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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Refund for training on ship within RMP activities
It appears that trawling cruises would be a good opportunity for training students in marine fish and fishery science and possibly for collecting some data for their own studies.
I presume MarBEF members can use there MarBEF budget for such participation. However, some associated members of MarBEF have no MarBEF budget. Would there be some MarBEF budget available to fund the travel tickets of students from associated members to board on a Research Vessel during 15 to 30 days. Such funding might include an Air ticket to Paris and a train ticket (e.g. Paris to Brest to board on the next bottom trawl cruise in the bay of Biscay). From most MarBEF countries the full cost might be between 400 and 600 € per student. Any cost during the cruise (subsistence and other) would be covered by national budget.
A: Activities within RMPs can be carried out without further interference of the General Coordinator and Management Office. Thus in case an RMP has decided to go for some cruises, and the RMP leader fully approves the activities as being a part of the RMP, the participating institutes can pay that with MarBEF funding up to the maximum agreed in the JPA (Joint Programme of Activities, wherein is indicated which institute is investing how much funds in which RMP on what kind of activities - the RMP-leaders have an overview).
In case an institute or RMP did not foresee some activities, and it has not been written in the JPA, then it is not possible to spend MarBEF money for such activities. Only with specific permission of the General Coordinator such is possible.
Indeed for Associated members there is no specific fund that may help them. Only some limited funds from the Central Budget are given to Associated Members in order to participate in the most essential integration activities of MarBEF.
The cruise that you mention should have to be essential and a core activity in the specific RMP in order to receive some funding for Associated Members. Such a cruise should be written in the JPA. If it is an essential core activity, then this should have to be substantiated by the RMP leader.
Also it is possible that regular members of MarBEF ask permission to put the costs for some students (for training on board) on their own MarBEF account. Again the relevance for MarBEF should be made clear.
Q: How much overheads can we calculate for personnel appointed in RMPs?
A: From some proposals the Management Office learned that for the appointment of personnel (within RMPs) some institutes want to calculate additional overheads on top of the salary costs. Since overheads are already included in all calculations made within the MarBEF DoW, to which each of the members is contractually bound, it will not be allowed to raise additional overheads on top of costs made at the MarBEF account.
Example: some institutes decide together to appoint a post-doc. Three (AC) institutes contribute 30, 20 and 20 kEuro, respectively, to the costs of the post-doc that is appointed at a fourth institute that also contributes 30 kEuro (in our example the total basic costs of a post-doc is thus 100 kEuro). The first 3 institutes can raise 6, 4 and 4 kEuro overheads, respectively. The fourth institute can raise maximally 6 kEuro overhead and NOT 20 kEuro. MarBEF therefore contributes only to the basic salary costs and a modest overhead of maximally 20 % in total on personnel appointed in RMPs.
For your further information: the 40 kEuro intended for RMPs is including the overheads (net contribution 33.3 kEuro)
Q: Is there a formal process to draw down funds in relation to RMPs or will the next payment automatically be transferred from MarBEF to the institution?
A: The annual refunding depends on the (eligible and agreed) costs that you made during that year (as specified in) in the Cost Statement): nothing more nothing less. There is no special treatment for costs associated with RMPs (no lump-sum payments, no pre-payments).
Q: If we (the participants in a RMP) want to pool some of our RMP resources, for example to support a post-doc, what is the correct way to do it? I guess the postdoc would be paid through a host institution (even if they travel between institutions for extended periods). In that case, should that host institution invoice each of the contributing participants for their agreed contributions?
A: There are no special rules for pooling money for a post-doc or PhD. In several RMPs similar questions came to the foreground. Your solution of sending an invoice to the participating institutions is a good solution. You should take care about the fact that the invoice should be free of overhead charges - in that way the participating institutions can still ask for their own overhead (on the basis of the value of the invoice they have paid to the host institution).
Q: How to recover expenses when hosting a workshop, e.g. for catering, etc.,
A: The best way is to charge a 'registration fee' to each participant, by invoicing their institutions.
Q: We have a person who we would like to get started on part of one of the RMP projects. However, we are unsure how we fund this although we estimated the costs using the nominal
budgets allocated to each participants.
A: For activities in RMPs, including appointment of personnel, you should inform and ask your institute's (official) MarBEF representative as well as the RMP leader (principle investigator)
For RMP activities, including appointment of personnel, you should negotiate the available MarBEF budget with your institute's (official) MarBEF representative as well as the RMP leader (principle investigator)(see website for contact details).
The RMP leader will check whether your proposed activities fit within the aims and agreed financial contribution by your institute in that RMP. The institute's responsible person has to check whether it is an eligible costing and whether it fits (financially) within the agreed limits (most probably you have to share the 40 kEuro with other colleagues)(see website for details). A simple Yes from both persons is sufficient. In principle you can then start directly your planned activities in the RMP. The costs you can book on your institute's MarBEF account.
Q: Can we indicate the (future) Associated Members also as a partner in the (financial) forms of the RMP format?
A: Yes, potential Associated Members of MarBEF can already be indicated as a partner in the forms. In form F they can fill in their own resources (at this stage there is no MarBEF budget allocated to them).
Please send your questions to Herman Hummel.