Home > Research Impact Fund (RIF) > Application > Research Grants Council Research Impact Fund 2019/20 Call Circular

Research Grants Council Research Impact Fund 2019/20 Call Circular

Applications for Allocations from the
Research Impact Fund for 2019/20

This is to invite submission of preliminary proposals for allocations from the Research Impact Fund (RIF) for 2019/20 and to provide details of the procedures.


RIF has the following objectives:

  1. To encourage the local academics to consider and articulate the potential of research to deliver benefit for the wider community; and to encourage more impactful and translational research projects.

  2. To encourage a greater volume of collaborative research beyond academia (e.g. organisations such as government departments, business sector, industry and research institutes).


In 2019/20, the University Grants Committee (UGC) has reserved $75 million (exclusive of on-costs) for the RIF exercise. Mandatory matching funds are required from UGC-funded universities / partner(s) for approved projects on a 70% (RGC) / 30% (university / partner(s)) basis. The net amount of funding requested from the Research Grants Council (RGC) should range from $3 million to $10 million per project.

Matters Requiring Attention

May I draw applicants' attention to the following matters:

  1. Provision of Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)
    All local academics are required to submit a unique researcher ID, namely ORCID iD, in applications in all capacity under all research funding schemes administered by the RGC. Non-local academics in the capacity of Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) are also encouraged to submit their ORCID iDs in the applications.

    Revision to similar/related projects/proposals
    In the past exercises, applicants needed to declare similar/related projects/proposals, at the full proposal stage, to ensure that no duplicate funding would be given to the same or substantially similar research project. We found that some applicants started data collection work well before proposal submission. They published papers soon after project commencement and reported them as project deliverables in the progress/completion report. However, a number of applicants failed to report such working papers/publications in their applications, resulting in disciplinary cases. In this regard, we have reviewed the related declaration requirements. The RGC has decided that, from 2019/20 onwards, applicants are required to declare any related research work that is being/has been conducted in relation to the proposal, including but not limited to data collection, preliminary research, working papers, publications (such as journal papers, conference papers and books, etc.), presentations, media interviews and other submitted proposals. Applicants are also required to provide details (such as the title of the projects and/or papers/publications, or a brief description of the preliminary research work, etc.) whether or not such work was part of a funded project; and provide clarifications that distinguish that related research work from the work requested to be funded through the proposal. We hope to reduce the number of disciplinary cases in this regard.

  2. Requirement of organisational partner
    As one of the objectives of the scheme is to encourage a greater volume of collaborative research beyond academia, each application should be submitted with at least one organisational partner (e.g. organisations such as government departments, business sector, industry and research institutes). The organisational partner should be a potential user of the research who may be prepared to co-invest or engage in some way in collaborative activity with the Project Coordinator (PC) / Co-PI.

  3. Requirement on the Pathways to Impact statement
    As the RGC will invite lay persons to assess the potential research impact of the proposal based on the Pathways to Impact statement submitted, the statement should be written in a way that is comprehensible to a lay person and can be read as a separate document independent of the proposal.

  4. Research conduct
    Applicants' attention is drawn to research conduct matters that they should declare in the applications, at full proposal stage, the complete grant records and update the RGC of the grant(s) awarded as required. In particular, applicants' attention should be drawn to those similar / related proposals / projects in this respect. Applicants are reminded to read carefully the requirements stated in the application forms and the related explanatory notes to ensure compliance. Failure to declare properly may result in disciplinary action.

Deadline of Submission

Preliminary proposals should be submitted on RIF1P through the RGC Electronic System to the UGC Secretariat by 28 February 2019. The application forms in pdf format are also available on the RGC website (http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/) for downloading. In addition to electronic submission, universities are required to provide two hard copies and one soft copy of the proposals. Please save all softcopy files in one CD. The file names should contain the project reference number.

Code of Conduct and Enquiries

The RGC is fully committed to the principle of honesty, integrity and fair play in the conduct of its business. All applicants should comply with the RGC Code of Conduct, which is available on the RGC website (https://www.ugc.edu.hk/doc/eng/rgc/guidelines/code/code_of_conduct.pdf). If your staff have any enquiries about the application procedures or other aspects of this circular, please call Ms Connie Wong, Assistant Secretary-General (Research) (Tel: 2844 9996 or email: conniewong@ugc.edu.hk) or Mr N K Pang, Senior Research Administrator (Tel: 2844 9959 or email: nkpang@ugc.edu.hk).