Horizon 2020 Horror Stories


Have you ever wondered what could give you the shivers during proposal writing or project implementation in Horizon 2020?


Sometimes it is your Evaluation Summary Report, with your proposal objectives judged as “not clear” or “not sufficiently detailed”; or even receiving a positive evaluation but not the maximum score,  or the European Commission making an impromptu change in the Horizon 2020 reference documents over the “holidays”.

There are many scary things that could happen before, during and after the project but we are here to help you scare the monsters away! This year we want to help you beat the finance and audit demons, so we gathered the top 3 scariest scenarios from our previous blog posts, for the best Horizon 2020 Halloween story.

Surviving financial audits. “Financial audits of Horizon 2020 projects are probably regarded as the scariest thing in the project lifecycle unless you ask someone who has already been through it. […] Honestly, it is quite inevitable that the auditors will find errors in your financial statements. Some believe that a perfect financial statement does not exist. Some believe that some minor errors will even help in the successful completion of the audit.”

Subcontracting v. Project Officers and EC auditors. “The way how the differences between Subcontracting (Article 13) and other services are defined in the H2020 Grant Agreement will definitely lead to many further arguments with the project officers and EC auditors, as it is not always clear what is considered assistance for a so-called complete action/task (as written in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement) and what is not.”

Personnel costs – more exceptions than rules. “Personnel costs generally make up the majority of a project budget in Horizon 2020. Consequently, it is also the most common field for potential mistakes and errors. The complexity of the eligibility rules and the various exceptions are the main reasons why most beneficiaries suffer when it comes to calculating the eligible personnel costs in their H2020 projects.”


You see nothing is so scary if you have a perfect guidance!

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