Third-party funded projects

Contact

Kristin Arnold

fon: + 49 381-498 1520
kristin.arnolduni-rostockde

The colleagues of the Service Center Projects (S1) continue to deal with your concerns regarding third-party funded projects in the current situation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us and the funding agency/project sponsor in case of foreseeable difficulties in project application, implementation or reporting obligations. Please inform us of any foreseeable difficulties at an early stage and ask the funding agency for advice on how to deal with them, unless there are basic regulations on this matter.

In the event that you are unable to reach us by telephone, please send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please find your contact person in the service centre here. Due to a decision of the university management, it is still not possible to deal with visitors in the main building (Universitätsplatz 1) and in the administration building (Schwaansche Str. 2). As soon as this changes, we will keep you informed.

In the event that you would like to send us documents, we urgently recommend that you scan them in advance. This will enable us to process your request immediately.

Following we would like to inform you about how the most common funding agencies are currently dealing with the Corona crisis. Unless the financial backers have a general regulation within the framework of the corona crisis, the cases remain individual decisions of the financial backers. The list below depicts the most important providers of funds and does not claim to be complete.

Status: 13.05.2020

 

Please note: This translation was made with DeepL. No guarantee can be given for the content.

1. Funding by the European Union
1.1 Horizon 2020

Basic regulation available? Partially.

The European Commission (COM) has extended a number of submission deadlines for Horizon2020 calls. Exceptions are the EIC pilot and the IMI call. Further information can be found in the respective calls in the Funding & Tenders Portal.

In addition, the COM provides a continuously updated FAQ (e.g. on the application of the Force Majeur clause). A major update concerns the interpretation of the Grant Agreement:

(1) Project staff who cannot work from their home office:
Here, for institutions using the annual hourly rate calculation, the possibility is opened up to declare the absences of these employees as "special absences" due to national or regional quarantine restrictions. Under the still existing condition that only productive hours can be invoiced, this means for the various options of calculating annual productive hours:

  • Projects with individual annual productive hours (option 2): The corresponding absence times can be deducted when calculating annual productive hours. With unchanged annual salary totals, this would allow an increase in the hourly rate and thus, depending on the proportion of employment in the project, a proportional or complete consideration of the mentioned personnel costs during quarantine measures.
  • Projects with fixed or standard annual productive hours (options 1 and 3): The projects concerned can switch to option 2 (see above) in this financial year, either completely or only for individual personnel groups, when calculating the hourly rate in order to take absence times into account.

For projects that use the monthly hourly rate calculation, there is no such option to consider the absence times. However, as before, it is possible to switch all H2020 projects of an institution to the annual calculation method in the current fiscal year.

(2) Delay in project work in the last reporting period and final report:
In addition to the possible project extension already listed in the FAQs, there is now also the possibility of introducing an additional reporting period for affected projects under certain conditions. Projects that have not yet accounted for 90% of the total amount of funding in the financial reports during their term may apply for the introduction of an interim reporting period together with the project extension. Within this period, funds of up to 90% of the total funding amount can be accounted for before the end of the project.

(3) Use of the force majeure clause
Article 51 of the H2020 Model Grant Agreement (H2020 MGA) sets out the general framework and conditions under which the force majeure clause can be applied. The general rule under H2020 is that in the event of force majeure, a party is released from fulfilling its obligations if this is not possible. Costs are eligible if they meet the general eligibility conditions.

However, if force majeure leads to additional costs for the implementation of the action, the beneficiary will normally have to bear these costs himself.

In principle, in the event of difficulties in project implementation (travel restrictions, curfews, no access to research infrastructure, etc.), beneficiaries are requested to inform immediately the lead partner and the project officer of the COM, who will examine, on a case-by-case basis, the possible application of the rules of force majeure within the meaning of Article 51 of the H2020-MGA.


Status: 12.05.2020

1.2 Interreg

Basic regulation available? Partially.

The Joint Secretariat (JS) points out that costs incurred as a result of the Corona crisis remain eligible under certain conditions.

The Interreg Baltic Sea programme now allows a six-month extension if projects suffer from corona-related delays in their activities. This also applies if this would mean that the maximum funding period of 36 months would be exceeded.

The Interreg Southern Baltic Sea programme points out on its website a number of simplifications and flexibilities in the rules for project implementation, but in principle it remains that projects with corona-related problems will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that you should definitely contact us or the project management organisations already now in order to make reimbursement possible.

More detailed and regularly updated information can be found for the Interreg South Baltic programme at www.southbaltic.eu and for the Interreg Baltic Sea programme at www.balticsea.eu.


Status: 30.04.2020

1.3 ERASMUS+ (DAAD)

The DAAD as the national project management organisation provides regular information on this topic on its ERASMUS website.

