Applying for European Funding

The European Union (EU) provides funding for a broad range of projects and programmes. Funding is managed according to strict rules which help to ensure that there is adequate control over how funds are used and that funds are spent in a transparent and accountable manner.

Information for HSE participants on EU projects:

If you are planning to join one of the European Union-funded projects the following steps should be followed:

Pre-award steps:

Step 1: Apply for the HSE PIC number (the number serving as a unique identifier for HSE staff planning to participate in EU project). It can be done by completing the HSE EU Research Registration Form.

Step 2: Plan your budget carefully to ensure that the funds are sufficient to carry out the project in your local setting. You can get advice on how to plan your EU budget by contacting HSE Research and Development on NationalRandDOffice@hse.ie NOTE: Accepting a budget figure from the project coordinator without thinking about the actual costs may result in budget shortfalls that may impact in your ability to finish the project

Step 3: Liaise with your local Finance team to identify the right person to help you manage the funding once it is awarded and to identify the account where funds will be lodged.

Step 4: Plan your staffing requirements. It is strongly advised that you consider enrolling an experienced EU project administrator (part-time maybe sufficient) to coordinate all administrative aspects of your project. It may be useful to liaise with your local Human Resources team to determine the appropriate mechanisms to acquire your HR resources for your project (nursing, administrative, etc.). Please contact HSE Resarch and Development (NationalRandDOffice@hse.ie) if you need further advice.

Step 5: Does your project involve subcontracting or collaborating with external entities (i.e GP practices, private hospitals, section 38 hospitals, section 39 agencies..etc)? If so you may need advice in relation to the legal research agreements that need to be put in place for a successful collaboration. Please contact HSE Research and Development (NationalRandDOffice@hse.ie) if you need further advice.

Post-award steps:

Step 1: Contact HSE Research and Development to assign the Legal and Financial Signatories to the project. Please note that those roles have to be added to the HSE EU Project list first by HSE Research and Development, and then to your project directly from your own EU account (further instruction available in Useful Information).

Step 2: Ensure that the Finance Signatory role is undertaken by a person with relevant financial experience and is capable of taking the responsibility to prepare and sign financial reports (interim and final).

Step 3: Contact HSE Research and Development to get support on reviewing and signing the declaration of honour and the consortium agreement.

Step 4: Ensure that all original documents relating to the EU project such as invoices, timesheets, payslips, etc. are kept safely and easily available for EU audit for the duration of 5 years after the project is completed. Appropriate document storage agreements should be put in place if the project teams are located in different parts of Ireland. 

Useful Information

Who is the LEAR?

The LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative) is a trusted administrative contact for the European Commission, whose role is to provide reliable information at the organisational level, not at the level of individual grants.

The LEAR manages all the organisation-related data on the Funding and Tenders Portal and appoints representatives within the organisation to electronically sign grant agreements or financial statements for project costs – Legal Signatory (LSIGN) and Financial Signatory (FSIGN).

Dr. Ana Terres, the Head of HSE Research and Evidence is the LEAR for the HSE. If you are considering participating in an EU project, Dr. Ana Terres’ name has to be added to your EU project as HSE LEAR and a Participant Contact. (Please contact our office for further information).

Who is the Legal Signatory (LSIGN)?

LSIGN must be nominated at the organisational level by the LEAR. After that, they can be assigned to an EU project by a Coordinator or a Participant Contact of the project.

Only after becoming a PLSIGN in this way can an LSIGN appointed to a project sign a grant agreement for a particular project. LSIGN has responsibilities to review and sign Grant and Consortium Agreements and provide legal advice if necessary.

Who is the Financial Signatory (FSIGN)?

FSIGN must be nominated at the organisational level by the LEAR. After that, they can be assigned to an EU project by a Coordinator or a Participant Contact of the project. Only after becoming a PFSIGN in this way can an FSIGN appointed to a project sign a financial statement.

LSIGN has a role to collate and submit Financial Reports to the Primary Coordinator (lead) of an EU project and keep all financial information (e.g. timesheets, payslips, invoices, etc.) in order and available for an audit.

How to nominate / revoke role?

  1. Log on to the Funding and Tender Portal using your EU Login account credentials.
  2. Click on ‘My Project(s)’ under the ‘Manage my area’ heading.
  3. Open the ‘Actions’ menu and then select ‘Project Consortium.
  4. Click on the ‘EDIT ROLES’ button for your organisation and then on ‘Add roles’ to add a role.
  5. Or click on the EDIT ROLES’ button for your organisation and then on the dustbin icon to revoke a role.
  6. Click on ‘OK’.

What is the PIC number and how to request it?

The PIC number is a unique identifier for an organisation. You will receive this 9-digit number after you register your EU project with HSE Research and Development by completing the EU Research Registration form and sending it to NationalRandDOffice@hse.ie for approval and registration purpose.