HKU obtains excellent results from RGC’s 2021/21 research funding schemes

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has received excellent results in the recent announcement by the Research Grants Council (RGC) on a number of competitive peer-reviewed research funding schemes.

Among the 21 Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) Group Research Projects funded by the RGC, HKU has been funded with nine projects as coordinating institution, and participates in six other projects led by other institutions. The total funding received for Group Research Projects and Equipment Grant amounts to $46.2 million.

In 2020/21, the RGC allocated an additional budget of $150 million to support the One-off CRF Coronavirus and Novel Infectious Diseases Research Exercise. HKU has been awarded 15 out of 27 projects and received $94 million, representing 63% of the total awarded amount, which is the highest number of awards and the largest share of awarded funding amongst all institutions in this round of the CRF exercise.

Launched in 2018/19, the Research Impact Fund (RIF) aims to promote impactful and translational collaborative research projects and encourage academics to articulate the potential of research to deliver benefits for the wider community. In the 2020/21 exercise, HKU secured six out of 13 awarded projects in the RIF. The six projects coordinated by HKU received a total funding of $36.5 million.

In the ninth round of the Areas of Excellence (AoE) Scheme, which aims to provide a platform to nurture areas of international excellence through high quality research and inter-institutional collaboration, HKU participates in two of the four projects funded, and leads one the following project namely “2D Materials Research: Fundamentals Towards Emerging Technologies” led by Chair Professor Wang YAO of Research Division for Physics & Astronomy under the Faculty of Science. The project has been awarded a funding of over HK$80 million.

HKU Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Shen heartily congratulates all successful applicants and their research teams and said the grants are clear demonstration of the research competitiveness of the University’s faculties and investigators. He called on HKU members to take part in future funding exercise to realise the University’s ambition to be Asia’s leading global university with cutting-edge research in critical areas.

RGC-funded research led by HKU in the latest round of the funding schemes 2020/21:

Collaborative Research Fund (CRF)

Group Research Projects

Project no.

Project title


Integrative Chemical Biology Approaches to Investigate the Biological Process of Bacterial Pseudaminic Acid


Development of DNA-encoded glycan constructs as multivalent influenza hemagglutinin inhibitors towards novel anti-influenza therapy


Structure and molecular mechanisms of the eukaryotic replisome


Controlling the moisture – towards stable and efficient flexible perovskite solar cells


Investigating protein homeostasis during neuronal development and aging through cell-specific proteomics and interactomics


Deciphering the Physiological Functions and Regulation of the Endogenous CRISPR-Cas System for Biotechnological and Therapeutic Exploitations: Type I-F as a Paradigm


Low-dimensional perovskite materials for efficient and stable light emitting diodes: Materials, devices and fundamental understanding


Towards a comprehensive understanding of the performance of offshore wind turbine systems in complex environments


Optimizing Total Factor Sustainability of Tall Residential Buildings through Innovative Modular Integrated Construction



Mass cytometry, a multiplexed single-cell technology for chemical biology and precision medicine

Research Impact Fund (RIF)

Project no.

Project title

Project Coordinator



Lead leaching into potable water : metallurgical impact due to thermo-mechanical processing of copper-alloy pipework components

Professor A.H.W.





Pangolins and pathogens: Advancing One Health through the tracking and disruption of illegal wildlife trade

Dr. T.C. Bonebrake

Biological Sciences


Development and applications of a driver-dependent tumor organoid biobank for translational liver cancer research

Dr. S.K.Y. Ma

Biological Sciences


Combating physical inactivity pandemic by promoting physical fitness education and physical activity-embedded curriculum in kindergartens

Dr. M.F.P. Siu

Public Health


E2Power: Engagement and empowerment of communities through social capital development

Professor T.Y.S. Lum

Social Work and Social Administration


Filling the translational gap of mesenchymal stem cellbased tissue engineering strategies for cartilage regeneration therapy

Professor B.P. Chan

Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Excellence (AoE) Scheme


Project title

Project Coordinator


Ninth (2020/2021)

2D Materials Research: Fundamentals Towards

Emerging Technologies

Professor W. Yao

Department of Physics, Faculty of Science

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