Does the principal investigator or the research institution have to finance the non-personnel costs (consumables and smaller pieces of equipment, travel expenses and other costs) in advance?
No, 8.2 of the project’s general terms and conditions states that the funds are to be requested in advance in such a way as to meet the ongoing needs of the project (up to a maximum of six months in advance). Therefore, the research institutions should not have to finance any non-personnel costs in advance if the principal investigator requests the funds in due time. As the FWF also transfers the funds in advance upon request, there should not be any requests to transfer funds after the end of the project.
What do I have to keep in mind when opening a bank account (principal investigator account)?
If the project begins at a research institution subject to the Universities Act 2002 (UG 2002), a principal investigator account does not need to be opened.
Otherwise, the following applies: The account holder is the principal investigator and therefore the account must be in the name of the principal investigator. The respective FWF project number must be contained within the name of the account and must appear on the account statements.
How do I post the 5% general project costs?
There is not a separate cost category for general project costs. The use and accounting of funds depends on the respective use in the different cost categories. The general terms and conditions also apply in this instance.
What happens if the submission deadline for the annual report on the expenditure of funds or final accounts cannot be met?
A brief notice must be sent to the audit department before the deadline expires. Extensions of the submission deadline of up to one month (and even longer in the case of illness, stays abroad, etc.) are recorded without a lot of effort. However, if the FWF has already sent the reminder letter (incl. the threat to stop payment of funds and the processing of any new proposals), it is not possible to extend the deadline after the fact.
If there are deficits at the end of an FWF project, can I use the funds for non-personnel costs from another FWF project to offset these deficits?
No, this is not permitted. Each project is applied for and approved separately; financial transfers between FWF projects are not permitted (see also 8.2., last sentence of the project’s general terms and conditions). The principal investigator is responsible for ensuring that the funds approved are sufficient to pay all the outstanding invoices and that all the transfer requests are made sufficiently in advance that the principal investigator’s account—or the internal order for the project of the university in charge of administering the funds—does not go “into the red”.
This also means that all the funds remaining at the end of a project are to be transferred back to the FWF (they cannot be transferred to another ongoing FWF project or be used for another purpose).