No. As this action is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA), action tasks should not include any research tasks. This applies for all beneficiaries, i.e. both to costs of beneficiaries which are an internationally-leading (advanced) institution and to costs of the coordinating entity established in the Widening Country.
20. The Work Programme states that the twinning activities “will provide no support for hiring new permanent research staff”. What does this mean? Are personnel costs (i.e. salaries) eligible in a Twinning project?
Twinning is not aimed at hiring new researchers (permanent or temporary), as its objectives, amongst others, focus on raising the existing staff's research profile. However, personnel costs ( i.e. salaries) are eligible as follows: for personnel of all beneficiaries (from Widening or non-Widening countries), regardless of their function (researchers, administration, management), regardless of their status [...]
The Work Programme, refers to a non-exhaustive list of measures to be supported under Twinning projects: staff exchanges, expert visits, short-term on-site or virtual trainings, and workshops; conference attendance, organisation of joint summer school type activities, dissemination and outreach activities. In general, costs relating to administration, networking, coordination, training, management, travel costs etc. are typical [...]
22. It was mentioned that the internationally-leading (advanced) institutions may not pay salaries, but “costs associated with the provision of expertise” are eligible. Is this valid? What about those who are not working exclusively on the Twinning action?
As explained in question 20, the hours that the employees of all types (i.e. researchers, administrators or managers) of both the coordinating institution and the internationally-leading (advanced) partner address to project activities (non-research) are eligible costs under this programme. As provided in Article 6 MGA, only the hours worked on the action can be taken [...]
Twinning should not be used as a vehicle for increasing the population of PhD students of the coordinating institution. However, using existing or new PhD students partly for tasks of the Twinning programme is possible: in this case the relevant costs (remuneration of the PhD students for concrete project tasks but also travel and communication [...]
24. What sort of costs could be charged to a project by an internationally-leading (advanced) partner?
Costs for exchanges of personnel, travel allowances and costs associated with the provision of expertise are some of the typical costs that could be claimed by internationally-leading (advanced) partners under a Twinning project.
Can the internationally-leading (advanced) institutions receive EU contribution from a Twinning project? If yes, what is the ideal ratio of budget allocated to the advanced institutions compared to the coordinator from the Widening Country?
Yes, as this is a multi-beneficiary action. This means that all beneficiaries, including the coordinator from the Widening country and the internationally-leading (advanced) institutions will sign/accede to the grant agreement and receive project funding. There is no ideal ratio regarding the allocation of funding between the advanced institutions and the coordinator in the Widening country. [...]
The general rule applicable to H2020 projects is that beneficiaries must have the appropriate resources to implement the action (Article 8 MGA). However if necessary to implement the action, subcontracting is allowed according to the general Horizon 2020 rules outlined in Article 23 of the Rules for Participation and Article 13 of the MGA. Subcontracting [...]
Training may be subcontracted to a third party expert, subject to the Rules in Article 13 of the Model Grant Agreement (MGA). Alternatively, the travel and related subsistence allowances of the third party expert may be eligible, as explained in the Annotated MGA under Article 6.2.D.1. entitled, "Travel costs and related subsistence allowances".
Our Centre maintains multiple research partnerships with other national RDI entities. We believe that our research mission can be accomplished only through successful collaboration with scientists from these institutions. Is it possible to include these persons (who are not our employees) as collaborators in the Twinning programme?
The general rule applicable to Horizon 2020 projects is that beneficiaries must have the appropriate resources to implement the action (Article 8 MGA). However if necessary to implement the action, beneficiaries may use in-kind contributions, including seconded personnel provided by third parties, subject to the rules in Articles 11 and 12 of the MGA