access rights by clicking on the Edit Roles button and then Add roles button, specifying the e-mail and the user name of the person.
    Revoke a user by clicking on the Revoke buttons.

Changes in the role management

  • What are the main changes in the new IAM version?
    1. Addition of the role of Financial Signatory (FSIGN) as from 1 January 2013 for electronic only submission of financial reporting of projects.
    2. Addition of the role of Legal Signatory (LSIGN) for electronic only signature of grant agreements for Horizon 2020.
    More information about the roles and access management on the portal.
  • How does the new Financial Signatory (FSIGN) role work?
    • The LEAR or the Account Administrators can nominate as many FSIGNs as necessary. For each FSIGN, they may add some comments to his/her nomination (e.g. related process in the organisation or type of projects that this FSIGN should cover) that can be seen by other roles in their organisation. Being appointed as FSIGN of an organisation is not sufficient to sign Forms C of its projects. Another step is needed, see next point.
    • The Primary Coordinator Contact, Coordinator Contacts and Participant Contacts can assign to a project of their organisation as many FSIGNs as necessary (from the list of FSIGNs appointed by the LEAR and/or Account Administrators to the organisation). All the FSIGNs assigned to a project will then be notified every time that a Form C is ready for submission for the project(s) they are assigned to. They are also able to draft and finalise Forms C themselves.
    • More information is available in the H2020 Online Manual.
  • How does the new Legal Signatory (LSIGN) role for Horizon 2020 grants work?
    • The LEAR or the Account Administrators can nominate as many LSIGNs as necessary for their organisation. For each LSIGN, they may add some comments (e.g. signature process in the organisation, types of projects that this LSIGN should cover) that can be seen by the Coordinator or Participant Contact in their organisation. Being appointed as LFSIGN of an organisation is not sufficient to sign grant agreements of its projects. Another step is needed, see next point.
    • The Primary Coordinator Contact, Coordinator Contacts and Participant Contacts can assign to a project of their organisation as many LSIGNs as necessary (from the list of LSIGNs appointed by the LEAR and Account Administrators to the organisation). All the LSIGNs assigned to a project will then be notified every time that a grant agreement, amendment, etc. is ready for signature and submission for the project(s) they are assigned to. They are also able to draft and finalise grants, amendments themselves.
    • More information is available in the H2020 Online Manual.
  • How do I get access to my proposals, projects or organisation data on the Participant Portal?
    Except for the Primary Coordinator Contact and the LEAR, all roles and access levels to the Participant Portal can be granted and revoked by the participants themselves without intervention from the Commission. See for more detail the H2020 Online Manual.

Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) role

  • What is the LEAR?
    The LEAR, Legal Entity Appointed Representative, is a person within an organisation appointed to manage the legal and financial information about your organisation on the Beneficiary Register of the Participant Portal, and to manage access rights of persons in his/her organisation authorised to sign grant agreements or financial statements.
  • How can I appoint a LEAR?
    • You can start the process of appointing a representative (LEAR) as soon as the new documents under H2020 are available in the Participant Portal or once the Commission Validation Services have contacted you to provide the required documents. Please see the H2020 Online Manual for the exact steps of LEAR appointment.
    • In order to activate the LEAR user account in the organisation registration tool of the Participant Portal, the LEAR will receive:
      a) an e-mail notification confirming the creation of his/her user account. That message will include a username, hyperlink and instructions on how to activate the user account.
      b) a letter (by post) containing a PIN code required for the LEAR account activation.
  • What are the rights and tasks of the LEAR?
    Rights
    Once appointed, the LEAR:
    • is the only person who can provide updates to information about the organisation - via the Participant Portal
    • can view and download all documents relating to the organisation's legal and financial status
    • can give other colleagues access to the organisation's online account as 'account administrators'
    • has an overview of all the projects and proposals the organisation is involved in, and of which colleagues have which roles in those projects
    • can - indirectly via the Helpdesk - correct inaccurate information about who has which role
    • can authorise people to sign Horizon 2020 grant agreements as 'legal signatories' (LSIGN) and to sign financial statements (Forms C) as 'financial signatories (FSIGN) for Horizon 2020 and FP7.
    For more information about the roles and access rights, please read the H2020 Online Manual .
    Tasks
    • The LEAR provides the Commission with up-to-date legal and financial data (including supporting documents) of his/her organisation. The LEAR enters the data through the organisation registration tool in My Area of the Participant Portal and the Validation Services (VS) carries out the validation.
    • The LEAR engages his/her organisation to maintain and update regularly the legal and financial data of his/her organisation, thus enabling its use for contracting and other transactions between his/her organisation and the Commission. The LEAR should regularly check the correctness of the available data, in particular when he/she is aware of changes.
    • The LEAR distributes the Participant Identification Code (PIC) to other employees within his/her organisation who might need it when dealing with the Commission, for example for electronic submission of proposals or preparation of grant agreements.
  • Can I appoint anyone in the organisation as a LEAR?
    The LEAR can be anyone in the organisation who has the capability to execute this task. It is usually a member of the administrative staff working in the central administration of the organisation. LEARs must be appointed by the legal representative of the organisation.
  • I have sent the LEAR appointment documents. How long should I now wait until I can use the organisation registration tool of the Participant Portal to modify the data?
    It might take between 2 and 4 weeks of time before the appointed LEAR is registered in our database. The LEAR will receive a confirmation e-mail stating the next steps for the use of the organisation registration tool.
  • How long should I wait before the modified data in the organisation registration tool is taken into account during the submission of a proposal?
    Modified data need to be first validated by the Validation Services. The modification requests sent by LEARs are considered as high priorities for validation.
  • I am the LEAR of my organisation and have made an update in the organisation registration tool some days ago, but it seems that nothing has been updated.
    Your request to change information is being processed by the Validation Services (VS). Please note that if you modify legal information (e.g. address, VAT number, registration number, status of your organisation, etc.), you must submit supporting documents to the VS. The requested documents should be uploaded via the organisation registration tool on the Participant Portal (My Organisations page after an ECAS login). You can find more information about the validation process in the H2020 Online Manual .
  • I am the LEAR and I received the letter with the PIN code, but I did not receive the email mentioned in the letter. How can I get it?
    As the emails from ecas-admin@ec.europa.eu and EC-RESEARCH-IT-HELPDESK@ec.europa.eu are sent with a "private" tag on them, they cannot be seen if using a shared or functional mailbox. To see the emails, you have to login to your shared or functional mailbox using Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) or another web mail access. This way, you will use a password to login through the Outlook Web Access or web mail server, and the system will allow you to see the emails. If you need assistance to determine your type of mailbox or with the web mail access, you might need to contact your IT administrator.
    Further on:
    • If you think the email might have been treated as spam, contact your IT administrator to search for the email from:
      • the eH2020 Service Desk Team subject: Horizon 2020 Programme - User account creation.
      • the eH2020Service Desk Team subject: Horizon 2020 Programme - User account upgrade.
    • If your email address in the letter is wrong, you should contact the Validation Services (VS) via the organisation registration tool of the Participant Portal and give them the details of your PIC, username and LEAR email address. Please also upload the received LEAR appointment letter to the organisation registration tool.

    • If your email address in the letter is correct, then you should contact EC-RESEARCH-IT-HELPDESK@ec.europa.eu and give them the details of your PIC and username. This request can only be submitted from the LEAR email address (as sender) and the LEAR will receive a reply to his email address once the issue has been solved.
  • I am the LEAR and I tried to activate my account by using the link in the email. But when I filled in the username and the PIN code, I received the error message: "Incorrect username or PIN code supplied, please try again".
    • This problem could be caused by using an incorrect domain in the ECAS service. You should check if your domain is "External"; you can change it in the top right-hand corner of the ECAS password initialisation page .
    • If you are in the correct domain and the problem persists, please contact DIGIT-USER-ACCESS@ec.europa.eu and give them the details of your PIC, username and LEAR email address.

