EFI Network Fund FAQ

Questions and answers related to the Green Book of Biocities 2020 grant call

For any questions, please contact katriina.pajari @ efi.int.

Q1: Who can be a coordinator?
A: The Coordinator must be either an EFI Associate or Affiliate Member with a valid membership status. Valid membership status = EFI membership fee is paid for the year in which the proposal is submitted (by the deadline of the call) and for the years the study is receiving the grant from the EFI Network Fund (by the deadline indicated in the membership fee invoice).

Q2: Are both EFI member organisations and non-member organisations eligible in receiving funding?
A: Yes, this is correct.

Q3: What is the required amount of co-financing?
A: The general EFI Network Fund rules, which also apply to this call, require co-financing by the consortium of any activity funded through this fund. However, in this call the share/amount of co-funding is not specified and is not included as an evaluation criterion for the proposals. In this call the only eligibility criteria is the requested grant (i.e., not exceeding 200,000€). In addition to the quality evaluation, feasibility to undertake the study with the proposed budget will be evaluated. 

Q4: Is there a limit of member and non-member partners in the consortium?
A: There is no general recommendation of the number of partners. The eligibility criteria related to the partners are: 1) the proposal is coordinated by an EFI member organisation, and 2) the proposal shall include at least three EFI member organizations; member organisations have to hold a valid membership status (see Q1).

Q5: Does the page limit of 14 pages include also the references?
A: Yes, it does.


Questions and answers related to the 1 st call (2017)

For any questions, please contact katriina.pajari @ efi.int.

Q1: Do we need to have partners from all 4 European regions?
A: Yes, the consortium has to consist of at least 4 EFI member organisations from at least 4 different European regions. See the countries of different regions in the Annex 1 of the Guidelines for applying. The consortium members should have a clear role and they should be knowledgeable of the topic to be able to address it appropriately.

Q2: Are the personnel costs eligible to be covered from the EFI Network Fund?
A: Basically no. The EFI Network Fund is meant to cover other costs, e.g. for travels, workshops, visits, etc. The funding rate of the EFI Network Fund is up to 80% of the budgeted costs per participant (total contribution max 100 000 EUR). The personnel costs are eligible for e.g. covering the 20% own contribution.

Q3: We have partners from outside the regions mentioned in the Annex 1. Is this allowed?
A: The territorial focus of this call is the 4 different European regions. However, this does not prevent partners from also other regions to participate in the consortium.

Q4: Are the costs of partners outside Europe eligible?
A: Only EFI Associate and Affiliate member organisations with a valid membership status are eligible for receiving funding from the EFI Network Fund.

Q5: What is meant with a valid membership status?
A: The EFI membership fee has to be paid 1) for the year 2017 by 15 December 2017 and 2) for the years the project is receiving the grant from the EFI Network Fund by the deadline indicated in the membership fee invoice.

Q6: Can topics or activities of particular interest for a specific region (e.g. Mediterranean, Balkans) or country be funded?
A: Yes, provided the call criteria are met. This could be an opportunity to e.g. share information and best practices between different regions.

Q7: Can EFI Regional Offices be partners in the consortium?
A: No, EFI units or staff members are not eligible as partners nor they are eligible for receiving funding from the EFI Network Fund. However, their host organisations are eligible.

Q8: What is the level of financial report?
A: The financial reporting will be made at the same level as what the budget template is, but with some additions, i.a. own contribution, possibly on what it is consisting of and a short clarification on the personnel costs. The financial report should be signed by the appropriate member of the Finance department. EFI will keep the right to ask for further clarification of the usage of funds (both own contribution and the grant).

Q9: Are costs of external experts eligible (e.g. travel)?
A: Yes, they are, provided the participation of these experts is supporting the activities.

Q10: Can you please clarify what is entered to the budget? In the call text it is said as follows “Please provide a budget table, where the total costs and EFI Network Fund contribution are shown per proposer and per main cost categories (i.e., coordination, travel, events, grants, dissemination). Add a description of the rationale for the distribution of the budget.”
A: Please enter all costs per category (100%) to the budget template. The template calculates automatically the maximum of 80% of the total costs for the maximum grant amount. However, please remember to enter the applied grant amount to the last column and to give the rationale for the cost distribution.

Q11: Is it possible for EFI to distribute the funds directly to the partners, instead of sending them to the coordinator only?
A: No, it is not. EFI is planning to negotiate only one grant agreement directly with the coordinating institution. The coordinating institution would need to take care of the financial reporting and the distribution of the funds for the whole consortium.

Q12: Can one organisation participate in several consortia?
A: Yes, it can. However, in case an organisation participates in several successful consortia, the grant will not cover overlapping costs. Also, the organisation should ensure adequate resources for the consortia.

Q13: Can the Board and SAB members participate in the proposal?
A: Due to a conflict of interest, the current Board and SAB members should not be contact persons in the proposal.

Q14: Submission tool does not work. What to do?
A: If you are not able to apply online, even after trying another browser, please email 1) the requested online information and 2) your application to katriina.pajari @ efi.int. Kindly note, that the information requested in the online application tool is needed additionally to the proposal to be able to proceed. Sending only the application is not adequate.

Q15: The guidelines ask  to " provide a budget table, where the total costs and EFI Network Fund contribution are shown per partner organisation and per main cost categories " but the template provided only shows the costs directly related to the project (not the salaries and other contributions by the partners). How to proceed?
The total costs related to the project should be indicated in the proposal budget under the given cost categories including personnel costs. The template counts automatically the maximum contribution. The applied contribution should be entered manually. The applied contribution can be less than 80%. The consortium is also asked to give a rationale behind the costs entered. In this rationale, i.a. the share of personnel costs can be further explained.

Q16: The deadline is set as 15th of December; but we could not find the exact time. 
A: The deadline (date and time) is mentioned in the guidelines: 15 December 2017, 17:00 CET.