Areas of Excellence Scheme
(A) The Exercise

1. Number of eligible applications received: 20
2. Number of full proposals received: 6
3. Number of proposals recommended for funding: 4
4. Success rate (over the number of eligible applications): 20%
Total approved budget of the funded projects $304.039 million1
Total funding amount from the RGC $277.231 million1
1 Inclusive of indirect/on-costs
(B) Selection Panel's Comments for Applicants' Reference

1. Quality of applications (i.e. strengths, weaknesses and gaps of proposals):
  • The projects are all of high quality and truly worthy of funding.
  • The research ideas are novel and the project teams are strong.
  • The projects could be funded without reduced budgets if there were sufficient resources.
  • Despite the time limitation of the interviews, the project teams took great efforts to make the interviews informative which enabled the Selection Panel to exercise critical judgement.
2. Other comments:
  • The “right of reply” arrangements were implemented in this AoE exercise. The arrangements would be reviewed in 2021 after the completion of the Theme-based Research Scheme 2021/22 (Eleventh Round) exercise.