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Results of Competitive Earmarked Research Grant 2006/2007 and the 2nd Round of Public Policy Research Funding Scheme announced(Friday, 30 June 2006)

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced today (June 30) its decisions on the annual Competitive Earmarked Research Grant (CERG) exercise for 2006/07 and the second Round of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme.

This year the RGC received a record high of 1,969 CERG applications submitted by the academic staff of the eight institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC), representing an increase of one per cent over the last year. Total funding of about $1,759 million was sought. After rigorous international peer-review, the RGC decided to fund 836 projects with a total amount of $489.3 million which is 21% higher than the funding amount for the exercise last year (i.e. $404.6 million). The overall success rate is about 42%.

Out of the 836 projects supported, 327 projects were in the Engineering disciplines, 185 in disciplines concerning Biology & Medicine, 167 in areas related to Humanities, Social Sciences & Business Studies, and 157 in Physical Sciences, Chemical Engineering & Mathematics.

A table showing the number of funded projects and the amount of grants by broad subject discipline and institution is set out at the Annex. [Excel file]

Commenting on the results, Professor Roland Chin, Chairman of the RGC, said, "I would like to thank the generous support of UGC in allocating an additional $100 million annually to the RGC to support research in 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. Most of the additional funding (i.e. $85 million) has been used for CERG, to provide enhanced funding support to high quality proposals. The average funding level per project has increased by 6% to $585,000. We do attach high importance to quality in the selection. I am very glad to say that the quality of the proposals submitted in this exercise is very impressive."

"We are also pleased to note that more high quality proposals have been funded this year. About 100 more projects have been supported this year : 836, as compared with the 734 projects funded last year. This represents a 14% increase in the number of funded projects. Overall, the Council is very impressed by the quality and diversity of the research proposals in this exercise."

"Hong Kong has developed a vibrant research culture in the past decade. Research development in Hong Kong will continue to advance and attain international excellence. The RGC is dedicated to championing the development of high-quality research in Hong Kong. Innovation, research capabilities and knowledge transfer are the keys to success in the intensely competitive global arena. Looking ahead, it is important to continue investment to support high-quality research to keep Hong Kong competitive as a knowledge-based economy." Professor Chin added.

In parallel with the CERG 2006/2007 exercise, the RGC also made decisions on funding for the second Round of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme. Out of the total 66 research proposals received, the RGC decided to fund 16 projects across a wide spectrum of policy areas, including educational inequality, policy in support of families, urban planning, population aging and health care system. The total amount of funding support is $7.1 million. Details of these funded projects are posted on the RGC's website at - http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/funding_results/ppr2.html

"The second Round of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme has attracted many high quality public policy research proposals. The Council has applied the same high RGC standard in the selection process which involved rigorous peer-review by international experts in the respective fields. We are confident that the results of these projects will make substantial impact in policy matters in Hong Kong." Prof Chin said.

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

UGC Secretariat
30 June 2006

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For enquiries on this press release, please contact Mr Anthony Chan, Assistant Secretary General (Research) of the UGC Secretariat at 2844 9916.