Postgraduate Research Grants on European Public Finances - 2014 Edition

The European Court of Auditors and the European University Institute (Historical Archives of the European Union), have created a programme of grants for researchers engaged in research on European public finances, in particular their impact on various areas of European society and culture, and on the historical development of the "external control" function in the EU context.

The intention is to award two grants. It should be stressed that the programme is open to any type of researcher (e.g. lawyers, economists, historians or public-finance specialists) interested in the EU’s public finances and the impact thereof.




These grants are intended to enable researchers with an interest in EU public finances to broaden their research by studying the Historical Archives of the European Union to which the Court has entrusted its own historical archives, and the archives of the Audit Board (1958-1977).

Through the programme, the Court wishes to make it easier for researchers to access and consult the collections available at the European Unversity Institute in Florence.



The following are eligible to apply:

  • all current postgraduate students (master’s and doctoral candidates);
  • all postdoctoral researchers or university professors who have completed a master’s degree or doctorate in the past five years preceding the date the application is submitted and who currently hold an academic appointment.

Applicants should be preparing a thesis, dissertation, or scholarly article relating to EU public finances, in one or more of the disciplines of human and social sciences (e.g. history, economics, political sciences, law or public administration).

Research projects presented by postgraduate students or postdoctoral researchers should preferably be directly related to their doctoral or master’s field of research.

In view of the nature of the files concerned, candidates should have a sound knowledge of English and French. Knowledge of other EU languages would be an advantage.

Only individual applications will be considered for the programme.

Candidates may not submit an application with the same research subject on more than two occasions.

Candidates must be nationals of a Member State of the European Union.

These eligibility criteria will be strictly applied.


Application Procedures and Deadline

Applications must be sent or postmarked (respectively by e-mail or post) to the Historical Archives of the European Union at the European University Institute by 16 June 2014 at the latest. Confirmation that an application has been accepted will be sent by e-mail one week after it is received.


Applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted in either English or French. (Naturally, the research itself and subsequent publications may be in any of the official languages of the European Union.) The application file should include only the information required (see below).

Official application forms are available on the European University Institute's website (see Application form).

Completed application files should include: 

  • a detailed presentation of the research proposal, including a description of the research subject, its academic significance and its impact on research in the field, any previous academic work performed in the field of study, and the proposed research methodology and timetable (five pages maximum);
  • a detailed annotated bibliography of sources and studies related to the research (five pages maximum);
  • justification of the need to use the European Court of Auditors' archives in Florence;
  • a statement of the applicant’s plans for scholarly publication of the research results;
  • a list of the applicant’s previous publications (no more than 10, including the most recent);
  • a letter of recommendation from a professor of a university or university-level research institute, providing an evaluation of the scholarly significance of the project and an assessment of the candidate’s training, abilities, and motivation for the proposed research . This letter must be written on institutional notepaper and included in the applicant file.


Grant Awards

Successful applicants will receive a research grant of 5 000 € to cover all research expenses, including:

  • one round trip between the grant holder’s permanent residence and Florence;
  • accommodation in Florence for the duration of the grant holder's use of the archives.

The grant will be paid in two instalments:

  • a first instalment of 3 000 € at the start of the research, as attested by the Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union;
  • a second instalment of 2 000 € after an essay on the grant holder’s research subject has been submitted to the Selection Committee.


Selection and Notification

The Selection Committee is composed of current or former officials of the European Court of Auditors, recognised experts in the field of public finances and audit, and the Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union. Decisions are based upon the quality of the application file, the significance and originality of the proposed research, the feasibility of the project, the candidate’s ability to carry out the research satisfactorily, and the importance of using the Archives in Florence to consult the European Court of Auditors' archives.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application before the end of June 2014.


Publications and Commitments

Grant holders will undertake to ensure that all subsequent publications or productions, using in whole or in part the results obtained under the auspices of the research grant, will appropriately acknowledge the Postgraduate Research Grant Programme. In addition, they will provide the Historical Archives of the European Union with at least five copies of any such publications or productions.

Upon completing their stay, grant holders will submit to the Selection Committee an essay on their research subject.



Applications and any related correspondence should be sent to:

The European University Institute

Historical Archives of the European Union

Villa Salviati

Via Bolognese 156

50159 Firenze




Tel. +39 055 4685 661

Fax +39 055 4685 812

For more information about the institutional profile and activities of the European Court of Auditors please consult the Court's website:


Selection Committee

The Members of the Selection Committee for the 2014 Postgraduate Research Grant Programme are:

Jean-Jack Beurotte, former Director at the European Court of Auditors (Chairman of the Selection Committee)

Jean-Marie Palayret, former Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union and former Associate Professor of the History of European Integration

Carlo degli Abbati, former official of the European Court of Auditors, and currently responsible for the Jean Monnet "History of European Integration" course at the University of Genoa.


Former Grant Holders (2007-2013)


Year Grant Holder Title of the Research Project 
 2007  SANCHEZ BARRUECO Maria Luisa (ES) L'impact de la compétence consultative de la Cour des comptes européenne sur les finances publiques de l’Union européenne
 2008 NEHEIDER Susanne (DE) Compliance with budgetary rules in the process of European integration : Implications for the general reform of the EU budget
 2008 VARDABASSO Valentina (IT) La création de la Cour des comptes européenne : un exemple de diplomatie parlementaire
 2009 FORTVINGLER Judit (HU)  Auditing EU funds Europe wide: towards a common audit methodology?
 2009  ŁACNY Justyna (PL) And what if the EU funds are misspent? Shared management and shared responsibility of the Member States and the Community institutions for management and control of the EU funds
 2010 NA NA
 2011 STEPHENSON Paul (UK) Auditing Europe: The politics and culture of institutional change in the financial control of the European Union 
 2011 TALAGA Robert (PL)  Proceedings of distribution of the EU Funds and control process of implementation of the EU Regional Policy
 2012 PORRAS GOMEZ Antonio-Martin (ES)  Towards an EU multi-level governance framework for controlling the Structural Funds
 2013 ULRICH Laura (DE)  Towards Europe – the political role of Heinrich Aigner and the proposal for a European Court of Auditors










Page last updated on 10 April 2014