General Research Fund/Early Career Scheme
  1. The overall quality of ECS proposals had declined as compared to that of the previous exercise. Universities are advised to provide sufficient coaching to less experienced researchers and be more robust in ensuring the quality of the proposals before submitting to the RGC.

  2. PIs should be reminded to strictly observe the formatting requirements stated in the guidance notes to application form (e.g. GRF2) when preparing proposals. Failure to comply with the format requirements may result in the removal of the application from processing.

  3. PIs submitting proposals of re-submission should be reminded to detail their responses to the comments and concerns of the Panel and reviewers from their previous application and elaborate on how the present proposals had improved over the previous ones.

  4. PIs should be reminded to study the guidelines on “Pathways to Impact Statement” carefully before writing up the content in a realistic manner. PIs should demonstrate how deliverables would achieve impact beyond journal publications and conferences.

  5. PIs should provide detailed justifications for the research methodology as well as the proposed budget items, in particular a detailed breakdown of the proposed travelling costs.

  6. Some PIs had proposed in their research proposals to develop website or online repository for disseminating research results. Research teams should possess the necessary visual communication skills so as to ensure that the website / repository would be useful / usable.

  7. Applications involving clinical trials were often lacking essential information. Advice from institutional clinical trials review panels could improve these applications and increase the probability of funding.