David Matthews wrote an article in the THE on the fall in success rates at the research councils.
In 2014-15, there were 7,780 applications to research councils, according to calculations by Times Higher Education, a 12 per cent increase on the year before despite efforts to deter weaker bids.
Success rates fell at five out of six councils, halving in the case of the Economic and Social Research Council to just 12 per cent (the Science and Technology Facilities Council was excluded from the analysis).
The overall success rate dropped by half a percentage point to just under 28 per cent, and would have fallen much further had it not been for an “abnormally” high level of funding in 2014-15 at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, where success rates shot up.
Read the whole article here, including a useful table of success rates for each research council.