Horizon 2020 Marie Curie - ITN

General Overview

The Innovative Training Networks (ITN) aim to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. ITN will raise excellence and structure research and doctoral training, extending the traditional academic research training setting, and equipping researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences. It will provide enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

Eligible researchers

Researchers participating in an ITN have to be ‘EarlyStage Researchers’ at the time of recruitment. This means that they are in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. At the time of recruitment, they cannot have lived or worked for more than 12 months in the country of their future host organisation.
The ESRs are recruited under a Junior Fellow status at CERN, unless their contract is less than 6 months and in that case will be recruited under a Trainee status.

Unit costs

There are no major financial changes as compared with FP7’s ITNs. The salary of the researchers will be composed of a:

  • A.1 Monthly Living Allowance;
  • A.2 Mobility Allowance;
  • A.3 Family Allowance.

All are included in the salary paid by CERN to the recruited researchers. The B.1 Research, Training and Networking costs category shall cover training/travel costs for the researchers, as well as the costs for performing the project. It is a flat rate of 1800€/researcher-month.
Management and Overheads (B.2) have been merged. It is now a flat rate of 1200€/researcher-month.

Training costs and research costs

As in FP7, the Research, Training and Networking costs category B.1 (1800€/researcher-month) does not distinguish costs for training the researchers and costs for performing research. By default, the internal distribution will be as follow:

  • 600€/researcher-month for training/travel of the researchers
  • 1200€/researcher-month for performing research.

Management and Overheads

Under H2020, Management and Overheads have been merged into a single cost category B.2, covered by a flat rate of 1200€/researcher-month. As a consequence, the distribution mechanism of this budget is left to the decision of the consortium. It must be addressed in a Consortium Agreement.

To this aim, CERN proposes the following distribution:

  • 600€/researcher-month as Overheads for each beneficiary
  • 80% of the remaining budget (=Management) to the coordinator
  • and 20% distributed to the other beneficiaries.

Whether CERN is the coordinator or not, it is important that this distribution of the B.2 category is discussed rapidly between the beneficiaries, ideally before the start of the project.

The rule for the use of the management and overhead budget is defined in our procedure “Use of the Management budget on a H2020 “Marie Curie” project", see below.

Role of the coordinator

  • Ensure the daily technical and administrative management of the project
  • Ensure that the reports (financial and scientific) are sent in due time to the EC, for all beneficiaries
  • Ensure that all beneficiaries take necessary measures to ensure equal opportunity (gender balance)
  • Ensure that no more than 40% of the total contribution is allocated to the benefit of the beneficiaries of one country, excluding International European interest organisations (except EID)
  • Organise review meeting between reprensentatives of all the beneficiaries and of the partner organisation(s) and the REA
  • Establish, together with the partner organisation(s), a supervisory board of the network
  • Inform the P.O of any re-distribution of the indicative allocation of the research-months

Common pot

It often happens that some beneficiaries of a multi-beneficiary ITN have to spend more than the others, in order to organize events for the whole consortium (e.g. a training session for all the researchers of the network). The common pot is a fictitious cost category which has been created in the frame of the Consortium Agreement for FP7 ITNs coordinated by CERN. A part of the budget is set aside by the consortium in order to reimburse the beneficiaries which pay for costs that should be spread across the consortium. For H2020 ITNs coordinated by CERN, the common pot will continue to be proposed to the beneficiaries.

Certificate on the Financial Statement

No CFS (audit certificate) will have to be provided, even when the maximum EC contribution exceeds the threshold of 325,000 €.

Consortium Agreement

Although a Consortium Agreement is not mandatory, ITN rules leave to the Consortium several obligations which need to be addressed in a separate agreement. CERN will require a Consortium Agreement for each ITN in which the Organization is a beneficiary.

Beneficiary VS partner organisations

Contrary to beneficiaries, partner organisations do not recruit although they participate in the training/research programme. They do not sign the Grant Agreement and have therefore no budget.
They can recuperate their costs by issuing invoices to beneficiaries.

Financial contribution of departments

For ITNs, the EC pays a living and a mobility allowance (i.e. the salary of the researcher), which is a fixed amount in EUR. The researchers are recruited at CERN under a fellowship contract*, in accordance with CERN’s salary grid; the salary is higher than the EC contribution.
The continuing strong exchange rate is forcing us to revise our policy on Marie Curie projects, therefore, the departments need to contribute to the Marie Curie fellows' salary as of 20% of their salary(assuming that the fellows are hired on position Zff0).
The salary of the fellow shall be distributed between CERN and EU budget codes according to these percentages for the full duration of the fellowship.

The matching funds can come from the fellowship budget or as a GET fellow.
More information can be found here.
*unless their contract is less than 6 months and in that case will be recruited under a Trainee status.

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Updated on: 25/01/2016