EU project management Q&A #2

Published on 8 Feb. 2021 by Tomislav Rozman

Erika asks, Tomislav answers, part #2

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 2st part (of 4).

Tomislav Rozman, BICERO team

Questions & answers part #2

11. How and where can I check the maximum daily rate? And the maximum for traveling and accommodation costs?

Daily rates and travel costs are specified in ‘programme guides’. They can differ between countries and roles (manager, trainer/researcher, technician, admin).

There are 2 models to calculate them: real costs and unit costs method. Example of daily rates unit costs: E+ programme guide pg. 128

12. How can I calculate the depreciation of the equipment? How do I know the percentage that needs to be used and how to calculate the value for each year?

In accordance with the beneficiary’s usual accounting practices and with international accounting standards.

You have to take into account actual usage of equipment and its depreciation rate.

H2020 case: Annotated grant agreement, 6. 2. D. 2 (page 82)

Example: A microscope was bought before the action started and was not fully depreciated. For 6 months in reporting period 1 it was used for the action for 50% of the time and for other activities for the other 50% of the time. Linear depreciation is applied according to the beneficiary’s usual practices (depreciation over the expected period of use of the microscope): EUR 100 000 per year (EUR 50 000 for 6 months). Costs declared for the project: EUR 50 000 (6 months of use) multiplied by 50 % of use for the action during those 6 months = EUR 25 000.

13. Could you please explain: what is Unit costs?

Unit costs type of calculation means you get a fixed amount of money for e. g. 1 day of work or 1 day of travel. If the actual cost (of travel) is higher, the partner must cover it.

14. Could you please explain: Subsistence costs?

Subsistence costs: costs related to travel (accommodation, local transport, food, insurance, taxes, daily allowance...)

15. Could you please explain: Costs for ad hoc queries?

A term from the Multi-Beneficiary Model Grant Agreement: Internal Security Fund — Borders and Visa, Internal Security Fund — Police, Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund & Justice Programme — Drugs Policy Initiatives

Ad-hoc query is unplanned, a non-standard inquiry. An ad hoc query is created to obtain information as the need arises.

In this specific case:

“EMN Ad-Hoc Queries are a means by which EMN NCPs and the Commission can collect comparative information from each Member States in a relatively short time on a wide range of asylum- and migration-related issues, e.g. legal migration, irregular migration, borders, return, visas etc.”

(from EC Migration and Home Affairs webpage)

16. Could you please explain: Interim payments?

Interim payment: payment from the authorities to the consortium during the project, if the report is satisfactory.

17. Could you please explain: Payment by results?

Payment by results: You get paid for successfully producing e. g. Intellectual Output (in E+), not directly by the invested effort. If you report only timesheets without the actual results, you won’t get paid.

18. What are the most common indirect cost?

Direct cost: salaries, equipment, travels, events,...

Indirect costs: costs related to running the partner organization, e. g. rents, utility costs, telecommunications,...

19. Where can I find the templates for financial planning?

Usually you can find (Excel/Word) templates for financial planning in a document package (application package) on the web page of the specific call. This applies to smaller, specific or local calls.

Example: Interreg

Some programmes (E+, H2020, Creative Europe) offer online application forms with input fields for all costs and you don’t need separate spreadsheets with financial plans.


20. Can you please explain “in-kind resources and contributions”?

In-kind contributions are donations of goods, services or time — instead of cash. Who is donating? The project partner. Why? Usually to cover co-financing of the project.

They can be free or against payment.

Example (H2020):

Example (in-kind contribution against payment): Civil servant working as a professor in a public university. His salary is paid by the government (the ministry) which employs him. According to the secondment agreement, the beneficiary (the university) has to reimburse the government an amount corresponding to the paid salary. The reimbursed amount is a cost for the beneficiary and is recorded as such in its accounts. The beneficiary will declare the amount reimbursed to the government in its financial statements.

Example (in-kind contribution free of charge): Civil servant working as a professor in a public university. His salary is paid not by the beneficiary (the university) but by the government (the ministry). According to the secondment agreement, the government does not ask any reimbursement in exchange (non-cash donation). The beneficiary will declare these salary costs in its financial statements, even if they are paid by a third party (the ministry/government).

(From H2020 AMGA, pg. 128)

You are invited to read also other blog posts.