Importance of Ethics in H2020
All H2020 projects must comply with ethics principles and relevant laws. Ethics and data protection issues are given the highest priority in H2020. Compliance is assessed on all stages of the project life cycle:
- from the Ethics Issues Table (Part A of the proposal)
- and the Ethics Self-Assessment (Part B of the proposal)
- over the Ethics Review during the evaluation phase,
- to the Grant Agreement and regular Checks and Audits after the signature.
Once the project is running, the non-compliance with ethics requirements may lead to the suspension of payment and – in some cases – to the exclusion of the non-complying beneficiary from the consortium.
The most common situation is the Conditional clearance: the clearance is subject to conditions that must be included as ‘ethics requirements’. These conditions may include:
- regular reporting to the Commission/Executive Agency
- the appointment of an independent ethics advisor or ethics board that may be tasked to report to the service/Executive Agency on the compliance with the ethics requirements
- an Ethics Check or Audit and their most suitable timeframe
- submission of further information/documents
- necessary adaptation of the methodology to comply with the ethical principles and relevant legislations.
In this white paper we discuss all of the potential ethics requirements your project might receive following the Ethics Screening. The wording of the requirements is given only as an example. It might be changed by the ethics evaluators or adapted by the EC. In addition, the requirements might have different deadlines. Some of them must be fulfilled before, some after the GA is signed.