Revised version of Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement model

Commission adopted revised versions of model grant agreements – retroactive applicability for clarifications, corrections and new rules in favour of the beneficiaries

On 20 July 2016, the Commission amended the Horizon 2020 model grant agreements, providing, among other changes, clarifications, corrections and new rules in favour of beneficiaries that can be applied retroactively to grants signed with the previous version.

Is there any effect on my signed grant agreement?

No. The grant agreement that you signed continues being applicable without the need to amend it.

What are the modifications from which my grant could benefit retroactively?
The most important modifications that can be applied retroactively to grants signed with the previous version are:

  • Increased budget flexibility allowing for transfers of amounts between forms of costs within the direct personnel costs budget category without an amendment to the grant even if the form of cost was not set out in Annex 2 (see Article 4.2) and Annex 2a.
  • A new option for calculating the hourly rate for personnel costs declared as actual costs per month (see Article 6.2.A)
  • The research consortium is no longer required to automatically submit copies of opinions, notifications or authorisations for activities that raise ethical issues before the activity starts. This administrative easing, however, does not entail the easing of ethical standards, as the consortium members must still obtain these documents and keep them on file. The Commission/Agency can request their submission any time if it is considered necessary (see Article 34.2)
  • Contradictory procedure to be carried out directly between the Commission/Agency and the beneficiary concerned in case of audits, reviews, investigations etc., thus ensuring protection of confidential information and personal data (see Articles 48, 49 and 50.3).

Does my grant agreement have to be amended in order to benefit retroactively from the modifications?


What do I have to do to signal that I want to benefit retroactively from the modifications?

You do not need to inform the Commission/Agency explicitly on your intentions. You can simply run your grant according to the above revised provisions applying retroactively, and the Commission/Agency will accept this.

Example: A beneficiary budgets all its direct personnel costs as ‘actual costs’ in the estimated budget (column A (a) of Annex 2). However, at the end of the first reporting period, the beneficiary may declare its direct personnel costs as ‘unit costs determined according to its usual cost accounting practices’ (average personnel costs, in column A (b) of Annex 2) without amending the GA.

How can I get an overview on the changed articles with retroactive applicability?

There is a document showing most of the articles affected by clarifications, corrections and the new rules in favour of beneficiaries with retroactive applicability, highlighting the changes for ease of comparison.

To whom can I turn if I have questions?

Please use the Research Enquiry Service, choosing the subject item "10 – Legal and financial issues" from the drop-down list in the Web form.


Information provided by the European Commission.

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