Research Matching Grant Scheme


The Government has earmarked $3 billion as government matching grants under the RMGS. The operation period of the Scheme is a period of three years from 1 Aug 2019 to 31 Jul 2022. The RMGS will cover the 8 UGC-funded universities (including their self-financing arms/ units) and 13 local self-financing degree-awarding institutions.




The PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded [here].




  • to incentivise the private sector to strengthen financial support for R&D;
  • to diversify research funding sources of the higher education sector;
  • to encourage collaboration between the industries and the higher education sector in R&D; and
  • to increase the social impact of the research conducted by the higher education sector.



Matching Formula and Priority

The RMGS will have no restriction on any academic discipline, while it only applies to research-related purposes.


  • A dollar-for-dollar matching basis (i.e. a $1 to $1 matching ratio) up to the "floor" ($50 million) for matching by each university/institution
  • A $1 for $2 matching basis (i.e. $1 government grant for every $2 donation secured) for the level above the "floor" ($50 million) and not exceeding the "ceiling" ($500 million)
  • No matching of government grant will be made above the [aggregate amount of] "ceiling" ($500 million); and
  • Any matching request from universities/institutions over and above the "floor" ($50 million) will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis.





Self Photos / Files - RMGS_Flowchart


  1. Only donations and research grants/contracts from non-government/ non-public sectors to the universities/institutions during the three-year period will be eligible for matching. Research grants/contracts from non-government/ non-public sectors, e.g.
    - local charities/foundations;
    - Industry
    - other local and non-local funding sources

  2. There should be no "double matching" or "double subsidies". In other words, projects having secured various public/government funds from local1/non-local authorities2, and donations already matched with public funds within Hong Kong under other matching schemes (e.g. the Eighth Matching Grant Scheme) will not be eligible for any matching grants under the RMGS.

    1For example, research grants from the ITF, UGC and RGC, funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, or MTR Corporation Limited.

    2For example, cross-boundary Mainland public funding, government/public funds from regions outside the Mainland

  3.  Any indirect costs (i.e. "on-costs") arising from R&D projects/activities will not be eligible for matching under the RMGS. Staff costs of research assistants or postdoctoral fellows directly involved in the research project(s)/activity(ies) concerned are covered and eligible for matching under the RMGS. Staff costs of administrative/ executive/management staff not performing research tasks/duties should be deemed as indirect costs (i.e. "on-costs"), and are not eligible for matching under the RMGS.



Application Procedure

Applicants should carefully read this “Operation Guides for the HKBU Research Matching Grant Scheme” with explanatory notes and complete a “Donation Received Form [Annex B(i), (ii) or (iii)] or [Annex C]”. 


Donation Received Forms
  Cash Equipment Bonds / Shares
Donation for research

Annex B (i)

Annex B (i) 

Donation Agreement 

Declaration by Donor

Annex B (ii) 

Annex B (ii) 

Donation Agreement 

Declaration by Donor

Annex B (iii) 

Annex B (iii)  

Declaration by Donor

Research grant / contract / service

Annex C  

Annex C 

Contract Agreement Templates (Eng)  

Contract Agreement Templates (Chi)  

Declaration by Fund Provider


Important Information
Memo- Bank account information


  • Applicants are required to submit the completed Annex B(i), (ii) or (iii) or Annex C and supporting documents electronically to KTO. One signed hard copy should also be sent to KTO.
  • The applicant can submit more than one application for different projects.
  • All sections in each application form must be duly completed and all supporting documents, e.g. research contract, cheque/bank-in-slip must be provided to KTO at the time of submission.
  • KTO will first check to ensure that this matching fund is eligible for the RMGS application. All un-match-able funding will automatically disqualify the pending application.



Uses of RMGS

Donations received and matching grants provided under the Research Matching Grant Scheme should be designated solely for research-related expenditure.


Examples of such expenditure include:

  • purchase of major research equipment;
  • purchase of research-related/technology licence;
  • expenses for application for patent (research purpose);
  • staff costs of research personnel charged solely for the research initiative/project/activity under the RGMS;
  • costs of setting up research facilities (including rental, operation and maintenance expenses, but not applicable to capital works for UGC-funded universities);
  • provision of support for researchers'/students' research activities monitored by universities/institutions; and
  • provision of research fellowship or research award.