  • I am the LEAR and I have successfully entered my username and PIN code as requested, but I never received the email that the system should send me.
    • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service with the 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, username and email address. This request can only be submitted from the LEAR email address (as sender) and the LEAR will receive a reply on his/her email address, once the issue has been solved.
  • My organisation wants to change the LEAR. How should we proceed?
    You can appoint a new LEAR, simply by following the steps set out in the H2020 Online Manual under "How to appoint a representative (LEAR)" . There is no separate procedure specifically for replacing LEARs.
  • I am the LEAR of my organisation and I have changed my email address. How can I change it in the organisation registration tool?
    You can change it in the Beneficiary Register on the Participant Portal, choosing the page My Organisations after ECAS login. . Therein, you will inform the Validation Services via the messaging option. The e-mail address will subsequently be updated. Please note that a new e-mail address triggers a new ECAS account meaning you will receive a new PIN code.
  • I am the LEAR, but when logging in the organisation registration tool, the system shows me an error message.
    You should contact the IT Help-desk EC-RESEARCH-IT-HELPDESK@ec.europa.eu and provide them the details of your PIC, username and LEAR email address, along with the description of your problem.
  • Some functionality seems to have disappeared since my last login. What happened?
    This can be the result of one of the following:
    • Each user of the Participant Portal is assigned one or more Role in relation to projects and or legal entities. It is possible that your role has been modified since your last login. Please consult the H2020 Online Manual section on the Roles and Access Rights.
    • The functionality disappeared since your last login because the life cycle of the entity has evolved and it does not need this functionality anymore.
  • What does the Beneficiary registration tool of the Participant Portal provide?
    The Beneficiary Register, hosted by the Participant Portal (PP), allows participants to register and submit their legal and financial data electronically to the Commission. LEARs/Account Administrators, as well as self-registrants, will be able to update the legal- and financial data of their organisation. Once data is validated, only LEARs/Account Administrator will be able to request updates. For more information about these PP roles, see the H2020 Online Manual.
  • Where can I find the Beneficiary registration tool?
    It is hosted on the Participant Portal.
    If your organisation is already registered and you want to update its data or you want to continue a registration that you started but did not finalise, go to My Organisations.
  • I have created my ECAS account, how could I access the Beneficiary Register?
    You should login to the Participant Portal.
    To register your organisation or find out if it is already registered, go to How to Participate> Beneficiary Register.
    If your organisation is already registered and you want to update its data or you want to continue a registration that you started but did not finalise, go to My Organisations.
  • I would like to become a contact point for the European Commission, how should I proceed?
    The only contact point for the organisation will be the LEAR. Please consult the frequently asked questions on the LEAR in the Roles section and the H2020 Online Manual for more detailed info.
  • What happens if my organisation registered twice in Participant Portal?
    If there is a duplicate registration (the same organisation has been registered twice), the new (or 2nd) PIC will be replaced by the PIC obtained with the first registration. The participant will be informed about any PIC related updates should the submitted proposal reach the grant preparation stage.
  • How can I contact the helpdesk in case of technical difficulties during the registration?
    By sending your request to the IT Helpdesk. . If you have questions concerning the content of the information to be provided you can always contact the Research Enquiry Service.
  • I have registered my organisation but when I tried to log in to the Participant Portal, the data could only be viewed in read-only mode?
    As from September 2013, the self-registered data remains always editable and updates and/or corrections can be introduced by the self-registrant till the LEAR has been nominated and activated. As from that point, only the LEAR will be able to manage that data. To find out how to appoint a LEAR, please consult the H2020 Online Manual.
  • Does the Beneficiary registration tool exist in any language other than English?
    It is only available in English at this moment for the participants reaching it from the Participant Portal. For those participating in the educational programmes handled by DG EAC and EACEA, the organisation registration tool becomes progressively multilingual as from September 2013.
  • How can I modify my organisation's data?
    For all validated organisations who wish to change their data, only the appointed LEAR can request modifications in the database (using the PIC code of the validated organisation).
    Once the relevant supporting documents have been uploaded by the LEAR in the system, then the VS evaluates the accuracy of the request and, if possible, changes the information in the database.
    If something else needs to be clarified or provided, the VS will contact the LEAR via the Beneficiary registration tool itself.
    For organisations whose data is not yet validated, the self-registrant will be able to updated/correct the information provided and the VS will perform the assessment on the basis of the latest request.
  • Who is the VS or Validation Services?
    The Validation Services (VS) is a specialised service within the Research Executive Agency which acts under powers delegated by the European Commission on behalf of the research DGs (DG RTD, ,DG MOVE, DG ENER, DG CNECT, DG ENTR), DG EAC and Executive Agencies (REA, ERCEA, EASME, EACEA, CHAFEA).
    The VS is entrusted to carry out the verification of the legal existence and legal status of f participants (the 'validation') as follows:
    • For Horizon 2020 participants, the verification of the legal existence and legal status (public or private bodies, non-profit, secondary and higher education, international organisation, etc.) is done against the H2020 rules for participation and the provisions of the H2020 Grant Manual.
    • For participants in other programmes, the VS verifies the legal existence and status based on the Financial Regulation (applicable to the general budget of the Union).

    Each participant has to be validated and obtain a PIC (Participant identification Code) before being able to sign grant agreements under FP7, H2020 and other programmes managed by the DGs and Agencies listed before.

Participant Identification Code (PIC)

  • What is the PIC or Participant Identification Code of my organisation?
    The Participant Identification Code (PIC) is a 9-digit unique identifier for every validated organisation. 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.
  • Is it mandatory to have an ECAS account in order to get a PIC?
    Yes. An ECAS account is required for every individual in order to log into the Participant Portal where the organisation registration tool is hosted. Through the organisation registration tool you can register your organisation and will then receive a PIC.
  • How can I find out whether my organisation already has a PIC?
    First, use the Search PIC tool under How to Participate> Organisation Registration. If you still cannot find the PIC of your organisation, find out within your organisation who is the person nominated as LEAR; he/she will be able to tell you the PIC.
  • I have a PIC on the Research Portal, how can I update this PIC for participation in the Education, Audio-visual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering (EAC) programme?
    Please go to the Organisation Register page of the EAC portal and log in with your ECAS account.
    In the menu bar, select Organisations from the drop down menu. You will subsequently be offered 3 options: Register, My Organisations and Search. Select My Organisations and the relevant PICs will appear. Continue by clicking on either VO to view the content or MO to modify, update or complete your information. Once the organisation data screen appears, select the corresponding EAC programme from the drop down menu on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Click on Update your Data to save any changes you may have made.
  • I have a PIC on the portal of the Education, Audio-visual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering (EAC) programme, how can I update this PIC for the Research and Innovation programme?
    Please go to the Research and Innovation Participant Portal and log in with your ECAS account.
    Select My Organisations from the My Area drop-down menu and your organisation registered on the EAC portal and its PIC will appear. Continue by clicking on either VO to view the content or MO to modify, update or complete your information. Once the organisation data screen appears, select the Research and Innovation (R&I) Programme from the drop down menu on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Click on Update your Data to save any changes you may have made.
  • What are the advantages for participants using a PIC?
    • Participants will not have to submit their legal and financial information (and supporting documents) each time they prepare a new proposal or grant agreement with the research DGs (DG RTD, DG EAC, DG MOVE, DG ENER, DG CNECT, DG ENTR) or Agencies, but just their PIC;
    • Participants (through their Legal Entity Appointed Representatives - LEARs) will be able to check the legal and financial data the Commission has on their organisation; they will be able to propose changes if their records are not correct or up-to-date; any new transactions will automatically take the changes into account and this will reduce the administrative workload;
    • The Validation Services will establish a privileged relationship with the LEAR, which will alleviate administrative and scientific personnel from the task of following-up on administrative data submitted, providing legal and financial information and related supporting documents.
  • I know that my organisation does not have a PIC. How can I get one?
    If your organisation does not have any FP7 grant agreement or submitted proposal, then you should create an account in the Participant Portal in order to be able to register your organisation in the organisation registration tool of the Participant Portal. A PIC is provided at the end of the registration process and can be then used for proposal submission after 10 minutes.
  • How can I use the PIC in general?
    In the tools used for the submission of proposal and for negotiation of projects there are fields available where you will be able to enter the PIC, thus avoiding entering all the legal and financial data of your organisation every time.
  • Our organisation is made up of different departments, should I get more PICs?
    No, different departments from one organisation (legal entity) are not taken into account. Hence, all departments should make use of the same PIC for the organisation. As for the LEAR, currently only one person should be appointed for the entire organisation, but this person can delegate further his/her functions to the so-called Account Administrators.
  • I have received two PICs for my organisation, what should I do?
    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 by the Validation Services (VS) if the proposal is successful and the participants enter negotiation. Your organisation would then be notified about the PIC which has been validated as permanent, and it is that permanent PIC that 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.
  • How long should I wait before I can start using the PIC once I registered in the organisation registration tool?
    New participants register their organisation in the Participant Portal. After the registration, they will receive a PIC. Although the legal data is directly saved in the participant database, there will be a delay of 10 minutes before the data will be visible in the proposal forms. However the PIC can be used immediately if it is to be used in the tool used for negotiation of grants.
  • After the registration of my organisation, I did not receive any email with the PIC.
    • Contact your IT department to check if the email from the Authentication Service <fp7-urf-no-reply@ec.europa.eu> subject: Your registration request in the organisation registration tool 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.
  • I was already using a PIC for my proposal. Then I received a new PIC from the Validation Services (VS). What happens to my old data?
    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 and the participant phase. From that moment on, you should only use the PIC validated by the VS.
  • When I entered the PIC in the proposal forms, I received an error message "No data is associated with this PIC". What shall I do?
    If you have just registered your organisation in the organisation registration tool, the data will be recognized by the tool only 10 minutes after the registration.
  • Does my organisation's financial viability need to be checked?
    The Commission always checks the financial viability of a project coordinator requesting an EU contribution exceeding EUR 500,000 unless the coordinator is:
    When an organisation does not have legal personality , his/her representatives must prove they have the viability to undertake legal obligations on behalf of the organisation and that the organisation has financial and operational viability equivalent to that of legal persons. In H2020 not only legal entities with legal personality can participate in projects.
  • How can I check the financial viability of my organisation?
    If your organisation's financial viability has to be assessed, you will be informed in due time of the exact process and the official contact persons. If you wish to run a self-check for your own information, you can use the tool provided in the Participant Portal.

