Horizon 2020 Spotlight – What is the Model Grant Agreement?

horizon2020-prezivisual-309-235For Horizon 2020 projects, all beneficiaries have to sign a grant agreement (GA) with the Commission. These are based on a standard Model Grant Agreement (MGA) which is a substantive document of over a hundred pages. Importantly, there is available an annotated version of the Model Grant Agreement (MGA), which provides clarification on individual articles. Although a complete version of the basic Annotated MGA is already available online (Participant Portal), further annotations will be added with time, as Horizon 2020 progresses. There is one overall MGA for Horizon 2020 which is adapted in certain places depending on the programme or project type. There will be one model for multi- and one for mono- beneficiary grants (for example for an ERC Starting Grant where only a single beneficiary is involved). The MGA actually consists of a “catalogue” of documents, including a number of annexes. There are also models of the texts that are inserted for specific actions, such as for European Research Council (ERC) projects or for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The primary annexes are:

Annex I, description of the action – the technical details of the project adapted through negotiation from the original proposal.

Annex II, the budget – table of the estimated budget for the Horizon 2020 project, with breakdown of costs for each beneficiary. It provides the total costs and the amount of the EU contribution.

Annex III, accession of partners – the MGA is signed by the project co-ordinator and the European Commission, and project partners accede the MGA by signing an accession form (Annex III to the MGA).

Annex IV, Model financial statements – this form will be completed by beneficiaries at the end of a reporting period and builds on Annex II, the budget table.

Annex V, Model for the certificate on the financial statements –the model for the audit certificate which in Horizon 2020 is only due at the end of the project, and only when a beneficiary claims more than EUR 325,000 in EU contribution.

Annex VI, Model for the certificate on the methodology – for beneficiaries that wish to obtain certification on their methodology for charging direct personnel costs declared as unit costs.  There are additional annexes for some specific schemes, such as ERA-NETs.

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