Focus on quality as a record 1,698 bids vie for CERG funds
Q&A: Boundaries of academic ethics
Likely business impacts from China’s world trade accession
Clustering will help SMEs prosper
Many applications from work on waveguide structures and designs
Prototype LED transmitters deliver audio signals
Sensors used on Tsing Ma Bridge

With Hong Kong’s robust and vigorous research culture come both quality in research output, and high standards in academic ethics. The highest possible standards are the RGC’s goal all the way from the preparation of proposals and the research itself, up to the dissemination of results. In the following Q&A, Research Frontiers looks at how high ethical standards are achieved.

Q For proposals seeking research funds, what systems and procedures does the RGC have in place to ensure high ethical standards?

The RGC relies very much on “trust” and the self-discipline of researchers in an established bidding process that is essentially open and transparent. Input by panel members and external reviewers is also important; so too is governance by institutions. The upholding of high ethical standards is a precious part of Hong Kong’s research framework.

Q Apart from demon-strating academic merits in a research proposal, what is expected of researchers when they apply for research grants?

Researchers must be thorough and honest in preparing research proposals, and in the reporting of progress and results of their projects. Inaccurate or incomplete representation, or withholding essential information to gain an unfair edge is not acceptable. In particular, researchers are expected to provide full and honest accounts of all funding sources to avoid multiple funding, and to give proper acknowledgement of the work of others whether in project proposals or reports.

Q What part do institutions play in upholding standards in the funding application process?

Institutions themselves have internal committees to review and monitor research work and to ensure staff conform to high international ethical standards.

Q How seriously will any breach of ethical standards be taken?

Both the RGC and institutions take a serious view of any offence and will not hesitate to take commensurate disciplinary action against staff concerned. The RGC may debar staff from applying for a research grant depending on the gravity of the offence.