--> Openlink Vol 23 Issue 4 (Dec 2014)<!--Distinguished results from the RGC --- a triumph for the OUHK's research funding--> | Hong Kong Metropolitan University
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  •  Openlink Vol 23 Issue 4 (Dec 2014)
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    Distinguished results from the RGC --- a triumph for the OUHK's research funding

    The OUHK achieved commendable results in the keen competition for the first round of research funding from the Research Grants Council (RGC) for the self-financing degree sector. In September, the RGC announced the results of approved funding applications which were submitted in April 2014. There are three schemes of funding and OUHK stood out overall as a high achiever and a winner.

    In support of academic and research development activities in the local self-financing degree sector, the Government designated $3 billion to set up a research endowment fund available for self-financing institutions on a competitive basis under the aegis of the RGC. The three funding schemes for applications are the Faculty Development Scheme (FDS), the Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) and the Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS). Besides the OUHK, six other local self-financing institutions were eligible for RGC funding.

    Outstanding results of the first round of applications in 2014

    In the first call for applications, the University submitted a total of 40 proposals to the three funding schemes. The OUHK obtained a total of nearly $18 million, in which $12 million was from the IDS. For the other two schemes, the University achieved the second highest success rate. At the beginning of the year, there was speculation that getting funding would be easier than obtaining the RGC General Research Fund for publicly funded universities. As it turns out, the selection was just as stringent, yet the University was remarkably successful across the board.

    Support from the University

    Dr Li Kam-cheong, Director of the OUHK’s University Research Centre, expressed thanks for the enthusiastic efforts of academic staff and the University’s unfailing support, and pride regarding the quality of the proposals. ‘Before submission, the applications were reviewed by the Deans and relevant senior academics. Then academics made finishing touches to the proposals with advice from the reviewers,’ he said. Before preparing proposals, a series of seminars and workshops were organized by the URC to enrich the staff’s relevant skills.

    The URC, as a centralized unit for the promotion, coordination and administration of research, also carried out a variety of auxiliary tasks, such as plagiarism checks, ethical clearance, research safety reviews and language editing. By providing this rigorous support they were able to guarantee complete and high quality applications all round.

    The OUHK has collaborated with six other self-financing institutions to establish the Research Collaboration Alliance of the Local Self-financing Degree Sector to facilitate cooperation and mutual support among institutions receiving RGC funding. Dr Li was the convenor of the alliance, which endeavoured to coordinate and liaise with RGC for improvement of proposal submissions.

    Gearing up for further research successes

    In future, competition for RGC funding will intensify as more self-financing institutions are included in the next round. In addition, more research funding opportunities will be available. Besides the RGC, other funding sources are calling for applications from the self-financing degree sector, for example the Government’s Central Policy Unit and Standing Committee on Language Education and Research.

    Dr Li added, ‘In view of this, the University is gearing up to comprehensively strengthen its research profile and capitalize on external research funding. In line with the University’s strategic initiatives to systematically develop its research capacity, the approved IDS project entitled “First Phase of Institutional Research Capacity Development” will further enhance the research capability of our academic staff through various activities such as seminars and workshops on research tools and skills to be organized by the URC.’

    The IDS project also plans to set up two research institutes, one being the Institute for Research in Digital Culture and Humanities and the other the Institute for Research in Innovative Technology and Sustainability. The School of Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Science and Technology are actively preparing the establishment of these institutes. The Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration and the School of Education and Languages are also planning to set up two other research institutes.

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