We often get asked about Horizon 2020 success rates and distribution of funding. Here we will briefly summarize some of the information which you can find in the Horizon 2020 Monitoring Report 2015.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation  published in late November 2016 the second monitoring report on the activities, results and impacts of the Horizon 2020 funding programme.

The Monitoring Report provides an assessment of the calls closed in 2015 along with the updated data for 2014 calls, as well as aggregation for both years. The study underlines the most important issues related to performance as measured by the key performance indicators, implementation aspects and participation trends.

Table 4 below shows overall success rates and shows that the success rate in terms of number of eligible proposals was 10.7% in 2015; in terms of EU financial contribution requested, it was 10.9%; in terms of number of applications, it was 11.2%. Compared to 2014 this constitutes a decrease of 2.5 percentage points in the success rate of eligible proposals, of 3.3 percentage points in EU financial contribution and of 4.2 percentage points in number of applications.

The total success rate in Horizon 2020 for 2014 and 2015 is 11.8% for eligible proposals and 12.3% for EU financial contribution. Looking at the share of the proposals scoring above threshold, also called High Quality Proposals, a total of 22.7% of these were retained for funding in 2015.

This constitutes a significant decrease of 8.8 percentages points compared to 2014. In total for Horizon 2020 about one in four High Quality Proposals submitted was selected for funding. In total, 25 116 High Quality Proposals in the first two years of Horizon 2020 were not funded.

Table 5 below shows the success rates per Specific Programme part, both in terms of proposals and of funding. It also lists the numbers for 2014, 2015 and the total for both years. The success rate varies a great deal from one programme part to another. The lowest success rates in terms of proposals in 2015 was found under Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) calls, where only about 1.8% of the proposals were retained for funding.

Within both the Fast Track to Innovation pilot and in Societal Challenge 6 “Europe in a Changing World”, the success rates in terms of proposals were just around 5%. Within the larger programme parts, Societal Challenge 4 on “Smart, green and integrated transport” had the highest success rate in terms of proposals (16.2%) followed by European Research Council (ERC) calls (13.2%). Looking at the success rate in terms of funding, FET had the lowest with 1.7%, followed by Societal Challenge 6 with 4.4%. The highest success rates in terms of funding was found in Research Infrastructures with 25.1%, followed by Societal Challenge 4 on Smart, green and integrated transport with 21.7%.

Horizon 2020 is competitive but offers great opportunity for research funding. Halbert Research provides proposal evaluation services which can help you in preparing a competitive proposal, find out more here.