Overseas Partnership Scheme for Post
The Research Grants Council (RGC) Chairman Professor Roland Chin remarked that RGC
has launched the Hong Kong-Scotland Post Doctoral Research Scheme. Up to ten awards,
with five for each side, will be available in 2012/2013. Hong Kong applicants must be
PhD graduates from UGC-funded institutions resided in Hong Kong, and employed by
institutions. The scheme is a platform for local PhD graduates to acquire substantial
experience in teaching and research in Scottish universities.
Professor Chin pointed out that there has been insufficient opportunity for local PhD
graduates to have post-doctoral research training outside of Hong Kong. It is desirable
to provide ample post-doctoral training for our graduates to broaden their vision, while
enhancing their research capacity and scope as well as research experience.
For RGC, an annual budget of $625,000 is proposed for five annual grants for the Hong
Kong-Scotland Post Doctoral Research Scheme. Successful applicants will receive up to
$125,000 each for research attachments of six to twelve months in Scotland. Applications are
to be in the areas of (i) Renewable and New Energies, (ii) Healthcare and Life Sciences, (iii)
Sustainable Development, and (iv) Economics and Finance.
Professor Chin explained that the grants do
not include additional salaries for the post-doctoral researchers, since the
awardees from Hong Kong or Scotland are university employees in their respective countries. The
grants are mainly to subsidize airfare and up to 12 months of overseas living expenses.
Professor Chin pointed out that the partnership between Hong Kong and
Scotland is the first of its kind for post-doctoral research training. Similar schemes will be expanded to
include other countries, particularly in regions where joint research schemes with RGC have
been established. It will provide a wider range of options for post-doctoral researchers in
acquiring teaching and research experience outside of Hong Kong.
Rewarding Early Career Achievers
To nurture junior academics and to attract high caliber candidates to join the higher
education institutes in Hong Kong, RGC launched the Early Career Scheme in
2012/2013. Out of the 334 applications received, 131 projects were funded. The total
approved amount was $102 million, and the average funding level was $780,000.