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How does the RGC conduct its assessment of the research proposals?

  • The RGC follows the international practice and has adopted a peer review mechanism to assess research proposals primarily based on academic quality and merit. The assessment process is as follows:

    • The RGC has five subject panels, viz. Physical Sciences Panel; Engineering Panel and one sub-panel viz. Mechanical, Civil & Materials Engineering and System Design Sub-Panel; Biology & Medicine Panel; Humanities & Social Sciences Panel and five sub-panels viz. Psychology and Linguistics Sub-Panel, Social Sciences Sub-Panel, Humanities and the Arts Sub-Panel, Education Sub-panel and Professional and Vocational Studies Sub-Panel; and Business Studies Panel. Each panel / sub panel is responsible for the examination of applications falling within its purview. The Panel / Sub Panel Chairmen determine the distribution of responsibilities among their members by subject disciplines.

    • In assessing the applications, panel / sub panel members are requested to invite assessments from at least eight external reviewers for each proposal, mostly from overseas who are experts in the related fields of the applications. For grading purposes, at least two external reviews must be obtained.

    • Taking into account the ratings and comments returned by external reviewers and in accordance with the approved criteria, the panel / sub panel members in charge of a particular proposal give a preliminary assessment to each proposal.

    • Subject panels / sub panels meet before the RGC meeting to consider the proposals. Panel / Sub panel members discussed and assess the comments from the external reviewers and the responsible members in order to arrive at a panel / sub panel's decision. Panel / Sub Panel Chairmen then submit recommendations to the RGC. The Secretariat tabulates the funding recommendations by panels and draws up a summary for discussion by the RGC at its meeting. The RGC then considers the Panel / Sub Panel Chairmen's recommendations and makes the final decisions.