Wednesday, 10 October 2012

RCUK Decent Success Rate Shock!

'100% you say? Well I'm sure
I could make my Chaucer
project fit  'Environmental Change''
Now here's a good news story that the Research Councils have been remarkably slow to crow about: success rates for most are looking surprisingly healthy. Looking at the latest published stats (RCUK has gathered links to them all here, including a broken AHRC one. *sigh* Best go direct, here), they give a lie to the current feeling that RCUK success rates have fallen so low that you may as well buy a ticket to EuroMillions. The  success rates for the five councils that have produced them for 2011-12 range from 21-41%, and average a healthy 31%.

Of course, there are a number of factors which have buoyed the figures:

  • firstly, some Councils have either introduced, or are strongly encouraging, some form of demand management. This is almost certainly the reason for EPSRC's 41% success rate.
  • secondly, other success rates are skewed by 100% success rates for some managed programmes, such as the 6 out of 6 that the AHRC's Researching Environment Change Follow Up scheme garnered. This helped the AHRC achieve an eye popping 40% success rate last year.
  • finally, many have seen application numbers drop, not necessarily because of demand management, but perhaps because applicants have become demoralised by rejection, or their attention has been diverted elsewhere, such as on the REF, or teaching , or (perish the thought!) impact activities.

I've collated the figures I can find, and the full table of application numbers and success rates can be found (for Kent staff only, I'm afraid) on our SharePoint site.

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