HBP Open Calls: Frequently Asked Questions - General

Budget Related Questions

What counts as co-funding?

The HBP is looking for applicants that are well established in their respective field of research and that already have significant resources and experience. We are not explicitly requesting the applicant to apply for and bring in a new grant that is starting alongside the SGA3 Project, although this would be another welcome possibility for co-funding. This is consistent with the existing Consortium – most partners bring such co-funding into the Project, in some cases far exceeding the grant amount from the HBP.

The HBP would like to have the source(s) of co-funding (institutionally paid personnel, grants, equipment/infrastructure, IT, services, etc.) listed in the proposal. This could be funding of faculty/staff positions, major equipment that the applicant would bring into the Project, grants that have already been awarded in the relevant research area or also access to research infrastructures, experimental facilities and use of technical equipment that can contribute to the Project.

The co-funding should be clearly explained and expressed in monetary value: taking into account only the portion of the costs which corresponds to the duration of the action and rate of actual use for equipment/infrastructure/services. Co-funding is not part of any audits, but can be reported (not claimed) by the Partners in the financial reports of the HBP.

Are indirect costs included in the total Call budget?

No, the total Call budget refers to the direct costs (funded expenses) and does not include overheads/indirect costs (funded overhead). An additional 25% (overhead rate) of indirect costs will be calculated automatically by the Open Call Platform and the sum will include Direct Costs (total Call budget) plus 25% Indirect Costs (Overhead). The Voucher needs to be considered as part of the total Call budget.

What should the budget table look like?

Assuming the total Call budget of EUR 1,000,000, a sample budget table can be as follows (please note that the numbers can change if the funding for the external partner is planned higher than 80%):

Sum = Total Call budget (direct costs) + 25% indirect costs

HBP External ≥ 80% sum

HBP Internal ≤ 20% sum



Total Call budget

Indirect costs (25%)


HBP External (80%)

EUR 800,000

EUR 200,000

EUR 1,000,000

HBP Internal (20%)

EUR 200,000

EUR 50,000

EUR 250,000


EUR 1,000,000

EUR 250,000

EUR 1,250,000


Should I put co-funding on the budget table?

You should not allocate co-funding to the budget table. It needs to be mentioned in the proposal, Section: Quality of the Organisation.

Is subcontracting allowed?

It is expected that the new partners have the operational capacity to carry out the activities related to the main objectives of this CEoI. Nevertheless, some subcontracting is allowed for activities not crucial to the HBP work (see Financial Rules - H2020-amga (PDF)).

Which costs categories and activities are eligible for funding?

The main financial and management rules are described in the Horizon 2020 financial information (PDF)

Eligibility Related Questions

Who can apply to the Calls for Expressions of Interest?

Unless otherwise stated, both HBP and non-HBP partners are eligible for funding under this CEoI. At least 80% of the proposal budget must be assigned to non-HBP partners, while the HBP partners should not account for more than 20% of the allocation. A new unit of an existing HBP partner, not receiving any HBP funding, is eligible to participate in the CEoI and can apply for 80% of the allocated budget. The same rule applies to the HBP partners not receiving any SGA3 HBP funding. This rule allows (but does not force) new units to directly start with a close collaboration with already integrated units. 

Who can be considered as non-HBP partner?

Partners that have never received any HBP funding, are considered as non-HBP partners. The same applies to the HBP partners not receiving any SGA3 HBP funding. In other words, if a partner receives SGA2 funding but it will not receive SGA3 funding, it is considered as a ”new” HBP partner.

Can more than one research group at the same institution apply for funding or do they need to contact external collaborators?

More than one research group from the same institution can apply, as long as both are non-HBP partners. It would be in the spirit of the Calls, to also bring a new partner organisation from any H2020 country to the Project.

Does each partner, to participate in the CEoI, need to represent a different country?

No, there is no requirement to have different countries represented by each partner in the application– however, it is preferable to not have all principal investigators from the same institution, but it could be e.g., institutions from the same country.

In general, the countries eligible to apply are all EU Member States and the H2020 Associated Countries. For eligibility of other countries, please see this link.

Can US institutions apply to the Call?

US partners cannot receive EU funding. A US institution will not be able to become part of the HBP Consortium, and their work will not be integrated into the SGA3 Work Plan. The work of a US partner can be linked to SGA3 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and through that the partner can become an associated partner.

Open Call (Application) Platform Related Questions

How can I save the draft version of my budget table in the application Platform?

You need to insert 0 (zero) into every blank in the budget table. Click on the sections with subgroups (e.g. equipment) and put zero for those subgroups (e.g. item). Then click the save button. This will save your draft information so you do not need to repeat steps. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt when your changes are saved. Not receiving an acknowledgement receipt implies that the submission has not been received/saved (in this case: contact info@opencalls.humanbrainproject.eu).  

Is a full proposal (as outlined in the proposal template) expected by the deadline? And if so, do we have to submit an ‘expression of interest’ before that date?

The full proposal is required and it should be submitted via the web Platform by the indicated deadline in the Guide for Applicants. A pre-final version of the proposal should be uploaded at least 3 days before the deadline, to avoid being unable to submit due to eventual technical difficulties during a last-minute submission. It is not necessary to send an expression of interest letter beforehand. It is also not necessary to attach a cover letter or expression of interest letter, i.e. the full proposal is the only necessary document.

How can I replace my proposal submission?

You do not need to replace your submission. You can upload as many proposals as you wish until the deadline and the Platform will automatically add a date and time to your proposals. So, the very last upload will be considered as your final submission and only that one will be taken into account.