Q. In an EJD, shall all ESR get double/joint degree, or is it ok if some of them get “normal”PhD? For example, 10 joint and 5 “normal”.

A: It is not compulsory that all beneficiaries participate in the joint PhD.


Q: Shall all universities partners participate in joint PhDer? Or can one envisage a situation where some of them are not? And if not all of them have to participate in joint PhD, is it then only the universities that do participate in a joint PhD that will give a letter of commitment?

A: Yes, only those universities involved in the joint PhD will have to submit the letters of commitment.

Back to top Back to top


Q. Is it possible to “combine” ETN and EJD? To apply for an ETN and some of the fellows get a joint degree. And would it be seen as a plus or is it confusing?

A. It is possible that some fellows in ETN will be enrolled in joint/double or multiple degrees, but it is not a formal requirement as in EJD.  As such, joint degrees are not considered separately in ETN: the proposal overall will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria of ETN.  It is important to keep in mind when submitting an ETN that  minimum eligibility rules and other aspects of that particular mode must be respected. In addition, ranking takes place within the ETN mode. (NB: Note, however, that there are already some cases of joint/double degrees in the running FP7 multi-partner ITNs).  

Q. Is it possible to include more fellows in the network, more than the 540 researcher months that are financed by the MSCA, and find funding for them elsewhere, but make use of the activities in the ITN activities?


A. 540 person months is the upper limit for EU funding in MSCA-ITN and which may not be exceeded for ETN, EJD and EID proposals with a minimum of 3 beneficiaries, while 180 person months is the upper limit for EID proposals with two beneficiaries. If the proposal part B describes person months in excess of these upper limits, this should be indicated separately and be accompanied by a clear explanation of the use of own resources. Under no circumstances should the person months funded by own resources be indicated in the proposal part A (this would create confusion for the evaluators and at the very least result in an incorrect EU budget calculation, etc).

Back to top Back to top

ITN administrative forms

Q. In the administrative forms, it says that : “The coordinator declares to have the explicit consent of all applicants on their participation and on the content of this proposal." What form should this be? A scanned copy with signatures from the participants? Or?


 A. It is up to the coordinator to decide how to collect the consents, it can be an e-mail or a note.



Q. Is it mandatory for Partner Organisations in ITN proposals to provide a PIC in the Part A forms?


A. No, it is not mandatory for Partner Organisations.



Q. Is there a template for the letter of commitment?

A. Letters of commitment are needed from all partner organisations. There is no template for the letters of commitment. The partner organisation should describe their commitment to the additional research and transferable skills training and/or secondment opportunities they will provide as described in the proposal. The letter should demonstrate the real and active participation of the partner organisations in the proposed ETN network. It should be signed by the legal representative of the organisation. For EJD letters of commitment must also be included for each beneficiary that would award the doctoral degree. For more information please see Annex 4 point 2 of the Guide for Applicants.



Q. Is it obligatory that all beneficiaries and partner organizations have  PIC number when a proposal is submitted?
A beneficiary has been provided with a temporary PIC but the Participant Portal does not recognize it. How much time is it needed for a PIC number to be activated?


A. All Beneficiaries must have a PIC, but it is not mandatory for Partner Organisations to have one.

Back to top Back to top

Instructions for drafting part B of the proposal

Q. What is the minimum font size which would apply to tables and footnotes in the application?

A. Tables should ideally be in a uniform font to best relay the information intended. However, some tables and illustrations may contain text in different fonts and font sizes. This is acceptable, but applicants should ensure that the tables and the information therein remain comfortably readable.

See guide for applicants page 33



Q. Table 2.1: There are no footnotes or other indications at page for the activity type for table 2.1 . Are there are any guidelines on what to write?


A. No, we don't have any guidelines, but if necessary we can add them in the next guide for applicants. The applicants have to shortly describe their activity, like for example Revitalisation and remediation technologies / management tools for brownfields
Molecular diagnostics Etc.



Q. Table 2.1: What does it mean "ESRs involvement"? I imagine that it is to write yes/no. and for example for a Management work package there is no ESR involvement, is this correct?


A. Depending on the project set-up, you can identify the ESR involved in a particular work-package. Table 4.1.d will provide a more detailed description of the individual research projects. Please ensure consistency between the two tables.



Q. Is there an average number of work packages? I'm well aware that this depends on the project itself, but just to get some kind of understanding of what is typical?


A. We don't have an average number of work packages, but good practice is to add separate work packages on management, dissemination, communication & public engagement and on training.



Q. There is no place to include any CVs. I have told my researchers that they have to include the excellence into the text, but just want to make sure that no CVs are expected.


A. CVs are not required and experts will be instructed to disregard any extra page or document not requested. Information from the CV can be added in the Capacity table.



