Project Reporting

Guidance notes for completion of ENSEMBLES second year reports



Our annual reports need to be submitted to the Commission by early October through the Co-ordinator in RT0 (see project reporting page and Article II.7 in Annex II for the regulations).

The main problems last year arose from a lack of experience of the FP6 reporting procedure and some people not responding in time. We have 10 Research Themes, 48 Work Packages, 67 partners and the summer holiday season to complicate matters, so please provide the requested information promptly so that RT0 can compile the reports and carry out sufficient quality control in time. If you need help or advice then please do ask (sooner rather than later) as we are here to try and help.

The following sections explain who needs to what and by when. The first year's reports will be a useful reminder of the required format and information.

Acronyms: RT = Research Theme, WP = Work Package, PAR = Periodic Activity Report, PMR = Periodic Management Report, DIP = Detailed Implementation Plan, DoW = Description of Work

Timetable for year 2 reporting
Date due by Item/Report Person Responsible
mid-Jul 06 Draft input for PAR and DIP for months 25-42 to RT leaders WP Leaders
31 Jul 06 First draft PAR and DIP (including deliverables/milestones to month 42) RT leaders
31 Aug 06 Complete PAR, DIP and all deliverables/milestones (including cover sheet) for months 13-24 RT leaders
20 Sep 06 All information for PMR (including tables 3 and 4), Form C, audit certificate (if applicable), DIP budget Partners
10 Oct 06 All final reports submitted to EC RT0
Tasks for RT leaders

By 31 August 2006 each RT needs to e-mail the following documents to

1. The following sections of the Periodic Activity Report (PAR) from their RT for months 13-24. Last year's report will be a useful starting point:

2. The Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) for their RT for months 25-42.

3. All deliverables with cover sheet (and milestone reports where appropriate) that are due in year 2.

By 31 July 2006 please provide your intended milestones and deliverables up to month 42 to RT0 so that we can assess consistency across RTs. Please also submit a draft version of the PAR and DIP to RT0. This first draft will help alleviate problems if/when progress with report writing slows down in August. Changes, updates, refinements, additions etc. can then be made by 31 August. Please contact RT0 if it will be a problem producing a first version by 31 July.

Tasks for WP leaders

Your RT leaders should contact you requesting much of the above information for the PAR and DIP. Please send the information to your RT leader, not to RT0. RTs might have different deadlines, so liaise with your RT leader. The simplest way to complete the WP reports is to get each partner in your WP to complete the Periodic Activity Report for Partners

Tasks for Partners

Hand-out for financial/admin departments

All partners listed in the contract including zero cost partners (but not affiliated partners because they are not listed in the contract) need to provide the information detailed below directly to the Co-ordinator. This information is in addition to the items that your WP and/or RT leaders will request. It will take the co-ordinator several weeks to compile the reports based on this information, so please provide it as soon as possible after 1 September and by 20 September 2006.

Please email the items listed in bullet points 1, 2 and 3 to by 20 September.

Please post signed copies of the items in bullets 2 and 4 to Pip Gilbert, Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK by 20 September.

1. Information for the Periodic Management Report (PMR) for months 13-24, 1Sep05-31Aug06:

2. Form C: Financial statement per activity for the contractual reporting period. Please read the following important points:

3. An updated 18 month Detailed Implementation Plan budget, for months 25-42 (to replace the A3.3 forms for months 13-30 in Section 9.4 of the DoW using the Section9.4_DIP spreadsheet. Remember that each RT and each partner have total budgets for the 5 years which cannot be exceeded without Management Board approval (see Contract Preparation Form A3.1 in the DoW for partners' budgets). All figures should be given to the nearest Euro.

4. An audit certificate to accompany Form C is required once a partner's total requested EC contribution from the start of the project to date reaches or exceeds €150,000. For example, if their requested contribution for year 1 was €80,000 and the contribution for year 2 was €80,000 then that partner would need to provide an audit certificate with their year 2 Form C, and in all subsequent years.

Those partners who have not yet requested €150,000 or more do not have to provide an audit certificate (this is Special Clause 39 to the ENSEMBLES contract), but I strongly urge you to consider providing one for the following reasons:

It has been agreed by all partners that the cost of the audit certificate shall not be charged to the ENSEMBLES project (please see the Consortium Agreement).

Working notes for contractors and certifying entities are available from the Cordis website. Please follow the instructions contained within the notes very carefully, particularly the wording in Annex 2. The EC advised that several audit certificates needed revising after year 1.

