The Year at a Glance
Foreword from the Chairman
Research Grants Council Activities: 2001
The Research Funding Environment in Hong Kong
The Research Grants Council and its Organisation
How Council-Funded Projects are Monitored and Assessed
The RGC Engineering Panel meeting ia June 2002. Members of the RGC’s Humanities, Social Sciences & Business Studies Panel attending a panel meeting in June 2002.

The Research Grants Council
The Research Grants Council is a non-statutory advisory council operating under the aegis of the University Grants Committee. It was formally established on 1 January 1991 to replace the Research Sub-Committee of the UGC.
The Council’s members are appointed by the Chief Executive (1) and comprise overseas academics, local academics and local lay persons. All members are appointed on an ad personam basis. The Council’s membership for 2002-2003 is listed in Appendix D.
(1) The HKSAR Chief Executive has delegated his authority to appoint the Council members to the Secretary for Education and Manpower.

Terms of Reference
The Research Grants Council’s Terms of Reference are:
To advise the Government, through the University Grants Committee, on the needs of the institutions of higher education in Hong Kong in the field of academic research, including the identification of priority areas, in order that a research base adequate for the maintenance of academic vigour and pertinent to the needs of Hong Kong may be developed.
To invite and receive, through the institutions of higher education, applications for research grants from academic staff and for the award of studentships and post-doctoral fellowships; to approve awards and other disbursements from funds made available by the Government through the University Grants Committee for research; to monitor the implementation of such grants and to report at least annually to the Government through the UGC.

How the Research Grants Council is Organised
The Council works in close partnership with the UGC and advises and reports to the Government through the UGC on matters within its purview. The organisational structure of the Research Grants Council is presented in Chart 3.1
The Council meets twice a year in Hong Kong, usually in June and in December. The June meeting focuses on allocation of the Earmarked Research Grant. The second meeting is devoted to resource allocation among various established and new funding initiatives for the following year, and a preliminary consideration of applications for competitive research grants.

RGC panel meetings in June 2002.

Specialist Subject Panels

The Council is assisted in its work by the following four specialist subject panels:
Engineering Panel (2)
Physical Sciences Panel (2)
Biology & Medicine Panel
Humanities, Social Sciences & Business Studies Panel (3)
These panels consist predominantly of local academics, with some overseas academics. The panels normally meet once in June every year, before the Council meetings, primarily to consider applications for allocations from the Earmarked Research Grant as well as to monitor on-going projects and assess completed projects. Membership details of the four subject panels for 2001-2002 are in Appendix E.
Applications for research grants are assessed through peer review by panel members and external referees, all of whom are recognised experts in their fields in Hong Kong or overseas. The panels report to the Council with recommendations on which projects should be funded.
(2) The former Physical Sciences and Engineering Panel was split in two in December 1993.
(3) The Humanities & Social Sciences Panel was retitled, becoming the Humanities, Social Sciences & Business Studies Panel in June 1994.

Central Allocation Sub-Committee
The Central Allocation Sub-Committee (CASC) is charged with selecting major collaborative research equipment and group research projects for support by the Council through the Central Allocation funding programme, as well as monitoring funded projects.
Central Allocation funding is provided in response to bids from the institutions for major research facilities and / or equipment or library collections to support collaborative research involving two or more institutions, or group research activities that operate across disciplines and / or normal institutional boundaries.
Members of the Co-operative Research Centres Sub-Committee visit The Chinese University of Hong Kong in October 2002.

Co-operative Research Centres Sub-Committee
The Co-operative Research Centres Sub-Committee (CRCSC) was established in June 1992 to examine the feasibility of setting up Co-operative Research Centres in Hong Kong. The main objective of the CRC is to stimulate and encourage industrial participation in, and support for, applied research at tertiary institutions.
The CRCSC is charged with monitoring the progress of projects funded under the CRC scheme and conducting reviews and assessments as appropriate.
CRCSC membership is in Appendix F.
A brief history of the CRC programme is in Appendix G.

The Research Grants Council
Terms of Reference
How the Research Grants Council is Organised
Specialist Subject Panels
Central Allocation Sub-Committee
Co-operative Research Centres Sub-Committee