Dr Kam-cheong Li
Director of University Research Centre

Message from the Director of URC

Research is an integral part of a University. Although the OUHK is a teaching institution, we emphasize research because it informs teaching, creates new knowledge and serves our community. I am very pleased to inform you that our University has been performing well in its research. The results of our applications to the major external research funding source, the Research Grants Council (RGC), have demonstrated our potential in research. This year, again, our University obtained very good results in RGC funding.

There are three RGC funding schemes that our University may apply for. In the Institutional Development Scheme (IDS), which is for building up the research capacity of individual institutions in their strategic areas, we were granted HK$12,000,000, which was the second highest amount. The funding appears to have become more stringent. For example, it required a formal interview, in which the President led us very successfully. Several institutions failed to get any funding from this scheme. With the funding, the University will establish three research institutes.

In the Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS), which is for enhancing academics’ research capability and keeping them abreast of new developments and challenging research topics in relevant fields, we obtained the best result. Among 12 eligible institutions, only six projects were funded. The OUHK submitted two projects and both were fully funded, so the success rate and funding granted were both 100%. The funding will be used to build up staff research capacity in two emerging areas: learning analytics and mobile learning.

As for the Faculty Development Scheme (FDS), which is for developing the research capability of individual academics so that they can transfer their research experience and new knowledge into teaching and learning, eight of our submitted projects were successful in obtaining funding. Our success rate, 30%, is higher than that of the RGC average in the FDS of 27%. Thanks to University’s enhanced guidelines for budgeting for external funding, we gained much improvement in the percentage of funding granted. Three of the successful projects have received 100% funding for the amounts applied for. Among the successful projects, Professor Tam Kwok Kan obtained the highest evaluation rating for his project. Also, the School of Business and Administration (B&A) had four successful projects. Our congratulations go to Professor Tam and B&A for their success.

Taking the RGC funding results of this year and last year together, the OUHK has been the ‘champion’ in obtaining the highest total funding amount. Congratulations, OUHK!

I should like to sincerely thank our colleagues for their diligent efforts. There is no doubt that every proposal was the result of months of painstaking work. All colleagues involved, whether or not their projects succeeded, deserve commendation for their commitment and effort.

Our grateful thanks go to the untiring support from our senior management and all related administrative Units. Their support will be key to our continual research success. I am also obliged to the staff of the University Research Centre (URC) for their meticulous work. The staff of the RGC Secretariat have told me that proposals from the OUHK were well prepared in terms of completeness, accuracy and correct format.

I must also point out here that the projects that were not funded are definitely not failures. Sometimes, very good projects may meet with bad luck. Experience has shown that resubmitted proposals stand a good chance of being funded. By making use of comments from the RGC reviewers, I am sure that proposals can be improved and resubmitted with a higher chance of success. Academics who did not succeed in their RGC projects are strongly encouraged to resubmit their proposals.

Some of you are preparing your proposals for the coming round of RGC submission. Keep up your good work, and do approach the URC if we can be of help. I wish you every success!



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