34. The one of the specific evaluation criteria mentioned in the Work Programme refer to the “Level of potential impact of a project proposal at regional/national level defined in terms of expected publications in peer reviewed journals…”. How can the consortium show and prove that publications will be published in high impact journals, if the research activities are not funded?

As this is a Coordination and Support action (CSA) no research activities are funded. In particular the aim is to enhance the R&I capacity of the coordinating institution and to raise the research profile of its research staff. It is therefore up to the proposer to convince evaluators how the Twinning exercise will help the [...]

35. Is a consortium agreement between the beneficiaries required? What other kind of internal arrangements/partnerships/agreements need to be made between the beneficiaries themselves?

Yes, signing a consortium agreement between all the beneficiaries in the project (i.e. all entities that sign the grant agreement) is the only requirement from the Commission's side as with standard Horizon 2020 rules. Any other internal agreements/arrangements are voluntary and up to the participants themselves.

36. Is there an indication on what profile the evaluators will have? What are the evaluation criteria and their relative weighting?

The Commission will apply the appropriate expert selection and standard evaluation procedures in an open and transparent manner, according to the Commission's highest quality standards and known evaluation criteria (no hidden weightings).

37. Is an ERA Chair eligible for funding of a twinning project (call H2020-TWINN-2015) for widening its activities, in particular training of staff on application of new analytical techniques and methods?

Yes, that is possible, however double funding is not allowed, so it should be clear which costs will be covered by which project and they cannot be declared for funding twice.

38. What kind of the main project outputs does the Commission expect from a Twinning action?

The main idea of this call as explained in the work programme is to enhance the R&I capacity and to raise the research profile of the staff of the applicant entity. This is done through interaction of the institution located in the Widening country with the internationally leading partners through conferences, workshops, seminars, exchange of best [...]

39. Is a PhD degree a mandatory requirement for the scientific coordinator of the applicant organization?

A PhD degree is not mandatory, scientific excellence is. However it would be difficult to convince the expert evaluators on the value of a proposal in which the Coordinator lacks a PhD.

40. Is alignment and complementarity with the national or regional R&I Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) of the Widening country obligatory? What about applicants from Associated countries?

As also specified in the Work Programme, applicants from Widening Countries are only encouraged to identify alignment and complementarity with the RIS3 of their respective country or region. However the Commission stresses the fact that there is no obligation whatsoever for a Twinning proposal to follow RIS3 priorities. Associated Countries do not benefit from Cohesion Policy [...]

41. What is the expected duration of short-term staff exchanges and/or expert visits? Are they limited to a few weeks? A few months?

There is no pre-defined duration for short term staff exchanges or expert visits. They should however, add value to the project and they should last for a reasonable timeframe of a few weeks or a few months; more than 9 months would probably be considered as too long.