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EC / RGC Collaboration Scheme

European Commission (EC) / Research Grants Council (RGC)
Collaboration Scheme 2018/19 -I
Invitation for Applications

  • Aim

    The European Commission (EC) and Research Grants Council (RGC) Collaboration Scheme aims to foster European-Hong Kong collaboration in academic research and to support the participation of researchers in universities funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) in Hong Kong in joint research projects conducted under the framework of Horizon 2020.

  • Eligibility

    2.   Hong Kong applicants should meet fully the requirements for applying the RGC General Research Fund (GRF) (Please refer to paragraph 6(a) in Part II of Explanatory Notes for GRF Application Form "GRF2" which is uploaded on the RGC website: http://www.ugc.edu.hk/doc/eng/rgc/form/GRF2.pdf).

    3.   Hong Kong applicants applying for RGC’s funding under this scheme must be partners in a successful proposal submitted in response to the 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 call.

    4.   Each application to the RGC should be submitted with only one applicant nominated as the Hong Kong Principal Investigator (PI) and no applicant should submit more than one application in this capacity. A Hong Kong PI of an on-going European Commission (EC)/RGC Collaboration Scheme project is not allowed to submit a new application in the capacity of PI unless he/she has submitted the completion report of the last approved project to the RGC before the application deadline. Nevertheless, he/she could participate in a new EC/RGC Collaboration Scheme funding proposal in the capacity of Co-Investigator.

    5.   Both basic and applied research projects of high academic merits will be considered. The Hong Kong PI can apply for the RGC grants for the following research proposals:

    - Research project proposals – in science disciplines (viz. biology and medicine, engineering and physical sciences)
    - Exchange (mobility) proposals - in all disciplines

  • Funding

    6.   The project duration should normally be not more than five years. The project duration proposed by the Hong Kong PI should not be longer than that of the concerned Horizon 2020 project. The Hong Kong PI should not propose a project end date which is beyond the project duration of the concerned Horizon 2020 project.

    7.   The per-project ceiling of RGC’s research project grants and exchange (mobility) grants are HK$3 million and HK$0.5 million (both excluding on-costs) respectively. A budget of HK$9 million is intended for the 2018/19 exercise, subject to approval of the RGC in June 20181.

    8.   The RGC research project grants will support the salary of research support staff hired by the Hong Kong researchers; funding for employment of relief teachers; equipment and high-performance computing services in Hong Kong; research-related software license / dataset; general expenses, including consumables that are directly related to the research work; passage and subsistence costs for Hong Kong applicants and research postgraduate students to visit collaborators in Europe and to attend international conference; and output dissemination costs.

    9.   The RGC exchange grants will support the passage and subsistence costs for Hong Kong applicants and research postgraduate students to visit collaborators in Europe, and supplementary funding for research expenditure.

    10.   The Hong Kong PI of the supported projects will receive funding from the RGC. The RGC funds are solely for use in Hong Kong and in supporting the passage and subsistence costs of Hong Kong researchers and research postgraduate students.

    1 The availability of funding and the actual budget for the exercise are subject to approval of the RGC in June 2018.

  • How to apply

    11.   To be eligible for applying RGC grants under this scheme, the Horizon 2020 projects that the applicants are participating should have secured funding support from the EC.

    12.   The Hong Kong PI should submit an application (which should include a summary of the proposal submitted to the EC and research work undertaken by the Hong Kong team, to be signed by the coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project) and the EC's official notification of the proposals being funded, to the RGC for evaluation. The application should be prepared in accordance with the "EC/RGC Collaboration Scheme Application Form" (EC/RGC 1). The RGC will not accept proposals without the summary signed by the EC coordinator and EC’s official notification.

    13.   Hong Kong applicants should submit three hard copies and one softcopy of the whole set of applications through the Research Offices of their universities to the RGC by 5 July 2018 1700 hours (Hong Kong time).

    14.   While applications must be submitted before the deadline as outlined above, Hong Kong applicants should check with their universities for internal closing date, if any. Late submissions will not be processed.

    15.   It is the obligation of the Hong Kong applicants to ensure that their applications contain sufficient and consistent information for evaluation. Incomplete submission or inconsistent information would lead to disqualification of application.

    16.   The universities concerned must obtain and provide all the necessary ethics / safety approvals to the RGC indicated in the application form before the application deadline. If the necessary approval is not provided in the application, the relevant application will be regarded as being withdrawn and the RGC will stop processing it.

    17.   The RGC intends to invite applications twice in 2018/19 in the months of April and October 2018 subject to availability of funding.

  • Selection

    18.   The RGC will arrange to assess the proposals received and select applications to be supported in accordance with its evaluation rules. The proposals should have well identified joint working relationship demonstrating clearly the added value of collaboration.

    19.   The evaluation criteria include:

    1. The extent to which the existing strengths of each side may complement each other in the proposal;

    2. Opportunities for training young researchers;

    3. Credentials of project teams; and

    4. Impact to Hong Kong.

  • Announcement of Funding Results

    20.   The results of the first round of the 2018/19 exercise will be announced around September 2018. The results will also be published on the RGC homepage.

  • Conditions

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

    22.   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.

    23.   As a matter of policy, the RGC does not claim any intellectual property rights arising from the funded projects. Researchers, their collaborators and their universities concerned should make their own prior arrangements with regard to the ownership of such rights and according to the EC's procedures if applicable. However, a suitable acknowledgement of the RGC 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

    24.   All enquiries should be directed to Research Offices of respective universities 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 Doris Fung
    Hong Kong Baptist University
    Kowloon Tong

    Tel: 3411 7941
    Fax: 3411 5133


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

    Tel: 2616 7683
    Fax: 2591 9618

    Ms Fiona Lee
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    New Territories

    Tel: 3943 5335
    Fax: 3942 0993

    Ms Clara Fong
    The Education University of Hong Kong
    10 Lo Ping Road
    Tai Po
    New Territories

    Tel: 2948 7700
    Fax: 2948 7697

    Miss Christine Yeung
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    Hung Hom

    Tel: 2766 4046
    Fax: 2355 7651

    Ms Catherine Leung
    The Hong Kong University of Science
    and Technology
    Clear Water Bay

    Tel: 2358 6946
    Fax: 2358 1541

    Miss Kay Ling
    The University of Hong Kong
    Pokfulam Road
    Hong Kong

    Tel: 2859 1181
    Fax: 2803 0558

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    UGC Secretariat
    April 2018