External Funding

The Information and Technology Support Programme (ITSP) supports midstream/downstream research and development (R&D) projects undertaken mainly by designated local public research institutes, R&D Centres, industry support organisations, professional bodies and trade and industry associations. 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. 

The Public Policy Research (PPR) Funding Scheme and the Strategic Public Policy Research (SPPR) Funding Scheme, both managed by the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office (PICO), are unique in Hong Kong in that they are the only government subsidised funding schemes dedicated to fostering and supporting public policy research in Hong Kong. The total annual provision for the two Schemes is $30 million. Both Schemes aim to promote public policy research and evidence-based research to facilitate public policy discussion. Specifically, the SPPR Funding Scheme aims to support longer-term public policy research on strategic themes, build up research capacity and facilitate collaboration among institutions/think tanks on the strategic themes.

Applications for the PPR Funding Scheme are accepted throughout the year, while applications for the SPPR Funding Scheme are invited once a year (normally in the second quarter of a year).

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.

    • 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) Collaborative Research Grant (CRG) is set up to encourage and support collaborative research involving two or more self-financing institutions, and / or group research activities that operate across disciplines within an institution with a view to enhancing the research output of self-financing institutions in terms of the level of attainment, quality, dimensions and / or speed.
    • 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. 

The Government has earmarked $3 billion as matching grants under the Research Matching Grant Scheme (Research MGS) designated for research-related purposes with no restriction on any academic discipline. The Research MGS will be open for applications throughout a period of three years from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2022 by local degree-awarding institutions (including UGC-funded universities as well as self-financing institutions).

Donations / research funding from non-government / non-public sectors (regardless whether they are from Hong Kong or non-local funding sources) as received by eligible local degree-awarding institutions will be eligible for matching grants under the Research MGS.

The operation guide together with a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been uploaded onto the UGC website (https://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funding_opport/rmgs.html) for reference. Applicant universities / institutions are advised to read the application details as set out in the operation guide carefully before completing the application forms.