2-stage reviews, an emphasis on ‘impact’, are the solutions that are currently taking in consideration by the EC to improve the success rate.
The general feeling is that fewer and fewer applicants for Horizon 2020 grants are successful. This is not really the case, it is just that the number of applicants has increased so drastically without any increase in the number of available grants, that the chance of success has gone down due to competition.
In an interview conducted by ScienceBusiness however, the European Commission has outlined new plans to improve on this – sort of. The idea in general is to ensure that applicants do not have to spend so much time, energy and money applying for a grant that they are likely not to get.
The idea is to implement ways to “separate the winners from the losers quickly” such as the two-stage submission procedure. This was always a very popular idea where a first draft is submitted with a concept paper which would require approval before moving on to the more burdensome task of developing a full project proposal.
Rolling out this scheme to most calls should be seen as a welcome improvement by Members.
Pressure is already on the Commission to change Horizon 2020. It could well be imagined that top level EC officials are more than a little irritated at the numerous voices asking to narrow the scope of Horizon 2020 calls, when the same groups applying under H2020’s predecessor, FP7, continuously complained that the calls were not broad enough.
The ScienceBusiness Article itself is worth a read and can be found here.