SME-self-assessment

  • I am an SME, do I have to fill in the SME self-assessment?
    Yes. If you consider yourself SME and you have selected the Research and Innovation Programme, you can proceed with the SME self-assessment.
  • I am not an SME, do I have to fill in the SME self-assessment?
    No.
  • My SME is registered and already has a temporary PIC. Do I still need to fill in the SME self-assessment in the beneficiary register for H2020?
    Yes. Although you might have registered in the Beneficiary Register, you need to make sure that you have completed the SME self-assessment part under the Research and Innovation Programme Section, if you intend to submit a proposal to the SME instrument.
  • How do I initiate the SME self-assessment process?
    Once you have completed the first part of your PIC registration process, you will be given the option to choose a specific programme. Proceed by selecting Research and Innovation Programme from the drop down list. You will subsequently be asked whether you want to declare your organisation as SME. The SME self-declaration wizard will then run you through the rest of the process.
    Note: Please make sure you have all required financial accounts readily available when you start the SME self-assessment.
  • I have completed the first part of the registration but did not proceed to the SME self-assessment. How can I pick up where I left off?
    Enter the Participant Portal and click on the My Area tab. Then select My Organisation(s). Proceed by clicking on the MO icon under My Registered Organisations. You will then be redirected to the Starting Page. Select Research and Innovation Programme from the drop down list at the bottom left corner of the screen . In the Enterprise Data screen, select the Financial Year (either 2012 or 2013) from the drop down list. Once you have entered the relevant Financial Year, the SME self-declaration wizard will run you through the rest of the process.
  • I have filled in the SME self-assessment and do not agree with the result. What can I do?
    You can redo the self-assessment making sure all the encoded info is correct. Alternatively, you can contact the business support offered in the wizard and request to check your result.
  • The Validation Services have already validated my SME status in the past. Do I need to fill in the SME self-assessment again?
    This depends on the financial year data the SME validation was based upon. The financial year data cannot be older than 2 years. For instance, if for 2014 the financial year was either 2012 or 2013 then there is no need for a new self-assessment. If the SME validation was based on financial information dating back to 2011 or older, you are required to fill in the SME self-assessment again.
  • How do I have to submit my proposal?
    Proposals are submitted electronically via the Participant Portal.
    To access the submission system: Go to the specific topic page of a call >> and click on the tab Submission Service . You need to choose a type of action and then click on 'Start submission' , which takes you to the electronic forms that you need to start filling in.
    The submission wizard guides you in selecting the type of action, managing the list of participants and contact details, filling the administrative forms (Part A) and uploading the description of the scientific part of the project proposal (Part B) or any other annexes. Once the proposal is completed, it can be submitted - several times if revisions are needed - before the call deadline. Validation errors are shown where corrections are needed.
  • Where can I find more user guidance?
    The H2020 Online Manual describes in detail the proposal submission process and requirements and you can find out more about the tool when clicking on the icon in the manual. .
  • How can I access draft or submitted proposals?
    You have to log in to the Participant Portal and go to My Proposals, where you can find the list of your proposals. On the right side of the table under Action column, click on the 'Edit-draft' or 'View-Submitted' button and you will enter the electronic submission service, where you can continue finalising your proposal or you can view the submitted one. Editing submitted proposals is possible until the call deadline.
  • Do I have to register my organisation before drafting my proposal?
    Yes, you have to register your organisation and receive a PIC (Participant Identification Code) number for submitting your proposal. All organisations participating in the proposal need to have a PIC. You can register an organisation and receive immediately a PIC on the Participant Portal>How to participate> Organisation Register.
  • How do I find the PIC number of my organisation?
    The proposal submission service offers a PIC search within the tool, so you can search for the PIC code either during proposal submission or at any time on the Participant Portal .
    You can read more about PIC numbers in section 4 of the FAQ .
  • Who can start drafting a proposal?
    Coordinators have full editing rights over the proposal, so the coordinating organisation should start the drafting. They can also invite other participants to contribute. The coordinator also submits the proposal. Access rights do not depend on the roles - Main contact or Contact person in the submission system. It is the coordinating organisation that can determine the access rights of any participant he or invites to the proposal, be it the Main contact or Contact person of this organisation. It is either full access rights or read-only access. There is the following difference between the full access rights of coordinating and participating organisations:
    • Contacts of the coordinating organisation with full access rights can edit all parts of the proposal, can upload the technical annexes and submit the proposal.
    • Contacts of the participating organisations can edit their parts of the administrative form and can read only the other parts.

    In the case of grants to individual participants (no consortium) a person with full editing rights who started the drafting should submit the proposal.
  • Who can invite participants for the proposal?
    Any contact person of the coordinating organisation can invite other participating entities and add contact persons.
  • How do I invite participants for the proposal?
    If you are from the coordinating organisation, once you are using the proposal submission service, go to the 'Parties' screen, Step 4: Managing Your Related Parties. Click on the 'Add Partner' button to invite additional partner organisations using their PIC numbers for their identification. You can then add further contact persons to any partner organisation by using the '+' sign next to the 'Contact' button.
    When saving the data of the screen, the contact persons are automatically invited: they receive an e-mail with the steps to complete.
  • I cannot invite participants or contacts. What is the problem?
    Only contact persons of the coordinating organisation can invite other participants or contacts.
    Also, not all types of action allow the participation of several organisations and contact persons, therefore this function might be disabled. Please check the specificities of the topic on the topic conditions page (topic is a new sub-section of H2020 calls and proposals are submitted to topics) on the Participant Portal.
  • Which parts can be edited by the participants and which parts can be edited only by the coordinator?
    For most cases two roles are available when preparing and submitting a proposal: a coordinator or a partner. This has an effect on the actions you may do and the information you have to supply. The following table highlights the differences between a coordinator and partner actions:
    Action Coordinator Partner
    Select the call Yes No
    Invite participants Yes No
    Submit the proposal Yes No
    Define own budget table Yes Yes
    Enter all administrative form data Yes No
    Enter own administrative forms' details Yes Yes
    Download and read the all proposal files Yes Yes
    Upload Part B and Annexes Yes No
    Note that for some calls and topics, only one participant is needed and the participant will be the coordinator of the proposal by default.
    In case of the European Research Council grants, the corresponding host institution (Synergy call) or the first host institution takes the role of the coordinator, while any subsequent host institutions will act as partners, as described above.
  • What is part of the pre-registration data? Can I change it afterwards?
    The abstract, the short summary, type of action, evaluation-related codes (eg. panel), the list of participants and contacts are part of the pre-registration data.
    Once you pass the pre-registration step, this screen is no longer available to you. The short summary is shown later in the 'Abstract' of Form A, where the final version can be edited.
  • The data displayed when using my organisation's PIC number is not correct, what should I do?
    Whenever the PIC data shown in the submission system appears to be incorrect, please contact the LEAR (see more in point 4 of the FAQ) of the organisation to change the data through the Participant Portal. This parallel process has no influence on the preparation and submission of the proposal. The proposal can be submitted even without the correction of such errors.
    If the incorrect data might put at risk the eligibility of your proposal, you can either change the data in the proposal form or create a new registration.
  • (NEW)  What are the important steps before electronic signature of a grant agreement?
    • Validation of organisations
      The Validation Services (VS) centralise the collection of legal and financial documents and validates all participating organisations only once. If your organisation participated for the first time in a proposal and registered before submission receiving only a temporary PIC, it now has to be validated by VS before a grant signature.
    • LEAR appointment
      All organisations that are invited to preparing a grant agreement must appoint a Legal Entity Appointed Representative (or LEAR) who will be in charge of providing the legal and financial documents to VS and can request modifications of the current legal and financial data in the Beneficiary Register on the Participant Portal. It will not be possible to directly modify the organisation's legal and financial data in the grant preparation and management tool. So the appointment of the LEAR can become a blocking issue to the grant signature if changes are required.
  • In our organisation two persons must BOTH sign the grant agreement. Would this be possible during the electronic signature?
    In the process of the electronic signature of H2020 grant agreements, the Commission requires one electronic signature act by one person (who must have the role of Project Legal Signatory (PLSIGN) in the Participant Portal). If the internal rules of an organisation require more than one signature, this requirement must be implemented by establishing an internal process in the organisation assuring that the single electronic signature act in our system is executed only after all the necessary authorisations were given. These authorisations (signatures) must be collected, stored and archived locally following the usual management practice of the organisation, for instance via an internal paper-based process. Please refer also to the Terms and conditions of use of the electronic exchange system, stating that "The LEAR and its organisation warrant that users appointed as LSIGNs or FSIGNs are duly authorised to represent the organisation in relation to all LSIGN or FSIGN responsibilities".
  • Why can I not modify the data directly in the grant management tool? ?
    You need to contact the LEAR of your organisation in order to request an update of the data of your organisation. The LEAR will then request an update in the Beneficiary Register on the Participant Portal and as soon as it is validated by the Commission, the data will be updated in the grant management tool.
  • I want to involve a new participant, what should I do?
    The new participant first needs to register in the Beneficiary Register and get a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Once the participant is registered, it can immediately use the received PIC in the grant management tool.
  • Where can I find more information about the grant management tool?
    You can find more information about the grant management tool in the H2020 Online Manual when clicking on the icon .

