Ten research projects receive Research Grants Council funding


Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) has been successful in obtaining funding for 10 research projects under the Research Grants Council’s (RGC) funding schemes for the local self-financing degree sector on a competitive basis. According to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Research Office, Professor Geoffrey Blowers, while this represents a success rate of 20%, HKSYU competed in only two fields – social sciences and business – and obtained 25% of all funded applications in these areas. This figure is in line with the success rate of General Research Fund applications to RGC from University Grants Committee funded universities.

One of the projects was successfully funded under the Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) and aims at building up the research capacity of the institution, the other nine were funded through the Faculty Development Scheme (FDS), which supports the development of individual academics in their capacity as researchers so that they can transfer their new knowledge into teaching and learning.

Seven degree-awarding institutions were eligible for the funding scheme: Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Centennial College, Chu Hai College of Higher Education, Hang Seng Management College, the Open University of Hong Kong and Tung Wah College.

The total research funding awarded to HKSYU was HK$11,257, 853 – HK$6,746,671 through the IDS, and HK$4,511,182 to nine FDS projects.

Professor Blowers said in future, professors and lecturers who get involved in doing research at HKSYU will not only carry out explorations of their subject but will be able to share their research findings, analyses and conclusions with students. This will enable students to acquire a deeper understanding of the subject and come to learn how research is conducted.

“We hope in time that our students will be able to do independent research too.” Professor Blowers said. He hoped that in the coming years, some students may even be financially supported doing full-time research through the conversion of moneys allocated for research assistance to scholarships. “It will assuredly encourage students to sharpen their research skills and help to sustain a research culture at Shue Yan.”

According to Professor Blowers, the ultimate goal is for teachers and students to present their research findings on a regular basis in scheduled departmental seminars and well as seeking suitable outlets to publish their work.

Professor Blowers said that one must be sensitive to the fact that the total amount of money requested from all applications greatly exceeded the amount available. “Some projects cases were potentially fundable but not funded due to this reason.” He said.

For those whose applications were not supported in this first round, Professor Blowers believes that after everyone has received feedback from the reviewers of their projects they will be in a better position to constructively revise their project and resubmit with a greater chance of success next time.

It is expected that the second round of competitive research funding scheme will be launched by the end of this year. Professor Blowers said a workshop will be provided for those who are interested in applying to the scheme.

Source: October Issue 2014

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