Home | English | | | UGC | RGC
  Launching Theme-based Research
  The Legacy of Meritocracy:
Peking University Undergraduates,
  Negotiating with Media Globalization:
The Impact of China's Accession to the WTO on Its Media and Telecommunications Industries
  Neuroimaging studies of reading disability in Chinese children
  Random Geometric Graphs and Their Applications
  Paleoenvironmental Interpretation of the Olorgesailie Formation, Kenya Rift Valley
  A Study on the Collaborative Virtual
Geographic Environment (CVGE) for Simulating Air Pollution in Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region






An $18 billion Research Endowment Fund was established with allocation from the Government. $4 billion of the Fund is set aside for Theme-based Research which will support projects on themes of a longer-term nature and strategically beneficial to the development of Hong Kong. A Steering Committee, with membership consisting of the academia, representatives from different sectors of the community and the Government, and the Chairman of Research Grants Council (RGC), was set up with the major charge to identify the themes.

To launch the Scheme, funding will be focused initially on a small number of themes most beneficial to Hong Kong's strategic development and where the local academia have a competitive advantage, says RGC Chairman Professor Roland Chin.

Professor Chin points out that the research themes should aim to find solutions to important problems that are relevant to Hong Kong. The Theme-based Research Scheme's Principal Investigators must be academics from UGC-funded institutions. It is hoped that the initiative will galvanize our strength and interest to work on high impact cutting edge research projects, and at the same time create state-of-the-art teaching materials and educational programs, as well as provide quality training for our research students.

Professor Chin says that the chosen themes are "Promoting good health", "Developing a sustainable environment" and "Strengthening Hong Kong's strategic position as a regional and international business centre".

Projects under the theme "Promoting good health" should aim to make Hong Kong a healthier society whose capability to prevent epidemics will set international standards. Research can focus on the fundamental life sciences, disease prevention and control, Chinese medicine, healthy living, aging, and health care policy, etc. Moreover, the Government's strategy of promoting medical services as one of the six priority economic areas is in line with this research theme, which is also the research agenda of other countries like Australia, Singapore and the Chinese Mainland.

"Developing a sustainable environment" means creating a sustainable and environmental-friendly development model for Hong Kong. Research on this theme may cover areas such as pollution prevention and control, sustainable energy, and recycling technology. This theme is of great importance because not only does it facilitate cooperation with the nearby regions and is ranked high on the research priority of governments and the academic community internationally, but it is also related to environmental industry which is one of the six priority economic areas identified by the Hong Kong Government.


Finally, the research theme "Strengthening Hong Kong's strategic position as a regional and international business center" can stand Hong Kong in a good stead to benefit from the rise of the Asian economy and enhance its status as a business center both regionally and internationally. Financial services and trading, logistics have always been two of the four traditional industries driving the Hong Kong economy. In light of the intense competition from the neighboring Asian cities, this research theme can contribute to Hong Kong's strategic economic development by strengthening our knowledge base in areas like risk management, wealth management and corporate governance, competitive models between Hong Kong and other Asian economies, and financial technology.

Professor Chin reiterates the importance of pooling together the best minds and resources to come up with the most beneficial solutions, such as engaging people from different academic domains to work on issues with major impact on Hong Kong. For instance, research on improving Hong Kong's air quality can involve researchers from many academic areas including mathematics, chemistry, engineering, and medicine, as well as academics in social sciences, law and economics. This can elevate the research impact of the Hong Kong academia to the next higher level.

Although the Scheme supports research of the UGC-funded tertiary institutions, overseas and Mainland scholars are encouraged to participate in the research projects. This will not only facilitate knowledge exchange between local and overseas researchers, but will encourage student participation from around the world, thereby enriching the research experience of the students studying in Hong Kong.

The RGC plans to call for white papers from university researchers in early 2010, which will be used as a basis to identify the key research topics under each of the chosen themes. Once the key research topics have been identified, the RGC will accept proposals from Hong Kong researchers. Successful research proposals will be awarded in 2011 after international peer review.

Prof. Roland Chin
Chairman, Research Grants Council