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Results of General Research Fund 2008/2009 and the 6th Round of Public Policy Research Funding Scheme announced


The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced today (June 30) the results of the annual General Research Fund (GRF) exercise for 2008/2009 and the Sixth Round of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme. GRF is formerly known as Competitive Earmarked Research Grant (CERG). The last CERG funding exercise was concluded in July 2007.

This year the RGC received a record high of 2 168 GRF applications submitted by the academic staff of the eight institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC), representing an increase of about four per cent over the last year. Total funding of about $2,031 million was sought. After rigorous international peer-review, the RGC decided to fund 888 projects with a total amount of $512.5 million. The overall success rate is about 41%.

Commenting on the results, the Chairman of the RGC, Professor Roland Chin, said, "The Council attaches great importance to quality in the selection process and we are impressed by the quality and diversity of the research proposals in this exercise. When compared with last year, the number of funded projects and the funds awarded have increased by 14% and 5% respectively. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all RGC panel members for their hard work and expert opinions."

"The proposed establishment of the $18 billion Research Endowment Fund will definitely provide better support to research in Hong Kong. Institutions and researchers will benefit from extra funding, and the RGC is looking forward to a more stable funding source and the opportunities of a larger budget in the coming years." Professor Chin added.

Out of the 888 projects supported this year, 373 projects were in the Engineering disciplines, 176 in areas related to Humanities, Social Sciences & Business Studies, 171 in disciplines concerning Biology and Medicine, and 168 in Physical Sciences, Chemical Engineering & Mathematics.

In parallel with the GRF 2008/2009 exercise, the RGC today also announced the funding results of the Sixth Round of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme. Out of the total 44 research proposals received, the RGC decided to fund seven projects. The total amount of funding support is $3.9 million.

"The Sixth Round of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme has attracted 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 a substantial impact in policy matters in Hong Kong." Professor Chin said.

A table showing the number of GRF funded projects and the amount of grants by broad subject discipline and institution is set out at the Annex which is also posted on the RGC website at
http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/funding_results/grf/grf.html. Details of the funded projects of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme can also be found on the RGC's website at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/funding_results/other.html

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 2008

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