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Using Timesheets on an EC Project

The EC requires that accurate time records be kept by each member of personnel working on an EC funded project, to provide evidence of the amount of time dedicated to the project, and to ensure costs charged to the grant are correct. Timesheets provide an efficient and consistent method of recording time; the University's policy is that timesheets are obligatory for all staff on FP7 projects, and all staff working less than 100% of their contracted time on H2020 projects.

For staff working 100% of their contracted time on an H2020 project, a Declaration of Exclusivity may be signed, where the individual doesn't undertake any other work at the University (e.g. no teaching, supervision, applying for new grants etc.). Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows may also sign a Declaration to state they are working solely on their Fellowship for its entire duration.

Please note however that keeping timesheets is still recommended even when a Declaration is signed, as the Commission can request timesheets if there is any doubt about an individual working exclusively on the H2020 project.

Timesheet and Declaration templates are available to download from the Research Operations Office website. Please note there are different templates depending on whether the project is part of FP7 (available at this link) or H2020 (available at this link).

Timesheets are a frequent source of queries- both from project personnel and from auditors reviewing project timesheets. To assist personnel in completing timesheets accurately, best practice tips are provided below:

General guidance

  • Timesheets should be signed by the member of personnel submitting them, and by their supervisor. It may be most efficient to set up a monthly project team meeting, at the end of which all timesheets are collected and signed.

  • Signatures should be originals, not scans, and each timesheet should be signed after the end of the month it relates to i.e. timesheets can’t be verified as a true representation of monthly hours before that month has ended.

  • Timesheets are a vital component of audits, and therefore it’s important to check accuracy, and file all project timesheets safely– monitoring them to ensure any missing or incomplete documents are rectified prior to any audits.

  • For personnel not dedicated 100% to the EC project, reported time commitments can vary month to month, to better reflect actual project activity.  The average % time commitment over the reporting period should match the % commitment made in the project proposal.

  • Annual leave, including bank holidays, should be recorded on timesheets as it forms part of the EC’s calculation of annual productive hours. Any parental leave or sick leave should also be recorded on timesheets.

  • For personnel whose time is charged to the grant via journals rather than payroll, remember personnel salary costs will change after inflationary payrises, salary increments or promotions.

  • If a member of personnel doesn’t commit any time to the EC project in a particular month, a timesheet for zero hours should still be submitted and signed.

For specific guidance on timesheets for FP7 or H2020, please download the appropriate document below:

Timesheets in FP7

Timesheets in H2020