The EC allow all relevant staff costs to be charged within an FP7 project. However they stipulate that only the hours worked on the project can be charged and these must be recorded on timesheets, adequately supported by evidence of their reality and reliability. In the absence of timesheets, the beneficiary must substantiate the cost claimed by reasonable means (alternative evidence) giving an equivalent level of assurance, to be assessed by the auditor. A contract, as a document signed before the work is actually performed, is not sufficient. It is therefore the Research Operations Office advice to keep timesheets for all staff working on an EC grant.
For your convenience the Research Operations Office has prepared a timesheet template to be used within your department available at the bottom of this page. This template is acceptable to the EC and will assist departments with the manual accounting journals required, for those staff not working 100% on the EC project. - For further information on how to maintain ROO Timesheets within your department, please click here.
PI Time Cost Allocation Procedure for Staff not directly employed by the grant
PI Time in this scenario equals any time spent on a grant by staff not employed directly by the grant. In the majority of cases this will be the PI but it could also be other staff involved on the project. Such staffs are normally paid by Chest.
The cost of the number of hours worked each month needs to be charged to the research grant for recovery from the EC. Only the actual costs as shown on the timesheet can be charged to the EC, not estimated amounts, therefore manual journals are required. Where a PI on an award is normally CHEST funded the amount of PI salary saving relating to the award is to be attributed 50:50 CHEST:Dept. When a journal is made transferring the relevant costs to the grant, the full credit will initially go to the Department overheads account and then for CHEST funded staff the Research Operations Office will perform a journal to split this amount equally between the Chest and Department as per the University's income allocation policy.
A PI's time may already be paid from directly allocated funding on other research grants. The EC are clear that we are not able to make a profit from their funding and have implemented the timesheet system to avoid over-billing of an individual's time. Therefore the Department must ensure that they are not charging more than 100% of any individual's salary across the different funding sources (e.g. reimbursement via directly allocated task 100 and reimbursement now by the EC). The CHEST does not receive any of the income from the EC for staff which are not normally CHEST funded.
Please follow this link to download a breakdown and example of the PI Time Cost Allocation Procedure.
NB: It is not expected that staff who are directly incurred on other research grants will be working on an EC grant and wish to charge their time to the EC grant. However, if you have staff directly incurred on other grants who you wish to work and be charged against an EC FP7 grant and this is within that grants terms and conditions then it is possible. As the EC insist on no profit to us from their funding, the savings made could not be credited to the Chest or Department but must be journalled back the original grant.
Update August 2013
Where a PI on an ERC award is CHEST funded the amount of PI salary relating to the award is to be attributed 50:50 CHEST:Dept. Where a PI had PI time on an ERC award, but does NOT hold a CHEST funded pot, the proportion of the salary relating to this award should be charged directly to the ERC award. The CHEST is not to receive any share of the PI time in the instance. This change is effective for the new ERC grants awarded from 1 August 2013.