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European Court of Auditors Postgraduate Research Grant Programme

The European Court of Auditors and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy have set up a grant scheme for early career researchers in the field of European Union public finances and policies, at the Historical Archives of the European Union.

Two research grants (€5000 each) are available annually.

The aim is to promote original research into the EU’s public finances and policies, as well as into the development of the EU's accountability, in addition to forging a community of researchers in this field.

The scheme is open to academic researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including law, political science, economics, sociology, public administration and history.

It is open to postgraduate students (master’s and doctoral candidates) and to postdoctoral students, as well as to university faculty members who have completed their master's degree or doctorate within the past ten years and who currently hold an academic post.

Each year two research grants of €5000 each are made available to enable early career researchers to conduct research and have access  to the Historical Archives of the European Union, a unique resource for scholars of European integration. The Archives, seated in the renaissance Villa Salviati in Florence, contain a wealth of primary documents deposited by the EU institutions. They also collect and preserve private papers of individuals, movements and international organisations involved in European integration.

The fellowship scheme began in 2007 and has since enabled original research into many areas of the EU's action and policies: the role of the EU institutions, the evolution of compliance, the development of audit methodology, shared management in policy implementation, multi-level governance, the EU regional policy, the emergence of institutional norms and values, the EU development policy, and more.



These grants are intended to enable researchers with an interest in EU public finance and policies to broaden their research through access to the Historical Archives of the European Union, to which the Court has entrusted its own historical archives and those 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 University Institute in Florence.


The following are eligible to apply:

  • all current postgraduate students (master’s and doctoral candidates);
  • all postdoctoral researchers or university teachers who have completed a master’s degree or doctorate within the ten 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 finance or EU policy in any of the disciplines of human and social sciences (e.g. law, political science, economics, sociology, public administration and history).

Research projects presented by postgraduate students or postdoctoral researchers should preferably be directly related to their master’s or doctoral 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 Procedure and Deadline

The application period will open on 7 July 2024 and the deadline to apply is 7 October 2024.

Applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted in either English or French. 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).

Completed application files should include:

  • a detailed presentation of the research proposal, including a description of the research subject, its academic significance and its contribution to 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);
  • a justification of the need to use the Historical Archives of the European Union 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 qualifications, abilities and motivation to carry out the proposed research.

Grant Awards

Successful applicants will receive a research grant of €5000 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 €2000 at the start of the research, as attested by the Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union;
  • a second instalment of €3000 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 EU public finance and policies and the former 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.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within one month of the deadline.

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 a copy of any such publications or productions.

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

Selection Committee

The Members of the Selection Committee for the 2023 Postgraduate Research Grant Programme are:

  • Jean-Jack Beurotte, former Director at the European Court of Auditors (Chairman of the Selection Committee);
  • Carlo degli Abbati, former official of the European Court of Auditors and lecturer at the University of Genoa;
  • Gilberto Moggia, senior official at the European Court of Auditors
  • Jean-Marie Palayret, former Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union and former Associate Professor of the History of European Integration at the University of Strasbourg


Queries should be sent to:

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +39 055 4685 661

Website: Historical Archives of the European Union (

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

ECA grant holders (2007-2023)

Fama, Rosalba
The constitutional implications of the paradigm shift in the European budgetary galaxy after Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine

Spielberger, Lukas
Auditing European Public Borrowing

Serowaniec, Maciej
Fiscal councils as autonomous actors in the budgetary process?

THYRARD, Antonin
Policy Evaluation and the European Court of Auditors – An embedded socio-history?

How green is my Europe? The environmental commitment of the European Court of Auditors (1977-2020)

Liberalizing Partners: A European History of Adjustment in Africa

Auditing EU public procurement – Related audits

The impact of European Union pre-accession aid on the development of institutions in the 2004 enlargement countries

The European Court of Auditors: auditing the European Development Fund

Assessing the independence of the European Court of Auditors

The reform of public revenue between functional taxation and the protection of European Union's own resources

GLOAZZO, Claudia
Financial Instruments to deliver Cohesion policy. Do repayable forms of assistance better serve the scope?

L'encadrement des finances publiques des États membres par le droit européen: étude comparée du cas français et d'autres modèles budgétaires européens

ULRICH, Laura 
Towards Europe – the political role of Heinrich Aigner and the proposal for a European Court of Auditors

PORRAS GOMEZ, Antonio-Martin
Towards an EU multi-level governance framework for controlling the Structural Funds

TALAGA, Robert
Proceedings of distribution of the EU Funds and control process of implementation of the EU Regional Policy

Auditing Europe: The politics and culture of institutional change in the financial control of the European Union

LACNY, Justyna
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

Auditing EU funds Europe wide: towards a common audit methodology?

La création de la Cour des comptes européenne : un exemple de diplomatie parlementaire

Compliance with budgetary rules in the process of European integration: Implications for the general reform of the EU budget

L'impact de la compétence consultative de la Cour des comptes européenne sur les finances publiques de l’Union européenne

Page last updated on 12/06/2024

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