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The ITN-2018 call for proposals opened today and in order to prepare ourselves for the upcoming months we’ve had a look at the past years to find the crucial success factors for a successfully funded proposal.

The statistics used for these calculations are taken directly from the European Commission’s CORDIS portal. We’ve analysed all the funded ITNs under Horizon 2020 (from 2014 until 2016, the numbers for 2017 aren’t in the public domain yet). Terminated proposals have been excluded, leaving us with 398 signed proposals to analyse.

The average consortium

The average consortium has 8.2 members including the coordinator. The smallest consortia are made up of just the coordinator and one additional partner. The success-rate of proposals with 8-10 participants are the highest. Of the 398 funded proposals, 198 fall within that range, representing half of all successful proposals. Very larger consortia are less likely to receive funding. Only 4% of all funded ITNs have a consortium comprising 13 or more partners. The largest successful consortium has a total of 16 members, being the only one with that many participants.


Most successful countries

Despite tensions with the EU, organisations from the UK have been the most successful coordinators of ITNs with 87 funded proposals which means that more than every fifth successful ITN proposal is coordinated by a UK-based organisation. The second most successful country are the Netherlands, with their organisations taking over the role of coordinator in 14% of all funded proposals. Third place goes to Germany, coordinating 11% of the ITNs.

Special mention also to Switzerland, which despite its size and not being part of the European Union, is coordinating a total of 10 ITNs, with two coordinators based in accelopment’s hometown Zurich (one ITN being coordinated each by the ETH Zurich and University of Zurich).

From a broader perspective,  we have discovered that Germany is the country with the highest number of participants (coordinators excluded). There are 269 participations by German organisations, just slightly ahead of the UK with a 256 participations. In total, there are 7 countries with over 100 participants (in ascending order): Belgium, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and France.

It’s all about the funding

Combined, all the successful ITN proposals have received €1,290,746,049. An average ITN receives a maximum of €3,234,953 funding. Most projects (55%) request from 3.5 to 4 million euro. Only very few (around 13%) request less than 2 million euro.

Wrapping up

According to these calculations, your ITN proposal should include at least three things to increase its chance of success: 8-9 participants in total, a coordinator based in the UK and a requested funding of around 3.5 to 4 million euros. If only things were that easy. There is still one statistic that dominates all the others: Only around 1 in 10 ITN proposals will ever receive funding. However this is where accelopment can help you and your proposal! Almost two thirds of proposals that were supported by accelopment were successful during the ITN-2017 call. Our roles include writing the proposals with the researchers, executing grant preparations with the EC, offering support in project management and coordinating the dissemination activities. All of the roles mentioned above are currently being carried out in several running ETNs, including Train2Target, PEARRL, EXCILIGHT and ClickGene.