The Commission's Guide to Financial Issues is available at

The guidelines state in several places that "the expenses needed to implement the indirect action shall be certified by an external auditor or, in the case of public bodies, a competent public officer", but page 94 is slightly more informative, and hopefully will tell you what the rules are in choosing an auditor for your organisation.

Quick check diagram for second year reporting
Quick check diagram thumbnail
Frequently Asked Questions
Lessons learned

Lessons Learned (printable version). Please read through it for further advice.

The following lessons have been learned during the first year of reporting for the ENSEMBLES FP6 project. All of the comments below apply to situations that actually arose. I have provided a summary of what the problem was and what ACTION is needed to help prevent the problem arising again. I'm sure many people would agree that it was a difficult process, so please let us have any further comments or feedback to help us improve the process in the future.

Please note: this working document may need revising as a result of any comments that we may receive from the EC.

Contact names

At the start of the project we asked partners to provide us with all of their appropriate contact email addresses. However, during the reporting process we discovered that the people we then contacted did not necessarily pass on the relevant information to the appropriate (particularly administrative and financial) people.
ACTION: please provide the email addresses of the people at your institute, particularly the appropriate administrative people, who are able to provide information for the reports. This includes scientific reports, financial reports, and scientific and financial planning.


It takes us a lot of time to compile the reports and to carry out sufficient quality control checks. A lot of information was not provided to us on time for year 1, which meant that we spent (=wasted) a lot of time chasing up the information and did not have as much time as we would have liked to do careful checking and editing.
ACTION: Please provide everything as soon as possible and definitely by the date requested.

CPF A3.3 - financial plan for next 18 months

Every year we update Contract Preparation Form (CPF) A3.3 to show each partner's total eligible costs and requested budget for the next 18 months. This form is used to determine their next advance of money.
ACTION: Each partner needs to take into account how much money they have already received from us, what they have claimed on their Form Cs so far, and what their total (5 year) budget is. A spreadsheet showing this historical information will be available on the members-only website.
A reminder: AC partners' indirect costs should not exceed 20% of direct costs; FC/FCF partners' requested EC contribution for RTD can not exceed 50% of their total RTD eligible costs; No-cost partners have no requested EC contribution!

Form C

ACTION: Please take note of the following points, which might not have been clear to you:

Audit certificate

ACTION: Please take note of the following points:

ACTION: Therefore, we strongly recommend all partners who have requested money from the project from year 1, or will do so at the end of year 2, to have their Form Cs audited next year so that they can uncover any potential problems (perhaps with their institute's accounting systems for FP6) at as early a stage as possible. Alternatively it might be worth having your year 1 costs and Form C audited now for your own internal purposes. I am making these suggestions because discovering problems at the end of the project could cause problems for you.

Tabular overview of budgeted vs actual costs ("Table 3")

ACTION: Please take note of the following points which might not have been clear to you:

Tabular overview of budgeted person month and actual person month ("Table 4")

In year 1 this information was collected through the WP and RT leaders for their WPs and RTs, and then collated by the coordination team. In year 2 we think it will simplify the reporting process if each partner sends this information directly to the coordination team.

Some other frequently asked questions

Periodic Activity Report

Q: Do we need to report on milestones and deliverables due in months 25-30 in section (d)?
A: No.

Periodic Management Report

Q: Isn't the work description (bullet 1) already covered in the Periodic Activity Report?
A: Yes, there is some overlap. Make the Periodic Management Report section very brief and include more description in the Periodic Activity Report.

Q: How do I complete Appendix 2, Table 3 of Periodic Management Report – Budget vs Actual Costs

  1. We don't have a definition from the EC's reporting guidelines of what a "major cost" is. Please use your best judgement. It is probably valid for many partners to not have any major cost items
  2. Column f "Budget" refers to the total eligible costs over the full duration of the project as specified in Contract Preparation Form A3.1 (available from the members'-only site)
  3. Columns a1-e1 refer to the 5 individual years of the project, b1 is year 2
  4. The note in red "*) total budget figures - not EC funded" means all figures should refer to each partner's total eligible costs. For FC/FCF partners this will be at least double the requested EC contribution. For AC partners this will be at least equal to the requested EC contribution.
Summary of forms required

We hope the above is of help,
Chris Hewitt and Pip Gilbert.

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