About the reporting in general

  • Where can I access the reporting functions?
    After login on the Participant Portal, the 'My Projects' menu shows the user the links to the different IT tools under the 'Actions' column.
    For Horizon 2020 and other new programmes projects that start in 2014 there is one grant management tool where you sign and amend your grant agreement and also submit scientific and financial reporting. So you will see only one action button MP (Manage Projects).
    For FP7 and CIP projects, there are different tools used for financial and scientific reporting. So you will see several action buttons: (Scientific Reporting & Deliverables) (Financial Reporting) and (Periodic Reporting)
    As users are offered a personalised space on the Portal, they will have access only to those IT tools that are relevant to their projects - no mistake can be done by the user.
  • Who can edit the financial forms and explanation on the use of resources?
    (Primary) Coordinator Contacts, Participant Contacts, Task Managers and Financial Signatories can edit all parts of the financial forms including the explanation on the use of resources.
  • Who can view the summaries of the partners' financial forms and of the explanation on the use of resources?
    Once the partners complete the financial reports, summary tables (either per cost categories or per activities) per beneficiary are available for (Primary) Coordinator Contacts.

FP7 and CIP reporting

  • Which functions do I have to use to prepare my reports and where to find more help?
    There are three reporting tools that are available on the Participant Portal currently:
    • FP7 Periodic reporting - the tool is available for ICT projects mainly. See the online guidance.
    • FP7 Financial reporting is the function to be used when the financial form, Forms C are prepared. Details are available in the User Manual.
    • FP7 Reporting and deliverables is the function where scientific periodic and final reports can be prepared, deliverables, publications, etc. can be uploaded. Details are available in the User Manual.

    The reporting responsibilities of the beneficiaries are described in the Guidance Notes on Project Reporting, the guide and templates are available under the guidance section of the How to participate > Reference Documents > FP7 tab of the Participant Portal: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/funding/reference_docs.html .

  • Explanation on the use of resources

    Explanation of personnel costs, subcontracting and any major costs incurred by each beneficiary , such as the purchase of important equipment, travel costs, large consumable items linked to work packages .

