New General Model Grant Agreement version 3.0 released

Date: 25/07/2016

On 20 July, the European Commission has released a new version of the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement. A major change involves the long-standing issue of the calculation of personnel costs. Hitherto the hourly rate necessary to determine personnel costs was based on the last closed financial year. The new version of the model grant agreement allows, based on Article 6.2.A, the alternative calculation of the hourly rate, based on a monthly basis. 

Strengthened research integrity

The 3.0 model grant agreement further sets out a more specific set of rules on research integrity to be followed by beneficiaries. It provides more clarity on previously general requirements contained in Article 34 of the agreement. The article now explicitly calls for beneficiaries to respect the principles of honesty, reliability, objectivity, impartiality, open communication, duty of care, and fairness and responsibility for future science generations.

List of changes

The main changes compared to version 2.1 of the model grant agreement are as follows:

  • Article 4.2 'Budget transfers': increased budget flexibility for beneficiaries, which may transfer amounts between forms of costs within the direct personnel costs budget category without an amendment to the grant agreement even if they did not foresee that form of cost in Annex 2.
  • Article 6.2.A 'Direct personnel costs' to take into account to a larger extent the usual cost accounting practices of the beneficiaries by allowing them to calculate the hourly rate not only per full financial year but also per month. 
  • Article 20.3 'Period reports – Requests for interim payment' : the technical report submitted by the coordinator must also indicate the communication activities. 
  • Article 34.1 'Obligation to comply with ethical and research integrity principles' in order to underline the standards of research integrity that beneficiaries must respect. 
  • Article 34.2 'Activities raising ethical issues' in order to simplify the beneficiaries' reporting obligations on ethics before the beginning of an activity raising an ethical issue.
  • Article 36.1 'General obligation to maintain confidentiality' in order to allow broader access to confidential information in the case of the Commission/Agency staff, other EU institutions and bodies. 
  • Article 48 'Suspension of payments' extends the possibility for the Commission/Agency to suspend the payment of the balance only for one or more beneficiaries. 
  • Articles 48 'Suspension of payments', 49 'Suspension of action implementation', 50.3 'Termination of the Agreement or the participation of one of more beneficiaries by the Commission/Agency' in order to clarify that for confidentiality reasons and to protect the personal data, in case of audits, reviews, investigations etc., the Commission/Agency will carry out the contradictory procedure directly with the beneficiary concerned (in this case the coordinator will also be informed). 
  • Article 50.3 'Termination of the Agreement or the participation of one of more beneficiaries by the Commission/Agency' : the Commission/Agency may terminate the participation of a beneficiary if it did not request an amendment to the grant agreement to terminate the participation of its linked third party which is under the same conditions as a beneficiary for which the participation may be terminated. For instance, the linked third party is bankrupt.  

All our news

For more information

Model Grant Agreement, v3.0 20 July 2016

Detailed explanations of changes

News Alert: Commission moves to strengthen research integrity

Document: MGA v3.0, track changes version


2.63 MB