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Results of General Research Fund 2010/2011 and the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme 2010/2011

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced today (June 30) the results of the annual General Research Fund (GRF) exercise for 2010/2011 and the Public Policy Research (PPR) Funding Scheme 2010/2011.

This year, the RGC received a record high of 2 463 GRF applications submitted by the academic staff of the eight institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC), representing an increase of about seven per cent over the last year. Total funding of about $2,575 million was sought. After a rigorous international peer review, the RGC decided to fund 764 projects with a total amount of $544.6 million. Including an additional 15% of the project grant allocated to the institutional management as on-costs, the grand total awarded this year is $626.3 million. The overall success rate is about 31%.

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. We believe that research in Hong Kong can be better served through greater funding support for high quality projects. The average funding amount per project has further increased by 7% from $0.667 million last year to $0.713 million this year. I am glad to see that the number of high quality projects approved has increased by 25% over last year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all RGC panel members for their hard work and expert opinions."

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

Of the 764 projects supported this year, 205 projects are in the Engineering disciplines, 251 in areas related to Humanities, Social Sciences & Business Studies, 174 in Biology and Medicine, and 134 in Physical Sciences.

In parallel with the GRF 2010/2011 exercise, the RGC today also announced the funding results of the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme 2010/2011. The success rate of this exercise is about 19%. Out of the total 105 research proposals received, the RGC decided to fund 20 projects. The total amount of funding support is $7.8 million. Taking into account the on-costs allocated to institutional management, the grand total awarded is $9 million.

"The Public Policy Research Funding Scheme 2010/2011 has attracted high quality public policy research proposals. The Council has applied the same high RGC standard in the selection process which involved a rigorous peer review by international experts in the respective fields. We are confident that the results of these projects will make a substantial impact on 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 (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 (www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/funding_results/other.html).

Established in 1991, the RGC is a non-statutory 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.

30 June 2010