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Funding Results of Second Round of Theme-based Research Scheme

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced today (July 11) the funding results of the second round of the Theme-based Research Scheme. Five proposals were supported for funding with a total of some $203 million (including on-costs and indirect costs).

Announcing the results, Professor Roland Chin, Chairman of the RGC, said, "We are pleased to announce another round of successfully concluded Theme-based Research Scheme exercise. I am particularly delighted to see so many high quality proposals coming in. The funded projects, selected through rigorous peer review evaluation by international experts, are clearly top-notch and have demonstrated a strong prospect for attaining international excellence. The projects embodied the true spirit of collaboration where the collaborating parties show good synergies and contribute their strengths to achieve the project objectives."

Professor Chin said that the objective of the Scheme was to focus some of the academic research efforts of the University Grants Committee-funded institutions on themes of strategic importance to the long-term development of Hong Kong. The current themes were "Promoting good health", "Developing a sustainable environment", and "Enhancing Hong Kong's strategic position as a regional and international business centre", with a total of 11 grand challenge topics identified for invitation of research proposals.

In the second-round exercise, 46 preliminary proposals were received and 17 of them were shortlisted for submission of full proposals. Among them, 12 were invited for selection interviews. Finally, five of them in the three different themes were awarded for funding. The list of awarded projects is set out in the Annex.

Professor Chin is grateful for the continuous support and contribution made by various parties in implementing this Scheme. In particular, the professional assessment by the international experts as well as the exemplary dedication and devotion of the institutions and research teams have contributed to the success of this second round exercise.

"The Theme-based Research Scheme is a very competitive and highly selective funding exercise. The panel has made tough and painstaking evaluations throughout the past few months to come to the decision to award these five projects. We are hopeful that in five years' time the five awarded teams will be able to contribute to the strategic long-term development of Hong Kong and demonstrate success to the benefit of the entire community of Hong Kong and beyond," he added.

The details of the approved projects are posted on the RGC website at www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/layman/theme/trs2.html.