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RGC honours outstanding research academics in Hong Kong

The Research Grants Council (RGC) today (November 11) held an award presentation ceremony to honour academics from the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded universities for their distinguished research achievements and significant contribution to the higher education sector.

Among the awardees, 70 of them were the second cohort of the RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme, the RGC Research Fellow Scheme and the RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme (PDFS), all three of which were introduced in 2019 with recurrent funding support of $190 million per annum committed by the Government. Today's ceremony also celebrated the achievements of 16 outstanding researchers who received awards under the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Prestigious Fellowship Scheme and the Early Career Scheme. A full list of awardees is at the Annex.

Officiating at the ceremony, the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, said, "I would count on our awardees to conduct relevant research in meeting the community's needs, and to inspire our next generations to join the research community. As academic research and scientific discoveries go beyond boundaries, I am confident that we together will succeed in turning Hong Kong into a global research hub with more scientific breakthroughs and new knowledge for the betterment of mankind.

"Supporting quality and impactful research in our higher education sector has been, and remains to be, one of our top priorities for the higher education sector. Further to injecting $20 billion into the Research Endowment Fund in September 2019, the Chief Executive has announced in her 2021 Policy Address the new initiatives which have continued to demonstrate the Government's tireless efforts and commitment to supporting research development in Hong Kong, which include the relaxation of the over-enrolment ceiling of UGC-funded research postgraduate students from 70 per cent to 100 per cent, as well as the extension of the operation period of the $3 billion Research Matching Grant Scheme to continue encouraging the industrial and commercial sectors to provide support for research activities in our universities," Mr Yeung added.

The Chairman of the RGC, Professor Wong Yuk-shan, congratulated the awardees and thanked the UGC-funded universities for their support. Professor Wong said, "I am delighted to see the enthusiastic nominations from our UGC-funded universities, with 10 awardees conferred the prestigious title 'RGC Senior Research Fellow' and another 10 honoured as 'RGC Research Fellow' in this year's exercise. We have also selected a total of 50 PDFS awardees from a highly competitive field in the same exercise. For our HSS fellows, the research support in the form of extended time off and supporting funds will enable them to focus on their research work and writing. I am also sure that the Early Career Award will encourage all awardees to continue their excellent work in the years ahead."

Professor Wong also expressed his gratitude to the panel members and international experts for taking part in the assessment of the outstanding nominees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recipients of the awards were selected through a rigorous process by RGC selection panels. Their award citations are displayed on the RGC website (www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/about/events/).