A reimbursement system based on a fixed lump sum - Is it the right tool for the EU Framework Programme for research?

Study 05-05-2022

Should the EU Framework Programmes for research use the recently piloted lump-sum (LS) system instead of traditional, expense-based reimbursement? The idea behind LS is that payments are made based on obtained results according to the agreed project plan. It aims to simplify the system by removing cost reporting, and helping to shift the focus from financial management to the technical and scientific content of projects. This study has collected input from 167 individuals from 29 countries, working for universities, research and technology organisations, small and large corporations, government organisations and European institutions, complemented by in-depth interviews with five randomly selected respondents. The most important result is that the general attitude towards the LS system is quite positive – it is perceived as better than the traditional system, at least for some funding schemes, and is seen as meeting its aims. However, the system could be modified further to reach its full potential.