Research

Success rates

2015/16 summary:

  • 2,113 applications were received for grant and fellowship funding
  • 421 awards were made with a total value of over £294m
  • 83% of grant applications judged as internationally competitive were funded

Funding decisions are made on the basis of scientific quality and success rates vary over time due to the quality of proposals received, levels of funding available and demand from the research community. Information on the success rates by scheme for 2015/16 is provided in the tables below.

Data showing success rates by funding type and based on the gender, age and ethnicity of applicants can also be downloaded in excel and csv format. Information on success rate data going back to 2007/08 can be accessed from the all published success rate data page - see related content.

In addition to this detailed MRC information we also publish high-level success rate data on the RCUK website. The data published by RCUK differs from that presented here as it uses the same approach on rounding and suppression of small numbers as the Higher Education Statistics Authority, this is to allow comparisons across Research Councils and against the overall diversity profile of the broader academic community. 

Grant and Fellowship application success rates*

2015/16 application success rates

Agreement type Number of Applications Number of Awards Success rate
Grants (all) 1,723 349 20%
Fellowships (all) 390 72 18%

2015/16 grant application success rates (application type, gender, age, ethnicity, value) (XLS, 78KB)

2015/16 grant application success rates (application type, gender, age, ethnicity, value) (CSV, 4KB)

2015/2016 fellowship application success rates (application type, gender, age, ethnicity, value) (XLS, 82KB)

2015/2016 fellowship application success rates (application type, gender, age, ethnicity, value) (CSV, 5KB)

*Data was republished on 21 March 2017 due to the identification of errors.

Studentship application success rates

Studentships (except Industrial CASE) are now awarded through Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), for more detailed information please visit the student DTP page

The following awards were made in 2015 to start in 2016/17 for 3 year allocations

Studentship Scheme Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) 
Number of applications 18
Number of awards 15
Success Rate (%) 83
Notional1 Number of students awarded per annum 155 (per annum)

A ‘notional studentship’ is set at the equivalent of a 3.5 year studentship, based on Research Councils UK minimum stipend and support levels. This does not take account of any funds leveraged research organisation used to co-fund/increase the number of students supported through the DTP.

Average award value for studentships

Studentship Scheme Average award amount per student (£k)
  2016 2017 2018
Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP)
London 92 93 94
Outside London 86 87 88

For previous year student allocations please see the links below.

Studentships awarded in 2011/12 for intake years (2012/13 to 2015/16) (scheme, Research Organisation) (XLS, 54KB)

Studentships awarded in 2011/12 for intake years (2012/13 to 2015/16) (scheme, Research Organisation) (CSV, 5KB)

Awards made in 2015/16 to start 2016/17 (academic years) studentship application success rates, Industrial CASE studentships

Studentship Scheme Number of applications Number of awards Success Rate (%)
Industrial CASE 104 32 31%

Industrial CASE awards made in 2015/16 to start in 2016/17 (Research Organisation and Industrial Partner) (XLSX, 23KB)

Industrial CASE awards made in 2015/16 to start in 2016/17 (Research Organisation and Industrial Partner) (ODS file, 10KB)

Information on demographic data for Higher Education Institutes can be found at: www.ecu.ac.uk

Research organisation success rates

These files provide success rates for:

  • All applications from each Research Organisation, and success rates by number and value
  • The number of grant applications and the number that were internationally competitive. 

2015/16 Research Organisation success rates (number, value) (XLS, 71KB)

2015/16 Research Organisation success rates (number, value) (CSV, 18KB)

Contact us

For more information please email: corporate@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk