Research and Innovation Services


European Commission financial management

European Commission (EC) funding is subject to stringent financial regulations. This page provides a high-level introduction to the key financial aspects.


Budget rate

The European Research and Innovation Office (ERIO) will have agreed the budget with the coordinator and then set up the internal budget breakdown on a Project Budget Approval Form (PBA). See our Foreign currency projects page for the current exchange rate.

Once the contract has been signed and the project start date has been fixed, this budget is set up on MyFinance.

At the end of each reporting period, the budget rate will be reviewed and can be increased if exchange rate gains have been made on submitted statements.

Budget transfers

Although budgets are awarded across specific categories and any deviation could lead to a non-reimbursement of the related costs, there is a degree of flexibility with EC-funded projects, Marie-Curie fellowships excluded.

If a budget virement (transfer) is required between two existing cost categories, please consult your Research Finance Administrator.

Eligibility of costs/VAT

Each scheme and type of project have different rules. Please refer directly to the guidelines or consult your Research Finance Administrator.

Costs must be incurred in accordance with UCL’s normal accounting principles, for example, procurement, expenses etc. Please see attached policy websites:

One of the major changes introduced by the H2020 scheme compared to the former FP7’s is that non-recoverable VAT is now eligible on Horizon 2020 projects.


Subcontracting of services/activity to undertake core tasks should be foreseen in the Grant Agreement Contract.

If a subcontract is required after the project started, an amendment to the Grant Agreement must be requested and will be subject to the EC approval/rejection. Contact the relevant European Contract Manager in our European Research and Innovation Office for more information.

The costs related to unforeseen subcontracts will not be funded by the European Commission.


Timesheets are mandatory on all EC projects. Visit our European Commission timesheet guidance page for further information.


All FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects awarded require periodic reports to be submitted either to the EC directly or to the coordinator of the project you are involved with. These are usually required within 60 days after the end of the reporting period but on some occasions, the deadline can be moved forward.

Award Services Post-Award will keep a log of all reporting needed for your project and will administer the financial reports.

Financial Reporting consists of the following documentation:

  • Form C – financial statement of expenses
  • Explanation of Resources – a breakdown of the costs reported
  • Audit (Certificate on the Financial Statement).

FP7: as soon as cumulative spending reaches €375,000 of EC Contribution

Horizon 2020: one final audit only if the sum of direct costs claimed (indirect costs excluded) has reached €325,000.  

Award Services Post-Award will complete these forms for you and liaise with you throughout the project to ensure that all interim and financial data required will be produced.

Please note salary costs cannot be claimed in the absence of authorised timesheets. 


Payments in FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects consist of a prefinancing payment, interim payments, final payment and reimbursement of a guarantee fund.

Payments are received in Euros, in a UCL EUR bank account, the details of which should only be provided by Award Services. If you are contacted by an external organisation to provide UCL’s bank details please refer to Award Services who will verify the source and provide the correct account details. 

Keys differences FP7/Horizon 2020

Background Horizon 2020 vs FP7 - What changed?

  • Single reimbursement rate
  • More flexible rules for third parties and contract costs
  • Differentiation of contracts and sub-contracts
  • Unique flat rate of 25% for indirect costs
  • Introduction of the concept of Large Research Infrastructure
  • 3 options for determining annual productive hours
  • Cleaner and simpler obligations on time records
  • More flexibility for average personnel costs
  • Provisions on additional remuneration
  • Eligibility of non-deductible VAT
  • Common Support Centre (CSC)