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EU Grant and Project Start

A Horizon 2020-grant implies that you form a grant agreement with the EU, and that project participants form a consortium agreement before the project begins. Read more about the grant agreement and deadlines, including Description of the Action, DoA, and the consortium agreement.

Grant Agreement

The grant agreement is a contract between the grantees and the European Commission. The grant agreement defines the rights and obligations of the grantees. This includes eligible costs, requirements for use and preparation of project-results and requirements for the use of the EU-emblem.


It is mainly the coordinator or the administrative coordinator, but everyone needs to sign the agreement.


‘My Projects page/My Area’ on the Funding & Tenders Portal.


Enter legal, administrative and financial data.

The first part of formulating the grant-agreement is to enter a number of legal, administrative and financial data in ‘My Projects page/My Area’ on the Funding & Tenders Portal. This applies to both the coordinator and the participants.

Three roles are to be appointed in this regard:

  1. LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative)
  2. LSIGN (Legal Signatories)
  3. FSIGN (Financial Signatory)

LEAR is a representative appointed by the management in a company, at a university etc. It is often an employee in the central administration of the organization who is appointed as LEAR. On behalf of his or her organization, the LEAR can correct the basic, administrative data for the organization, such as the address or name. The LEAR has to appoint the persons in the organization who are entitled to sign. The LEAR’s role in the project is therefore important in the beginning of the project and when costs are to be settled with the EU. Every participant in Horizon 2020 need to have a LEAR.

LSIGN is appointed by the LEAR. There are often several LSIGN’s in a project and these are entitled to sign the grant-agreement digitally. The LSIGN is at the same level as the LEAR, when they are part of the project as PLSIGN (Project Legal Signatory). The first thing the PLSIGN must do, is to sign the Declaration of Honor and thereby declaring that the organization wishes to join the Horizon 2020-project and is grant-entitled.

FSGN is appointed by the LEAR. The FSIGN is appointed to sign the financial declarations in a project when they are part of the project as PLSIGN (Project Legal Signatory).

Read more

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Payment of the First Grant Installment

When the legal, administrative and financial information are entered, the EU will announce how much the project will receive in pre-funding.

Prepare Description of the Action, DoA

Next part of formulating the grant agreement is to prepare DoA (Annex 1). DoA is the actual application, corrected for potential errors which have been discovered after submission.

DoA is a very central document as you need to comply with the written deadlines and provisions in the document. You should also be sure to write if other than the consortium are supposed to solve certain project assigments (subcontracts or linked third parties).

Sign the Grant Agreement

The last step is for the coordinator and the EU to sign the grant agreement digitally. The other project participants need to sign the so-called Accession Form (Annex 3).

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Consortium Agreement

A mutual consortium agreement describing the conditions for collaboration in the project needs to be formulated simultaneously with the contract negotiations. Unless other is described in the specific call, the consortium agreement is mandatory. The consortium agreement describes how the following subjects are dealt with during and after the project:

  • Project-handling, division of labor and decision-making
  • Financial regulations, including distribution of EU-grants
  • Access-rights to knowledge, both during and after the project
  • Utilization of results, including distribution of rights
  • Dissemination of results, including deadlines
  • Agreements on confidentiality
  • Agreements on liability/liability for damages

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Template for Consortium Agreement

The European Commission does not use a specific template for consortium agreement. An example of a template which can be useful is:

This template is made specifically for ‘Research and Innovation Actions’ and ‘Innovation Actions’ in Horizon 2020. It is made by DESCA, a group consisting of representatives from universities, scientific institutions, trade associations and companies.

FAQ about EU grant and project start
last modified Jun 10, 2020