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PROCORE - France / Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme

Call Circular for the 2016/17 Exercise

Introduction

The Research Grants Council (RGC) and the Consulate General of France (CGF) in Hong Kong invite applications for the PROCORE-France/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2016/17 exercise. Launched in 1998, the Scheme aims to promote research collaboration between Hong Kong and France by providing researchers in the two places with one-year and two-year travel grants. The Scheme also offers two conference/workshop grants to sponsor a conference/workshop each in Hong Kong and in France.

The Hong Kong Principal Investigators could use the RGC grants to support justified research visits of research postgraduate students to partner institutions, in order to enhance the students' training and opportunities for overseas experience. The budget for the Hong Kong applicants in the 2016/17 exercise is HK$1.02 million, of which HK$150,000 is earmarked for one conference/workshop to be held in Hong Kong. The grant size for the travel grants is HK$45,000 per year for projects involving travel of research postgraduate student(s) and HK$31,250 per year for projects not involving students' travel. Additional funding support from Hong Kong and French institutions/companies to individual grant recipient is most welcome.

Hong Kong applicants should meet fully the requirements for applying the RGC General Research Fund (GRF). Applications from Hong Kong applicants should be submitted to the RGC through the Research Offices of respective institutions. While applications must reach the RGC before the deadline as outlined below, Hong Kong applicants should check with their institutions for internal closing dates. Late submission will not be processed.

Detailed information regarding the Scheme and its application procedure could be obtained from respective institutions. It is also available on the RGC homepage under "Funding Schemes" at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/rgc.

The RGC and the CGF bear no responsibility for the manner in which the exchange/visit or the conference/workshop is conducted.

Further details on the Scheme

Travel Grants Conference / Workshop Grants
Aim
  • To support scholarly collaboration between individual Hong Kong and French researchers.

  • To facilitate Hong Kong and French researchers of similar fields to develop new collaboration through dissemination of their recent and unpublished research work.

Scope
  • There is no quota on the number of applications to be submitted by each institution.

  • Applicants may apply for one-year or two-year travel grants.

  • An applicant (Principal Investigator (PI)) can only submit one application in an exercise but may participate as a member of another project in the same exercise.

  • The RGC grant provides only for air passage(s), accommodation and subsistence costs directly related to the proposed exchanges between the two partners in France. If free or less expensive air tickets and/or accommodation are available, the PI may undertake additional visits or visits of longer duration.

  • The RGC grant does not cover expenditure on equipment, consumables or other project-related expenses, as well as insurance. Each PI must make provision for these and any other costs associated with the project.

  • Funding will not be provided to the same project for more than two years.

  • The RGC grant is solely for use by the Hong Kong PI.

  • Save in very exceptional circumstances (such as prolonged illness of the PI) and with proper justification stated in the "Travel Plan" of the application form as well as prior approval of the RGC, the PI cannot delegate the trip to his Co-Investigator (Co-I) nor his project team members. An application without proper justification for delegation of the trip to Co-I or project team members does not meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme and will be disqualified.

  • If, for operational reasons, a project team member is required to make use of the grant for a trip (in addition to the trip undertaken by the PI), detailed justification with a clear breakdown on the expenses requested for each traveller must be provided in the "Travel Plan" of the application form. In the case that no breakdown of expenses is provided and the number of trips endorsed by the RGC is smaller than the number requested, the RGC grant will be awarded on a pro-rata basis.

  • If the PI proposes to use the RGC grant to support travel of research postgraduate student(s) together with the PI, detailed justification and the plan for training for the student(s) through the proposed visit(s), with a clear breakdown on the expenses requested for each traveller must be provided in the "Travel Plan" of the application form. In the case that no breakdown of expenses is provided and the number of trips endorsed by the RGC is smaller than the number requested, the RGC grant will be awarded on a pro-rata basis.

  • The scheme will award two grants per exercise to sponsor one event in Hong Kong and one event in France. The two events are to focus on different research subjects/fields/topics, and are separate and independent.

  • An applicant (Main Organiser) can only submit one application in an exercise and cannot participate as a co-applicant (Co-organiser) in other applications in the same exercise.

  • Applicants may apply to seek sponsorship of a two or three-day conference/ workshop. The RGC grant covers travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of guest speakers from France to Hong Kong, and the direct organising costs, e.g. reservation of meeting venue, production of conference/workshop materials etc. Expenditure on meals is not covered by the grant.

  • The RGC funds are solely for sponsorship of the conference/workshop to be held in Hong Kong.

Format
  • For each proposed research project, there should be a Hong Kong PI and a French PI to facilitate and co-ordinate work in their respective teams.

