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Praecipua .... Now, what is this strange word? So close to getting there? Not quite... Or almost!

Context of the Praecipua?

The Praecipua is a mechanism implemented by the French National Research Agency (ANR) since 2007 in order to respond to the expectations expressed by institutions. Prior to this mechanism, the ANR’s financial regulations provided for management fees of up to 4% to contribute to the infrastructure costs incurred by the institutions involved in the projects it funded. However, the lump sums thus granted did not allow the institutions to cover the indirect costs associated with the projects selected. These projects could even represent a financial loss for the institutions.
In order to remedy this imbalance, the ANR introduced the “praecipua” in the form of a sum paid to the institutions hosting the teams operating the projects.

So, what is the praecipua?

According to article L.329-5 of the Research Code, the ANR pays a sum, the “praecipua”, to the beneficiaries at marginal cost, public establishments, hosting the teams carrying out the projects funded by the ANR.

The place of accommodation of the project financed by the ANR is the actual place where the work will be carried out. It must be indicated during the submission phase, and will be specifically designated in the Special Conditions of the agreement awarding ANR funding.

How is the praecipua calculated and paid?

At the end of each campaign, the ANR adds up the grants awarded to an institution for all the selected projects retained and carried out by the teams or laboratories hosted by this institution. The ANR then pays the host institution 11% of this sum. In concrete terms, the ANR pays, in thirds, to the beneficiary institutions the share of the praecipua amount due to them. The first payment is made in the year of notification of this praecipua.

What is the purpose of the praecipua?

The beneficiary institution of the praecipua cannot transfer the praecipua to the benefit of the selected project, which would correspond to a double financing. In application of the ANR’s financial regulations, the institution benefiting from the praecipua amount undertakes to devote the corresponding sums to strengthening the quality of the working environment offered to the research teams and laboratories it hosts, in the service of the implementation of scientific policies, notably through:
•    investments and maintenance in infrastructures, platforms or equipment, enabling the research potential to be reinforced
•    optimising its support functions in direct and effective response to the needs of the research teams and laboratories
The mobilisation of these resources and the implementation of such actions may be the subject of internal calls for projects.