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Improve research capability or be left behind: chairman

Q&A: Rules on multiple grants
Biological and Chemical Sciences
'Brain gas' lead may stop stroke damage
Molecules hold key to new-style sensors
Bird flu probe finds hyperactive proteins
Breakthrough may lead to cancer cure
World-first biosensor tests food antibiotics
Chinese herb leads to non-toxic malaria cure

Q: Can PIs apply for a new RGC funding scheme if they already hold five on-going funded projects?
   Any applicants who are holding five or more on-going Competitive Earmarked Research Grants (CERG), Central Allocation (CA), AoE, and Public Policy Research (PPR) projects one month before the application deadline of a new grant, are not eligible to apply. On-going projects include those completed but completion reports have not yet been submitted, and funded projects not yet started. Exceptions to this rule will be considered.

Q: Why do we need multiple grant rules?
   RGC resources are limited. The RGC considers that funding should be allocated to the most deserving projects with PIs having adequate time and capacity to carry them out in the most effective manner and provide quality training for research students.
   This is essential to the building up of education and research capacity in our higher education sector. In this connection, if applicants are holding five or more on-going CERG / AoE / CA / PPR grants one month before the submission deadline of a new grant application, they are not allowed to apply under the multiple grant rules.

Q: What are the conditions for seeking exceptional approval if a PI is not eligible under multiple grant rules to apply for an RGC or AoE funding scheme?
   PIs who are not eligible to apply for any RGC or AoE funding scheme under the multiple grant rules will be granted exceptional approval to submit a new application if they meet the following conditions:
None of their projects under the relevant funding schemes has a pending or approved project extension given by the RGC and the AoESG under the UGC.
There has been no delay in the submission of progress and completion / concluding reports under the relevant funding schemes since 1 February 2006.
None of their projects funded has previously been rated as “unsatisfactory”.
All of the completed projects under the above funding schemes have been finalised with the submission of completion reports before submission of the new application, regardless of due dates for submission of the reports.

Applying for allowances for undergraduates engaged in CERG projects

Q: Who can apply for an allowance for an undergraduate engaged in CERG projects? Is any preference given to particular disciplines?
   Any CERG applicant can apply for an allowance for an undergraduate engaged in a CERG project.    No preference is given to any particular discipline.The provision is granted based on merits of the CERG application.

Q: How much is the allowance for undergraduates?
   A CERG application, if funded, can receive a maximum of 10 months of allowance for an undergraduate engaged in a CERG project. The amount of allowance per month is HK$2,500 which is equally shared by the RGC and the institution.

Applying for funding support for a relief teacher under the Humanities Sub-Panel

Q: In some areas of humanities, appropriate relief teachers may not be available locally. If the applicant is a Chair Professor, what is the appropriate level of salary for the relief teacher to take over the applicant’s teaching duties?
   It is not necessary to find a relief teacher with equivalent salary, status and experience to that of the applicant.
   In this connection, the RGC considers that academic staff of Staff Grade G (ie Lecturer Grade), as defined in the Common Data Collection Format of the UGC or equivalent, should be sufficiently competent to carry out teaching-related duties for degree courses. If the proposal is to employ a relief teacher with a salary higher than that, strong and detailed justifications must be provided

Q: If PIs are holding a grant under this new scheme, can they apply for another grant for a relief teacher under the same scheme?
   Holders of the grant for employment of a relief teacher under this new scheme are not eligible to apply for another grant for relief teachers under this same scheme until their project supported under this grant has been completed and the related completion report has been submitted.
However, they are still eligible to apply for another RGC grant, including a grant under the same sub-panel, if there is no request for a relief teacher in the new proposal.