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The EU Contribution is made up of 5 different cost categories:
Cost category 1: Monthly living allowance; provides a monthly living allowance for the researcher. It takes into account the level of experience of the researcher and the cost of living in the country of the host. Researchers should always be appointed under an employment contract with full social security coverage.
Cost category 2: Monthly mobility allowance; provides a monthly mobility allowance to cover expenses linked to the personal household, relocation and travel expenses of the researcher. Family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national legislation of the country of the beneficiary or of the nationality of the researcher, or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher.
Cost category 3: Contribution to the training expenses of eligible researchers and research/transfer of knowledge programme expenses; provides a contribution per researcher-month managed by the beneficiary for expenses related to the participation of the researcher in research and training activities (contribution to research-related costs, meetings, conference attendance, training actions, courses etc).
- In addition, this contribution covers expenses related to:
- the execution of the training/partnership project (for example publication of vacant positions, internal training actions, training materials, etc),
- the coordination between beneficiaries (for example partnership meetings, secondment of staff, etc),
- the organisation of international conferences, workshops and events open to beneficiaries outside the network, including: organisational expenses (invitation of keynote speakers, publications, rental of premises, web casting) and participation fees of eligible researchers from outside the partnership.
For each researcher-month of actual employment, except Visiting Researchers in ITN, the beneficiary is entitled to the corresponding monthly amount (€1800) in Category 3 and for the purposes of financial reporting for Category 3, beneficiaries should report the full flat rate for each fellow month.
Cost category 4: Management activities; provides a contribution of maximum of 10% of the total EU contribution per project for management activities.
Management costs cover, among other, the cost of the salary of a person dedicated to assist with the administrative, legal or financial management of the project, the fee to an external independent auditor for submitting mandatory certificates on the financial statements, participation in mid-term review meetings etc. A portion of the salary of the scientist-in-charge corresponding to the time spent on the administrative duties performed may also be charged to category 4. A non-exhaustive list of such activities can be found in Annex II, Article II.15 of the Grant Agreement. They notably include:
- maintenance of the consortium agreement (for multi beneficiary projects);
- the overall legal, ethical, financial and administrative management for each of the beneficiaries;
- obtaining the certificates on the financial statements and costs relating to financial audits and technical reviews;
- any other management activities foreseen by the annexes.
Category 4 is a real cost category. Therefore full records of expenditure must be retained and provided to the REA (or any person/organisation acting on its behalf) upon request. For any salary costs charged to Category 4, timesheets must be completed and retained.
Cost category 5: Contribution to overheads; Indirect costs are all those eligible costs which cannot be identified by the beneficiary as being directly attributed to the project but which can be identified and justified by its accounting system as being incurred in direct relationship with the eligible direct costs attributed to the project.
The following costs may be considered, by way of example, as overheads: costs connected with infrastructures and the general operation of the organisation such as hiring or depreciation of buildings and plant, water/gas/electricity, maintenance, insurance, supplies and petty office equipment, communication and connection costs, postage, etc. and costs connected with horizontal services such as administrative and financial management, human resources, training, legal advice, documentation, etc.
In case a financial audit demonstrates that certain direct costs were effectively implemented through subcontracting or related to resources made available by third parties not used in the premises of the beneficiary, the amount of indirect costs can be decreased.