Q. Excellence 2.1. Quality, innovative aspects and credibility of the research programme and subheading "Research methodology and approach" a table with a list of work packages should be included. Do the part 2.1 refer to the whole program (including training) or just parts related to the research projects? I would assume the first option based on previous experiences with framework programme applications, however, I got unsure as:  1) it is emphasized that you should explain how the individual projects fits into the overall research program 2) the table with WP's should be included under the subheading research methodology and approach and 3) there is a separate section on training (2.2). Contrary, in section 4 Implementation, they ask for WP descriptions - including research, training, management, communication etc. Please confirm what is expected


A. All work-packages can be listed in table 2.1 and then described in more details in other sections, like 4.1a.



Q. Regarding to 5. Capacity of the Participating Organisations. If a legal entity (1 PIC) participates with 2 institutes, should it still only be 1 page per beneficiary in that section? The institutes are both recruiting ESRs and having different roles in the project.  At page 44 in the GfA, it is written max 1 page per beneficiary.


A. This section is outside the 30 page limit, It is fine to use more space. 



Q. What is expected to write in section 4.3 “appropriateness of the infrastructure of the participating organisations” compared to section 5? 


A. Under point 4.3 the applicant is expected to describe not just equipment (infrastructure) but also the tasks and responsibilities of each entity etc. In point 4.3 (concerning infrastructure) one can refer to the table under point 5 but information should not be repeated. Under point 5 a list is expected and not so much description.



Q. Part B has to be one single “.pdf” document, including the Letters of Commitment of partner organisations. Does it mean that the applicant has to have a pdf writer software with editing (ability to insert other pdf documents as extra pages)?


A. The applicants just put the Letters of Commitment into the word document as jpeg images (you can get a free online converter to change PDF to .jpg if necessary), and then converted the entire Word doc to PDF (again using free online software). 

Back to top Back to top


Post-doc under ETN

Q. Can a PhDs student be recruited, at the latest stages of his/ her studies ( + less than 4 years experience), who may actually spend the fellowship as post doc?


A. When an ITN (ETN) recruits an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) who is eligible at the time of recruitment (less than 4 years of research experience, no PhD, mobility rule respected), even if he/she changes the experience status during the employment in the ITN, he/she will stay as an ESR.

The salary (allowances) paid must be those of an ESR during the whole employment period.



Q. In an ETN Marie Curie action, is it possible to foresee the “joint contracting” of an ESR by two beneficiary organisations? If so, Part A and Part B should reflect the same information. However, in section 3 of Part A (Budget) it is only possible to indicate one “Recruiting Participant” (column 2) for each “Research number” (column 1). Although the “joint contracting” can be explained in Part B of the proposal, if only one “Recruiting Participant” is selected, the budget calculation would only take into account one “Country Correction Factor”. Would it be possible to clarify this question?


A. It can be added two lines in the system (researcher 1 and 2) and then explain in the proposal that they refer to the same researcher who is for example recruited 18 months in one institution and 18 months in another institution. The eligibility of the fellow is checked once at the beginning of his/her appointment in the network.


Recruitment of an ESR twice

Q. Is it possible to recruit an ESR (Early Stage Researcher) a to a beneficiary 1 for 18 months and then later on re-recruit him for another 18 months at another beneficiary in the same country?


A. Yes, as written in the Guide for Applicants (point 3.3) for all recruitments the eligibility of the researcher will be determined at the time of their first recruitment in the project.

Back to top Back to top

Time of recruitment

Q. What does it mean: the 'time of recruitment'?
A. Generally, the “time of recruitment” is the first day of the employment of the fellow for the purpose of the action. This day is indicated in the formalised document signed between the beneficiary and the researcher (e.g. employment contract) and specifies when the researcher shall start to work in the action. However, as there are differences in the procedure of employment between countries, the definition of this date may be adjusted if necessary. It can also be the date on the formal letter offering the position under the action or the date of the signature of the employment contract.
However, it has to be kept in mind that it is the beneficiary who is finally responsible to the REA for verifying the eligibility rules and has to ensure that sufficient evidence of eligibility is kept for any potential check or audit.

Back to top Back to top


Q. Is It allowed in ITN for a researcher to be seconded (for no more than 30% of their recruitment time) to an organisation that is not a Beneficiary or a Partner Organisation? 


A. Recruited researchers can be seconded only within the network to other beneficiaries and/or partner organisations.

Back to top Back to top

Evaluation procedure

Q. On page 27 of the 'Guide for Applicants/Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions' it says at the end of the page: 'An example of the evaluation forms that will be used by the experts in this call will be made available on the Participant Portal'. Would you know perhaps where these evaluation forms can be found?

