Grants for actions to support training in conference interpreting – academic year 2019-2020
Deadline: 15 May 2019   - 19 days


 Education and Training
 Adult Learning
 Higher Education
 Academic Writing

1. Objectives of the programme

As a provider of an inter-institutional service, DG Interpretation has to ensure that a sufficient number of qualified conference interpreters are available to enable the European Union's institutions to function properly.

The programme contributes to this by supporting the following actions in the field of interpretation:

  •   the promotion of quality and linguistic diversity in the teaching of interpreting in the official languages of the EU and of the candidate countries;

  •   the establishment and support of postgraduate centres of excellence;

  •   cooperation among postgraduate courses from different Member States and from candidate countries; a limited number of postgraduate courses from third countries offering languages of particular interest for the EU may also be included; and

  •   the development of innovative pilot projects including those which create synergies with other types of interpreting training and which foster the interpreting profession as a whole.

The Interpretation services of the European Parliament and of the European Commission coordinate to avoid double financing of the actions.


2. Indicative timetable

Publication of the call: 20 March 2019
Deadline for submitting applications: 15 May 2019
Meetings of the Evaluation Committee: June – July 2019
Award information to applicants: Conclusion of grant agreements: July 2019
Starting date of the action: July – October 2019
Ending date of the action: not earlier than submission of the application no later than 31 July 2020


3. Admissibility requirements for grant applications’ submission

In order to to be admissible, an original complete set of the completed, dated and signed grant application for funding by DG Interpretation of the European Commission must be sent by express courier/ special delivery service/registered mail.
It has to be sent no later than 15 May 2019 (as evidenced by postmark/dispatch mark or proof of collection date by special service or tracking evidence), to the address indicated on the application form in one of the EU official languages.

In addition, a courtesy electronic version must be sent on 16 or 17 May 2019 to the functional mail box:

Only the hard copy of the submitted application will be evaluated.

According to the type of action (cfr point 6. Eligible activities and indicative budget), please complete the relevant section of the grant application form.

Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to rejection of the application.

A privacy statement applies to personal information transmitted with the application form. By applying,

you consent to the processing of personal data (cfr Section IV of grant application form).


Please consult the Applicant's Guide, which gives additional important information on how to complete the grant application in particular concerning the budget (eligible/non eligible costs, explanations on the budget chapters), partners and VAT (Value added Tax).



4. Exclusion criteria

Beneficiaries must not fall within the categories excluded under Article 136 of the Financial Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Official Journal of the European Union L193 – 18 July 2018)

By signing Section IV - declaration of the application form, applicants certify that none of the situations mentioned in Article 136 of the Financial Regulation apply and state that they are not subject to any conflict of interest.


5. Eligible applicants

The following applicants may submit proposals:

  •   universities, university institutes, consortia and associations of universities or institutes, legally established in a Member State or in a candidate country, and which offer or coordinate postgraduate courses specialising in conference interpreting;

  •   associations, consortia and bodies, legally established in a Member State or in a candidate country, whose main mission is to develop and/or support cooperation and disseminate best practices in the field of conference interpreter training;

  •   where necessary, consortia may include private sector actors who have the specific expertise needed to implement the proposed actions.

Teaching establishments must be approved by their national authorities as public or private bodies entrusted with a public task of teaching and organising courses at master or postgraduate level in the field of conference interpreting. If the applicant is not a teaching establishment, its mission must nevertheless be related to the objectives of this programme and be recognised by the national authorities where it is established.

For British applicants: The eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, they will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article II.17.2.1.a of the grant agreement.

DG Interpretation supports actions with one single applicant (mono-beneficiary) and/or actions where several institutions are involved presented by one coordinator (multi-beneficiary).


6. Eligible activities and indicative budget

c) innovative projects aimed at creating synergies with other types of interpreting training and/or at fostering the interpreting profession as a whole.

The total maximum indicative budget earmarked for co-financing all the above-mentioned activities is €450 000. DG Interpretation reserves the right not to award the total available amount.

Following actions are eligible:

a) actions related to the organisation of specialised master or post-graduate courses in conference interpreting;

b) special projects aimed at contributing to interpreter training, or at applying the results of scientific research to interpreter training;

In addition, the total final amount awarded to projects under point c) may not exceed 10% of the total allocated budget of this grants scheme.


7. Selection criteria

If the total amount of the grants requested and considered acceptable by DG Interpretation exceeds the budget earmarked in the work programme for 2019 on financial support for training in conference interpreting, a method for optimizing the allocation of the budget to the various actions proposed for award may be proposed, for instance by limiting the co-financing of the actions according to the score obtained for the application of the award criteria.

If the application is submitted on behalf of a group of partners, the financial and operational capacity of the group shall be assessed taking into consideration the effective contribution of each partner to the performance of the action.

 Financial capacity

Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the duration of the grant. The financial capacity of the applicant (whether a university or a private sector actor) must be commensurate with the scale, duration and the planned execution of the proposed action.

For public bodies and Member states and candidate countries’ organisations and/or grant requests of maximum € 60 000 the signed declaration on honour suffices (cfr Annex IV).
For grants requests exceeding € 60 000, the applicants must include a balance sheet for the last closed financial year and demonstrate that their minimum yearly turnover is at least two times the total costs of the proposed action of the application. If the ratio is below the required minima, DG Interpretation may consider either that the financial capacity is deemed insufficient or, where possible, take additional measures with a view to protecting EU interests, such as dividing the payment of the grant into more instalments.

 Operational capacity

Applicants must have the professional competencies and qualifications required to provide specialised training at the required professional level. They must have:

  •   key staff assigned to the implementation of the action who have a proven record of relevant training and at least 3 years' experience in the field (e.g. for IT tasks, must have training plus 3 years' experience in IT-related tasks)

  •   the technical and logistical infrastructure necessary to perform the proposed action.