    • Where to fill in this information?
      For newly created reports (after 21st May 2012) this information will have to be filled in in the financial reporting function accessible via the icon.
      Draft reports that had been started in the scientific reporting tool (before 21st May 2012) can be either finalised there or the user can convert the financial tables in the financial reporting tool into the more detailed ones that include the option of editing the explanation on the use of resources.
    • What happens to the Forms C that were submitted already?
      Finalised, submitted and approved Forms C will not have to be modified.
    • Will this new use of resources be applicable to all project types?
      The new function is available as from 1st January 2013 for all project types once the user starts to prepare a new financial report.
    • Who can edit the explanation on the use of resources?
      (Primary) Coordinator Contacts, Participant Contacts, Task Managers and Financial Signatories can edit all parts of the financial forms including the explanation on the use of resources.
    • Who can view the summaries of the partners' financial forms and of the explanation on the use of resources?
      Once the users complete the financial reports with the explanation on the use of resources in the financial reporting or in the periodic reporting tools, summary tables (either per costs or per activities) are available for (Primary) Coordinator Contacts per beneficiary.
    • (NEW)  Where can I read more about the recent technical changes on the explanation on the use of resources?
      • Check out the presentation on "How to prepare the explanation of the use of resources in the reporting tools?" (PDF version ).
      • Read the Quick info on the technical modifications on the explanation on the use of resources.
    • Who can deliver the Certificate on the Financial Statement (CFS)?
      The beneficiary/linked third party is free to choose a qualified external auditor (including the statutory auditor) provided that the external auditor is independent from the beneficiary and is qualified to carry out statutory audits of accounting documents in accordance with national legislation implementing the Directive on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts.
      Where applicable, it may also choose an independent Public Officer for which the relevant national authorities have established the legal capacity to audit the beneficiary/linked third party.
      In the case of an international organisation, the organisation may choose an internal/external auditor in accordance with the internal financial regulations and procedures of the international organisation.
    • Is it possible for an auditor who is properly authorised to issue Certificates on the Financial Statements in an EC country, to issue a CFS for a beneficiary located in another Member State?
      YES. Auditors who are qualified to provide a Certificate on the Financial Statements in one Member State are qualified to provide a Certificate on the Financial Statements in any other Member State.
    • Do we have to name the competent public officer to the Commission in advance of a financial statement?
      NO, the name of the competent public officer does not need to be given in advance.
    • Would it be possible for the internal audit service to present an invoice for the service to the department which could be charged to the project? Would this cost be eligible?
      The principle of using a public competent officer within the same organisation to prepare the Certificate on the Financial Statements means that the real direct costs (excluding any profit margin) of carrying out that work would be eligible.
      It is not possible to charge a market price (profit) for work carried out by the same beneficiary within the EU Grant Agreement.
    • Are the model Certificates on the Financial Statements (Annex 5) and on the Methodology (Annex 6) provided in the H2020 Model Grant Agreement mandatory?
      YES, the model certificates provided in the Annex 5 and 6 of the Model Grant Agreement are mandatory.
    • What is the purpose of the Terms of Reference of Annex 5 and 6?
      The terms of Reference are part of the Agreed-Upon-Procedures defined by the Commission and constitute the minimum terms of reference to frame the works undertaken by the auditor. The reference to "Other Terms" at the end is in itself an open point that allows beneficiaries and auditors to insert any specific terms such as auditor's fees, liability, applicable law, etc.
    • In what language should the certificates be provided?
      The certificates should be in the language indicated in Art. 20.7 of the grant agreement.
    • Are the costs of a CFS eligible?
      The cost of a mandatory CFS is an eligible cost in the grant agreement for which the certificate is submitted. The cost is linked to a specific action.
    • Are the costs of a Certificate on the methodology eligible?
      Costs incurred for the Certificates on the methodology (CoMUC) issued by the external auditors or Competent Public Officers are eligible direct costs in any of the financial statement submitted in any H2020 Grant Agreement provided the Certificate was approved by the Commission.
      The cost of the certificate can be claimed only once in the lifetime of H2020 unless the submission of a new certificate is required due to a change of the methodology.
      The cost has to be claimed once in one single H2020 Grant Agreement. Therefore it is recommended that the consortium partners anticipate the submission and identify the estimated costs already at proposal/negotiation stage in order to avoid that this cost disproportionally weigh a specific project.
    • Where can the Beneficiary find detail information on the two types of Certificates? Where can the beneficiary find information with regard to the establishment of the methodology for average personnel costs? Is a record of approved methodologies available?
      All necessary information and practical hints for the establishment of certificates are available on the Participant Portal.
      In the case of Certificate on the methodology (CoMUC) each participant will establish its methodology for calculating average personnel costs in line with the usual accounting and management principles depending on the national legal framework, the approved methodology cannot be standardized.
    • To whom can I address further questions?
      The Research Enquiry Service (or H2020 Helpdesk) has been set up to ensure a better and quicker processing of the requests. It can be contacted at the following link:
      http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=enquiries
    • When do I need a CFS?
      Only when cumulative requested contribution is EUR 325 000 or more as reimbursement of actual costs and unit costs calculated by the entity on the basis of its usual cost accounting practices.
      The coordinator must submit the final report within 60 days following the end of the last reporting period containing among others a CFS for each beneficiary and for each linked third party that requested the contribution indicated above.
    • Can the auditors perform different procedures from the ones in the table in annex 5 or 6?
      NO unless it was not feasible to carry out the procedures specified. The auditor should mark this as an exception.
    • (NEW)   Where can I read more about the electronic-only submission of Forms C?
    • Even if no signed paper versions of forms C have to be sent to the Commission, do we have to keep signed versions in our files within our organisation?
      From the Commission side, there is no obligation to create paper versions of forms C. The The sole exceptelectronic-only submission is the valid act. The need for paper versions might arise from internal rules and processes in your organisation.
    • Our organisation has no LEAR. How can we register the persons authorised to sign forms C (FSIGNs)?
      Your organisation must first appoint a LEAR. Only the LEAR can register the FSIGNs. Please see the H2020 Online Manual for the steps of appointing a LEAR.
    • My organisation is small and we participate only in one project. The appointment of so many persons in different roles (LEAR, PaCo, FSIGN) seems quite an overburden.
      You can appoint one and the same person in different roles (e.g. the same person can be LEAR of your organisation, PaCo and FSIGN for your project). Once a LEAR is appointed, he/she can appoint all other roles in his/her organisation (and change them at any moment in the Participant Portal).
    • I have a third party reporting costs in my project (special clause 10). How does it work in this case?
      A separate form C for the third party has to be completed in the financial reporting tool and submitted by the PaCo of the beneficiary to the coordinator. After the coordinator has submitted the whole package to the Commission, the form C of the third party must be printed and signed by an authorised representative of the third party. This paper document must be kept in the files of the beneficiary (no sending to the Commission).
    • I am coordinating a multi-beneficiary collaborative project signed before 1.1.2013. Will I have to monitor two different parallel streams of forms C (paper signed and only electronic) depending on the beneficiaries?
      No. The transition to electronic-only submission of forms C can only be made for the consortium as a whole. Either your grant maintains the provisions under which it was signed (and then all beneficiaries will keep the traditional process with electronic submission and paper signature), or your grant is amended in order to allow for the paperless submission of forms C. In this case, all beneficiaries will report under the new regime. For practical help on how to amend your FP7 or CIP grant agreement see the online guidance.
    • Will the electronic process affect negatively the time I have to wait to be paid as beneficiary or coordinator?
      On the contrary, apart from the advantages in terms of simplified administrative processes, the only-electronic submission of forms C will help to compile a full report faster and therefore will allow the Commission to start its analysis earlier, accelerating the whole payment procedure.
    • In my organisation, forms C are always signed by two persons. How should we handle this in the new approach?
      Only one electronic signature per form C will be possible in the system. If prior to this signature your organisation requires an approval involving more than one person, the necessary process must be organised internally in your institution.
    • What happens if the financial signatory (FSIGN) chosen for the project is absent (leave, sickness etc.)?
      The Participant Contact (PaCo) can assign more than one FSIGN to the project, so that business continuity is covered in case of absences. All FSIGNs assigned to the project will receive the notifications "form C ready for signature". However, even if several FSIGNs are assigned to the project there is only one act of electronic signature, by the first FSIGN the form C.
    • Can the consortium go back to paper submission after having signed the amendment to go for electronic-only?
      No. Once the amendment on the paperless process has been accepted and signed by the parties, the consortium has to apply the electronic-only transmission.
    • Can the coordinator see the drafted versions?
      Yes, the coordinator is able to see drafts and can comment before the form is transmitted and signed officially by the FSIGN of a beneficiary.
    • Can the coordinator of a consortium reject an electronically signed Form C of a participant?
      Yes, coordinators can reject Forms C for corrections. In this case, the cycle starts again at the beneficiary (drafting - ready to sign - signing and submitting) Beneficiaries can avoid rejections after electronic signature by checking the Form C in draft status with their coordinators (coordinators can view draft Forms C of other participants).
    • How can the LEAR indicate which FSIGN should be assigned to a given project?
      In the Participant Portal the LEAR will be able to nominate FSIGNs for the organisation and add comments (optional) about the scope of responsibilities or duration (i.e. "Mr Smith can sign for projects of Department X from 1st October 2011").
    • Can the LEAR limit the duration of the FSIGN nomination?
      The LEAR (or one of his/her account administrators) can revoke an FSIGN at any time, and as a consequence, the person will not be able to sign Forms C any longer.
    • Who can submit the signed forms to the Commission - the Coordinator Contact or the FSIGN of the coordinating organisation?
      Once the forms are signed by the partners' FSIGNs including the coordinator's FSIGN, the coordinator contact will be able to transmit the whole package to the Commission or its services.
    • Can the electronic forms be printed?
      Yes, the printing functionality remains as it is now. In addition, users will be able to download the forms with the e-receipt.
    • Who should be chosen as FSIGN signing electronically the Forms C?
      The nominated persons must have the authority within the organisation to sign the financial statements.
    • Does the LEAR have to send a proof who can be assigned an FSIGN role within the entity?
      No. The LEAR is responsible for appointing FSIGNs. The LEAR is appointed with a blue-ink signature by the legal representative of the organisation, which establishes the chain of trust.
    • What is the good moment to ask an amendment concerning electronic signature for already on-going grant agreements?
      If a consortium of on-going FP7 or CIP grants decides to change for the electronic-only submission of Forms C, the coordinator has to initiate a grant amendment. It is advisable to start the amendment procedure well before or after the reporting period, as it is not allowed in the system to manage an amendment procedure at the same time with reporting. To avoid reporting (and payment) delays, it is better to do the amendment shortly after the closed reporting.
    • My project is part of a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). Is it accessible through the Participant Portal?
      Currently, the projects of the following JTIs are accessible through the Participant Portal:
      • Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative (FCH)
      • Aeronautics and Air Transport (Clean Sky)
      • Electronic components & systems (ECSEL) (merger of the ARTEMIS embedded systems JTI and the ENIAC nanoelectronics JTI set up in 2008)

      From 2014 onwards the following JTIs will also manage new grants on the Participant Portal:
      • Bio-based Industries Initiative (BBI)
    • How can I create a deep link to a particular Call?
      You can find more information about Call deep linking in the Deep Linking "How to" manual .
    • What is the difference between "cut-off" date and "intermediate" date?
      A call for proposals with a fixed deadline may concern different research areas (determined by activity topics, type of actions,...) with different deadlines for proposal submission. These deadlines are called cut-off dates .
      An intermediate deadline is an intermediate date in the context of a call operating a continuous submission procedure. Proposals are evaluated in batches after each intermediated deadline.
    • How do I find closed FP7 calls?
      From the home page , click on "Funding opportunities" in the top menu; on the next page click on "calls" under "FP7 & CIP calls" in the left-hand menu; on the next page click on the button "Filtering and sorting" and then use the filter and sort functions for choosing the calls of your interest.
    • How can I search for documents that cover a particular topic?
      You can use the general Participant Portal search also for the documents. After inserting the topic that interests you, you will be lead to the page with all the search results. On the left hand you have a panel with filtering options where you should choose the category of H2020 Reference Documents or FP7 Reference Documents.
    • (NEW)   How do I find the FP7 Documents site?
      From the home page, click on "How to participate" in the top menu, on the next page click on "Reference Documents" in the left-hand menu and then choose the tab "FP7".
    • (NEW)   Where do I find the H2020 guide to financial issues?
      In Horizon 2020 the annotated grant agreement gathers all guidelines on the model grant agreement, including financial issues. It avoids multiplication of guidance documents.

    How to use the Expert area in the Participant Portal?

    • I have never been registered as an expert. What should I do?
      Experts who wish to be considered for assignments for the programmes mentioned below have to register in the European Commission central expert database. 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 .
      • Registering as a Research programme expert:
        You should go to the Expert area in the Participant Portal.
        From here, you will first have to create an ECAS (European Commission Authentication Service) account , if you don't 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, 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' .
      • Registering as an Education, Audiovisual and Culture programme expert:
        You should go to the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency page on Europa. 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.
    • 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 in the Expert area
      You will first need to create an ECAS (European Commission Authentication Service) account if you don't 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.
    • 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.
    • I have previously registered as an expert for the Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7). Is it necessary for me to register again for Horizon 2020?
      Experts previously registered for FP7 need to declare their interest in working as an expert for the Horizon 2020 programme as well as FP7 assignments e.g. monitoring FP7 funded projects by selecting Horizon 2020 in the programme selection page, which is the first page of the online registration platform.
      In addition, the area of expertise section has been revised. There is a new set of specialist fields including scientific as well as business and innovation keywords and pre-defined themes corresponding to the thematic domains of the Horizon 2020 programme.
      Experts interested in being considered for Horizon 2020 assignments are advised to identify their expertise in the specialist fields and pre-defined themes trees.
    • As an organisation, how can I recommend experts?
      If your organisation is interested in recommending experts for the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation, you can send an email to: EC-expert-recommendations@ec.europa.eu
      The email should be sent from your organisation's email account and include the following text and preferably complete the details in the Excel template provided.
      Subject of email: expert recommendations
      On behalf of my organisation, I would like to recommend experts to the European Commission for tasks in connection with the Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation.
      The details of my organisation and the experts I wish to recommend are presented in the attached Excel file.
    • I would like to apply as an independent 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 expert's database.
    • 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.

