Online Manual

Ethics review

In order to avoid funding of ethically problematic activities, some funding programmes require an ethics review procedure to clear the projects (e.g. Horizon Europe, AMIF).

The details and the scope of the ethics review depend on each programme. Most programmes simply check whether projects raise ethics issues and, if so, whether these are adequately addressed. Some programmes, such as Horizon Europe, have a more elaborated review procedure which includes several steps depending on the complexity of the issues (see Horizon Europe Programme Guide).

The participants will be informed (through the coordinating organisation) of the ethics review result and it will be posted in their Portal library (My Projects > Actions > Manage Project > Document Library).

If the ethics review leads to requirements to be implemented before grant signature, you will need to take immediate action to comply (and may also have to adapt the description of the action (DoA Part B) to reflect this). If the review leads to additional requirements to be fulfilled during the project, they are automatically added as ethics deliverables into the system and DoA Part A and will be placed in an automatically generated work package called ethics requirements. If the review shows that there are serious ethics issues that cannot be solved, funding may have to be refused.

(warning) You may be asked to provide additional information if this is needed to complete the ethics review (e.g. in case of serious or complex ethics issues or missing information).

Security scrutiny

In order to ensure that classified information (see Decision 2015/444 ) is protected also the context of EU grants, some EU programmes systematically provide for a security scrutiny procedure for applications that operate in security relevant contexts (e.g. European Defence Fund, Horizon Europe, Digital Europe).

The security scrutiny procedure is essentially the same for all programmes: proposals must be cleared by the Security Scrutiny Working Group (composed essentially of experts from the national security agencies (NSAs)). The Security Scrutiny Working Group will determine the level of sensitivity of your application and check whether all security aspects are being handled appropriately.

If the scrutiny leads to requirements to be implemented before grant signature, you will need to take immediate action to comply. If the scrutiny leads to classification and additional requirements to be fulfilled during the project, this will be automatically reflected in the system (classification of existing deliverables, Security Aspect Letter (SAL), Security Classification Guide (SCG), additional security deliverables and security requirements work package). If the scrutiny shows that the project is too security sensitive, funding may have to be refused.

Third country control

Some programmes (or calls) limit the participation of entities which are controlled by third countries (e.g. European Defence Fund, Digital Europe, Horizon Europe). In this case, a special procedure is needed to verify ownership control of participants.