  • The event comprises sessions where overseas and local guest speakers present on-going research work; local postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate research students post up their current work; and/or interested local parties attend hands-on sessions to acquire new techniques.

  • For each conference / workshop, there should be a Main Organiser and a Co-Organiser. The Main Organiser is responsible for the overall coordination of the event; and the Co-Organiser assists in drawing up the main programme, e.g. suggestion on guest speaker(s) to be invited. For the event to be held in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong applicant should be the Main Organiser, and his/her French counterpart should be the Co-Organiser. For the event to be held in France, the French applicant should be the Main Organiser, and his / her Hong Kong counterpart should be the Co-Organiser.

Grant size
  • For each selected Hong Kong applicant :

    -Maximum HK$45,000 for projects involving travel of research postgraduate student(s); or

    - Maximum HK$31,250 for projects not involving students' travel.

  • The Secretariat would release the grants in full upon notification of results of applications.

  • Maximum HK$150,000 per event.

  • The Secretariat would release funds upon notification of results of applications.

Application Procedures General
  • Parallel submissions of applications by the Hong Kong and the French applicants are required:

    1. Hong Kong applicants should submit their applications to the RGC through the Research Offices of respective institutions. Direct submission of applications to the RGC will not be accepted; and

    2. French applicants should submit their applications directly to the CGF.

  • It is the obligation of both the Hong Kong and French applicants to ensure that their applications contain sufficient and consistent information for evaluation. The RGC will not seek or accept supplementary information / revision after the application deadline. The CGF would verify the applications upon receipt of the Hong Kong applications from the RGC. Applications containing inconsistent information may lead to disqualification.

  • Applications will be disqualified if the proposals are found to have exceeded the allowable page limits or excessive attachments.

Application

  • For each application, please submit a soft copy (with size up to 2Mb per application) and three hard copies of:

    1. application form;

    2. two-sheet (i.e. four sides) project proposal (see below);

    3. one A-4 page (with a maximum of 400 words) curriculum vitae (CV) for each project team member, with information on name, academic qualifications, previous academic position(s) held (with date(s)) & present position (state if applicant is a visiting academic from overseas), previous relevant research work, publication records including the five most representative publications in the recent five years and five representative publications beyond the recent five years (10 at maximum), and others including research-related prizes and awards, brief description of experience in consultancies, service as a referee in evaluating other grant applications, patents, PhD theses supervised, etc; and

    4. one A-4 page (with a maximum of 400 words) curriculum vitae (CV) for each research postgraduate student if travel for student(s) is/are proposed, with information on name, academic qualifications, current research work, research output, etc.

  • The project proposal should contain the following details:

    1. project title;

    2. research objective(s);

    3. research plan and methodology;

      • to make sure this section is written in a manner that allows easy understanding by reviewer(s) in related field(s)
      • to include an outline of the work plan according to a proposed time schedule
    4. reason(s) for the choice of the French PI; and

    5. plan for collaboration (indicate the respective roles and the specific tasks to be undertaken by the Hong Kong and French PIs as well as each of their team members).

  • Hong Kong applicants may refer to the Proposal Templates enclosed at the Appendices to the application form in preparing their proposals and CVs.

  • Applications must be received by the RGC by 3 June 2016. Applicants should check with the Research Offices of respective institutions for internal deadlines.

General
  • Parallel submissions of applications by the Hong Kong and the French applicants (as the Main or Co-Organiser) are required. The procedures are the same as travel grants. (Please see adjacent column)

Application

  • For each application please submit a soft copy (with size up to 2Mb per application) and three hard copies of:

    1. application form;

    2. half-page summary by each guest speaker (i.e. both French and Hong Kong) on his/her presentation at the proposed conference / workshop; the current understanding in the field on the topic he / she will be speaking on; and the latest research findings and their significance; and

    3. one A-4 page (with a maximum of 400 words) curriculum vitae (CV) for each guest speaker, with information on name, academic qualifications, previous academic position(s) held (with date(s)) & present position (state if applicant is a visiting academic from overseas), previous relevant research work, publication records including the five most representative publications in the recent five years and five representative publications beyond the recent five years (10 at maximum), and others including research-related prizes and awards, brief description of experience in consultancies, service as a referee in evaluating other grant applications, patents, PhD theses supervised, etc.

  • Applications must be received by the RGC by 3 June 2016. Applicants should check with the Research Offices of respective institutions for internal deadlines.

  • Hong Kong applicants may refer to the Proposal Template enclosed at the Appendix to the application form in preparing their CVs.
The Review Process
  • The RGC and the CGF will review the applications based on:

    1. the academic merits of the proposed research;

    2. the possible synergy, the expected benefits, and the prospects for longer-term collaboration; and

    3. opportunities for training of young researchers and research postgraduate students through the proposed exchanges.

