ERC Budget Instructions


The ERC awards flexible, long-term funding for a period of up to five years. This guide gives advice on how to prepare and justify your ERC budget.

ERC funding is limited to the following amounts: Starting €1,500,000, Consolidator €2,000,000 and Advanced €2,500,000.

If the application involves specific features requiring a higher level of support extra funding can be applied for. Projects involving a higher level of support include:

  • a project requiring purchase of major research equipment (that is not available in KI or Stockholm)
  • access to large facilities
  • a project where the PI is currently engaged in a third country but intends to move to a host institution in a member state or associated country in order to build up a new research team and activity

The extra funding for each grant type is: Starting €500,000, Consolidator €750,000 and Advanced €1,000,000.

 
PREPARING YOUR ERC BUDGET

The total budget should be presented in the administrative forms (Part A forms) and specified in Part B2 Section C (Resources) of the application. It is important that the budget total in the administrative forms corresponds exactly to the budget total given in Part B2. For more information on eligible and non-eligible direct and indirect costs as well as the different cost categories, applicants should consult the H2020 ERC Model Grant Agreement.

Applicants are advised to prepare their budgets allocating the resources needed for the project to be feasible, since this is an evaluation criteria for ERC grants. Costs regarded by the European Commission as typical overhead costs (e.g. rent for lab and office space) are non-eligible even though they constitute part of your actual direct costs.

BUDGET: Part B2 and Part A forms

For your convenience Grants Office has prepared a budget template. Please note that the template should be modified according to the specific project needs. The template has two spreadsheets:

  • Budget preparation form
  • Personnel breakdown

Change the EURO rate if needed. The project specific data should be entered in the yellow cells and final calculated costs (orange cells) can be transferred firectly to the budget table in Part B2.

Personnel
Enter the current salary of each person and number of months the person will be involved in the project. In EU projects time reporting is required so personnel costs should reflect the actual hours worked by the person directly carrying out work under the project. The total salary costs, including social fees will be calculated automatically. The social fees are decided on a yearly basis and current rates can be found here. These are fixed rates and cannot be changed. Note that stipends are unallowable in ERC projects. Inflation (3%) is calculated only on personnel costs. In the personnel breakdown spreadsheet enter number of person months to get the right breakdown over the years. The total sum for 3% inflation will be the same in both spreadsheets. To get the correct figures, only fill in yellow cells. The breakdown per year is not necessary for the application. For the Part B2 budget table you can change line i to read: Total Direct Costs for Personnel (in Euro) incl. 3% inflation.

Travel
 A reasonable estimate for an intra-European flight and two hotel nights €1,000. Adjust accordingly for longer/shorter trips.

Equipment
Specify the different items and how much they will be used in the project (% used in the project). Keep in mind that if you are buying equipment for more than 100,000 SEK, you need to do a public procurement (upphandling).  Following a decision by the board of Karolinska Institutet 2011.10.10, costs for procurement are included in the overheads as of 2012. For information on procurement procedures, contact the procurement office (Enheten för inköp och upphandling).

Other goods & services: Consumables
Specify the different items in main categories (e.g. reagents, arrays etc.) and the estimated costs.

Other goods & services: Publications
All ERC publications should be open access. Open access publications generally cost €1000-€2000 depending on the journal.

Other goods & services: Other
Includes all other costs needed for implementation of the research project that have not been specified above. A certificate on the financial statements (CFS) should be submitted together with the final report when the amount for actual costs claimed is ≥ €325 000 (applicable to most ERC grants). We recommend that you budget €5,000 as a direct 'other cost' in H2020.

Subcontracting
Subcontracting is sometimes necessary for the implementation of the project. Core tasks, however, cannot be subcontracted and no indirect costs can be charged on subcontracting. SciLifeLab costs using non-KI facilities must be listed as subcontract costs and in this case SciLifeLab cannot be given as the provider of this service. SLL (KS) can be listed as a subcontract. Please contact Grants Office if you are uncertain on whether to subcontract some of your research costs or not.

Total Budget – Summary Table
The total of each cost category is automatically entered in the “Total Budget” table. Indirect costs (25%) are automatically calculated on everything except for subcontracting (if any). The total project cost can be higher than the requested EC contribution but the requested EC contribution cannot exceed the funding limits of the ERC. It is important to remember that the ERC wants to fund a whole project so keep the total project cost and the requested EC contribution as similar as possible. When you have filled in the budget template, move the figures for total estimated eligible costs and the requested EC contribution to the Part A form and the Part B2c. Resources section.

 

BUDGET JUSTIFCATION FOR PART B2c. Resources

It is absolutely necessary that you read the Part B2 guide on page 26-28 in the “Information for Applicants 2017”. The budget justification is a justification of your costs in a free flowing text and you should ensure that you address the feasibility of the project in this section, particularly since one of the review criteria for ERC is: To what extent are the proposed timescales and resources necessary and properly justified (based on the full Scientific Proposal)?   Describe each of the following categories:

Personnel: Describe the size and nature of the team, indicating, where appropriate, the key team members and their roles. Ensure that you highlight key competences needed to give the project feasibility eg. you will employ a postdoc to perform experiments needed for the project that is outside of the competency of your current team. The participation of team members engaged by another host institution should be justified in relation to the additional financial cost this may impose to the project. Take into account the percentage of your dedicated time to run the ERC funded activity when calculating your personnel costs. Specify that social fees and 3% inflation are included.
Equipment: Specify the costs of any new equipment that you will need for the project and to what degree the equipment is expected to be used in the project. 
Consumables: Describe and justify the main categories of consumables (e.g. reagents, arrays) that you will need for the project, as well as their estimated costs.
Travel: Describe and explain the purpose and location of the travels that you and your personnel will undertake in relation to the project.
Publications and dissemination: Specify how the results of the project will be disseminated as well as an approximation of the costs. Dissemination can be done through, for example, open access publications, conferences and posters.
Other costs: State how much you have budgeted for the costs of the certificates on financial statements (€5,000 per certificate). Describe and justify any other costs that you might have.
Subcontracting: If you need subcontractors for the project, please specify the work they will carry out and explain why KI is not able to do it. Give an estimation of the costs, and make sure to mention that no indirect costs have been added to this amount.
Indirect costs: State that you have calculated and added 25% indirect costs to your budget (on all cost categories except for subcontracting). 


All costs should be reasonable and fully justified and as accurate as possible. The evaluation panels assess the estimated costs carefully; unjustified budgets are often reduced.