Home > UGC Publications > Press Releases > 2001 > Results of Research Grants Council's Competitive Earmarked Research Grant 2001-2002 Announced (29.6.2001)

Results of Research Grants Council's Competitive Earmarked Research Grant Exercise 2001-2002

The Research Grants Council ("RGC") announced today (29 June 2001) its decisions on the annual Competitive Earmarked Research Grant ("ERG") exercise for 2001-2002.

Out of a total of 1,630 applications submitted by the academic staff of the eight institutions funded by the University Grants Committee ("UGC") which sought funding of about $1,500 million, the RGC decided to fund 693 projects at a cost of $403 million. The figures represented a success rate of 42% (8% higher than the 2000-01 exercise) and an increase in funding by 9% over the last year. A table showing the number of funded projects and the amount of grants by broad subject discipline and institution is attached at the Annex [Excel file].

The UGC, despite an overall reduction in its finances of 4% in the current triennium, has allocated a larger budget, and indeed a record high, of over $1,600 million or 23% over the last triennium, to the RGC in the 2001-2004 triennium to support a range of research grants/schemes, including the CERG. However, for this year the quality of the research proposals is such that in spite of the increased budget, not all proposals which were considered by peers in the international academic community to be of sufficient academic merit could be funded.

Commenting on the results, Professor Kenneth Young, Chairman of the RGC said, "I am pleased to note that the overall quality of research proposals received by the RGC has continued to improve and I know that panel members, including those from the overseas, share my observation."

"Indeed, if not for the limited funding available, the RGC would have wanted to fund another 441 proposals (i.e. 27% of the total applications) which merit funding support. In this connection, I would like to stress that the allocation results should be read in the context of the roles and missions of the institutions and should not be interpreted at face value. The RGC is pleased with the overall quality of the research proposals put up by the institutions," Professor Young added.

The 693 projects supported covered all disciplines, including, among others, 62 proposals in Computer Science & Information Technology, 30 in disciplines concerning Biotechnology, 21 in areas related to Environmental and Ecological Studies, 43 in Materials Science, 49 in International Finance, Economics and Enterprise Management, 14 in Education, and a total of 36 examining Hong Kong's cultural and social issues.

Established in 1991, the RGC is a semi-autonomous advisory body of 'academic peers' operating under the aegis of the UGC. As an agency supporting academic research in higher education institutions, the RGC is responsible for fostering and funding research in all disciplines taught in the institutions so that Hong Kong can keep up with world-wide developments.

UGC Secretariat
29 June 2001

For enquiries on this press release, please contact Mr P H Li, Assistant Secretary General (Research Administration) of the UGC Secretariat at 2524 3971.