The main research funding organization in France is the ANR: "Agence Nationale de la Recherche" (national research agency). Every year, it finances a variable number of projects, in all scientific fields.
The results for 2014 were announced today, and the presentation text (in French only) is very upbeat: the success rate of 28% is more than 11% higher than that of 2013 ! A historical increase, one might conclude.
Unlike last year, however, the 2014 selection was done in two steps, and the 28% figure only accounts for the second one. The first step had already selected only 33% of the initial submissions, reducing the overall success rate to 9.4%. The only historical event is that this value dipped below 10% for the first time in the ten years since the ANR was created.
I make two predictions:
- The 9.4% figure will never appear in official documents.
- The 2015 campaign will consist of three steps, the last of which will select 100% of the projects that made it through the second round.
[UPDATE 19/07/2014] : For comparison, I plotted below the yearly success rates and total amounts distributed by the ANR since 2005.