Lump sum funding

Horizon Europe has increased the number of lump sum funded projects to reduce administration and financial errors. Lump sums make the programme simpler by removing the need to report actual costs. This means easier access to the programme, especially for small organisations and newcomers, who often lack the experience and capacity to cope with the complex rules for actual costs. Furthermore, with this funding scheme, beneficiaries are able to focus more on the scientific-technical content of projects, and less on financial management.

Lump sums are defined up-front and fixed in the grant agreement. They are paid upon completion of the activities in work packages.

Beyond that, the planning, evaluation, and execution of projects does not change much. In particular, the payment of lump sums is not dependent on successful outcomes (which are never certain in research) and follows the standard payment schedule. Lump sum projects enjoy the same degree of flexibility, and their performance is judged by the same standards.

Basic principles



Lump sum evaluation and grant agreement follow the standard approach with the same:

- Evaluation criteria
- Pre-financing and payment scheme
- Reporting periods and technical reporting, though focusing on completion of work packages

    One lump sum share is fixed in the grant agreement for each work package. Thus, when the work package is completed, the payment is received (at the corresponding reporting period). Payments do not depend on a successful outcome, but on the completion of activities. Work packages can be modified through amendments (e.g. to take into account new scientific developments).

    Lump sum budgets in the proposal are based on cost estimations. Keep in mind that these cost estimations must be an approximation of the beneficiaries' actual costs. There are two lump sum options, each specified in the text of the corresponding topic:

    1. The call for proposals defines a fixed lump sum (lump sum type 1): the budget requested in the proposal must be equal to this fixed lump sum and the proposal must describe the resources mobilised for this amount.  Where the lump sum is prefixed by the call (lump sum type 1a), your budget must equal (add up to) the prefixed total. Where the lump sum is based on pre-fixed building block amounts for certain activities (lump sum type 1b), you will be expected to fill out a calculator, to show how you arrived at the total amount.
    2. The beneficiary defines the lump sum in the proposal (lump sum type 2): in setting the lump sum, the beneficiary is free to define the amount necessary to carry out the project, although the lump sum chosen must be justified by the resources mobilised. Where the lump sum is project-based, you will have to submit a detailed budget table with the project budget.

    Get started with these videos for experts and applicants

    The European Commission has published two short tutorial videos to explain how Lump Sums work in Horizon Europe.

     

    The videos have been created to brief experts who evaluate lump sum proposals, but they are also useful for applicants preparing a lump sum proposal.

    The first video gives an overview and describes the changes with lump sums.

    The second video explains the detailed budget table.

    Lump sum - HEin3Minutes

    Short video with principal tips about lump sum funding

    Lump Sum funding in HE

    Check this presentation used in the Lump sum training of the EC

    Key aspects



    Keep in mind the following points when working with lump sums

    • No reporting of actual costs, as there is no financial reporting, the granting authority/the European Commission will not carry out financial checks, reviews or audits related to actual costs and the resources used (learn about the lump sum reporting process here).
    • Following the evaluation of the proposal, lump sum shares are defined per beneficiary and per work package and are fixed in the Grant Agreement.
    • The pre-financing of a lump sum project is received as usual.  
    • The payments are received upon completion of work packages at the end of reporting periods.
    • Exceptionally, at the end of the last reporting period, it is possible to declare work packages as partially completed. In this case, the lump sum share is partially paid, in line with the accepted degree of completion.

    Lump sum trainings

    Check the NCP Portal trainings on lump sum funding

     

    The NCP Portal offers the following training related to lump sum funding, proposal preparation and evaluation and best practices.

    EU flags

    Lump Sum Funding in HE: How does it work? How to write a proposal?

    EC training focused on how lump sum funding works and what to consider when writing a lump sum proposal.

    Held on Feb 2 2024.

    HE_LumpSum_EC

    Lump Sum Funding in HE: How does it work? How to write a proposal?

    EC training focused on how lump sum funding works and what to consider when writing a lump sum proposal.

    Held on Oct 19 2023.

    LumpSUm

    Training on Lump sum project funding

    Dedicated to all NCPs from MS, AC & TC; open also to beneficiaries.

    Held on Nov 30 2021.

    Practical side of lump sum grants: Experiences from NCPs and beneficiaries

    Only for nominated NCPs affiliated to Legal and Financial aspects.

    Held on Jul 4 2023.

    Lump sum Model Grant Agreement

    Check the Model Grant Agreement of a lump sum project if you are preparing a lump sum proposal

    Lump sum budget table

    Check the lump sum budget table if you are preparing the budget for a lump sum proposal

    Lump sums – what do I need to know?

    Check this general presentation to get started, including details on how to set up a lump sum budget

    Lump sum Grants Quick Guide

    Check this document where and overview of the advantages of lump sums and how they work in practice are explained

    Lump sum Grants Complete Guide

    Check this document where the advantages of lump sums and how they work in practice are explained in detail

    Lump sum reporting step by step

    Check this document to learn everything about the reporting process for lump sum projects

    FAQs

    Check if your questions about lump sums have already being answered here

    Best practices for lump sum grants

    Check the tips from Horizon 2020 lump sum beneficiaries in this document