  • The RGC and the CGF will jointly select applications to be supported. Only proposals, which have been jointly supported by both sides, will be considered for funding.

  • The RGC and the CGF will review the applications based on:

    1. the research standing of the Main and Co-Organisers, and that of the guest speakers;

    2. the degree of intra- and inter-institutional participation by local researchers and students; and

    3. prospects for new/longer-term research collaboration.

  • The RGC and the CGF will jointly select the applications to be supported. Only proposals, which have been jointly supported by both sides, will be considered for funding.

Announcement of Results
  • The RGC and the CGF will announce the selection results around December 2016.

  • The RGC would convey the results to the Hong Kong applicants through their respective institutions. No feedback on the applications will be provided.

  • The results will also be available at RGC homepage under "Funding Results" at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/rgc.

  • Same as detailed in the description of the Travel Grants.

Funding period
  • PIs should use the one-year grants or the first year fund of the two-year grants between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 inclusive, and second year fund of the two-year grants between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 inclusive.

  • For two-year grants, unspent balance from the first year cannot be carried forward to the second year and should be returned to the RGC within six months upon expiry of the first-year of the funding period.

  • The conference / workshop should take place between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 inclusive.
Monitoring and Assessment Interim Report of the two-year grant
  • For two-year grant projects approved in 2016/17, the PIs should make use of the PROCORE Report form to prepare and submit their interim reports to the RGC by the deadline as stipulated in results announcement. They should check with the Research Offices of respective institutions for internal deadlines.

  • Although the second year funding has been granted, the RGC will consider clawing back the grant and terminating the project if interim report indicates that the PIs fail to accomplish the proposed exchanges and collaboration.

Completion Report
  • Hong Kong PIs should submit a copy of their completion report together with publications arising directly from the sponsored work to the RGC through respective institutions within twelve months after the expiry of the approved funding period.

  • All publications arising from research collaboration under this Scheme should carry an acknowledgement as follows: "The work was supported by a grant from the PROCORE-France/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong (Reference No. F-[Institution's abbreviation][Institution code][serial number of 2 digits]/[year], e.g. F-HKU702/16)".

  • The RGC will not allow extension of the approved funding period.
  • The institution should submit the relevant financial statement together with any unspent balance to the RGC within six months after the expiry of the approved funding period.
  • All conference/workshop materials should carry where appropriate an acknowledgement as follows: "The conference/workshop (delete where appropriate) was supported by a grant from the PROCORE-France/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong (Reference No. F-[Institution's abbreviation][Institution code][serial number of 2 digits]/[year], e.g. F-HKU702/16)".

  • The Main Organiser / Co-Organiser in Hong Kong should submit one copy of a document enclosing the conference/ workshop programme, a list of local and French participants, and a breakdown of expenditure to the RGC through the institution within six months of the conclusion of the event.

  • The institution should also return the unspent balance of the grant for the event held in Hong Kong to the RGC within six months of the conclusion of the event.

Enquiries

All enquires should be directed to the Research Offices of respective institutions at the first instance who, if in doubt, will contact the UGC Secretariat. Their contact details are as follows:

Ms Cecilia Sun
Research Grants and Contracts Office
City University of Hong Kong
Kowloon Tong
Kowloon

Tel: 3442 6832
Fax: 3442 0136
Email: c.sun@cityu.edu.hk

Mr Derek Ip
Graduate School
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong
Kowloon

Tel: 3411 7941
Fax: 3411 5133
Email: hkburc@hkbu.edu.hk

Miss Connie Lam
Office of Research Support
Lingnan University
8 Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun
New Territories

Tel: 2616 7683
Fax: 2591 9618
Email: splam@LN.edu.hk

Ms Wendy Shek
Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin
New Territories
Tel: 3943 5544
Fax: 3942 0993
Email: wendyshek@cuhk.edu.hk
Ms Cherry Ng
Research and Development Office
The Education University of Hong Kong
10 Lo Ping Road , Tai Po
New Territories
Tel: 2948 6318
Fax: 2948 7697
Email: cherryng@ied.edu.hk
Ms Christine Yeung
Research Office
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom
Kowloon
Tel: 2766 4046
Fax: 2355 7651
Email: christine.yeung@polyu.edu.hk
Ms Amy Chan
Office of Contract and Grant Administration
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Tel: 2358 6923
Fax: 2358 1541
Email: ocamy@ust.hk

Miss Rachel Lau
Research Services, Registry
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong

Tel: 2859 7085
Fax: 2803 0558
Email: kayanlau@hku.hk