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The Generic Call for Proposals

The Generic Call for Proposals: a key instrument for supporting research initiatives

ANR’s headline funding instrument, the Generic Call for Proposals (AAPG) encourages individual and collaborative research initiatives. Open to researchers from all scientific communities, both public and private, the call helped to support 1,157 projects in 2019. The stated intention of this funding programme is to promote high-quality, responsible, ethical research and to develop knowledge from both basic and applied research projects.


projects supported by the AAPG in 2019

Steadily increasing budgets and selection rates

Growth of 13% in 2017, 15% in 2018, 16% in 2019… The AAPG selection rate has been rising steadily for several years. Of the 7,217 projects submitted in 2019, 1,157 were selected for total funding of €464.2 million, 81.6% of the Agency’s funding budget. This represents a funding increase of 4.7% compared with 2018.

One call, four funding instruments

research projects coordinated by young researchers (JCJC) and collaborative research projects, either between public entities in a national or international context (PRC and PRCI respectively) or between public and private entities with a potential opening to the world of business (PRCE).
Under the heading of International Collaborative Research Projects (PRCI), the French-German partnership between ANR and DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) was given priority in the 2019 Work Programme. This was reflected in additional budgetary support of €3 million.

Openness to all research disciplines

Aligned with the sustainable development goals and major societal challenges, the AAPG is structured into 48 research areas, 13 of which correspond to interdisciplinary priorities: sustainable cities, the bioeconomy, health and the environment etc. Each theme has its own dedicated scientific evaluation panel, consisting of independent French or foreign scientists. AAPG covers the strategic priorities defined by the French state: artificial intelligence (AI), social sciences and humanities, quantum technologies, to which the following have been added since the 2019 edition antibiotic resistance, autism in neurodevelopmental disorders and translational research into rare diseases.

A two-stage selection process

Two stages structure the AAPG selection process. In the first stage, project coordinators submit a pre-proposal that is evaluated in terms of quality and scientific ambition by the scientific evaluation panels (CES). The selected coordinators then present a full proposal, which is analysed by external peer reviewers and then once again by the CES. This second evaluation covers aspects such as the quality of the project’s construction, its originality, its impact and its potential benefits. All project coordinators also undertake to consider the sex and/or gender dimension in the progress of their project.
All operations involved in the AAPG take place in a context of continuous improvement for the project selection processes, which have been awarded ISO 9001 certification.



What are the main stages in submitting a project to the Generic Call for Proposals (AAPG), the French National Research Agency's main call? Overview of the key stages

Watch the video “The main stages in submitting a project to the ANR Generic Call for Proposals”

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The younger generations stand out from the crowd

Representing nearly a quarter of the projects selected, JCJC projects achieved a selection rate of 19.1%, compared with 15% in 2018. This encouraging result is largely due to the commitment of the applicants and the quality of their submissions. Designed to encourage initiative and scientific autonomy, the JCJC instrument is targeted at young researchers awarded PhDs less than 10 years ago. For many, it is a first step towards European calls for proposals.