Research Program Development in Aging, Healthcare, and Mental Wellbeing 2022 - Recovering from COVID-19

Download Application Form Here

*PIs must be at HKUST(CWB/GZ) 


A key focus area at HKUST is to contribute to the study of healthy aging – in our community, as well as in the Greater Bay Area and around the world. The Center for Aging Science is pleased to announce its Call for Proposals 2022, for the development of research programs in aging, healthcare, and mental well-being. In the first round in 2021, we had received 18 proposal submissions and funded 7 projects. In this second round, we expect to fund 6-8 proposals. In addition to the principal themes from 2021, we are adding an additional thematic priority: ‘Recovering from COVID-19’. We will prioritize PIs who have not already been funded as PIs in the first round, and projects proposed by teams working across the CWB and GZ campuses.


About the Research Program Development in Aging, Healthcare, and Mental Wellbeing

The issues of aging, healthcare, and mental well-being constitute a ‘Grand Challenge’ for Hong Kong, GBA, Asia and beyond. As such, HKUST is committed to developing impactful research in the field. To support this, it has allocated another ~HKD 15 million to support a number of projects to deliver not only short-term outputs of research, but which also have the potential to develop into large-scale research programmes. 


Essential information

  • Expected number of funded projects: 6-8

  • Expected budgets for projects: HKD 0.5m to HKD 3m

  • Expected project length: 1-3 years

  • Eligible expenditures: standard costs as eligible under GRF (e.g., postdoc/RA/Senior RA, PG lines, equipment, survey costs, workshop/conference costs, conference expenses, fieldwork expenses)
  • Ineligible expenditures: UGC-standard ineligible costs, payment for course relief; consultancy.
  • Project deliverable(s): 

    • Research outputs from project itself (i.e. articles, conference, presentations) 

    • Research teams must make at least one application (with repeat application if unsuccessful) for an upscaled research programme to a research funding source within the time frame of the project. The total funding asked for should be at least a multiple of three times the amount allocated in the seed funding exercise. Such funding sources/programmes include Theme-based; Area of Excellence; Strategic Public Policy; ITF; Research Impact Fund; CRF (Collaborative Research Fund); Mainland funds; private donors; foundations

  • Eligible research areas: any relating to aging, healthcare, mental well-being and COVID recovery

  • Eligible faculty: all regular faculty across all campuses/platforms

When preparing the budget, please refer to the monthly indicative rates of around HK$18,000 for Research Postgraduate Students, around HK$25,000 (HK$288,000/per annum plus COL adjustment in June 2022) for Research Assistant and HK$40,000 (HK$462,000/per annum plus COL adjustment in June 2022) for Sr. Research Assistant/Research Associate/Post-doctoral Fellow.


Support, evaluation and criteria

Over the application period, the Center for Aging Science team will be on hand to assist faculty to make linkages to potential collaborators within the university, as well as elsewhere - especially our key stakeholders in the community. In particular, we will have a postdoctoral officer who will be on hand to facilitate linkages and help organise discussions in order to allow teams of researchers with overlapping interests to potentially collaborate. We will also provide a regularly updated ‘FAQs’ page alongside the funding application as we respond to questions received from interested faculty.

The projects will be evaluated by the following team of internal and external experts in the field:

  • Professor CT Chan (PHYS), Associate Vice President for Research and Development 

  • Professor Stuart Gietel-Basten (SOSC/PPOL), Director of Center for Aging Science

  • Professor Joseph Kwan (ENVR), Adjunct Professor, Division of Environment and Sustainability; President of Haven of Hope Christian Service

  • Professor Jin Qi (IEDA), Associate Director of Center for Aging Science

  • Professor Yung Hou Wong (LIFS), Associate Director of Center for Aging Science

  • Professor Anirban Mukhopadhyay (MARK)


We will prioritise projects which are characterised by:

A Clear and Achievable Set of Deliverables and Realisable Plan for Scaling up after Project-end

The best proposals will have a clear and achievable plan for how to use the seed funding to generate research outputs within the course of the project itself; and also a realizable plan for leveraging the seed-funding into a larger-scale programme of work. We would expect a clear statement of the expected sources and scope of follow-on funding.

Academic Collaboration

We believe that ground-breaking research can benefit from insights from different insights from both within and across disciplines. As such, we will prioritize support for projects which demonstrate a clear, and deep collaboration within/across subject, Division, School and/or between CWB faculty and their counterparts based in CWB or other Mainland platforms. We will also recognize and take into account collaborations with local, regional, and academic scholars. 

Collaboration with External Stakeholders 

To maximise the chances of achieving impact with our research, it is important that we engage potential stakeholders from project inception. Under these circumstances, we are more likely to be able to deliver ‘co-created’ knowledge, and guarantee uptake at project completion. These stakeholders may be in the commercial, public, or third/NGO sector. The University already has extensive collaborations with a wide variety of such stakeholders, especially Haven of Hope Christian Service - a local NGO providing a wide range of healthcare services. Please feel free to contact us for further advice on how to engage with our network of stakeholders.



  • April 14th: Briefing session, applications open (Download application form here)

  • May 6th: Deadline for first draft of proposals (Proposals should be emailed to Ling Ling SZE)

  • May 23rd: Deadline for final draft of proposals (Proposals should be emailed to Ling Ling SZE)

  • June 3rd: Final funding decisions announced 

Any questions can be directed to Ling Ling SZE in the first instance.