Funding and Support

Internal Funding

To promote pursuit of excellence in research, the University offers financial support to academic staff for carrying out different kind of research and scholarly activities.
The University Research Start-up Fund
To encourage academic staff members to actively participate in research activities and apply for external research funding, the University has launched the University Research Start-up Fund in 2012/13.  The Fund aims to provide seed money to staff members for developing a research proposal for applying for external research grants.  For details, please refer to guidelines and application form.  
Grant for Research Support
The grant supports academic staff members to present their papers at local/ overseas conferences and to conduct general research activities or short-term research visits.  For conference presentation, the grant covers registration fee, accommodation, travelling and meal costs.  For general research activities, reimbursable items include editorial, submission and publication fees, data collection expenses, recruitment of research helpers and subscription fee of local library services. For short-term research visits, the grant supports mainly the travelling cost.  For details, please refer to the guidelines and application forms (for conference presentation or research support or research visits). 
Strategic Development Grant
The grant supports schools and departments to undertake projects or initiatives that will contribute to the strategic development of the University/School/Department.  For details, please refer to the guidelines and application form
Student Independent Research Grant
The grant supports undergraduate students to conduct independent interdisciplinary research initiated by themselves during their 3rd or 4th year of studies.  For details, please refer to the guidelines and application form

External Funding

Information and Technology Support Programme
The Information and Technology Support Programme (ITSP) supports midstream/downstream research and development (R&D) projects undertaken mainly by designated local public research institutes1, R&D Centres2, industry support organisations, professional bodies and trade and industry associations. ITSP invites applications for funding every six months or so. The Government adopts a three-tier funding framework for ITSP under the Information Techology Fund. Tier 1 provides project funding for the R&D centres to undertake projects in selected focus areas. Tier 2 involves the funding of applied R&D projects which are industry-oriented and have potential for commercialisation. Tier 3 involves the funding of exploratory and forward-looking projects. 

Public Policy Research Funding Scheme
To encourage interest in, render financial support to, and recognize quality public policy research in Hong Kong, the Central Policy Unit launched the Public Policy Research (PPR) Funding Scheme in 2005.  To increase the Scheme’s flexibility and to cater for potential applicants’ needs, applications are accepted throughout the year.  Applications will be processed once received and vetting normally takes about three months.  Results of each batch of applications will be announced on a quarterly basis in general. 

The CPU has identified seven major themes, namely (a) land and housing; (b) poverty and ageing/retirement protection; (c) political development and governance; (d) external economy; (e) social issues; (f) economic development; and (g) environmental protection with 21 Indicative Research Areas, having regard to Hong Kong’s current and long-term development as well as needs for research on various social issues, for reference of tertiary institutions and think tanks. Applicants may also submit their own research areas for consideration by the Assessment Panel and the CPU. In addition, to enhance the flexibility of the PPR Funding Scheme, the CPU will from time to time invite applications for research on specific topics according to its policy research needs.

Strategic Public Policy Research Funding Scheme

To facilitate longer-term strategic public policy research, capacity building and collaboration, the Central Policy Unit has introduced the re-modelled Strategic Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (SPPR) in April 2016 having regard to the success of the PPR Funding Scheme. Both funding schemes will run simultaneously.  Seven major strategic themes are identified for capacity building under SPPR, which could provide long term research support for Hong Kong’s development: namely (a) one belt one road; (b) cross-strait three regions studies; (c) national identity; (d) big data; (e) smart city; (f) impact of social media and education; and (g) impact of new technology on modern life and industry.

Quality Enhancement Support Scheme
To promote quality enhancement of the self-financing post-secondary sector, the Quality Enhancement Support Scheme (QESS) is set up under the Self-financing Post-secondary Education Fund to support worthwhile non-works projects or initiatives that help enhance the quality of teaching and learning for students and teachers and the sector as a whole. The Scheme supports theme-based and open ended-projects. 

Non-profit-making education institutions offering full-time locally-accredited self-financing sub-degree or bachelor’s degree (including top-up degree) programmes are eligible to apply. Other related bodies such as the federations of these education institutions and quality assurance agencies may also apply.

Research Grants Council Competitive Research Funding Schemes for the Local Self-financing Degree Sector

In January 2012, the Government injected an amount of HK$3 billion into the Research Endowment Fund. The investment income from the HK$3 billion provides competitive research funding for the local self-financing degree sector (SF) to enhance academic and research development. The research funding provision for the self-financing degree sector is competitive and non-recurrent in nature, and aims at developing the research capacity of both the institutions and the faculty members.

Three funding schemes were launched in 2013 to provide funding for research activities performed in the local self-financing degree sector. Ambits of these schemes are elaborated below:

– The Faculty Development Scheme (FDS) aims to develop the research capability of individual academics so that they can transfer their research experiences and new knowledge into teaching and learning.

– The Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) aims to build up the research capacity of the local self-financing degree-awarding institutions in their strategic areas.

– The Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS) is to enhance academics’ research capability and to keep them abreast of new developments and challenging research topics in relevant fields through the organisation of workshops or short courses on an institutional or joint-institutional basis.