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Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) Collaborative Research Grant


  • To encourage and support collaborative research involving two or more self-financing institutions1, and / or group research activities that operate across disciplines2 within an institution with a view to enhancing the research output of self-financing institutions in terms of the level of attainment, quality, dimensions and / or speed.


  • Project Coordinators (PCs) / Co-PIs – Full-time academic staff being engaged by one of the local self-financing degree-awarding institutions with at least a one-year renewable contract with the institution at the time of funding award being made3; and spending at least 80% of time in locally-accredited local degree or higher degree work in the institution.

  • Institutions are responsible for interpreting and confirming whether an applicant has fulfilled the eligibility requirements announced in the Call for Proposals.

  • Co-Investigators (Co-Is) – no eligibility requirements. The Co-Is can be any personnel working in the same or different local self-financing degree-awarding institutions, the UGC-funded universities, or other local / overseas institutions or organizations.

    1 For cross-institutional research proposals, the project team should have at least one eligible Co-PI from a local self-financing degree-awarding institution other than that of the Project Coordinator (PC).
    2 For cross-disciplinary research proposals, the research proposal should cover at least two research fields from different subject disciplines.
    3 Academics from UGC-funded universities may take up the role of Co-PI in Collaborative Research Grant project. Since the research funding is ring-fenced for the self-financing sector, the project grant cannot be transferred to the UGC sector.

    Operation Mode:

  • Application should be submitted by one applicant nominated as the PC. Other joint applicants will be regarded as Co-PI. Each Co-PI should have a clear, distinct and material role.

  • The normal project duration is three years.

  • There is no limit in the number of applications submitted by an institution under IDS Collaborative Research Grant. Institutions are strongly encouraged to screen the proposals to ensure that only proposals having a high academic standard are submitted to the RGC.

  • Each applicant is allowed to submit one application under the IDS Collaborative Research Grant in the capacity of PC in each exercise. There is no limit in the number of applications submitted in the capacity of Co-PI (but the Co-PI needs to declare all his / her research proposals / projects in the application and to justify that he / she could deploy sufficient attention to each of the funded projects) or Co-I.

  • To encourage collaboration among self-financing institutions and / or collaboration across disciplines within an institution, a proposal without Co-PI will not be accepted.

  • Expenditure items that support the conduct of a research project such as teaching relief, equipment, research support staff, travel expenses, conference or workshop registration, subsistence, expenses for dissemination of research results and other direct project costs will be considered.

  • Change of PC will normally not be approved before start of a project or within the first six months of an approved project.

  • If the PC accepts a non-academic appointment or any appointment outside the local self-financing degree sector, the project team and the participating institutions may nominate a suitable Co-PI from the self-financing degree sector to become the new PC to continue the project. Subject to RGC's approval, the funded project will be transferred to the affiliated institution of the new PC.

  • If the PC accepts another academic appointment within the local self-financing degree sector, he / she can carry the funded project to the new institution subject to the mutual agreement of the outgoing and receiving institutions and the approval of the RGC.

    Expected Deliverables:

  • Research outputs leading to advances in knowledge that could be transferred into teaching and learning, insights of interest or value to the research community, including publications, patents, etc. PCs should articulate the impact of research outputs in their applications.

    Funding Level:

  • Including direct costs involved in conducting the research projects and on-costs of 15% of the approved project costs.

  • The total funding for each project will be in the range of $2 million to $10 million (inclusive of the 15% on-costs).

  • Funding will be released to the coordinating institution (i.e. the affiliated institution of the PC) in two stages.


  • Merit-based assessment criteria which include:

    1. academic merit;

    2. long term goal of the proposal and its potential to develop into an area of strength;

    3. opportunities for effective synergy among the participating researchers, research groups and institutions;

    4. viability of the proposal, particularly in terms of its project management. The project team's ability to put in place an effective governance structure to monitor collaborating work and to ensure prudent deployment of resources would be important considerations; and

    5. the potential research impact of the proposal, which is defined as the demonstrable contributions, beneficial effects, valuable changes or advantages that research qualitatively brings to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life; and that are beyond the academia. It may include social and economic impact and research that translates into products and services, as well as research that aligns with important policy, community and social objectives.

  • Selection interview will be conducted with the project team of each shortlisted application.

  • The project team is required to submit progress and completion reports for monitoring purpose.

  • Site visits will be conducted by the Monitoring and Assessment Panel to assess the progress of the projects.