CERG funding up 6% to $428 million
First Fulbright scholars selected
Chance leads to discovery of gene behind inner ear disorder
Search finds genes that may prevent Guangdong cancer
Engineers help biologists
Hands-on techniques help bring life to teaching history and culture
Centre coordinates projects to bring greater self-awareness
Body Brush puts culture on screen

Q What factors are involved in RGC’s funding decisions?

Funding decisions are driven by many considerations including external assessments, the subject panel’s own assessment, relative merits of other competing proposals and available funding. Subject discipline is never a factor. The final decision on each proposal is a considered judgment of the whole panel and not just the decision of proposal readers.

Q How is funding allocated to the four subject panels for distribution?

Budgets for the four panels are based on the number of research proposals received and amount of corresponding funds requested. These indicative budgets, however, are adjusted to take into account the actual need of each panel and the preliminary results of peer-reviews.

Q What is the purpose of feeding back comments to PIs?

Currently, assessments are fed back to PIs without revealing the identity of the reviewers. The assessments, it is hoped, will be useful in helping PIs to improve and refine their research plan and methodology. In the case of an unfunded project, the applicant is expected to have regard to the feedback in strengthening the proposal if it is re-submitted in the following exercise.

Q Can more detailed comments be provided to PIs in justifying the funding decision?

In view of the many proposals involved and limited time at panel meetings, it is not realistic for the panels to provide detailed comments on each and every case. Assessments provided by different reviewers may not carry the same degree of significance in every context but, taken together, they can point to areas which deserve attention. In cases involving diverse comments or disparate ratings, the panels try to provide additional comments for PIs. This is part of the scrutiny process and panels will try to improve this part as far as time and resources permit.