- The European Union (EU) – Hong Kong Research Cooperation Co-funding Mechanism by the RGC aims to strengthen the collaboration between European and Hong Kong research communities in areas of mutual interest in order to achieve world-class scientific results. Research teams from the University Grants Committee-funded universities in Hong Kong will be supported to participate in joint research projects conducted under the framework of Horizon Europe.
- Research projects of high academic merits will be considered. The Hong Kong PI can apply for RGC grants for the following research proposals:
- Research project proposals in the following areas – food, agriculture, biotechnologies (linked to the agri-food sector), climate change, and biodiversity; and
- Exchange (mobility) proposals.
- Hong Kong applicants should meet fully the requirements for applying for the RGC General Research Fund (GRF). Please refer to the “GRF 2024/25 – Scheme Overview and Guidance Notes (GRF2)” which is available on the RGC website.
- Hong Kong applicants applying for RGC’s funding under this scheme must be partners1 in a successful proposal submitted in response to the 2023-2024 Work Programme under the Horizon Europe. However, in any case, applications cannot pertain to projects funded under (i) “Innovation Action”; (ii) European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator; and (iii) EIC Transition Programme targeting a technological readiness level (TRL) greater than TRL 4 – technology validated in lab.
- Each application to the RGC should be submitted with only one applicant nominated as the Hong Kong Principal Investigator (PI) and no applicant should submit more than one application in this capacity. A Hong Kong PI of an on-going project under this scheme2 is not allowed to submit a new application in the capacity of PI unless he / she has submitted the completion report of the last approved project to the RGC before the application deadline. Nevertheless, he / she could participate in a new funding proposal under this scheme in the capacity of Co-Investigator.
Partners refer to participants listed in the successful EU proposal concerned.
The scheme was formerly known as “European Union (EU) – Hong Kong Research and Innovation Cooperation Co-funding Mechanism by the RGC”.
- The project duration should normally be not more than five years and should not be longer than that of the concerned Horizon Europe project. The Hong Kong PI should not propose a project end date which is beyond the project duration of the concerned Horizon Europe project.
- The per-project ceiling of RGC’s research project grants and exchange (mobility) grants are HK$3 million and HK$0.5 million (both exclusive of on-costs)respectively. A budget of HK$9 million is reserved for the 2023/24 exercise.
- The RGC research project grants will provide support for:
- the salary of research support staff hired by the Hong Kong researchers;
- funding for employment of relief teachers;
- equipment and high-performance computing services in Hong Kong;
- research-related software licence / dataset;
- general expenses, including consumables that are directly related to the research work;
- passage and subsistence costs for Hong Kong researchers and research postgraduate students to visit collaborators in Europe and to attend international conferences; and
- output dissemination costs.
- The RGC exchange (mobility) grants will support the passage and subsistence costs for Hong Kong applicants and research postgraduate students to visit collaborators in Europe, and supplementary funding for research expenditure.
- The Hong Kong PI of the supported projects will receive funding from the RGC. The RGC funds are solely for use in Hong Kong and in supporting the passage and subsistence costs of Hong Kong researchers and research postgraduate students.
How to apply
- To be eligible for applying for RGC grants under this scheme, the Horizon Europe projects that the applicants are participating should have secured funding support from the EU.
- The Hong Kong PI should submit an application, which should include a Summary of the Proposal Approved by the EU (EU/RGC 1b) and research work undertaken by the Hong Kong team with signature of the Coordinator of the Horizon Europe project, and the EU’s official notification of the proposal being funded to the RGC for evaluation. The application should be prepared in accordance with the Application Form (EU/RGC 1) and submitted through the Research Offices (ROs) of the respective universities. The RGC will not accept proposals without the summary signed by the European Coordinator of the Horizon Europe project and EU’s official notification.
- Hong Kong applicants should submit a hard copy and a soft copy of the whole set of applications through the ROs of their universities to the RGC by 10 January 2024 1700 hours (Hong Kong time).
- While applications must be submitted before the deadline as outlined above, Hong Kong applicants should check with their universities for internal closing date, if any. Late submissions will not be processed.
- It is the obligation of the Hong Kong applicants to ensure that their applications contain sufficient and consistent information for evaluation. Incomplete submission or inconsistent information would lead to disqualification of application.
- Applicants are requested to provide a brief update setting out any essential changes to the applications, i.e. the eligibility of the PIs, alternative funding obtained, declaration of similar / related proposals, investigators’ CVs, grant records, relationship with nominated reviewers, etc. by 7 February 2024.. Such updates should be confined to the essential parts of the original proposal, and applicants should not use the opportunity to hand in a substantially changed proposal.
- The universities concerned must obtain and provide all the necessary ethics / safety approvals to the RGC by7 February 2024. If the necessary approval is not provided in the application, the relevant application will be regarded as being withdrawn and the RGC will stop processing it.
- The RGC will evaluate and select the proposals from Hong Kong applicants for funding in accordance with its rules and mechanism. The proposals should have well identified joint working relationship demonstrating clearly the added value of collaboration.
- The evaluation criteria include:
- The extent to which the existing strengths of each side maycomplement each other in the proposal;
- Opportunities for training young researchers;
- Credentials of project teams; and
- Impact to Hong Kong.
Announcement of Funding Results
- The results of the 2023/24 exercise will be announced around April 2024. The results will also be published on the RGC homepage.
- The RGC will not be responsible for any expenditure incurred by the project in excess of the approved funding.
- The RGC will not provide insurance cover in connection with the project or allow the use of the grant for insurance cover. Applicants should make their own arrangements. The RGC will not accept any responsibility arising in any way from the visits and the activities undertaken by the researchers.
- As a matter of policy, the RGC does not claim any intellectual property rights arising from the funded projects. Researchers, their collaborators and their universities concerned should make their own prior arrangements with regard to the ownership of such rights, in line with the EU’s rules relating to intellectual property rights set out in Horizon Europe rules for participation and dissemination (EU regulation 2021/695 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the EU grant agreement). However, a suitable acknowledgement of the RGC’s funding under this scheme should be included in any equipment / facilities purchased and any publication / publicity arising from the work done on the research project funded under this scheme.
- All enquiries should be directed to ROs of respective universities in the first instance. Their contact details are as follows:
|Ms Cecilia Sun
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
|Tel: 3442 6832
Fax: 3442 0136
|Mr Ivan Lau
Hong Kong Baptist University
|Tel: 3411 6499
Fax: 3411 5133
|Ms Connie Lam
8 Castle Peak Road
Tuen Mun, New Territories
|Tel: 2616 7683
Fax: 2591 9618
|Ms Vivien Zhang
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
|Tel: 3943 4770
Fax: 3942 0993
|Ms Sharon Cheung
The Education University of Hong Kong
10 Lo Ping Road
Tai Po, New Territories
|Tel: 2948 6318
Fax: 2948 7697
|Miss Claudia Yiu
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
|Tel: 3400 3630
Fax: 2355 7651
|Ms Maggie Hui
The Hong Kong University of Science
Clear Water Bay
|Tel: 2358 6923
Fax: 2358 1541
|Mr Benny Ng
The University of Hong Kong
|Tel: 2859 7081
Fax: 2803 0558
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