Donations/matching grants under the Research MGS should primarily be used in undertaking research work/activities/projects/initiatives in Hong Kong in order to train and groom research talent in Hong Kong. If the university/institution would like to outsource a small part of the research work/activity/project/initiative to be conducted outside Hong Kong, full justifications should be provided for consideration by the UGC Secretariat.



Copyright and Intellectual Property

  1. The Government, UGC and RGC will not claim copyright or other IPR of the output/work produced involving the government matching grants of the Scheme. Except for license copyrights or copyright requirement imposed by publisher or journal or governmental body, all copyrights to, and royalties from books, journal articles, and other copyrightable materials produced by the researcher concerned involving the government matching grants of the RMGS shall belong to the HKBU or the donor/sponsor concerned or be co-owned by both as appropriate.
  2. Except for licence rights or ownership requirement imposed by publisher or journal or governmental body, all intellectual property arising out of any work undertaken by a researcher employed by HKBU concerned shall reside with the HKBU's Administrative Guidelines for the Protection of IPR or the donor/sponsor concerned or be co-owned by both as appropriate. The Government, UGC and RGC will not claim any title or right to all inventions and possible resulting patents arising from the HKBU’s sponsored research.


For the determination of IP rights stipulated in the HKBU IP Policy, please refer to Administrative Guidelines for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights.



Important Notes

  • For cash donations, the receipt date should be the date as recorded in the bank statement.
  • For in-kind donations in the form of equipment, the receipt date should be the date of the official receipt concerned (i.e. documentary proof of the value of sponsorship such as quotations for new research equipment or details of valuation for used equipment) as provided by the applicants.
  • For shares and bonds, this would be the date when the ownership is completely transferred to the universities/ institutions, where the universities/institutions inherit full discretion to dispose the shares and bonds at all times after the transfer, as supported by the documentary proof issued by the relevant registration/custodian agencies.
  • For research grants/research contracts from non-government/non-public sectors, or in-kind donations in the form of service, including consultation/advice/expertise offered from non-government/non- public sectors, this would be the date of payment as recorded in the bank statement.


In considering the acceptance of donations/ sponsorships:

  • The university/institution should observe good practices and corruption prevention measures in accepting donations/ sponsorships, and avoid any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, or declare as and when it arises with the establishment of clear procedures;
  • The acceptance of a donation/sponsorship and a subsequent matching grant from the Government should not in any way give or be perceived to give the donor/sponsor an unfair commercial advantage over others in the same trade, industry or profession;
  • The university/institution should not accept donation/ financial sponsorship from tobacco companies (or organisations/foundations funded solely by tobacco companies, including the "Foundation for a Smoke-Free World") for initiatives under the RMG
  • Without prior agreement of the university/institution, the donor/sponsor must not solicit donations or contributions from sources other than its own to meet the financial commitment towards the research activity/project;
  • The donor/sponsor should not be allowed to generate any direct financial gain solely as a result of donating for/ sponsoring a research activity/project; and
  • Donation/sponsorship should be commensurate with the nature and purpose of the research project/initiative/activity concerned.


Applicant/PI's responsibilities:

  • Execution of the research project;
  • Overseeing and reporting the progress of the research project;
  • Ensuring proper use of the approved matching fund in accordance with this Guides;
  • Answering enquiries including but not limited to the actual use of the donations and of the matching grants and intended use of the unspent funds;
  • Disclosing information in the application and report submitted (except for the name of a donor where the UGC Secretariat would as far as possible, provide the information in a summary form and shall respect the wish of the donor where a request for non-disclosure has been made);
  • Notifying KTO immediately of any “matched donations” (or any part of them) that subsequently turn out to become ineligible for matching e.g. the rectification an omission or a mistake leading to an overstatement of eligible donations, change of the designated purpose of the donation, etc.; and
  • Assisting KTO to return the respective government grants for these ineligible donations to the UGC Secretariat immediately.


Announcement of Results:

A typical application and the allocations of matching grants based on the information submitted will be processed and informed by the UGC Secretariat, normally by the beginning of the second month of the quarter concerned (i.e. beginning of February, May, August or November).


Important Note:

  • The RMGS is subject to UGC's final decision.