Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Navigating the landscape after your grant application is approved
There is often so much emphasis placed on creating a good proposal and attempting to secure a grant that very little is ever said about what happens after a proposal has been accepted.
Below, we cover what happens after you have successfully been awarded grant funding, from payment amounts to timing to who receives the payments.
Understanding the Horizon Europe grant management system and payments
In Horizon Europe, payments are made according to the amounts budgeted, reported, and accepted, as outlined in Article 22 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement. After these payments are made by the European Commission to the Coordinator of the project, the coordinator then transfers the payments to the partners. This must be done without unjustified delays.
There are 3 main types of payments:
Pre-financing: This amount is between 30-70% of the total grant amount.
Interim payments: These payments are made after each interim report and are up to 90% of the total grant amount.
Final payment: This balance is calculated by subtracting the payments already received from the total grant award that was accepted.
How long do grants take to process and when will grants be paid?
As mentioned above, Horizon Europe grants are paid to the Coordinator in several instalments, and it is then the responsibility of the Coordinator to administer and distribute the payments accordingly among the beneficiaries.
The coordinator receives payments with the following terms, according to Article 21 of the Grant Agreement (GA):
Within 30 days of the entry into the grant agreement
Within 90 days of submission of the interim report
Within 90 days of submission of the final report
Pre-financing is designed to ensure cash flow for implementing the project, with the amount usually corresponding to the average grant amount for a reporting period. It remains the property of the European Commission until the final balance payment. Since 5 percent of the maximum EU grant is deducted from the pre-financing payment and directly paid into the Guarantee Fund, the amount transferred to the Coordinator will always be lower than the amount stated in Article 21.2 of the GA.
The interim payment(s) reimburse the costs declared in the relevant reporting period until the threshold of 85 percent of the maximum grant is reached. The project beneficiaries have 60 days to submit the Periodic Report after the end of a reporting period, and the Project Officer then has 90 days to review the report and process the payment, effectively 5 months after the end of the reporting period. That being said, if the Periodic Report (including the financial reports and submitted deliverables) is found to require revisions before being accepted, the process can be drawn out another few months. These timelines must be taken into account, especially for SMEs, when planning budgets and financing within running projects.
The final payment, which is up to 15 percent of the grant (10 percent retention and 5 percent from the Guarantee Fund) may only be disbursed at the completion of the project. Similar to the interim payments, the final payment will take at least 5 months after the end of the project to be dispersed.
If the funding agency (in this case, the EC) does not meet the specified payment deadlines without officially suspending the payment deadline or payments (Article 47 and 48 of the GA), the consortium is entitled to default interest.
How much of the grant will I get?
A maximum of 90 percent of the total grant amount can be paid out during the duration of the project. Except for the initial pre-financing payment, only the actual costs that are reported for a given period will be reimbursed (in most cases).
At the end of the project, the remaining eligible costs of the project will be paid out in the final payment mentioned above, but only up to the maximum grant amount.
As with the interim payments, the final payment is also linked to the submission and approval of the final report and the actual eligible costs incurred by each beneficiary. In addition, the contribution to the Guarantee Fund at the beginning of the project will be set free with the final payment.
Contact us for any questions on grant financing
Linq Consulting specializes in all areas of creating and managing successful proposals and projects, with dedicated project managers that have extensive experience with multi-million Euro collaborative research projects. Our team of expert researchers, writers, and project managers can help with all aspects of not only writing a successful grant proposal, but also carrying it through and implementing it for Horizon Europe projects.
Whether it is navigating the grant application landscape, knowing how to fill in reporting tables for publications, or ensuring deliverables are of high quality before being uploaded to the grant management system of the Horizon Europe portal, we can help get your proposal ready for the final review.