Project management

Home Participate Project management

Most EU-funded projects are collaborative projects with organisations from different EU countries or associated countries organised in a form of an consortium managed by a project coordinator. If the grant is awarded, a contract, called ‘grant agreement’, is signed and the project implementation can start. Guidance is available at each step of the way, in the form of reporting templates and deadlines to keep to throughout the project. Find information about the different steps in project management.

Signature of a grant agreement

Once a proposal passes the evaluation stage, applicants are informed about the outcome. If the grant is awarded, you will be invited to sign a detailed contract called a “grant agreement”. As an applicant you may have to follow a number of steps at this stage:

  • provide further legal and administrative details not included in the proposal;
  • be ready to amend your proposal as indicated in the evaluation report, if applicable.

Reporting, deliverables and visibility requirements

To make sure your project is carried out according to agreed standards and deadlines, there are a few steps to take into account:

  • reporting  – you must submit regular technical and financial reports to the Commission or contracting authority;
  • deliverables – depending on the project, you may have to submit specific deliverables such as general information, a special report, a technical diagram brochure, lists, software milestones, etc.), which have been identified in the grant agreement;
  • communicate about your project results – effective communication is also an essential component of successful EU-financed cooperation projects and programmes. You must plan communication activities from the start of your EU-funded actions – there are certain visibility and communication requirements to follow depending on your programme or project.

Communication requirements

Monitoring, checks, audits and reviews

The Commission will monitor the implementation of your project (during or afterwards) to ensure its compliance with the grant agreement. The grant agreement defines what activities will be undertaken, the project duration, overall budget, rates and costs, the EU budget’s contribution, all rights and obligations and more.

The process of checks, audits and reviews depends on your grant and project and may involve:

  • checking the action has been properly implemented in accordance with the grant agreement, including assessing whether deliverables and reports are consistent with the description and work plan;
  • financial audits on your accounts as the beneficiary, to verify the eligible costs incurred.

Amendments to grant agreements

Your grant agreement may sometimes need to be amended. The reasons for making an amendment may vary largely. They may reflect the need to adapt to the changing conditions for implementation of the action/work programme (e.g. modify the initially envisaged budget, prolong the implementation period of the action, etc.). They could also include changes related to the beneficiary itself (e.g. changes in the legal status, address, bank account, legal representative of the beneficiary).

Grant agreements may be amended only in writing. Amendments enter into force on the date on which the last party signs, or on the date of approval of the request for amendment. Amendments then take effect on a date agreed by the parties.

For reasons of legal certainty and equal treatment, the general conditions of the grant agreement or grant decision should remain unmodified. Those conditions are usually published with the call for proposals.

Ownership of results

Under grant agreements, if not specified otherwise, the results of the project remain the property of the beneficiaries. However, the European Commission is granted with the rights to use projects results and deliverables – all use and reuse conditions are specified in the grant agreement.

“Results” means any tangible or intangible effect of the action, such as data, know-how or information, whatever its form or nature, whether or not it can be protected, as well as any rights attached to it, including intellectual property rights.

Keeping records

It is important to keep records and other supporting documentation to prove that your project has been properly managed and implemented. This includes keeping records on eligible costs and corresponding accounts.

Payment of the grant

Grants are usually paid out in several instalments over the duration of the project. Once you have signed the grant agreement, you will receive a pre-financing payment which may be followed by one or more interim payments. You will receive final payment on completion of the project.

Interim and final payments are made subject to project deliverables. It is important to report on the progress of your project in accordance with the reporting calendar set out in the grant agreement.