EU project management Q&A #1

Published on 29 Jan. 2021 by Tomislav Rozman

Erika asks, Tomislav answers

Erica, one of our EU project manager course attendees asked ‘a few’ questions related to course materials. Questions made me think: If those answers can not be easily found within the learning materials, we have to explain, clarify and disseminate them.

Erica agreed and we are publishing this Q&A session for you, dear EU project manager, to make your life easier.

This is the 1st part (of 4).

Tomislav Rozman, BICERO team

Questions & answers part #1

1. Is it possible that there are several EU programs/calls to fund a project idea? For example in the cybercrime area? So far I could only find one.

Yes. It depends on which aspect of the problem you are addressing. For example: if you want to upskill a group of people in several countries, you could use E+. If you’re developing a technology which tackles cybercrime, you could use Horizon.

2. How to identify the instrument within a call? I see sometimes they are clearly mentioned but other times not. Also, the name style can be very different.

I admit it is not straightforward. It takes a lot of research, browsing through the programmes, calls and reading the themes addressed within calls. I know this is not a satisfactory answer, but I’m not aware of any other way.

3. How to find out how many grants are available within a call? Again, sometimes it is easy to find and other times not. Any tips?

Sometimes the programme guide of a call explicitly tells you: “We will fund 3 projects”. Sometimes you have to calculate this number by yourself. If you know the budget available for a specific call and a maximum budget per project, you just divide the numbers. E. g. There is a 1,5M budget available for the E+ call in Poland (apr 2020) and max. budget / project is 300k€, the approx. number of grants is 5.

4. It was not easy to find the authorities that manage decentralized projects. Any advice on how to search for them?

Search for keywords: “Programme name + country name (or national contact point)”. E. g. Erasmus+ France

E+ lists all national agencies here:

Horizon National Contact Points:

5. Is there a minimum or a maximum number of partners that can join a consortium?

Yes, the call prescribes the minimum number of partners (requirements about the location, type of an organization, ...).

6. Does the consortium need to be finished/signed before the GA or can it be done during the project?

The consortium needs to be closed before signing the grant agreement.

7. Does it depend on the call? I saw contradictory information about it.

The number and type of partners depends on the call. ‘Multilateral projects’ implicitly foresee multiple partners from different countries. If you’re asking about a closed consortium before signing GA: To my knowledge the consortium needs to be closed. I never came across a call that specifies open consortium, but I might be wrong.

8. What are the work packages types?

In general: management and core (non-management). Sometimes you’ll also see other WP types: “Standard WP”, “Ethics & security WP”.

8. What are the work packages types?

In general: management and core (non-management). Sometimes you’ll also see other WP types: “Standard WP”, “Ethics & security WP”.

9. How can I calculate the number of days needed to calculate the costs of staff?

If the daily rate is pre-defined unit cost (See E+ programme guide pg. 128), you multiply no. of days * daily rate.

So, how do you find out the number of days? That’s the art of project planning. I divide the project to WPs, deliverables and activities, then use project planning tools (ProjectLibre or Excel) to prepare an activity plan and foresee the number of days needed to complete the project activity.

See also our blog post How to calculate the EU project budget.

10. How can I calculate the costs needed for meetings if the meeting doesn't last the whole day? Does the same formula still apply? N. persons x n. days x daily rate?

Partner project meeting duration is rounded to days. (1 or 2 is usually enough). Other intermediate meetings (e. g. video conference meetings) can be treated as project management activities budget heading, not meetings.

You are invited to read also other blog posts.