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  • Questions to ask an EU Grant Funding Consultancy about their success rate

    by Charlotte Lindsey, Jacob Huber & Alba Saldaña | Jun 14, 2021 | Reading time: 2 minutes | Blog


    If you are reading this, you are probably considering whether to externalise your proposal writing to a consultancy.

    Making the right decision about which EU Grant Funding consultancy to hire is a complicated and mind-boggling task: there are many, and all seem to claim incredible results, especially considering that the European average of these EU Programmes has historically fallen as long as ~1-5%. 

    For that reason, we have prepared a list of 5 questions you should ask when choosing your consultancy.


    Is there a success rate representative of service quality?

    Some consultancy firms are not shy about proudly expressing a rate of successfully funded clients, but how should this percentage be interpreted? How is it meaningful? 

    Let’s think carefully about this. You may get impressed by that optimistic number: if they hit 100% funded, why wouldn’t you? But the success rate is only relevant when the sample size is representative.

    Let’s do the math! You should ask yourself if that company has created that percentage considering representative sample size. For example, if 1,975 projects have been submitted to the screening phase of the EIC Accelerator programme, we should have a sample of 322 projects to get representative (i.e. statistically significant) results.



    It is all about context. When you ask a consultancy about their success rate, ask questions in parallel such as:

    1. How many submitted proposals is your success rate based on?
    2. Over what time frame did you accrue this success rate?
    3. Does the success rate include other less competitive programmes or a less competitive- former version of the programme? (i.e. SME Instrument phase 1? Does it have phase 2?)
    4. Can I speak to a client who was not funded with you to understand the impact your work had on their business plan?
    5. Is the success rate based on a set of conclusive results? (i.e. EIC Accelerator screening, a number of the 1,975 screening applications submitted are still pending evaluation. Thus, the final success rate on an EU average and at an EU Consultancy level is most likely unknown).