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Application for GRF 2019/20

Applications for research project grants are assessed by the relevant subject panel assisted by a number of external experts from all over the world. The RGC currently has a database of more than 12,000 experts whose services may be called upon to assess applications for research project grants.

The Guidance Notes [GRF2] are now available.

Applications for GRF 2019/20 should reach the UGC Secretariat through the electronic system by 13 November 2018. Please click here for the call letter issued by the Secretary, RGC to the Heads of UGC funded institutions inviting applications.

To download the current forms, etc. please click here.

  • Eligibility

    Only academic staff members whose conditions of employment meet all the following requirements are eligible for application of RGC grants as Principal Investigator (PI):

    1. they have a full-time1 appointment in the institution proper2 of UGC-funded institutions;

    2. they are in Staff Grades from 'A' to 'I'3 (i.e. from 'Professor' to 'Assistant Lecturer');

    3. they are primarily engaged in and spend at least 80% of their time in degree or higher degree work at the institution proper; and

    4. their salary is wholly funded4 by the institution proper.

    Visiting staff will only be eligible if they have a full-time appointment in the institution proper covering at least one year or the duration of the project whichever is the longer. Staff supported by external research grants5 are however not eligible.

    As a transitional measure, academic staff who are engaged in non-degree programmes which are still funded by the UGC may also apply as the PI. Eligible staff in this category must be wholly funded from the General Funds of the institution(s) concerned. This arrangement would continue until such time when the relevant programmes are no longer funded by the UGC. Cases of an exceptional nature (including circumstances not covered by the above rules) will be considered by the RGC on a case-by-case basis.

    1 Part-time staff and staff holding honorary appointments are excluded.
    2 Excluding schools/ arms of continuing education and professional training and other analogous outfits.
    3 Polytechnic staff grades are excluded.
    4 Staff who are receiving income from paid appointments outside the institution proper do not satisfy this requirement.
    5 These grants are normally awarded for a designated purpose.

  • Types of Academic Research
    1. Basic research - research for the sake of advancing the frontiers of knowledge regardless of whether it would provide immediate benefit to mankind; and

    2. Applied research - efforts directed at meeting certain functional requirements which involve the application of theories to specific areas or for specific purpose, and/or enhance man's existence in the short to medium term.

  • Criteria for Consideration of Competitive Bids

    The RGC's main objective is to fund as many worthy projects as possible across a broad front within the funds available. Nevertheless, projects of exceptional merit will be funded more fully than other projects.

    The following criteria should be used in considering competitive bids :

    1. academic quality / merit;

      - scientific and scholarly merit of the proposal;
      - qualifications and track record of the (principal) investigator(s);
      - originality;
      - feasibility within the time-scale of the proposal.

    2. institutional commitment;

    3. contribution to academic/professional development (where applicable);

    4. potential for social, cultural or economic application; and

    5. availability of, and potential for, non-RGC funding.

    Academic quality / merit is the overriding criterion in evaluating research projects when others are accorded equal weight. In considering grant applications, the RGC will also take cognizance of alternative sources of funding available because some subject area will attract more private funding than others.