How to predict the performance of an applicant is a core issue in the process of research project funding. Unlike the traditional way, we use a back-chaining evaluation method to test what factors of an applicant are influencing the performance of the research project based on the data of Chinese National Science Foundation. We find that the gender never affects the performance, and the age group of 41-45 is significantly helpful in improving the performance, but the age group of 46-50 obviously does harm in improving the performance. What’s more, the affiliation of 211-poject university could do good to the performance, while the educational or academic titles of academician and Yangtze River Scholar prevent the applicants from improving their performances. According to these findings, we advice to take the measures of implementing some specific research projects, some special projects, and some exclusive projects to varied research groups to improve the research performance.