Call for Proposals – RGC General Research Fund (GRF) / Early Career Scheme (ECS) 2022/23

The RGC is now inviting applications for General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) 2022/23.  The Call for Proposals and relevant application guidelines can be accessed through the Research Office’s website.  



For GRF, full-time academic staff in staff grades from “A” to “I” that are wholly funded by HKUST may apply. 

Academic staff within three years of his/her academic job as an Assistant Professor or career equivalent involving teaching and research duties and in full-time substantiation track/tenure track position may apply for ECS.



Principal Investigators (PIs) as applicants please read the Guidance Notes for GRF / ECS carefully before completing the application form.  Details on the funding schemes are available at the RGC’s website for GRF and ECS.  All applications must be submitted through the RGC Electronic System. Please contact the RO if you need to create an account or forget password for the existing account.



  1. PI’s Responsibilities

         The PI is obliged to provide the required information and fully responsible for its accuracy in the application form by the set deadlines.  The PI is also                 required to take an active role in soliciting necessary support from the Department Head / Dean concerned, and obtaining the required online approval             via the ORPA form before internal deadline and, if necessary, the ethics/safety approval Tick@Lab via  as per the required timeline. 


  1. NO GUARANTEE that the proposal will be processed and successfully submitted to RGC if the duly completed ORPA form (even with all approval obtained) or/and the application are received after the RO’s internal deadlines.  PIs should ensure that the approval on their application from the two/three levels of internal vetting (IVC) should be obtained before the RO internal deadlines.


  1. For details on the following essential information, please click here:


  • Submission of ORPA form (completed before the submission)
  • Application for Ethics/Safety Approval via Tick@lab
  • technical review and editing service from VPRDO
  • iThenticate account for anti-plagiarism scanning (please ensure it is performed before the submission to RO)


  1. New Arrangements in 2022/23 exercise


  1. Revised Application Forms and Guidance Notes

A set of newly devised online Form and Guidelines are adopted in this exercise.  Major revisions include improved language, structure, format and transparency on reviewing process. 


  1. No external links embedded in the application form

Applicants should not include links to external websites (such as cloud storage) in the application, which contain extra information on the proposed project.


  1. Declaration of Time Commitments by PIs*

PIs would be required to –

  • declare updated time commitment for all on-going research projects# irrespective of whether the projects are funded by UGC / RGC;
  • declare the overall amount of time spent on research in percentage terms and provide justifications on taking up more research projects if the number of on-going projects being held by the PI in any capacity exceeds the set thresholds (i.e. individual project: 3; collaborative project: 2);
  • details are set out in Part II (8) of the application form.


* The above measures aim to understand the PIs’ overall time commitment in research and PIs would not be debarred from applying for more RGC grants if the number of on-going RGC projects being held by them exceeds the thresholds.

# For the list of your research projects, please access the Research Project Information System (RPIS).


  1. Checklist for Proposal

Before submitting your proposal, please make use of the checklist provided by the RO to ensure compliance to the requirements to avoid being disqualified.





Tasks / Events

7 or 14 Oct 2021


(with All levels of approval obtained)

Internal deadlines for submission to RO

  • 7 Oct – for applications requesting English editing from RO
  • 14 Oct – for applications do not require English editing from RO


  • All applications must obtain the endorsements from ALL approving levels (i.e. Department Head/ Research Committees/ Dean) via the RGC Electronic System by the above internal deadlines.   Please check with your Schools/IPO if there are any deadlines for seeking your Director/Deans’ approval.


  • All applicants must complete the ORPA form with Tick@lab application initiated (if applicable) before the internal deadlines.


  • NO application will be accepted by the RGC System beyond 14 October 2021. No editing service from RO will be provided for late submission.


  • Incomplete applications should not be submitted and please refer to the FAQ if you encounter issues on the RGC system.


7 Oct 2021 –

5 Nov 2021

  • Vetting, arranging editing service for applications
  • Proposal revisions by PIs as necessary after administrative checking and English editing by RO
  • Seeking clarification with PIs on the ORPA form (if necessary) and confirmation on the Tick@Lab application (with protocol number obtained), if applicable;
  • To seek the approval from the VPRD on the applications and arrange submission.

5 Nov 2021

Deadline of RGC  (Nothing RO can be changed after this date)


Please be reminded to observe the internal deadlines to ensure your application can be properly processed and submitted before the RGC’s official deadline.  


Please note that a workshop on RGC GRF/ECS proposal preparation was held on 17 August 2021.  Recordings of the workshop are available at RO’s website


For enquiries, please contact the following RO’s staff:


Ms. Maggie Hui, tel: 2358 6923; email: (SENG, SHSS)

Mr. Donald Wong, tel: 2358 7930; email: (SSCI, SBM & IPO)

Miss Mickey Pat, tel: 3469 2822; email: (ORPA)

Miss Joey Yeung, tel: 3469 2810; email: (iThenticate)

Research Office 代表 Research Grants Council (RGC)

Ms. Maggie Hui, tel: 2358 6923; email: (SENG, SHSS)

Mr. Donald Wong, tel: 2358 7930; email: (SSCI, SBM & IPO)

Miss Mickey Pat, tel: 3469 2822; email: (ORPA)

Miss Joey Yeung, tel: 3469 2810; email: (iThenticate)