It is essential that the EU Commission for Erasmus+ funded individual mobilities and projects generally accepts the reimbursement of travel and event costs due to the spread of the virus under the rules of "force majeure". There is now an FAQ on this.

Furthermore, the following regulations apply:

"Project coordinators should contact the agency that has approved the project or mobility in question with questions about "force majeure", either:

    The National Agency for EU Higher Education Cooperation in the DAAD (NA) for the actions managed in the NA, such as Mobilities with Programme Countries, Mobilities with Partner Countries, Strategic Partnerships
    The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) for the actions managed by the EACEA such as European Universities, Capacity Building Projects, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, Alliances of Knowledge, the Jean Monnet Activities, Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects, European Experimental Activities and Social Inclusion Projects.

In the case of Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships, unforeseen additional costs may be charged to the following budget categories by reference to "force majeure": Transnational project meetings, LTT activities and multiplier events.

Unforeseeable additional costs are expenses that were not foreseen in the original budget (e.g. cancellation fees not covered by insurance if the event could not be postponed). These expenses must be accounted for as real costs (not as unit costs or flat rates). For documentation purposes, contractors must provide a signed declaration certifying that the costs could not be reimbursed otherwise.

  • Please mark the activity concerned as "force majeure" in MT+. This will unlock an additional comment field.
  • Please enter a short reason for the cancellation or cancellation of the activity in the comment field "force majeure Explanations".

1. transnational project meeting

Both in the case of an aborted activity and in the case of an activity that did not take place due to the risk situation, but for which expenses have already been incurred (cancellation fees flight/train/hotel), the approved amount can be settled. The grant amount originally agreed in the grant agreement may not be exceeded.

    For documentation purposes, take all supporting documents for the project file.
    Individual approval by the NA DAAD is not required.

2. learning, teaching & training (LTT) activities

In case of a cancelled LTT activity, please enter the actual period of the activity (start and end date).

Calculate the costs incurred on the basis of the evidence available to you (cancellation fees for hotel, flight/train or costs incurred if cancellation was no longer possible). Enter the amounts in the fields "Total EU Travel Grant" and "EU Individual Support", which can be filled in individually in "force majeure" mode.

    For documentation purposes, please take all supporting documents for the project file.
    Individual approval by the NA DAAD is not required.

Procedure for LTT activities that did not take place due to the risk situation

    Please enter the planned start date. In these cases, the end date corresponds to the start date, resulting in an activity period of one day.
    For the further steps, see the previous description.

3. multiplier events

Both in the case of an aborted multiplier event and in the case of a multiplier event that did not take place due to the risk duration, but where expenses have already been incurred, the costs incurred can be settled. The funding amount originally agreed in the grant agreement may not be exceeded.

    For documentation purposes, please take all supporting documents for the project file.
    Individual approval by the NA DAAD is not required."

In case of project-related queries, the DAAD asks you to contact us by indicating the respective project year and the project number in the email subject.

Status: 17.04.2020

2. Funding by institutions at federal level
2.1 DAAD

Basic regulation available? Partially.

The DAAD now provides detailed information on its website on the most urgent questions concerning DAAD project funding. The following information also applies:

"The DAAD asks its member universities and project leaders to cancel all DAAD-funded trips from abroad to Germany until further notice. Likewise, no more trips abroad should be made. The DAAD is aware that expenses for cancellations are unavoidable.

The DAAD will always endeavour to find accommodating arrangements for any expenses incurred in this regard in the projects supported. We recommend that our member universities and project managers find out whether projects or stays can be postponed or, if necessary, replaced by virtual formats or continued or carried out in another way.

The central call for proposals on April 1 will continue to exist, whereby the application deadlines will be adapted if necessary to the situation or further development of the corona pandemic (COVID-19 for short).

The DAAD informs funding recipients and scholarship holders that, despite the corona crisis and home office rules, no fundamental exception can be made to the submission deadlines for interim and usage certificates:

"We are bound by the legal framework of the Federal Budget Code and the funding agencies, which set binding deadlines. This also means that we cannot grant a general exception, especially since the deadline for the majority of the evidence to be submitted was 28/29.2.2020 this year. If you have not yet uploaded your evidence or have not uploaded it completely, please apply for an extension of the deadline as soon as possible, stating your reasons, so that you do not receive a reminder.  The deadline extension must be applied for via the DAAD portal ("Portal-Mitteilungssystem ZN/VN"). If the portal does not work, you can also send an application by e-mail to p12@daad.de or by post to the following address:

DAAD,
Inspection body for where-used lists P12A/B,
50 Kennedy Avenue,
53175 Bonn."

Further information, especially on individual mobility programmes, can be found on the DAAD website.

Status: 17.04.2020

2.2 DFG

Basic regulation available? Yes.

