The Research Executive Agency (REA) is taking several measures to minimise the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this challenging moment, ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and of the people we work with remains our top priority.
The majority of our staff have been working remotely since Monday 16 March, like all other European Commission services. While we are doing our best to remain fully operational, we are facing numerous challenges, especially when it comes to the stability of our IT applications.
You will find below the latest decisions taken at European Commission level which have an impact on our research management activities.
Calls for project proposals
As announced by the Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner on Twitter, the deadlines for Horizon 2020 calls with original deadlines between 16 March and 15 April have been extended. The new deadlines for each call and topic are published on the Funding and Tenders Portal.
The following call, managed by the REA, is postponed:
- The Science with and for Society (SwafS) call has been extended until 23 April.
Evaluations and experts
Ongoing and upcoming project proposals’ evaluations are being organised remotely. We are grateful to our excellent expert evaluators and devoted staff, who are working hard to ensure top quality evaluations while meeting keeping the deadlines.
The REA has been in direct contact with all experts concerned to let them know that we will reimburse them all the non-refundable eligible travel and accommodation expenses they incurred prior to the decision to move to virtual meetings, in accordance with the usual rules and procedures.
Further information on expert contracting in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak is available on the Funding and Tenders Portal.
Grant management activities continue, however our response time may be affected due to IT constraints. We are applying a flexible approach to grant management and our staff are assessing each request on a case-by-case basis. In case of doubt, please get in touch with your Project Officer and check the FAQs on the Funding and Tenders Portal:
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, how may beneficiaries address potential delays in finalising the action tasks at the last reporting period in order for the consortium to be able to submit the final report and to be paid?
- In case a H2020 Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowships researcher decides to return to Europe during the outbreak, what will happen with the project? If teleworking is allowed, can the MSCA researcher telework either in a third country or in Europe?
- One of the requirements under MSCA projects is the “mobility rule” (see Part 3 of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020). What happens if the mobility rule can no longer be fulfilled as a consequence of the COVID-19 related travel restrictions?
- Can the beneficiary in Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) pay the MSCA researcher less during the COVID-19 period, such as not to pay a mobility allowance as the researcher cannot travel?
- What happens to researcher costs in Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) when there are difficulties in implementing the MSCA action due to the COVID-19 situation?
- Will the Commission/Agency be flexible if beneficiaries need to modify the researcher recruitment and working conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak (e.g. suspend MSCA researcher’s contract or include part-time working arrangements)?
- Related to the COVID-19 outbreak, how will the Commission/Research Executive Agency (REA) handle delays in the project implementation in Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSCA) ongoing grants?
- What about Horizon 2020 grants involving public procurement when there are difficulties in implementing procurement contracts due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
- What supporting documentation must beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 grants keep to prove the impact of ‘force majeure’ or delays in the submission of deliverables, reports or implementation of the action due to COVID-19 outbreak?
- Will there be flexibility for beneficiaries in H2020 lump sum pilot grants, if the work packages cannot be completed at the end of the reporting period due to COVID-19 outbreak?
- How can beneficiaries support the hours worked in the Horizon 2020 action if the employees cannot sign or have their timesheets countersigned due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures?
- In Horizon 2020 grants, what happens to costs for equipment purchased exclusively for the action implementation when it cannot be used due to the COVID-19
- In Horizon 2020 grants, will there be any flexibility given in relation to beneficiaries’ usual travel costs practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Is there any possibility to rapidly re-direct work in on-going Horizon 2020 projects to help tackling the Covid-19 outbreak?
- What happens to costs in Horizon 2020 grants when there are difficulties in implementing the action due to the Covid-19 situation?
- Related to the Covid-19 outbreak, what happens in Horizon 2020 grants if beneficiaries cannot submit all/complete elements for their reports related to interim and final payments?
- Related to the Covid-19 outbreak, how will the funding bodies handle possible delays in submitting deliverables and reports in Horizon 2020 grants?
- Related to the Covid-19 outbreak, is it possible in Horizon 2020 grants to postpone the starting date of the action?
- Expert contract in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak – Does the evaluation or monitoring review still taking place?
- Can the clause on "force majeure" in the Horizon 2020 grant management be invoked in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak?
- Will the deadlines for Horizon 2020 calls be extended in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak?
11 May 2020