Initially, the letter of intent was signed by the representatives of twelve organisations from ten countries. Another six to eight signatures will follow before the end of the year. This will constitute the Europe-wide implementation of a principle that has already been the subject of several bilateral agreements initiated by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) over the last couple of years with organisations such as the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and, trilaterally, with the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). The agreement stipulates the readiness for a transfer of grants if a scientist/researcher moves to a new position in one of the other participating countries. This principle has become known as "money follows researcher".
By signing the agreement, all organisations affirm that they support the principle and its implementation within their individual structures. Each organisation may decide when and to what extent a transfer of funding is appropriate. Based on experiences with previous agreements, the DFG has developed the following basic principles: The precondition for a transfer of resources is an existing grant. This principle applies above all to the Individual Grants Scheme, but also to coordinated programmes - as long as it is compatible in each individual case with the overall project. If possible, the project should have at least another six months to run. If the project has not yet begun, the transfer can be limited to one year. The possibility of transferring equipment and larger investments needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
It is important to note that while the EUROHORCs agreement is signed by all the participating organisations on a multilateral basis, each individual case involves only the organisation which is responsible for the grant. From the perspective of the researcher, the transfer agreed to by that organisation facilitates the change to the university or institution within the new system.