Commission to improve funding conditions for EU-funded researchers

The Commission wishes to ensure that researchers working on EU-funded projects are paid at least as much as on national projects.

The Commission has adjusted the salary concept in the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement, putting it in line with national practices. The Model Grant Agreements spell out the rights and obligations of both the Commission and grant beneficiaries. Among others, the Model Grant Agreements outline the conditions for funding the project costs.

How will this improve the funding for beneficiaries with project based remuneration systems?

  • Only the part of the bonuses that (together with the basic salary) exceeds what the person would receive for work in national projects, will qualify as additional remuneration. Below that threshold the salary paid will be considered as basic salary and will be used to calculate the personnel costs eligible for Horizon 2020 grants. The sum exceeding the threshold, if any, may also be eligible for funding but only under the specific conditions applicable to additional remuneration and only up to the cap of €8,000.
  • This is meant to significantly increase the amount of eligible costs in low income member states, thus meaning to improve their capacity to attract top researchers with more competitive salaries.

These measures are supposed to apply retroactively to all on-going Horizon 2020 grants.


The difference between EU and national projects had, in some countries, created an obstacle for researchers to participate in Horizon 2020. Before this change, Horizon 2020 provisions had some unintended side effects on researchers in some countries with a low basic salary, whose pay in nationally funded projects is improved with larger bonuses.

More details on these changes can be found in the European Commission memo

Date: 14/03/2017 | Tag: | News: 567 of 1588
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