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SFC / RGC Joint Research Scheme

Scottish Funding Council (SFC) / Research Grants Council (RGC)
Joint Research Scheme 2014/15 Exercise
Invitation for Applications

  • Aim

    The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (JRS) aims to promote and support collaboration between scientists and engineers in the Scottish Life Sciences Association (SULSA) and the Scottish Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) and the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions in Hong Kong. Proposals in the fields of Life Sciences and Energy will be invited under the Scheme.

  • Eligibility

    2. Hong Kong applicants should meet fully the requirements for applying the RGC General Research Fund (GRF) (Please refer to paragraph 8(a) in Part II of Explanatory Notes for GRF Application Form "GRF2" which is uploaded on the RGC website: http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/form.html).

    3. Scottish applicants should check with the SFC for their eligibility requirements. Only applications that fully meet the requirements of both the RGC and the SFC would be accepted.

  • Funding

    4. The Scheme aims to support research projects with duration of up to 12 months. Funding limit for Scottish applicants is ¢G10,000 per project whereas the funding limit for Hong Kong applicants is HK$125,000 per project (exclusive of on-costs). The RGC has reserved an amount of about HK$1.25 million for the Hong Kong applicants in the SFC/RGC JRS 2014/15 exercise. On-costs will be granted to the related Hong Kong institutions of funded projects on top of the awarded sum.

    5. The RGC funding will provide support for :

    • the salary of research support staff hired by the Hong Kong researchers;

    • equipment in Hong Kong;

    • general expenses, including consumables that are directly related to the research work;

    • passage costs for Hong Kong researchers and research postgraduate students to visit collaborators in Scotland and to attend international conference; and

    • expenses for receiving the Scottish collaborators in Hong Kong.

    6. The Hong Kong and the Scottish partners of the supported projects will receive funding from the RGC and the SFC separately and the RGC grants can only be used in Hong Kong. No second-stage funding for projects will be provided under the current scheme. The expectation is that successful applicants will establish collaborative projects with the potential to secure follow-on funding from other schemes.

  • How to apply

    7. Parallel application submissions by the Hong Kong and Scottish applicants are required. While applications must be submitted before the deadlines as outlined in paragraph 12 below, Hong Kong applicants should check with their institutions for internal closing dates. Late submissions will not be processed.

    8. The Hong Kong and Scottish applicants should jointly prepare a proposal following SFC's format in English which should be submitted to the RGC and the SFC in parallel. In Life Sciences the identified areas of potential collaboration include: medical technologies and translational medicine; biotechnology; Synthetic biology and industrial biology; and cell biology. In Energy, the identified areas of potential collaboration include: advanced materials for photovoltaic devices, energy storage or fuel cells; renewable energy; smart-grids and smart-cities. Collaboration in biofuels and bioenergy research may be in either the life sciences or energy areas or be a cross-cutting topic.

    9. Scottish applicants should submit the joint proposals on behalf of the joint project team via the on-line system of the SULSA at sulsa.fluidreview.com. Detailed information on call and the application procedures of the SFC is available at SULSA's website: http://www.sulsa.ac.uk. The deadline for electronic submission of proposals to the SFC via SULSA system is 1700 GMT on Friday 1 August 2014.

    10. Hong Kong applicants should submit the same proposal together with the Application Supplement, SFC/RGC 1, to the RGC. The RGC will not accept proposals without the Application Supplement.

    11. Hong Kong applicants should submit 6 hard copies and a soft copy each of their proposals and Application Supplements through the Research Offices of their institutions to the RGC by 6 August 2014 at 1700 hours (Hong Kong time).

    12. Applications should be submitted on SFC/RGC 1 form and jointly signed by the project team members of both places. Hong Kong applicants should read the related explanatory notes, SFC/RGC 2, before completing the application.

    13. The institutions concerned must obtain and provide all the necessary ethics / safety approvals to the RGC by 15 September 2014. If no confirmation of such approval is provided to the RGC by the stipulated deadline, the relevant application will be regarded as being withdrawn and the SFC and the RGC will stop processing it.

  • Selection

    14. The RGC and the SFC will arrange to assess the research proposals received in accordance with their respective evaluation rules and will jointly select applications to be supported. Only proposals, which have been jointly supported by both sides, will be considered for funding.

    15. The evaluation criteria include:

      1. the scientific quality of the proposed collaborative research;

      2. the potential for long-term collaboration;

      3. the complementarity of the research environments in the respective partner institutions; and

      4. the added value arising from the collaboration.

  • Announcement of Results

    16. The results of the final selection will be announced around October 2014. The results would also be published on the RGC homepage under the section "Funding Results of Other Scheme" at <http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/funding_results.html>.

  • Monitoring and Assessment

    17. Hong Kong Principal Investigators are required to submit a final report through their institutions to the RGC for monitoring and assessment. Details would be provided to the successful applicants in the announcement of funding results.

  • Conditions

    18. All proposals funded in the 2014/15 exercise should commence as soon as possible and no later than three months after approval of the award.

    19. Funding approved in the 2014/15 exercise will be released to the institutions of the Hong Kong Principal Investigators around November 2014.

    20. The RGC will not be responsible for any expenditure incurred by the project in excess of the approved funding.

    21. The RGC will not provide insurance cover in connection with the project or allow the use of the grant for insurance cover. Applicants should make their own arrangements. The RGC will not accept any responsibility arising in any way from the visits and the activities undertaken by the researchers.

    22. As a matter of policy, the RGC and the SFC do not claim any intellectual property rights arising from the funded projects. Researchers, their collaborators and their institutions concerned should make their own prior arrangements with regard to the ownership of such rights and according to the SFC procedures if applicable. However, a suitable acknowledgement of the RGC and the SFC funding should be included in any equipment / facilities purchased and any publication / publicity arising from the work done on the research project funded under this Scheme.

  • Enquiries

    23. All enquiries should be directed to Research Offices of respective institutions in the first instance. Their contact details are as follows:

    Ms Cecilia Sun
    City University of Hong Kong
    83 Tat Chee Avenue
    Kowloon Tong

    Tel.: 3442 6832
    Fax : 3442 0136

    Ms Jade Fong
    Hong Kong Baptist University
    224 Waterloo Road
    Kowloon Tong

    Tel.: 3411 7940
    Fax : 3411 5133


    Ms Connie Lam
    Lingnan University
    8 Castle Peak Road
    Tuen Mun
    New Territories

    Tel.: 2616 7683
    Fax : 2591 9618

    Ms Carmen Tang
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    New Territories

    Tel.: 3943 1996
    Fax : 2603 7414

    Ms Natalie Ng
    The Hong Kong Institute of Education
    10 Lo Ping Road
    Tai Po
    New Territories

    Tel.: 2948 8404
    Fax : 2948 7697

    Miss Christine Yeung
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    Hung Hom

    Tel.: 2766 4046
    Fax: 2355 7651

    Miss Amy Chan
    The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Clear Water Bay

    Tel.: 2358 6923
    Fax: 2358 1541

    Miss Katie Cheung
    The University of Hong Kong
    Pokfulam Road
    Hong Kong

    Tel.: 2859 1982
    Fax : 2803 0558

    UGC Secretariat
    30 June 2014