    ECAS log-in

    Completing the forms

    • 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 how far you are at filling in 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 or funding body 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.
    • Which fields do I need to complete?
      Programme Selection: The 'Programme Selection' section is where you declare the programme(s) for which you wish to be considered ("expert for Horizon 2020", "expert for Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)" and "expert for other funding programmes").
      Therefore, if you wish to be considered as a Horizon 2020 expert, you must select "Horizon 2020". 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 Horizon 2020", your authorisation is required to view your data for research funding bodies with a public service mission, in the Member States and countries associated to the research and innovation 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.
      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. For Horizon 2020, note that it is only possible to select your specialist field(s) at a certain level or below e.g. Science/Natural Sciences/Mathematics/Pure mathematics, Applied mathematics .
      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 Commission's 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 don't have any publications, you can enter any major achievements in this section. It is mandatory to complete either one publication OR a major achievement.
    • 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 programme selection screen, at least one expert type should be selected. In addition, for Horizon 2020 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.
    • How many languages can I enter?
      There is a maximum of 8 languages which can be completed.
    • 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.
    • 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.
      And/or
      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.
    • 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.
    • I am already registered as an expert for the research and innovation programme. 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 don't 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:
      • Programme Selection: 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 field: 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 Horizon 2020 and EACEA lists and hence, the use of the category 'others' may be required for either Horizon 2020 or EACEA.

    Process

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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/desktop/en/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...
    • 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.
    • 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 appears as invalid, click on the "See details" button in the left-hand panel to see what is missing.
    • 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 login 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 "Login".
      • 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.

    Technical

    • How long 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.
    • 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.
    • 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/portal4/desktop/en/experts/index.html
      Experts wishing to take part in Education, Audiovisual and Culture programmes should bookmark this URL:
      http://eacea.ec.europa.eu
    • How can I log out?
      If you close your browser, you will still be logged in the Experts area on the Participant Portal. You can log-out from the application by clicking on the blue button with your name and choosing Logout from the hanging menu.

    General

    • 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 Horizon 2020 programme OR a high level expertise in education, audiovisual and culture matters for the EACEA programmes
      • can be available for occasional, short-term assignments and
      • have completed and validated the registration of your profile in the online platform.
      For Horizon 2020, in addition to researchers and academics, the European Commission is seeking to substantially increase the number of specialists from the commercial and business communities.
      Horizon 2020 covers a whole range of activities in the fields of science and technology, innovation, social sciences and humanities, ethics, gender, communication, project management and more.
      The call for experts, published on 22 November 2013, is open to those of any nationality with a high level of expertise in the relevant fields of research and innovation. Further details on the type of expertise sought are set out in the full text of the call published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
    • Is there any remuneration provided for experts?
      a. For research and innovation programmes:
      As an expert you are entitled to a fee of EUR 450 for each full day actually worked and to the reimbursement of travel expenses (to and from the point of departure and to and from the place of meeting) and subsistence expenses.
      If selected to work as an expert, you will receive a contract through the electronic system on the Participant Portal for research and innovation programme and on the EACEA web site for their programme. The contract defines all the rights and obligations and terms and conditions that apply. The contract does not constitute an employment agreement. Any payment received as an expert is not exempted from national taxes and you are obliged to ensure compliance with national legislation on taxes and social security law.
      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.
    • 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 evaluator's 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.
    • 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 monitoring requiring your particular expertise. This could be at any time during the duration of the framework programme (i.e. up to the end of 2020). Assistance in the monitoring of projects may also be requested as long as there are still on-going projects funded by the framework programme. Similarly, assistance in evaluating the progress, outcome and impact of programmes/giving advice on the shape of future activities may be requested after the end of the framework programme.
    • 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 Commission's requirement to match these skills to the proposals received or projects to monitor. 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 H2020, but it is clear that there will be a number of persons having applied who will never be contacted.
    • What is the difference between the various types of expert assignments?
      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.
      Monitoring work involves assisting the Commission's project officers by supervising the progress of on-going projects or actions already funded by the European Commission.
      Preparation, implementation or evaluation of programmes and design of policies work involves assisting 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.
    • How do I register as an expert for the advisory groups?
      Experts from all relevant fields who are interested in participating in shaping the agenda of Horizon 2020 through the work of the advisory groups are invited to register through the Expert Area of the Participant Portal:
      Details of the Horizon 2020 advisory groups are available on the Horizon 2020 website:
    • Is the call for experts published on 24 January 2013 for the set-up of the first Horizon 2020 advisory groups now closed?
      The call for all types of experts for Horizon 2020, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 22 November 2013 (OJ C342) replaces the call published on 24 January 2013 for the first Horizon 2020 advisory groups.
      Experts who already submitted their application in response to the initial call are still eligible for selection by the Commission services for the replacement of resigning experts and the renewal of the advisory groups at the end of each mandate.
    • If I already submitted my application in response to the call launched on 24 January 2013, do I need to register again through the Expert Area of the Participant Portal to be considered as an expert for Horizon 2020 advisory groups?
      No, for the replacement of resigning experts and the renewal of the advisory groups at the end of each mandate, the Commission services will also draw from the database of experts who already submitted their application in response to the call on 24 January 2013.
    • 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 contracted as an expert, you are asked to sign a declaration stating exactly which proposals you have a link with and which may create a conflict of interest. You also undertakes to inform the Commission should you have a conflict of interest with any proposal you are asked to examine. The European Commission takes all the necessary steps in order to avoid any conflicts of interest. While you could not be an evaluator of your own proposal or of proposals competing with it, you could be an evaluator of other proposals not competing with yours.
    • 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 Horizon 2020 Associated Country) is welcome to register their profile in the expert database with a view to assisting the European Commission as an expert.
    • 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 contract, so it is possible to decline the invitation at this stage. If you receives a contract and for some reason you are not able to attend during some or all of the days proposed for the evaluation, you must inform the Commission's services immediately. Evidently, an expert must always refuse to evaluate a proposal or monitor a project if you feel that there would be a conflict of interest in doing so.
    • 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.
    • Can I register if I am retired?
      Yes, you can register as an expert even if you are retired.
    • What do I need to tell my current employer in the case that I am selected?
      It is your responsibility to inform your employer should you be selected for an assignment as an expert and follow any procedures put in place by your employer.
      You should of course be attentive to any conflict of interest with respect to your activities as an expert and should this arise, report this immediately to the Contracting Authority or funding body.

    Contracting and Payment

    • If I am selected for an assignment, how will I be informed?
      If selected for an assignment, you will first be contacted by the European Commission service to check your availability. Once your selection is confirmed, you will receive an email requesting you to provide your identity and financial details. This is necessary in order to issue you with a contract.
      The process is entirely electronic via the Expert Area in the Participant Portal. You will receive email notifications for each step of the process.
    • Which document do I need to provide to prove my identity?
      You need to complete your identity details directly in the Expert Area in the Participant Portal which is accessible from the link indicated in the email notification you will receive or if you received such a notification, by logging-in to the Expert Area in the Participant Portal.
      In addition, you will need to upload a scan of a document proving your identity (ID card or passport preferably or in certain countries which don’t have an ID card, a driving license may be accepted).
    • Which document do I need to provide to prove existence of my bank account?
      You need to complete your bank account details directly in the Expert Area in the Participant Portal which is accessible from the link provided in the email you will receive or if you received such a notification, by logging-in to the Expert Area in the Participant Portal.
      Eligible supporting documents are either a bank statement indicating the bank name, account name and number/IBAN (if applicable) or, a financial identification form, stamped, dated and signed by a bank representative.
    • How do I sign my contract electronically?
      The electronic signature replaces the traditional blue ink signature. You will receive an email notification informing you that a contract has been sent to you by the Commission for your signature which is accessible from the link provided in the email you will receive or if you received such a notification, by logging-in to the Expert Area in the Participant Portal.
      Prior to signing your contract, you will be presented with a screen inviting you to make some declarations. Firstly, to confirm that your point of departure to the meeting place is the address indicated in the contract (your official address) or request a change in your point of departure for the assignment in question. Secondly, to declare whether or not you have any conflict of interest. Finally, you will declare that you accept the terms of the code of conduct (Annex 1 of the contract). Once you have filled in all the sections of this screen, you can proceed to the signature itself.
      To sign the contract, you will simply have to enter your personal ECAS password.
      You will then be directed back to the Participant Portal where you will see that the signature status on the left-hand side has changed to signed and the ‘proceed to sign’ button becomes inactive.
      An electronic seal will be displayed at the end of your contract once it has been signed by both parties and you will be notified once it’s accessible to you in the Participant Portal.
    • How will I be paid for my work as an expert?
      On the day you are due to commence work, you will receive an email notifying you that you can start to draft your payment request (claim). On the morning after your work has been completed, you will be notified that you can now submit your payment request.
    • How do I prepare my payment request (claim)?
      First, you have to choose the bank account on which you wish to be paid. Then you fill in the number of days worked remotely and on-site and whether you wish to claim daily and accommodation allowances.
      If you have travelled to the meeting place, for each part of the journey, you enter the amount of the expenses incurred and upload scanned copies of the documents related to your journey (e.g. for a flight, the invoice, itinerary and boarding passes).
    • How long does it take to be paid for my work as an expert?
      Once you submit your payment request, and assuming that the information is complete, you will be paid within 30 days. Once the payment has been made, you will be notified by email and provided with a statement outlining the details of the payment.

