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Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Research

The School of Arts and Humanities and the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences

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Grant Preparation

Grant Preparation and Ethics processes

On completion of the EC’s single/two stage evaluation process, successful Principal Investigators will be informed that their proposal has been retained for funding. At this point, any ethical requirements are raised where applicable, and then the Grant Preparation process commences.

Turnaround times set by the EC are usually tight, with 3-4 weeks being a typical deadline from the invitation to Grant Preparation, to the expected date of Grant Agreement signature. Information below details the various documents required, and likely input required from the Department, School Research Team (SRT) and the Research operations Office (ROO).

Research Ethics requirements

Where ethical issues have been raised in the self-assessment table, or flagged by the EC during evaluation, the PI will receive an Ethics Summary Report detailing whether enough information has been provided with the proposal to clear the ethics requirements, or whether more information is needed to confirm a favourable EC ethics opinion.

If there are no ethical issues, or the issues are cleared with information contained in the proposal, no action needs to be taken. If more information is requested, the PI must undertake to provide this in parallel with the Grant Preparation process. A Grant Agreement cannot be signed without ethics clearance but, where appropriate, ethics requirements raised can be addressed during the project rather than before the Grant Agreement signature. Details of the ethics review process can be found in the H2020 online manual.

In the humanities and social sciences, the most frequently raised queries on ethics are around:

- Section 2: Humans - details of recruitment procedures, informed consent templates, involvement of children and/or vulnerable groups

- Section 4: Protection of Personal Data - what is the nature of data being collected? Methodology for collecting, storing, transferring and using data

- Section 6: Third countries - Participation of non-EU countries must be clearly stated; what research will take place outside of the EU, how will local resources be used, will any material or data be imported to the UK, what benefits are foreseen for the local community?

Departments will be best placed to provide support on ethical considerations, and if a Department doesn’t have its own ethics committee, or the ethical requirements are complex, it may be appropriate to contact the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics committee.

If ethical requirements have been flagged at grant preparation stage, please do contact the SRT for support and further direction. You can also find further advice and links to EC and University guidance on the Ethics page.

Grant Preparation process

In parallel with any ethics requirements response, the formal Grant Preparation process is undertaken following a formal invite to proceed from the EC to the PI. There are several components to complete, as outlined below, and these components can vary by funding type.

As noted, turnaround time at Grant Preparation is often expected to be 3-4 weeks, so PIs will need to be clear on their responsibilities in this process. Information below is top line, and both the ROO and SRT can provide bespoke support on a project by project basis.

  • Declaration of Honour (DoH) – a standard form for all EC projects, signed by the ROO
  • Portal data submission – additional input directly on the Participant Portal varies by funding scheme type, but may include confirmation of the start date, PI details and host institution information. Both the ROO and PI may need to input data.
  • Creation of Annex 1 – The Description of Action (Annex 1) is formed from information contained within the proposal, depending on the funding type. The EC or PI/consortium can request and include content changes, but generally content remains similar to the proposal. The PI is responsible for preparing this document.
  • Creation of Annex 2 – This annex shows the budget for the project, either by reporting period (ERC), total project by cost heading (MSCA fellowships) or by consortium Beneficiary (multi-beneficiary grants). The PI prepares this document, and the ROO can assist in uploading the budgetary data to the Participant Portal.
  • Statement of Changes – Any significant changes made between the proposal and creation of the Annexes should be detailed in a separate document by the PI e.g. transfers between budget headings, alteration of a deliverable or percentage PI time.
  • Supplementary agreement – Applicable to ERC grants only, this is a mandatory agreement between the PI and host institution. ROO will issue this to the PI and send on the signed copy to the ERC.

Once all Grant Preparation data is prepared and approved by the EC, the Grant Agreement for the project is created, and then signed by Cambridge and the EC, with any other Beneficiaries signing via Accession Forms.

For consortium grants such as Societal Challenges or Future and Emerging Technologies funding strands, the Coordinator leads Grant Preparation, but all parties must formally confirm their agreement to be involved and adhere to H2020 rules via the DoH and Grant Agreement.

The Grant Agreement and Annexes form the governing documents of the project, so if any significant changes are envisaged, a formal amendment should be undertaken. Please see the Amendments page for more information.