Grants & Funding

  1. The internal deadlines for external research grant applications are set to ensure ample time is given to allow applications being reviewed and processed appropriately before submitting to the grantors. Most of the research funding schemes have unique application requirements and granting conditions, the role of Grants Team of ORKTS in reviewing the applications is to help ensure not only the external requirements but also the University’s internal requirements are complied with. Observing the internal deadline is particularly important for collaborative projects that require signing of agreements, as sufficient time is needed for review and processing of the application materials and agreements so as to  minimize possible risks that our researchers and the University may face. Hence, duly completed proposals/applications, accompanied by the required documents, should reach ORKTS Grants Team by the internal deadline and late submission shall not be accepted.

  2. For research grants that are not coordinated by the ORKTS, which the invitations are not received by ORKTS or our researchers are invited by collaborators to apply, the complete set of application materials should reach Grants Team, ORKTS at least 7 working days prior to external submission deadline, whether it be set by the funding agency or the collaborating party.

  3. According to the University Policy on Research, all external research grant applications are required to obtain approval from the University, given by the Chairperson of Research Committee, at the application stage. The applications should be submitted via the Grants Team of ORKTS so as to ensure the compliance of internal and grantors’ requirements. In the event that a research grant is awarded without prior approval, the University may decline to accept it, or to accept it under conditions that may not be agreeable to the funding agency concerned.

  4. Projects that require the signing of agreements with external parties, the following processing time will be required for review, negotiation and execution of agreements:

    Research Grant / Collaborative Agreement
    (For Government / Public Funding) 

    Minimum Time Required for Processing
    (Working Days)*

     With higher institution, public / non-profit-making organization as signing party  7
     With private company as signing party 10 

    * Additional time shall be required for complex cases, requests with incomplete set of documents submitted, or during peak seasons. Standard agreement templates for research grant applications are available upon request. By using the standard templates, the lead time may be shortened.

  5. It has been the standard protocol that Grants Team of ORKTS will not be involved in the amendment of research grant proposals/applications but rather it will be PIs or their Project Teams to perform the revision, either on the contents or on the format. The practice is to protect the PIs/Project Teams, particularly to minimize the risk of mistakes (for instance, missing contents or symbols) generated during the process, the mistakes that PIs/Project Team will be able to spot right away for their knowledge about the proposed projects which administrators shall be unable to do so.

    Certainly, it is also the common understanding that PIs/Project Teams, who have the ownership and, perhaps the best knowledge on the proposed research, shall be the most appropriate persons to revise the proposals/applications they prepared.

  6. Quite a number of funding schemes have an institutional quota set. In this case, if the number of applications received by ORKTS by the internal deadline exceeds the said quota, internal selection will be required. After internal selection, shortlisted applicants will be notified for making formal submission to the grantors concerned. If comments on individual proposals have been received during the internal selection process, they will be conveyed to the respective applicants. To uphold the principal of confidentiality, other information pertaining to the selection process will not be disclosed.

  7. Some grantors may release the number of shortlisted application(s) in the funding results while some may not release this information.

  8. Please observe the following guidelines if the submission deadline of application/report is on public holiday/weekend:

    • For research grants which are not coordinated by the ORKTS, i.e. invitations are not received by ORKTS or our researchers are invited by collaborators to apply, a complete set of application materials should reach ORKTS at least 7 working days prior to external submission deadline, whether it be set by the funding agency or the collaborating party.
    • For research grants, which are coordinated by the ORKTS and internal calls for applications will be/have been issued, applicants should observe the deadline for submission of applications set by ORKTS.
    • For cases that no internal deadline has been set, please allow at least 7 working days for handling the report submission.

  9. The following workflow applies to CUHK researchers submitting applications both in the capacity of Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I):


  10. First of all, it depends on the grantor’s eligibility requirements on Principal Investigators (PIs).

    Meanwhile, the University has set out the eligibility requirement on PIs of external research grants. According to Clause 5.1 of CUHK’s Policy on Research:

    Academic staff at Assistant Professor rank or Research Assistant Professor rank or above may serve as Principal Investigators of externally supported research awards. Other staff members, with the approval of the immediate supervisor and the Chairperson of the Research Committee may serve as Principal Investigators under special circumstances, provided that a named full-time academic staff member at Associate Professor rank or Research Associate Professor rank or above assumes responsibility for ensuring that the administration of the award conforms with the sponsor's requirements.

    Therefore, if the grantor concerned accepts a Postdoctoral Fellow being the PI, a Postdoctoral Fellow can be PI of external research grants after obtaining special approval from the Chairperson of the Research Committee.

    For procedures for obtaining special approval, please contact Grants Team, ORKTS for information.