    Helpdesk

    • What is the RSS format?
      RSS is a data presentation format facilitating the automated broadcast of information streams to Internet users. It also facilitates the syndication of content by giving other web sites the opportunity to reproduce such data, in full or in part, with ease.
      With the RSS format there is no need to visit your favourite sites one by one to receive news from them; all you have to do is enter their RSS information stream into a compatible program and all your news sources will appear on a single screen!
      In this way, by receiving Research Participant Portal information streams you can read the latest news published on our site on your computer screen without even having to visit our homepage.
    • How to access RSS feeds?
      There are several ways to receive information streams published by Research Participant Portal on your computer.
      You can :
      • use your e-mail application to consult this information source while reading your e-mails
      • use your Internet browser to display the various newsfeeds in the form of a homepage
      • use specialist RSS information stream aggregation software, known as an RSS reader or news aggregator
      • or even read information streams on your smartphone, PDA or pocket PC connected via Bluetooth to a GRPS mobile phone.
      Whichever method you choose, you must register the URL of each newsfeed you wish to receive in the chosen software. This is a very simple operation - often it only takes a mouse click.
      Indeed, most sites broadcasting information streams display a small icon on their RSS or XML pages. By clicking on the icon, your software application will recognise the information stream automatically and add it to your content aggregation list.
    • What do they look like?
      For a first look at a newsfeed, without installing anything on your computer, you can use an online RSS reader which can read any RSS feed. Open a new window in your browser and enter one of the following URLs in the address field:
      This is what a Research Participant Portal RSS feed looks like. If you wish to view another feed, simply enter its address in the address field. Now you can move on to the next step by installing a real content aggregation tool.
      There are content aggregators to suit all users and all platforms; many are available free of charge.

