LERU calls for keeping Horizon 2020 simple and straightforward
The European Commission (EC) carried out a survey on simplification in Horizon 2020 in September and October 2015. On 23 October 2015, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) submitted its response to this survey, stating that simplification has always been the number 1 priority of LERU in the development and implementation of Horizon 2020.
LERU's response addresses a number of topics, focusing on pressing administrative and financial issues. It also includes a number of recommendations on simplification in Horizon 2020:
- Keeping the single reimbursement rate and flat rate for indirect costs, as they are major simplifications;
- Basing the reimbursement of personnel cost on actual costs;
- Changing the ineligibility of internal invoices, since this hampers normal operations;
- Changing unit costs in clinical trials because they do not work in practice;
- Warning beneficiaries about low pre-financing and increase it considerably;
- Improving current practice regarding time-recording;
- Clarifying rules on third party engagement;
- Continuing to improve the participant portal;
- Simplifying the grant preparation stage;
- Being flexible within the required time to grant;
- Introducing a "seal of excellence" for research management;
- Continuing with the open, challenge-based approach;
- Dealing with oversubscription and low success rates;
- Considerably revising the evaluation system;
- Improving the support delivered by NCPs;
- Refraining from introducing additional red tape regarding ethical issues and research integrity.
Prof Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of LERU, states: "LERU is looking forward to discuss these comments and recommendations with the European Commission and other stakeholders in the field. We have been pleased with the original simplification approach and its implementation, but more can be done to KISS - Keep it Simple and Straightforward - Horizon 2020".
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