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Important Note:

Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, is not tolerated and is considered as a type of serious misconduct. The grant application should comprise the principal applicant and co-applicant(s) original work. The previously published work of others must be identified clearly as such by citing appropriate references. The principal applicant may be asked to provide clarification where any overlap between the contents of the submitted grant application and other suspected materials. Grant applications that reproduce the work of others without appropriate attribution will lead to severe consequences including but not limited to disqualification from the current application round, debar from grant applications supported by the HMRF and marking of the track record of the applicants according to the Management of Track Records of Applicants. The track records of all applicants will be taken into account when considering applications to any of the health-related funds administered by the Research Fund Secretariat.


Guidelines for submission

Applicants are required to complete the electronic application form on electronic Grant Management System (eGMS). Only applications submitted on the standard forms will be processed. Please refer to the Guidance Notes - Grant Application for Investigator-initiated Projects and Explanatory Notes - Grant Application for Investigator-initiated Projects for details. Incomplete or insufficiently detailed applications will not be processed and may result in withdrawal.

Principal applicants who are new to the eGMS are strongly advised to prepare their applications well before the deadline of submission to avoid unexpected situations. Applicants will receive an acknowledgement email from eGMS after their application has been submitted to the Research Fund Secretariat successfully.

Each principal applicant is allowed to submit one application only (either a new application or a resubmission of application).

Applications without the endorsement(s) of principal applicant, Head of Department (or Head of Agency in Non-governmental organisation), and authorised persons on behalf of the Administering Institution and Finance Office will be treated as incomplete application and will not be considered.

The principal applicant should select the most relevant respective reference code of thematic priority into the application (Section 5b). If the application is outside the thematic priorities, please select "N/A" (i.e.Not Applicable) in the Section 5b.

Collaboration with local and non-local organisations is encouraged.  One principal applicant and up to nine co-applicants are allowed for an application.

Interested parties from non-academic institutions are highly recommended to collaborate with partners from academic institutions to prepare implementation science proposals.

Principal applicants should make sure that all co-applicants endorse on the application as the track record for the whole project team might be adversely affected if misconduct/fraud is found. All project team members should be well aware of their participation in the project. The Management of Track Records of Applicants can be downloaded from our website.

Administering institutions should check that all applicants meet the eligibility requirements before submission of grant applications.

The principal applicant shall inform the Secretariat immediately if he/she plans to leave his/her administering institution after submission of application.  Failure to do so will result in disqualification of the application.

Applications declined by the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) or any other funding agencies due to misconduct will not be considered.

The principal applicant’s track record of overdue or unacceptable report(s) of project(s) supported by the HMRF or any of its preceding funding schemes is taken into consideration when assessing grant application.  Approval for new funding will not be granted if the principal applicant has not submitted the overdue final or dissemination report.


Applications not supported in a previous application round of HMRF investigator-initiated research projects / health promotion projects meeting the following criteria should be submitted under the category of "Resubmission":

(a) Application rated “3” which has been revised to address all reviewers’ comments in a structured and consistent manner. 

(b) Application rated “2” which has been substantially revised to address all reviewers’ comments in a structured and consistent manner.

The continued relevance of the application with respect to knowledge gaps, policy needs, translational value and prevailing thematic priorities at the time of resubmission will be considered. Having satisfactorily addressed reviewers' comments is not a guarantee of funding.

If you choose to resubmit your application, please ensure that your resubmission package contains a structured response to the Grant Review Board and reviewers’ comments (as a PDF file attached to the electronic application form) (see Sample Response Letter).


Similar studies and other funding

Applicants should declare any duplicate funding in the electronic Application Form. At any time before the announcement of the funding decision of the HMRF application, applicants are required to notify the Secretariat immediately about:

  • any other similar or related application submitted to other funding agencies in addition to those listed in the electronic Application Form; and
  • the funding decision of any similar or related application once available.


Ethics approvals / consent for accessing third-party data

Provision of the ethics approvals / consent for accessing third-party data during the submission of applications is not required. Principal applicants should submit such approvals / consent within 12 weeks (or as specified by the Secretariat) after the announcement of funding decisions. Failure to do so will result in withdrawal of grants.  Letters of exemption for non-applicable regulatory committees are not required.

Principal applicants should ensure that the protocol / scope approved by the relevant regulatory body / Institutional Review Board (IRB) is the same as that approved by the HMRF.

For research proposals on clinical trials, in particular those involving the use of Chinese medicine, principal applicants are strongly advised to confirm the need for a Clinical Trial Certificate / Medicinal Test Certificate from the Department of Health as early as practicable (preferably during the submission of applications to the HMRF) to avoid delay in project commencement.  If a Clinical Trial Certificate / Medicinal Test Certificate is required, failure to present a valid certificate within a specified deadline will result in withdrawal of the grant.