Application for HSSPFS 2019/20

The Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme (HSSPFS) aims at granting extended time-off and supporting funds to the outstanding investigators under the disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences Panel to enable them to focus on research work and writing. The fellowship provides resources for:

  1. the employment of relief teachers to relieve all or part of the awardees' teaching duties and all of the administrative duties; and

  2. the costs of travel, subsistence and dissemination of outputs.

HSSPFS is not only intended to provide time and supporting funds to develop a new research project but also to build on a research programme that is already well defined and developed. HSSPFS can be used to support a wide range of research activities provided that these activities will lead to significant research or other outputs by the end of the Fellowship.

The Guidance Notes [HSSPFS2] are now available.

Applications for Prestigious Fellowship Scheme under the Humanities and Social Sciences Panel 2019/20 should reach the UGC Secretariat by 20 February 2019. Please click here for the call circular issued by the Secretary, RGC to the Heads of UGC funded institutions inviting applications.

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


  • Eligibility

    Each Institution has a quota of 5 nominations in each exercise. Eligible applicant should be an academic staff member of a UGC-funded institution with conditions of employment meeting all the following requirements:

    1. having a full-time1 appointment in the institution proper2;

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

    3. being primarily engaged in and spending at least 80% of time in degree or higher degree work at the institution proper; and
    4. salary being wholly funded4 by the institution proper.

    An academic staff member who is engaged in non-degree programmes wholly funded from the General Funds of the institution concerned may also be eligible. Visiting scholars are not eligible for being nominated under the HSSPFS. Cases of exceptional circumstances may be considered by the RGC on a case-by-case basis.

    Awardees of the fellowship may not compete again in future exercises. However, they are allowed to hold concurrent grants (except grants in the form of fellowship) awarded by the UGC / RGC and other funding agencies during the period of the fellowship.

    1 Excluding part-time staff and staff holding honorary appointments.
    2 Excluding schools / arms of continuing education and professional training and other analogous outfits.
    3 Excluding polytechnic staff grades.
    4 Excluding staff members who is receiving income from paid appointments outside the institution proper or who is supported by external research grants.


  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Applicants will be evaluated on a competitive basis through peer review on the following criteria:

    1. the quality of the proposals with regard to the methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant literature;

    2. the potential of the proposed work to advance the fields of study in which they are proposed and to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge;

    3. the feasibility of the proposed work and the likelihood that the applicants will execute the work within the proposed timeframe;
    4. the qualifications and track record of the applicants; and
    5. evidence of significant and appropriate institutional support for a Fellowship application.


  • Award
  • A maximum amount of $1 million per award (covering salary costs for relief teachers and staff, travel, subsistence and output dissemination costs) for a period of up to 12 months may be granted.