RISE: • One of the partners from Country X is asking if they are allowed to exchange (secondment) PhD students paid from scholarships, or PhD students enrolled in their PhD program but not paid at all.

o    PhD candidates can be seconded only if they are considered staff members of the sending organisation and fulfil all other eligibility criteria mentioned under Article 6.2.A) of the grant agreement and its annotations. Check FAQ for details.
As mentioned under article 6.2.A) and 32.1.(b) of the grant agreement and its annotations, the RISE action does not reimburse any salary/stipend/other type of remuneration but only EUR 2.000 per month to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. The salary/stipend/other type of remuneration must be co-financed by the sending beneficiary/partner in accordance with the principle of co-financing mentioned in article 28.4 of the Rules for Participation in H2020. In principle, all staff members are under the payroll of the sending organisation and therefore already receive a salary/stipend/other type of remuneration prior to the secondment. The sending beneficiaries/partners are obliged to keep paying the existing salary/stipend/other type of remuneration during the secondment period. In fact, according to article 32.1.b) of the grant agreement and its annotations the beneficiaries/partners cannot penalise the staff member by reducing his/her existing rights due to the participation in the action. If in exceptional cases (especially with regard to PhD candidates in certain countries) no salary/stipend/other type of remuneration exists prior to the secondment the beneficiaries/partners are strongly encouraged to provide an additional financial remuneration to its seconded staff members.
o    The RISE action does not impose any specific contractual relationship. However, according to Article 6.2.A of the grant agreement and its annotations, the existing contractual relationship should confer to the sending organisation the legal means in terms of control, supervision and instructions to impose to the secondee compliance with the grant agreement obligations (e.g. full-time work for the activities of the project, IPR, visibility of EU funds, confidentiality, etc.).It is up to the beneficiary to ensure that this is actually the case according to national law provisions, internal practices and the provisions governing the link between the secondee and the sending organisation. The beneficiary is also responsible to verify that this condition is fulfilled for the staff members seconded from third country partners to its organisation. For general staff members eligibility conditions see also the MSCA Work Programme and paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Guide for applicants related to your call.
(Answer provided by REA)