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Areas of Excellence Scheme

(A) The Exercise

1. Number of eligible applications received: 15
2. Number of full proposals received: 7
3. Number of proposals recommended for funding: 3
4. Success rate (over the number of eligible applications): 20%
Total approved budget of the funded projects $248.5 million1
Total funding amount from the RGC $216.1 million1

1 Inclusive of indirect/on-costs
(B) Selection Panel's Comments for Applicants' Reference

1. Quality of applications (i.e. strengths, weaknesses and gaps of proposals):
  • The proposals had very high quality, and sound scientific merits and demonstrated good scientific collaboration. The sophistication of the science proposed had advanced over time.
  • While some proposals focused on local specific questions, they could keep pace with international trends and standards.
  • The Panel selected the strongest proposals for funding among multiple good applications.
  • The project teams were encouraged to articulate in the applications the importance and the potential impact of the proposed work. Applicants might also state explicitly in their proposals the impressive part of the deliverables of the project as well as the usefulness of the research, etc.
2. Other comments:
  • The AoE Scheme attracted well-functioning teams that were truly collaborative to deal with topics that put Hong Kong on the world map.
  • The AoE Scheme is the ideal platform for a closely collaborative team of individual investigators each with unique expertise to address a major scientific problem.