The first speaker was Prof. CS Lee (Chair Professor of Material Science, Dept. of Physics and Materials Science, CityU) and his topic named “Some advices on preparing a successful GRF proposal”.
In the beginning, Prof. Lee explained what proposals are funded or what kind of proposals are higher success rate to be funded as followings.
- Proposals from young scientists with highly innovative ideas (The “Wow” Factor – no one imagine before).
- Proposal based on important preliminary results or recently published in prestigious journals. (Some preliminary published results as basic for next proposal)
- Proposals on really hot topics.
- Proposals in areas with small but mutually supportive communities. (Search keyword using Google)
- Proposals from those who have many friends.
Then Prof. Lee pointed out four sweeteners (summarized the above points) below:
1. Experimental plus Theoretical Collaboration
2. Real Collaboration
3. Preliminary Result
4. A Strong List of Publications
After that Prof. Lee advised us don’t make the following mistakes:
- Errors due to cut & paste (usually happened from using previous proposals)
- Not enough track records
- No or “hided” preliminary results
- Objectives are too ambitious
- Not enough explanation on “Why do these? And Why in these ways?”
- No backup plan for risky objectives
- No theoretical modeling
- Not enough novelty / new / innovation
- No animal experiment in bio-related projects, etc.
Finally, Prof. Lee suggested to provide solutions on the 5 key questions which reviewers needed to answer.
1. Please comment on the objective(s) of the proposal, and whether the research agenda adequately addresses the objective(s)?
2. Please comment on the Research Design and Methodology
3. Please comment on the feasibility of the proposed research.
4. What do your consider to be the most original or innovative aspect of the proposed research? What advances would the research result bring about to the related field if the proposed research is successful?
5. Please comment on the reasonableness of the proposed budget and manpower planning and project duration.
One more question was overall comments. In addition, Prof. Lee told us did not suggest 3 or less reviewers. It had better suggest 5 reviewers.
The second speaker was Prof. Li Hanxiong (SEEM Dept., CityU) and his topic was “Discussion for GRF Proposal”.
Prof. Li introduced that Engineering Project was very difficult to present in the grant application. He would consider on Quality into three aspects including Material, Effort and Presentation.
Finally, he concluded that the problem selected should be suitable to your team. Presentation is key (Easy to follow - layman and difficult to understand – expert) and Logic is most important (Concise & Simple Structure; Difficult Details; and Figures/Tables can speak).
The last speaker was Prof. Zhou Dingxuan (Chair Professor of Mathematics, Dept., of Mathematics, CtiyU). Prof. Zhou shared his experience that we needed to perform self-evaluation and clear objectives. For example, he said his work related to machine learning, however, he was focused on analytics but not algorithm. Then he told us to think how to convince people to support your proposal such as suitable method to be used or suitable reference to be quoted. Think problem in different angles.
CityU College of Science and Engineering - http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/cse/cms/index.aspx?lang=en
General Research Fund (GRF) - http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/grf/grf.htm