How to Estimate the Chance of a Successful Proposal

If you think of participating in Horizon 2020, you need to be aware that most proposals won’t get funding. To estimate the chance of a successful proposal and getting funding you can combine two uncertainties:

  1. The probability that you have a good proposal
  2. The probability of how many proposals get funded, given how many proposals get submitted.

The budget of a call gives an estimator on how many projects could be selected for funding.

For example, take a call with a budget of 20 Mio EUR, including support actions. The maximum budget for a support action is about 2 Mio EUR. This implies that probably between 10 – 15 projects will receive financing.

It’s quite difficult to correctly estimate how many proposals will be submitted. A possible guidance is the number of proposals submitted to earlier, similar calls.  You can sometimes get this information from National Contact Points, and  sometimes it is published on the call’s webpage.

Example call

As an example, the call “SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY” with call number H2020-SFS-2015-2 has an attached information leaflet on the number of submitted  proposals and the results of the first stage proposal evaluation.  As you can see, from overall 357 stage one proposals submitted, 16 (~ 5%) were not eligible, 216 (~ 60%) were below the evaluation threshold, and 125 (~ 35%) were above the  evaluation threshold.
The partnerships which submitted the 125 above threshold proposals can submit a stage two proposal, where again a large majority will not be eligible. Another way to look at these statistics is to look at the available funding: The available budget as announced in the work programme is 87 Mio EUR, whereas the total budget requested of the successful stage one proposals is 727.859.479 EUR, or in other words: the available budget is more than 8 times less than the budget  requested for the second proposal stage alone!

You must judge yourself if you consider the odds favourable enough to participate in the call.

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