Management of externally funded projects at ECE

As of September 1, 2023, ECE has implemented a new work process to streamline the approval and registration of externally funded projects.

The purpose of the new work process is to make obtaining of approvals and signatures from the Head of Department easier, and to ensure correct registration and archiving of of project applications in WorkZone and ReAp (Research Applications).

The biggest change in the work process is the introduction of an ECE Cover Letter, which is a mandatory part of the new workflow. Going forward, a properly completed Cover Letter will be a prerequisite for obtaining approval from the Head of Department for the project application.

ECE Cover Letter

The cover letter is continuously being updated and should be downloaded from ECE's employee portal as needed to ensure that the latest version is used.

The Cover Letter consists of an Excel spreadsheet with different entry cells information that must be filled out. Some of the fields are mandatory, such as the project overhead or grant source. Other fields are optional and only need to be filled out if they are relevant to the project, e.g. in relation to legal review or names of project partners.

The information entered in the Cover Letter gives the Head of Department an immidiate overview of the project and helps make a decision on approval of the project. In addition, the Secretariat will use the information from the Cover Letter to create a casefile for the project in both ReAp and in Workzone. This means you do not have to create casefiles yourself, as project manager.

The Cover Letter contains a “Read me” sheet. Here you can find comprehensive instructions on how to fill out the Cover Letter correctly, including a description of what information should be entered in the different entry cells.

(Preview of cover letter.
Click to enlarge.)

Criteria for budget approval

Once you have entered all the relevant information in the cover letter, you can see whether the project's budget has been assessed to be red, yellow or green, depending on the parameters for funding determined by the ECE.

 If the budget is green, then: 

  • The budget is considered healthy and can be submitted for final approval from the Head of Department, although you should inform your Head of Section.

 If the budget is yellow, then:

  • The budget requires discussions and potential adaptations suggested by your Head of Section. After agreement with the Head of Section, you can proceed to submit the cover letter for final approval.

 If the budget is red, then:

  • The budget requires discussions and potential adaptations suggested by your Head of Section and Head of Department. After agreement with the Head of Section and the Head of Department, you can proceed to submit the cover letter for final approval.

Video: Introduction to The External Project Cover Letter

Time codes:

00:00 – 00:30: Introduction

00:30 – 03:46: Project information

03:46 – 14:45: Project budget and approval criteria

14:45 – 15:18: Legal review

18:15 – : Department process and submission


Daniel Enrique Lucani Rötter

Deputy Head of department for talent development and external fu

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