First Results of Horizon 2020
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Commission has published an analysis on the Horizon 2020 funding scheme. The publication includes a number of interesting facts about the outcome of the 2014-2015 calls and in many ways a very interesting way of reading the statistics.
The Commission has recently shown considerable concern regarding the low success rate for Horizon 2020. The report puts the figure to a success rate to 14%.
The basis according to the report is based on the following numbers, which they Report calls Key Concepts:
- The Commission has funded 4315 proposal in total
- The Commission has received almost 37.000 proposals
Based on these figures the success rate is indeed 14%, which should be compared to close to 20% for the previous Framework FP7.
However, the Commission bases this success rate on full proposals only (one stage proposals and second stage full proposals). The Commission writes that in fact the total number of proposals including the applicants that submitted the applications for the first stage is above 120.000 submitted proposals.
Considering this number the success rate drops considerably, to around 3%.
We assume that the report is under the impression that since the first stage of the Two-Stage approach is rather short (7-15 pages depending on the topic), this stage does not represent an added workload for the applicants.
This is simply completely incorrect. In fact the time required to write a “short” proposal is quite considerable and the work to gather the partners, structure the proposal and integrate the proposed work into a cohesive proposal is very demanding.
In addition, the evaluation process of these short proposals has received a lot of criticism in different forums. At best, the evaluation summary reports includes 1-2 lines which do not provide any constructive criticism.
This is of course problematic as the applicants are more and more loosing confidence in the process.
On the positive side it appears that the Commission is aware on the problem, however it is important to work on the actual figures and not overly positive interpretation.
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