  •  the ability to manage the proposed action. Associations or consortia must demonstrate this ability by describing the roles and responsibilities of the various partners involved in the organisation of the action.

The operational capacity will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided in the application form under Section II.A.3.1 a) and b) for postgraduate courses or Section II.B.3.8 for other actions, and Annex VI (Curricula Vitae).



8. Evaluation and grant award criteria

If the application is admissible, meets the non-exclusion, eligibility and selection criteria, it will be evaluated by an evaluation committee composed of at least three officials from different units/departments of DG Interpretation.

The proposals will be evaluated exclusively against the award criteria on the basis of the information contained in the hard copy of submitted applications, and any additional information which may be requested (cfr Point 10).

For actions described in point 6 a) the grant award criteria are the following:

  1. relevance to linguistic priorities and long term needs of DG Interpretation and in line with the accreditation profile to become accredited freelance interpreters. This applies to the official Union languages and languages of the Union candidate countries; max 40 points;

  2. efficiency and consistency of the training methodology, including use of new technologies, and of the organisation proposed for the implementation of specialised masters or postgraduate Conference Interpreter training. This will be measured against recognised best practices for conference interpreting courses; max 30 points;

  3. co-operation with other universities; max 20 points;

  4. cost-effectiveness of the project; max 10 points.

For actions described in point 6 b) and c) the grant award criteria are the following:

  1. relevance of the proposed project to the general objectives of the grant programme; max 40 points;

  2. multiplier effect and/or dissemination of best practices of the project for the benefit of the training of future interpreters in order to increase their employability and multidisciplinary skills; max 20 points;

  3. co-operation between universities and other stakeholders; max 10 points;

  4. cost effectiveness and, particularly for projects under point c), their innovative character; max 20 points;

  5. medium and long term impact of the project outcome; max 10 points.

  •   An action may only receive one grant from the EU budget (non-cumulative award).

  •   A grant is a form of complementary funding, to promote the European Union’s objectives, based on the principle of co-financing and may not finance the total cost of the action.

  •   Income and expenditure of the proposed budget must be detailed and in balance and may not have the purpose or effect of generating a profit for the beneficiary. If the total amount paid as pre- financing DG Interpretation exceeds the final eligible amount of the grant determined at the end of the action, any amounts overpaid have to be reimbursed by the beneficiary.

  •   Only costs directly related and necessary to the action may be co-financed.

Maximum total points: 100 points

Proposals which do not obtain a minimum of 60% of the maximum total points shall be excluded from award.


9. General principles and specific rules

a) General principles:

 No grant may be awarded retroactively for actions already started or completed. However, should a grant be awarded, certain costs incurred by the beneficiary before the signature of the grant agreement might be accepted as eligible for co-funding (e.g. aptitude tests, preparation of the course) provided that the applicant has demonstrated the need to start the action before the award of the grant and that they are included in the budget and accepted as eligible in the grant agreement. Costs incurred prior to the submission date of the application are never eligible for co-funding.

b) Specific rules:

  •   Under this programme the cofinancing of the activities may not exceed 75% of the total eligible costs.

The requested grant for the proposed action should be limited to the amount which cannot be covered by other financial sources.

  •   Where a consortium or association has non EU based members, the total support to such members cannot exceed 10% of the maximum EU financial contribution awarded for the corresponding grant. For the purpose of the scheme candidate countries are assimilated to EU members.

  •   The full cost of purchase of equipment shall be eligible, i.e. a depreciation rate of 100%.

  •   Unit costs may be accepted under the conditions described in the Applicants’ Guide (cfr II.6.B).


10. Contacts between applicants and DG Interpretation

  •  Before the deadline for the submission of applications, you can address questions regarding the grant application exclusively by e-mail to :

All questions and answers will be published on this web-site on a regular basis under section “Frequently Asked Questions”. We suggest that you check this page regularly.

  •   In accordance with Article 200.3 of the Financial Regulation, during the evaluation stage, the applicant may be asked to provide or add missing information, or to clarify supporting documents via email. The applicant needs to reply within the set deadline in the request for clarification.

  •   Please refer to the Applicant’s Guide for more information on what happens once the grant application is dispatched.


11. Information on the award decision
The applicants will be informed as soon as possible and in any case before 31 July 2019 of the outcome of the selection procedure.

For actions described in point 6 a) some small adjustments to the budget may be necessary once the final list of students and their language combinations is known. In such cases, the applicants are requested to inform DG Interpretation immediately, in writing, of the changes to the budget and the grant amount requested.

However, the initial amount requested cannot under any circumstances be increased, nor the nature of the action and the type of budget items modified.

Please refer to the Applicant’s Guide for more information on what happens if the grant application is successful and a grant is awarded: grant agreement, amendments, payments, reporting, calculation of the final grant, recovery, visibility of the Union’s funding, controls and checks.

For the legal references, please consult the templates of the mono-beneficiary grant agreement, multi- beneficiary grant agreement



12. Data Protection

The reply to any call for proposals involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and CV). Such data will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725 of 23 October 2018 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data. Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested that are required to evaluate the application in accordance with the call for proposal will be processed solely for that purpose by Mrs Valerie DE LEEUW (European Commission/ DG Interpretation/ Head of Unit C2, acting as data controller).

Personal data may be registered in the Early Detection and Exclusion System by the Commission, should the beneficiary be in one of the situations mentioned in Articles 136 and 141 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046. For more information see the Privacy Statement on:


13. Checks and audits

The applicants are reminded that the European Commission has to protect the financial interest of the European Union. Therefore, Article II.27 of the draft grant agreement lays down the obligations of any beneficiary to cooperate in checks and audits undertaken by an EU institution.


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