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EU - HK Research and Innovation Cooperation Co-funding Mechanism by the RGC

European Union - Hong Kong Research and Innovation Cooperation
Co-funding Mechanism by the Research Grants Council (RGC)
Invitation for Applications

  • Aim

    The European Union (EU) – Hong Kong Research and Innovation Cooperation Co-funding Mechanism by the RGC 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 the Explanatory Notes for GRF Application Form "GRF2" which is uploaded on the RGC website: http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funding_opport/funding_schemes.html).

    3.   Hong Kong applicants applying for RGC's funding under this scheme must be partners1 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 project under this scheme2 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 funding proposal under this scheme 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

    1 Partners refer to participants listed in the successful EU proposal concerned.
    2 The scheme was formerly known as "European Commission / RGC Collaboration Scheme".

  • Funding

    6.   The project duration should normally be not more than five years and 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 reserved for the 2020/21 exercise.

    8.   The RGC research project grants 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 licence / 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 (mobility) grants 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.

  • 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 EU.

    12.   The Hong Kong PI should submit an application (which should include a summary of the proposal submitted to the EU and research work undertaken by the Hong Kong team, to be signed by the coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project) and the EU's official notification of the proposals being funded to the RGC for evaluation. The application should be prepared in accordance with the application form (EU/RGC 1) and submitted through the Research Offices (ROs) of the respective universities. The RGC will not accept proposals without the summary signed by the European coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project and EU's official notification.

    13.   Hong Kong applicants should submit a hard copy and a soft copy of the whole set of applications through the ROs of their universities to the RGC by 13 July 2020 at 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 by 7 August 2020. 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.

  • Selection

    17.   The RGC will evaluate and select the proposals from Hong Kong applicants for funding in accordance with its rules and mechanism. The proposals should have well identified joint working relationship demonstrating clearly the added value of collaboration.

    18.   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

    19.   The results of the first round of the 2020/21 exercise will be announced around September 2020. The results will also be published on the RGC homepage.

  • Conditions

    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 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, with due account of the EU's rules relating to intellectual property rights set out in its Rules for Participation and Grant Agreements of Horizon 2020. However, a suitable acknowledgement of the RGC's funding under this scheme 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 ROs 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 Fiona Wong
    Hong Kong Baptist University
    Kowloon Tong

    Tel: 3411 6499
    Fax: 3411 5133


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

    Tel: 2616 7683
    Fax: 2591 9618

    Miss Fiona Lee
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    New Territories

    Tel: 3943 5335
    Fax: 3942 0993

    Ms Cherry Ng
    The Education University of Hong Kong
    10 Lo Ping Road
    Tai Po
    New Territories

    Tel: 2948 6318
    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 2020