EU-funded project implementation

Implementation of European Union-funded projects requires thorough and extensive administrative effort.

The Research Office assists researchers throughout the duration of their project, particularly with the contractual, financial and ethical aspects. Find more details on the phases of EU project implementation below.

Project implementation phases

Award phase

The grant is yours! Let’s get the project started.

Post-award phase

Research is ongoing! Let’s steer towards success.


Not sure where to start? Contact us and get your questions answered!

Award phase

GrantsDB centralises all the key documents and information related to your grants. It facilitates institutional processes for the administrative, financial and contractual management of your grants, thus ensuring the support of all concerned EPFL central services.

We help you identifying which aspects of your project require special attention for what regards ethical aspects (e.g., animal testing, treatment of personal data, clinical trials, etc.). We guide you through the right processes, to make sure that you have all the necessary authorizations to carry out your research activities in compliance with ethical requirements of the funding body, as well as EPFL, cantonal and national regulations.

Two contracts are needed for collaborative EU projects:

  • Contract with the funding organization, SERI (or the European Commission in exceptional cases presently)
  • Contract between the partners of the consortium.

For mono-beneficiary projects, only the contract with the funding organization is needed.

When the contract with the funding organization is signed, the account(s) can be opened and the project is ready to start. The EC normally requests the CA to be signed before the project starts, but this is not a blocking step.

We gather the information needed to request the funding from SERI and check the basic parameters to make sure that the project will be acceptable for EPFL (mostly from the ethics point of view) and implementable (in terms of budget, workforce and other resources)

The Research Office checks the eligibility of the PIs submitting for research funding according to the rule of the funding body as well as EPFL internal rules. If we are informed about a project participation or coordination only at the award-phase, this check is done at the contract preparation phase.

Was the information about the budget sufficient in the proposal and, if not, how to make proper adjustments to the budget to make the project viable during its complete life time? The total budget indicated in the proposal will be the only fixed value considered by SERI unless more information was included.

As soon as the Grant Agreement has been signed by the coordinator of the project and by the EC, we request the funding from SERI. For this, we need the following documents:

  • The proposal.
  • The invitation letter.
  • The Evaluation Summary Report (ESR).
  • The signed Grant Agreement.

In collaboration with the VPA legal services, we advise you on the negotiation of the Consortium Agreement. We liaise with the legal team on your IP related questions. As a consequence of the current non-association status to Horizon Europe, EPFL participates as Associated Partner to Horizon Europe.

As soon as the contract with SERI is signed by both parts (EPFL and SERI), we ask the CDG to open a fund (or several funds if several EPFL PIs are involved). When the contract from SERI is delayed, a fund can be exceptionally opened to make sure that it is available when the project starts.

Post-award phase

We provide guidance to streamline the management of your project based on the requirements of the funding body and EPFL regulations. We advise and facilitate your interactions with the funder.

We inform about the eligibility of salary costs according to the rules of the funding body as well as EPFL internal rules. We look into the planning of personnel resources for your project and advise in case of issues.

We set up Chronos for the collaborators involved in your project to make their time reporting easier and less subject to mistakes (e.g. we restrict the choice to only relevant work packages). We help you follow up the time reporting in Chronos and remedy possible deviations.

At the project start, we offer you an overview of administrative and financial obligations linked to your grant. We show you the tools that are relevant to the management of your grant. We also provide you with useful tips to avoid typical pitfalls and give you project-specific advice.  

We offer guidance on processes and support for the preparation of documentation and all deliverables linked to ethical aspects of your research, to ensure compliance with the requirements of the funding body, as well as EPFL, cantonal and national regulations.

We inform about the rules of the funding body as well as EPFL related to the purchase of equipment in the framework of EU funded projects. We are the contact point, in case there are questions related to the planned use of resources for equipment. In collaboration with ECO and Accounting, we help with issues related to the purchase of equipment and related reporting to the funding body.

The results of your project can have a strong impact on the society. Evaluate their potential with the support of TTO to capture and license EPFL’s intellectual property assets and turn them into business opportunities.

After the end of each reporting period, the consortium has 60 days to prepare the necessary reports, complete deliverables and write the periodic report and submit the financial reports.

One month before the end of a reporting period, the CDG sends an email to the EPFL PI with instructions about the different actions needed to make sure the reporting will be complete and correct. Shortly after the end of the of reporting period, the CDG sends its financial report and instructions about how to introduce the required data in the EC portal or how to report to SERI.

During the implementation of the project we guide you and advise you in the preparation and submission of the technical reports that includes the scientific progress of the project, potential deviations from the planned scientific program and corrective measures put in place.

In collaboration with the EPFL Financial Services, which is the responsible unit for the auditing of EU funded research and innovation projects, we inform and support you.

Amendments to the Grant Agreement (GA) or to the SERI contract can be needed for many different reasons such as extension of the project duration due to major delays, termination of a project partner, large modifications to the description of the activities, etc. When an amendment of the GA is accepted by the EC, we check if yes or no it has an impact on EPFL and, if yes, we inform in particular the CDG about what this impact exactly consists of.

We are at your service to advise on the eligibility of costs.

For communication activities in relation to EU funded projects, EPFL provides as variety of opportunities. We inform about the tools for communication activities at EPFL and beyond.

All publications derived from Horizon Europe funded projects must be compliant with the Open Access rules of the European Commission. We liaise with the EPFL Library who are the specialists on Open Access policy and who can guide you on how to be compliant.

A good Data Management Plan in place at the beginning of your project can save you time in managing the data of your project in the future. It is a compulsory document to have unless you fall in any of the exception cases. We liaise with the EPFL Library who can review and give you advise on your Data Management Plan.

In collaboration with CDG, we provide information about issues related to the project closure, ranging from fund closing to how to deal with data storage.



EPFL Research Office

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