Home > Funding Opportunities > What can I apply for? > Germany / Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme

Germany / Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme

Call Circular for the 2017/18 Exercise

Introduction

The Research Grants Council (RGC) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) invite applications for the Germany / Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2017/18 exercise. Launched in 1996, the Scheme aims to promote research collaboration between Hong Kong and Germany by providing researchers in the two places with one-year or two-year travel grants.

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 2017/18 exercise is HK$1.2 million. The grant size for the travel grants is HK$45,000 per year for projects involving travel of research postgraduate student(s) and HK$30,000 per year for projects not involving students' travel. Additional funding support from Hong Kong and German 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). Hong Kong applicants should submit applications to the RGC through the Research Offices of respective universities. While applications must be submitted before the deadline as outlined below, Hong Kong applicants should check with their universities for internal closing dates. Late submission will not be processed.

While detailed information regarding the Scheme and its application procedure could be obtained from respective universities, it is also available on the RGC homepage under "Funding Opportunities - Funding Schemes" at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc.

The RGC and the DAAD bear no responsibility for the manner in which the exchange / visit is conducted.

Further details on the Scheme:

Aim
  • To support scholarly collaboration between individual Hong Kong and German researchers.
Scope
  • There is no quota on the number of applications to be submitted by each university.

  • 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 Germany. 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 the 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 of 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 less 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 of 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.

Format
  • For each proposed research project, there should be a Hong Kong PI and a German PI to facilitate and co-ordinate work in their respective teams.
Grant Size
  • For each selected Hong Kong applicant:

    • Maximum HK$45,000 per year for projects involving travel of research postgraduate student(s); or
    • Maximum HK$30,000 per year for projects not involving students' travel.

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

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

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

    2. German applicants should submit their applications directly to the DAAD. Further details are available on the DAAD homepage.

  • It is the obligation of both the Hong Kong and German applicants to ensure that their respective applications contain sufficient and consistent information for evaluation. The RGC will not seek or accept supplementary information / revision after the application deadline. The DAAD 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 softcopy (with size up to 2Mb per application) and three 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 research postgraduate student if travel for student(s) is/are proposed, with information on name, academic qualifications, current research work, research output, etc; and

    4. 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, 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.

  • 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 the proposed time schedule
    4. reason(s) for the choice of the German PI; and

    5. plan for collaboration (indicate the respective roles and the specific tasks to be undertaken by the Hong Kong and German 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 30 June 2017. Applicants should check with the Research Offices of respective universities for internal deadlines.

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

Announcement of Results
  • The RGC and the DAAD will announce the selection results around December 2017.

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

  • The results will be available at the RGC homepage under "Funded Research - Funding Results" at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc.
Funding period
  • PIs should use the one-year grant or the first year fund of the two-year grants between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 inclusive, and the second year fund of the two-year grant between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 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 funding period.

Monitoring and Assessment

Interim Report for two-year grant

  • The PIs should prepare and submit the interim reports for two-year projects to the RGC by the deadline as stipulated in results announcement. They should check with the Research Offices of respective universities 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 PI fails 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 universities within twelve months after the expiry of approved funding period.

  • All publications arising from the research collaboration under this Scheme should carry an acknowledgement as follows: "The work described in this paper was supported by a grant from the Germany / Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and the German Academic Exchange Service (Reference No. [G-[University's abbreviation][University code][serial number of 2 digits]/[year], e.g. G-HKU702/17)".

  • The RGC will not allow extension of the approved funding period.

  • The university 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.

Enquiries

All enquiries should be directed to the Research Offices of respective universities in 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: rocsun@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 and Staff Development
Lingnan University
8 Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun
New Territories

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

Ms Jo Poon
Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin
New Territories

Tel.: 3943 6545
Fax : 3942 0993
Email: jopoon@cuhk.edu.hk

Ms Cherry Ng
Research and Development Office
The Education University of Hong Kong
10 Po Ling Road, Tai Po
New Territories
Tel.: 2948 6318
Fax : 2948 7697
Email: cherryng@eduhk.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