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Tips and Tricks to avoid stressing over the preparation of your Horizon 2020 periodic reports

July 05 2016

Congratulations! Your Horizon 2020 proposal has been granted! As you carry out your project, you have to follow the strict deadline and rules as set out by the European Commission. Already at the start of your project, you will deal with the deadlines of signing Declarations and preparing and signing the Grant Agreement. Then, after the project has commenced, you will need to prepare deliverables, update milestones and preparing the extensive periodic reports at least every 18 months. This may seem stressful, but ttopstart can help you to prepare and submit the technical reports and financial statements.

What do the periodic reports include?

The periodic reports of your project include a technical part A and B, and the financial statements of all partners. In part A of your technical report, you will provide an update on the deliverables, milestones, risks and dissemination activities, but also prepare the publishable summary of your work so far. The summary will be published in the Cordis database, so be aware not to include any sensitive/confidential information. Part B is the elaborate part; you will have to describe all your tasks per work package and explain any deviations from the initial plan.  The third part is the individual financial statements (formerly known as Form C). The sum of the total costs declared during this period is the amount you will receive in your bank account to spend in the next period. Be smart about this: spending more money than necessary will leave your project without funding for the next or last period. Underspending will result in that you have less money to spend during the next period, accumulating the budget in future periods. Be aware that you should mention major differences in your part B of the technical report.

These elaborate periodic reports are often seen as a hassle, too much work in a too complicated IT system. While actually, it is a nice tool to update the consortium in detail about the work performed, as well as providing the necessary update to the EC.

We will give you some tips and tricks to cope with preparing the upcoming report:

  1. You will be notified via the ECAS portal 2 months ahead of the deadline of your report. Start earlier with involving your consortium and let them know what to expect of them;
  2. Set the timelines for when you expect input and when you planned the reviewing rounds;
  3. Prepare templates for the partners to let them know exactly what to do. The template for part B is available in the portal;
  4. Ask the Work Package Leaders for their input and the input from the partners in that Work Package;
  5. Chunk up the work and don’t spam partners, if no input is expected from them;
  6. Take all the input seriously and if you are not using the input, explain why.  
  7. Take a look at the ‘questionnaire’, which is included in part A, and make sure also to ask for input for this section, including dissemination of the project, societal impact and gender balance.
  8. Make time to explain the financial statement requirements to your partner, if needed.
  9. After submission of the report, the EC will have 90 days to review the report and provide the interim payment. If something is missing, you will have to submit again, and the EC will have an additional 90 days. Therefore, it is worthwhile to do it right the first time.
  10. Provide a Certificate on Financial Statement in the final reporting, only if your personnel and direct costs exceed €325.000.

Not sure about the requirements of a periodic report or about managing this in your consortium? Contact ttopstart! We can be partner or subcontractor in your project and help you keeping your project on track and manage the timely delivery of the entire report. 

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Contact

Karin Bosch-Elberse, PhD
+31(0)30 737 0779