Sponsorship of conferences, workshops and symposia

These are institutional grants and not grants for the individuals offered by the Croucher Foundation Limited (“the Foundation”).

In view of the large number of requests for financial sponsorship of conferences and seminars, only one competitive exercise is held each year to consider applications for support. The Foundation only receives a quota of applications through the relevant designated office from each of the universities which may, at its own discretion, conduct an internal screening process before presenting to the shortlisted applications to the Foundation.

The Foundation does not consider requests outside the annual exercises.

In principle, the Foundation is interested only in supporting conferences and seminars which are of direct benefit to Hong Kong with a meaningful presence of Hong Kong-based scientist, and not just one which happens to be conveniently held in Hong Kong. The topics must explicitly be in the fields of natural science, technology or medicine preferably with a research emphasis.

If a grant is to be made towards a request for support of this nature, it is unlikely that its amount would exceed HK$100,000 per event.

Eligibility

Applicants should be working full-time in a Hong Kong university and applications submitted through that institution. A grant if approved is released to the institution and not to the individual.

Requests for support of conferences which are inter-institutional in character are favoured, especially if the event helps in promoting inter-institutional collaboration on important scientific topics. For such joint requests it is acceptable if the application is presented by one individual who is authorised to act on behalf of an inter-institutional organising committee.

Method of Application

Annual Closing Date: 10th January (or the following working day if 10th January falls on a weekend) for conferences/events to be held from October of the same year to the following September.

All requests must be initiated by a tertiary institution or a bona fide registered professional body in Hong Kong. The Foundation usually limits the number of applications from each institution, which may at its own discretion select those for presentation to the Foundation after internal screening. The Foundation has no objection to co-sponsorships of the same event, and applicants may concurrently request support from other sources. However at the time of application the applicants should make known to the Foundation whether other bodies have been approached.

There are no application forms. The individual application, which must not exceed two sides of A-4 in length without any attachments (please provide 15 copies), should include a scientific description of the conference and its significance to Hong Kong, with the dates of the event, a general description of the types of participants expected, and an itemized budget. The names of the local organizers and their institutions should be indicated. A joint event with the promise of inviting peer participants from other universities in Hong Kong will add to the strength of an application. If applicable, other possible sponsors to the same event should also be identified.

Allocations will be entirely considered on merits of individual events and there is no institutional quota in terms of awards.

The relevant administrative office of each institution will normally be informed of the outcome of applications in May of the same year of submission of applications, if not earlier.

General Procedure (after award)

Request for release of the approved grant may be formally made on the applicant’s own initiative, in writing, to the Executive Director of the Foundation through the relevant administrative office in the University, at least two months in advance of the actual date of the event. This request should be accompanied with a short report and materials related to the Conference as evidence that the event is going ahead.

The Foundation reserves the right to withdraw its offer of the grant if eventually for financial and whatever other reasons the event is not to be held on the dates specified in the application. Changes in the title or scientific specialisation of the proposed conference are subject to clearance amply in advance with the Foundation, but deviations from the proposal are normally not acceptable.

The grant may not in any circumstances be deployed to remunerate academic or senior administrative staff for work in organising the event.

This is an institutional grant and not a grant for the individual applicant, and therefore the grant is not transferable to another institution even if it involves the applicant’s move from one to another.

The grant is made in the form of a subsidy towards expenses of a non-profit-making academic activity and therefore must not involve or result in interests of a commercial character. A financial statement of itemised expenses must be presented as part of a report to the Foundation. Organisers must consult the Foundation in the ways in which they wish to dispose of any surplus which may accrue to the activity at the close of its accounts, even if the Foundation is only one of the several sponsors.

As a charitable organisation, the Foundation does not encourage contribution of the grant towards peripheral activities such as conference banquets, sightseeing tours, rental of expensive venues etc.

Dates of the Event

The proposed event is to be held during the period specified in the application. Organisers are advised to seek written approval from the Foundation well in advance if they decide to change the dates of the event beyond three months of what was indicated in the original application. The Foundation will only give its consent upon satisfactory explanation of the change of dates.

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgement of the support of the Foundation must be clearly made in publicity materials and literature published in connection with the event.

Report

The organisers must forward a report within three months of the completion of the event, with the inclusion of

(i) its programme of activities;
(ii) a list of participants and their institutions affiliations;
(iii) a summary statement of income and expenses;
(iv) publicity materials and publications, if any.

Omission of such reports has a bearing on the prospects of future support to the institutions and individuals concerned.

For conferences which involve requests of the Foundation’s sponsorship of participants from China or developing countries, the organisers should specifically report the actual number of such participants attending the event. The Foundation reserves the right to request return of part of the grant if this number is eventually fewer than or significantly different from that indicated in the original application.

The Foundation is particularly interested in whether postgraduate students and younger members of academic staff based in Hong Kong have been given the opportunity to participate in such events, and should welcome in the context of the report any additional observations or information in this connection.

Events co-organised with Academic or Professional Bodies

If this grant is requested by the applicant on behalf of an academic or professional body in organising the conference/event, the grant recipient is held ultimately accountable to the Foundation in the use of the grant, and not to the academic or professional body concerned. The recipient has every responsibility to ensure full compliance of the conditions of the grant specified by the Foundation. Failure to comply with this requirement would have serious implications in the long term professional relationships between the Foundation not only with the applicant but also with the institution(s) concerned.

Any enquiries should be channelled through the relevant offices of the applicants’ institutions.

Last Modified: 22/01/2007