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Early Career Scheme 2022/23


Call for Application/Nomination

26 Aug 2021 - 05 Nov 2021


Selection Stage

06 Nov 2021 - Jun 2022


Award Announcement

11 Jun 2022

RGC Award Presentation Ceremony (Nov 2020)

Application for ECS 2022/23

The PI of an ECS project grant must be an academic staff member of an UGC-funded university with conditions of employment meeting ALL the following requirements:


  • Within three years of his/her full time[1] academic job as an Assistant Professor or career equivalent involving teaching and research duties and in substantiation track/tenure track position in any university (local or overseas) at the time of the submission deadline of this funding exercise;
  • Being primarily engaged in and spending at least 80% of time in degree or higher degree work[2] at the university proper[3]; and
  • Salary being wholly funded[4] by the university proper.


Eligible applicants may choose to submit their research proposals under the ECS or the GRF, but not both, in each funding cycle. New junior academics meeting the eligibility criteria of the ECS are encouraged to compete in the scheme. The grantees and awardees of ECS cannot compete in the scheme again but those who failed will be allowed to re-submit applications within the eligible period.

Cases of an exceptional nature (including circumstances not covered by the above rules) will be considered by the RGC on a case-by-case basis.


  1. Part-time staff and staff holding honorary appointments are excluded.
  2. A Project Investigator who is/will be seconded to work full-time or part-time at the two Innovation and Technology clusters (Health@InnoHK and AIR@InnoHK) at the Hong Kong Science Park; or to conduct research in a university or a research institute / body / agency in the Mainland / overseas jurisdiction, is still considered eligible to apply for the ECS.
  3. Excluding schools/arms of continuing education and professional training and other analogous outfits.
  4. Excluding staff members who are receiving income from paid appointments outside the university proper or who are supported by external research grants. 

The RGC's main objective is to fund as many worthy projects as possible across a broad front within the funds available. Nevertheless, projects of exceptional merit will be funded more fully than other projects.

The assessment criteria are as follows:


  • academic quality/merit;
    1. scientific and scholarly merit of the proposal;
    2. qualifications and track record of the Principal Investigator;
    3. originality;
    4. feasibility within the timescale of the proposal.
  • institutional commitment;
  • contribution to academic/professional development (where applicable);
  • potential for social, cultural or economic application; and
  • availability of, and potential for, non-RGC funding.


Academic quality/merit is the overriding criterion in evaluating research projects when others are accorded equal weight. In considering grant applications, the RGC will also take cognizance of alternative sources of funding available because some subject areas will attract more private funding than others.