A. under „Topic conditions and documents“:



Q. Whate is the "operational capacity assessment" held during the evaluation?


A. Operational capacity assessment is carried out during the evaluation. The experts will indicate whether the participants have sufficient operational capacity to carry out the proposed work, based on what is presented in the proposal. Information contained in the table “Data for non-academic beneficiaries” and Section 5 in the proposal part B (Capacities of the Host) will be assessed in this context. The applicants are advised to fill in these data completely andaccurately in order to ensure a proper assessment.
The applicants must demonstrate in the proposal that they have the financial and operationalcapacity to carry out the proposed project. They must be able to show that the entities have appropriate research facilities/premises, infrastructure, equipment and staff to be able to host a young researcher to carry out his/her research project as described in the proposal. They must also be able to demonstrate that the key scientific staff involved in the proposed project have the appropriate expertise, competence and experience, and are able to dedicate sufficient time to the research training and supervision of the young researcher. 

Back to top Back to top

Project Starting Date

Q. Is it possible to have a starting date of at the latest 12 months after signing the grant agreement?

A. No start date to be notified is possible, only fixed or first date of the month.

Back to top Back to top


Q. How will be Management and indirect costs distributed between the beneficiaries?

A. The unit costs related to Management and indirect costs are calculated based on the units declared by each beneficiary. The beneficiaries may agree to redistribute those costs within the network according to their needs. As this is the internal decision of the network no information or request has to be submitted to the REA. Therefore, it is possible that e.g. the coordinator will receive a share of management and indirect costs of other beneficiaries to cover its higher managerial expenses. It is advisable to address this issue already at the proposal stage with the administrators of all beneficiaries in the project and eventually address it in the Consortium Agreement if applicable.

Back to top Back to top

FAQ on the Participant Portal

REA has uploaded a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Participant Portal for the open 2015 ITN call under the section call documents.
Back to top Back to top


Q: What is the payment mechanism in case of sick leave in an H2020 MSCA ITN project?

A: For the short-term sick leave ( 1 month):

  • Unit is eligible (100%).

For the long-term sick leave (> 1 month) the following approach will be followed from day 1 of the sick leave:

For the time period that the employer has to pay 100% of fellow's salary per national law, the units are eligible (100%).

 For the time period that the employer has to pay a percentage (e.g. 50%) of the fellow's salary per national law, units are eligible and the "working time commitment" in the Researcher Declaration will be set equal to the percentage (e.g. 50%) paid by the employer to the fellow.

 For the time period that the employer does not have to pay the fellow's salary per national law (e.g. because the fellow is paid by the national social security system), researcher's activity in the action is suspended.

The research, training and networking costs claimed during the sick leave periods of the fellows must be used to implement research / training activities within the action.

The employment contract of the fellow may then be extended for the unused units due to the sick leave within the project duration.

For both (short- and long-term sick leave) the applicable national rules must be strictly followed and the required documentation (e.g., medical certificate) must be available at the institution for any eventual verification by REA or any other EU institution.

Example 1. Fellow is recruited from 1-Jan-2015 until 31-Dec-2017. This fellow is on sick leave from 1-Mar-2016 until 20-Mar-2016.

 Researcher Declaration: no impact.

 Periodic report: mention that fellow was on sick leave from 1-Mar-2016 until 20-Mar-2016.

 Supporting documentation: medical certificates required per national law must be available at the fellow's recruiting institution.

Example 2. Fellow is recruited from 1-Jan-2015 until 31-Dec-2017. This fellow is on sick leave from 1-May-2016 until 30-Sep-2016.


Employer must pay the following amounts to the fellow per national law:

- From day 1 until day 15: 100% of the salary (0% salary covered by social security)

- From day 16 until day 45: 40% of the salary (60% salary covered by social security)

- From day 46 until day 500: 0% of the salary (100% salary covered by social security)

 Researcher Declaration: must be modified as follows:

o Period 1: start date: 1-Jan-2015; end date: 15-May-2016 (day 15); Work Time Commitment: Full Time

o Period 2: start date: 16-May-2016 (day 16); end date: 14-Jun-2016 (day 45); Work Time Commitment: Part Time (40%)

o Period 3: start date: 15-Jun-2016 (day 46); end date: 30-Sep-2016 (end date sick leave); Work Time Commitment: Suspension

o Period 4: start date: 1-Oct-2016; end date: 31-Dec-2017; Work Time Commitment: Full Time

  • Periodic report: mention that fellow was on sick leave from 1-May-2016 until 30-Sep-2016.
  • Supporting documentation: medical certificates required per national law must be available at the fellow's recruiting institution.


Back to top Back to top
Jump to page content