On 20 May 2020, the DFG announced that, in the course of the corona restrictions, an additional 175 million euros will be made available unbureaucratically for additional personnel and material resources. The press release states that the Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has decided to provide additional financial support for DFG-funded research during the corona pandemic. With immediate effect, additional funds can be applied for in a number of funding procedures so that research work that could not be carried out in the planned manner and productivity due to the current situation can be continued and successfully completed. For further details please refer to the following press releases:

The DFG website provides up-to-date information on how projects and fellowships were handled during the Corona crisis. The DFG also provides information on current procedures in circulars sent to the projects:

Status: 20.05.2020

2.3 BMBF/BMWi

Basic regulation available? No.

We have already informed the project managers for whose projects there are special regulations individually. If you have not yet been informed, please contact us or the respective project management agency responsible for the programme.

Status: 17.04.2020

2.3.1 DLR

The project management agency DLR currently points out the following:

"Due to the corona pandemic, we at DLR Project Management almost exclusively work in our home office. In order to avoid delays in project processing, we ask you to take note of the following:

  1. All letters concerning the project, e.g. amendments, must be signed, scanned and sent by e-mail to the responsible tandem in the PT (scientific officer and funding manager). Please send the signed paper documents by post.
  2. Only for projects that participate in the request procedure: Please scan the signed payment requests and send them by e-mail to the responsible tandem in the PT (scientific officer and funding manager). The payment requests should also be submitted by post.
  3. If you are unable to meet the deadline for submitting the interim statement 2019 by April 30, 2020, please send us a written request (in advance by e-mail), briefly explaining the delay and stating the expected submission deadline. The latest date is 30 June 2020.
  4. It is to be expected that due to the Corona crisis e.g. trips and events will be cancelled. The necessary expenses for cancellation fees are generally eligible for funding. However, we would ask you to attach a short note to the interim statements and the statement of use, containing the key data of the planned trip or event, the planned expenses, the reason and time of the cancellation and the necessary cancellation fees incurred.".

Status: 17.04.2020

2.3.2 Industrial joint research (IGF, project management agency: AIF Forschungsnetzwerk Mittelstand)

The promoter provides regular information via circulars on how to deal with projects affected by the Corona crisis.

In addition, AIF points out the following:

"1. delays in projects

Credible delays in project implementation can be taken into account, in particular by extending the duration of projects. Even under the current regulations, deviations from the original planning are possible under certain circumstances without the need to apply for a change in the funding decision (see section 8.1 of the IGF guidelines). If necessary, this possibility should be given priority.

Applications for cost-neutral extensions of projects (i.e. the total amount of funding will not increase) can be submitted in the usual way. If the originally planned end of the project falls within the period of the current corona restrictions, subsequent amendments will exceptionally be accepted and examined if they are submitted within one month after the end of the restrictions.

As a general rule, increases in funding over and above the original funding amount will not be granted. If, in individual cases, unavoidable additional expenditure is incurred which exceeds the total amount of funding, an increase in funding can only be examined on a case-by-case basis and only within the framework of the available budget funds. If such an increase is requested, it must in particular also be demonstrated that the additional expenditure could not be avoided by measures such as the restructuring of projects and work in the home office. Furthermore, such increases require a timely application (within the grant period).

2. project support committees

Instead of postponing planned attendance events, alternative event formats should be considered as far as possible (e.g. web conferences). On the one hand, this applies to planned transfer measures (e.g. webinars instead of events, etc.) On the other hand, this also applies to the project support committees: For the proof as project-related expenses of the economy (vAW), the same costs are recognised for their participation in meetings of the Project Accompanying Committee as for personal participation, in contrast to the normally applicable regulations for participation by telephone (telephone or video conference)".

Status: 17.04.2020

2.3.3 PTJ

The project executing agency points out that, as part of the prevention measures, many employees are no longer directly available in the office and asks, if necessary, to contact them by e-mail. You can find your contact person at: https://www.ptj.de/ueber-uns/profil/ansprechpartner/foerderung

In the meantime, it was possible to transmit payment requests and proofs of payment also as scanned documents with legally binding signatures. The originals must be sent by post.

Status: 17.04.2020

3. Funding by the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
3.1 Ministry of Education, Science and Culture

The Ministry provides regular information on the subject on its website and draws attention in particular to the current decision-making situation within its jurisdiction. This information currently relates primarily to questions concerning the teaching profession. Information on specific funding programmes and the respective project management agencies in the country can be found below.

Status: 17.04.2020

3.2 Ministry of Economy, Labour and Health

In its responsibility for the health sector, the Ministry provides detailed information on the current situation and decisions regarding the Corona crisis in the country. Specific information on research funding was distributed by circulars.

Status: 17.04.2020

3.2.1 TBI

Basic regulation available? No.

The promoter has not yet published information on project implementation or eligibility of costs during the Corona crisis. We recommend that you contact us and the TBI in case of foreseeable difficulties or consult the FAQ under point 3.

Status: 17.04.2020