    • How can I read RSS feeds? RSS feeds, on this site, are indicated by orange icons next to the title of a specific RSS feed.
      Clicking the icon will take you to a page that describes the feed in greater detail. From there you can click a link to open the feed window. Copy and paste its URL into your newsreader to subscribe.
      Some browsers including Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome, automatically support RSS and do not require you to paste the feed URL into a separate reader.
      If you have difficulties subscribing to a feed, please refer to the instructions that come with your reader.
      When new content is published, you can use the reader to scan headlines and click through to our web site to view the full version of the article or feature.
    • How do I get a newsreader?
      There are many different versions of newsreaders, some accessed using a browser and some which are downloadable applications. Deciding which one to use is a matter of personal choice. Different readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer.
      Below is a list of popular readers that you may wish to use:
      Windows :
      Mac OSX :
      Web :
    • How do I unsubscribe from an RSS feed?
      Please refer to the instructions that come with your browser or newsreader if you would like to unsubscribe from an RSS feed.
    • Webmasters
      Content contained in Research Participant Portal RSS feeds can be added to websites in a number of different ways. Each method for displaying the RSS feed has pros and cons associated with it. Webmasters will need to determine which option will best meet their hosting and technology needs.
      Using JavaScript to Display RSS :
      JavaScript is the easiest way to display RSS feeds on a website. There are a number of sites that will allow you to generate code that can be inserted into a website. The JavaScript will auto-update, showing the latest headlines as the feed is updated. Each time a visitor visits the website the JavaScript pulls the data from the feed. Often, the various scripts can be customized so that the look of the feed can be made to match a specific website. When JavaScript is used to display RSS feeds, search engines do not actually "see" the contents of the feed, meaning that the search engines will not index the contents of the feed within the website.
      Feedroll :
      Feedroll is a free service for syndicating RSS and ATOM news feeds on your website. Simply select a feed, customize the design, then copy and paste the code provided onto your page - Feedroll
      Using PHP to Display RSS :
      PHP is a slightly more complex solution for displaying RSS. Like JavaScript, as the contents of the feed update, the webpage contents will update as the page is refreshed. The benefit of using PHP to display RSS is that the contents of the feed displayed with the webpage can be spidered and indexed by search engines. The result is a feed that always displays the most current information from the RSS feed and the webpage content is considered search engine spider- and robot-friendly.
      rss2html.php :
      The rss2html.php script allows users to create webpages that will always display the most current information from the RSS feed, and because the resulting page is pure HTML, it will be in a search engine robots-friendly format. Using rss2html.php, webmasters can customize the format and look of the webpage created from the feed. The RSS feed's contents can easily be integrated into an existing website's theme. The rss2html.php script parses the RSS file, extracts the pertinent information, formats it, and serves it up as regular HTML - Feedforall
      Using ASP to Display RSS :
      ASP is similar to PHP. The free ASP/ASP.NET scripts can be used to convert RSS feeds into HTML and display on ASP/ASP.NET web-server.
      rss2html.asp :
      ByteScout has implemented a guide for displaying RSS/XML feeds using free RSS2HTML.ASP script in an ASP or ASP.NET environment. This script can be used free of charge on any ASP or ASP.NET webserver and generate HTML from RSS feeds. This free ASP script uses MSXML to load RSS feeds from a URL and display it. You can either use it as a standalone or call it from a script on an HTML page to generate HTML contents from RSS feeds and then display them on your HTML page - Bytescout
      RssFeed :
      RssFeed is an open-source custom ASP.NET server control that displays the contents of a specified RSS feed in an ASP.NET webpage - RssFeed
      If PHP or ASP is used to update feeds, the website will have free fresh and relevant content each time the feeds referenced are updated.
      Export RSS to HTML :
      If you wish to dress up the feed's appearance you can use a template exporting the feed as HTML or as an HTML table. Publishers can incorporate exported tables into an HTML template using a server-side include. Each time the feed is updated, the feed will need to be exported to HTML and uploaded along with the feed. Though this only takes a few moments, exporting RSS to HTML does require webmaster intervention to update the content. The end result, though, is a complete webpage with an RSS feed in it that will be search engine-friendly.
      FeedForAll :
      FeedForAll allows users to export RSS feeds from RSS to HTML. The look of the HTML can be modified to match an existing website's design - Feedforall
      Using Services :
      There are a number of services available that host and display RSS feeds, in many cases free of charge. Because these services operate on a different domain server there is little benefit to endusers displaying their feeds in this fashion. That said, the services are generally free of charge, so you get what you pay for.
      RSS2HTML.com :
      Select a layout and a color scheme then enter the URL of the feed. A web page URL will be generated that will display the feed in the selected scheme - RSS2hTML
      FeedBurner :
      FeedBurner provides a number of online services. Among them is a service that displays RSS feeds on a website - Feedburner
      Using XSL to Display RSS :
      Although using XSL and CSS stylesheets to display XML directly is easy to understand in theory, it is rather tricky to implement in the real world and is very tough for beginners to use successfully. Webmasters must be fairly familiar with CSS and XSL to have the formatting work well, and webmasters then have to address browser incompatibilities and exceptions. As a result, not a lot of resources or services yet exist to display RSS using XSL.
      Using highly targeted feeds, webmasters can enhance their websites with themed content. Ultimately, providing relevant, educational or newsworthy information from reputable related sources will establish expertise in a specific area.
    • Research Participant Portal RSS feeds
      Choose your feed:
    • What is iCalendar?
      iCalendar is a computer file format which allows Internet users to send meeting requests and tasks to other Internet users, via email, or sharing files with an extension of .ics. Recipients of the iCalendar data file (with supporting software, such as an email client or calendar application) can respond to the sender easily or counter propose another meeting date/time.
      iCalendar is used and supported by a large number of products, including Google Calendar, Apple iCal, GoDaddy Online Group Calendar, IBM Lotus Notes, Yahoo! Calendar, Evolution (software), Lightning extension for Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey, and partially by Microsoft Outlook.
    • How to subscribe?
      Google Calendar :
      To add a calendar using iCal address, follow these steps:
      1. Click the down-arrow next to Other calendars
      2. Select Add by URL from the menu
      3. Find the address of the Google Calendar in iCalendar format, or you can use as well the iCalendar address of a calendar from a different application (for example, Apple's iCal) if you have it.
      4. Enter the address in the field provided
      5. Click the Add Calendar button. The calendar will appear in the Other Calendars section of the calendar list to the left.
      Microsoft Outlook 2007 :
      To add a calendar using iCal address, follow these steps:
      1. In the menu, select "File," and then "Data File Management"
      2. Select the "Internet Calendars" tab
      3. Click "New", and then paste the iCal URL into the field.
      Microsoft Outlook 2010 :
      To add a calendar using iCal address, follow these steps:
      1. From the Calendar view, select 'Open Calendar' from the Manage Calendars group, and then select 'From internet'.
      2. In the pop-up window enter the url of the iCal page (found below as 'iCalendar for FP7 Calls'). Click on 'OK'.
      3. In Outlook 2010 you will now have a new 'FP7 Calls' calendar which includes the current FP7 calls information at the time of import.
    • Research Participant Portal iCalendars
    • Is it possible for a start-up to apply?
      Start-ups are not excluded, but the SME instrument is not meant as a company creation vehicle/instrument, but rather supports the growth of companies with interesting, innovative ideas with European or global potential.
    • Can we apply for more EU funding to cover the 30% of costs not covered by the SME Instrument?
      No. The remaining 30% must come from your business and can be from different sources, e.g. equity, private investment etc. Double EU funding for the same project is prohibited.
    • Does the SME instrument have its specific grant agreement or does it follow the Model General Grant Agreement?
      SME instrument Phase 1 and SME instrument Phase 2 have their specific Grant Agreements (see annotated specific SME Instrument Phase 1 Grant Agreement and annotated specific SME Instrument Phase 2 Grant Agreement). In exceptional cases, defined in the Work Programme, when the funding rate can be up to 100%, the General Model Grant Agreement applies for phase 2 instead of the specific SME instrument Grant Agreement.
    • Questions on phase 1
      1. Is sub-contracting allowed for the completion of the feasibility study?
        Sub-contracting is possible, but needs to be justified. It must be in line with the 'best-value-for-money' principle, and conflicts of interest must be avoided (see subcontracting clauses in annotated specific SME Instrument Phase 1 Grant Agreement).
      2. What happens if the project is stopped after phase 1 (i.e. if the deployment is not viable)?
        It is an acceptable outcome of the feasibility assessment in phase 1 to stop the project if the technical/technological and/or commercial viability of the innovation idea could not be demonstrated.
        The lump sum will be paid for a completed feasibility study, if the reporting obligations are fulfilled and tasks have been carried out as described in Annex I of the grant agreement.
        The lump sum will not be granted in case only part of the foreseen work has been carried out.
    • Questions on phase 2
      1. Is there a minimum budget to apply for funding?
        No. Projects with any budget amounts can be selected for funding. However, the Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of EUR 500 000 to EUR 2.5 million would allow phase 2 to be addressed appropriately.
      2. When preparing a proposal for phase 2, what does market replication in the submission template mean?
        Market replication can be a way for participating SMEs to reach a large mass of customers and sustainable self-sufficiency in the short/medium term.
      3. How do I declare the costs of a phase 2 project?
        The general Horizon 2020 financial rules apply.
      4. Are marketing costs direct eligible costs?
        If communication and interaction activities with potential investors or customers, or dissemination of milestone achievements during the project (under a Work Package communication and dissemination activities), are necessary to implement the project, then those costs are eligible.
        Activities or products purely intended to support commercial purposes do not qualify as eligible costs.
      5. What rules apply to subcontracting?
        Work can be subcontracted to operators in line with the best-value-for-money principle, and provided that conflicts of interest are avoided;
        For SME instrument Phase 2, subcontracting is not restricted to a limited part of the action. However, for very high subcontracting levels in a Phase 2 project, the motivation or the capacity of the participant to carry out the action could be subject to doubt and would have to be very well justified, given the intervention logic of the SME instrument.
        For the SME instrument Phase 2, experts assess the 'best value for money' of subcontracts separately during the evaluation of the proposal. It will therefore be possible to give higher security on subcontracts that are part of the proposal. Subcontracts that have been positively assessed cannot be put into question afterwards (see subcontracting clauses in the annotated specific SME Instrument Phase 2 Model Grant Agreement; not applicable for exceptional cases, defined in the Work Programme when the funding rate is 100% and the General Model Grant Agreement applies).
      6. To which extent can research and development activities be supported?
        The core should be innovation activities and envisaging a TRL 6 and higher (or similar for non-technological innovations). However, some parts of the activities may include some research and development.
      7. Are there guidelines on the readiness of prototypes, so I can in order to help me to situate my proposal?
        The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) sequencer in the General annex G of the work programme gives you guidance. The SME instrument asks applicants to present innovation projects that have reached TRL 6 as a minimum (or similar for non-technological innovations). This means that the proposed activities have to take place in the operational or production environment.
    • Questions on implementation
      1. Do I know the result of my application earlier if I submit earlier?
        Applicants will receive feedback on the evaluation outcome within a short time after submitting their application. The information whether a project can be funded can only be communicated after the respective cut-off dates.
      2. I see a risk that our competitors will hear about our concept in the context of action meetings or dissemination measures, and that we may lose some time advantage. What will be the benefits of entering phase 1?
        Phase 1 is not mandatory, but recommended so as to be able to present a well substantiated proposal for phase 2. It supports SMEs to assess all aspects, including the commercial potential, of an innovation project.
        Phase 1 projects are short, around six months or less, and leaner and meaner in project administration than phase 2 projects. Time-to-grant for phase 1 projects is 3 months.
      3. Our concept would be of great interest to our market competitors. How is confidentiality ensured in both the evaluation phase and in phase 1?
        Expert evaluators and Commission staff are bound by a confidentiality agreement and will incur serious sanctions in case of violations. Commission staff will verify that no conflicts of interest could occur before a proposal is allocated to experts. Furthermore, applicants are entitled to name three experts and their affiliation that will not be allowed to consult and evaluate the submitted proposal.
        Project outputs will be classified by different confidentiality levels up to publishable results.
      4. Does phase 3 have to follow phase 2 or can it be done at the same time?
        Successful completion of phase 2 will give the innovation project of participating SMEs with a kind of quality label, which will open possibilities for support from the access to risk finance facilities under Horizon 2020 and COSME phase 2.
        Some complementary services supporting commercialisation can already be accessed during phase 2, such as those offered by the Enterprise Europe Network.
      5. What about periodic reporting in the respective phases?
        There is one report at the end of phase 1 and periodic reports for phase 2 projects.
    • Questions on access to complementary support / funding
      1. What are the differences between the SME instrument and Eurostars (in terms of scope and type of projects)? Can the funding be combined?
        Eurostars provides funding for transnational, collaborative projects, led by R&D performing SMEs in participating EUREKA countries, while the SME instrument offers full-cycle support for all types of innovation performed by all kinds of innovative SMEs that are based in the EU or to Horizon 2020 associated countries. Only the SME instrument supports single companies.
        Funding may be complementary in certain cases, but can never be effectively combined.
    • For candidate evaluators/coaches
      1. Is it possible to apply as evaluator even though my company wants to submit a proposal?
        Yes: you do not evaluate the proposal your company submits.
      2. Where/when do I have to apply if I want to evaluate projects supported by the SME instrument?
        You should register as an expert at the participant portal. Currently, there is no deadline for registration.
      3. Where/when do I have to apply if I want to be a coach?
        Information on expected profiles and opening of expression of interest will be communicated shortly
      4. Which type of contract will be offered to expert evaluators / coaches?
        Coaches and experts will be remunerated in the same manner. Please refer to the appropriate section of the Participants Portal for more information .
    • MORE INFORMATION
      1. Leaflet on SME instrument,
      2. SME National Contact Point or Enterprise Europe Network ,
      3. SME instrument call-page at the participant portal ,
      4. Proposal templates for phase 1 and for phase 2
      5. Are there any official information days or training days foreseen?
        Information events are held on a regular basis, many times in Brussels, Belgium. To keep track of relevant events, please consult the Horizon 2020 portal events page or the SME Techweb .