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WUN Research Development Fund 

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WUN is an exclusive network of 24 research-led universities with a mission to create new, multilateral opportunities for international collaboration in research and education. It fosters interdisciplinary research in four key areas known as the Global Challenges—Global Higher Education and Research; Public Health; Responding to Climate Change; and Understanding Cultures. CUHK joined the Network in 2011 as the only member university in Hong Kong and has since taken an active role in the Network for internationalization and research capacity building. Current members of WUN include:


University of Technology Sydney


Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


University of Alberta


Ruhr University of Bochum


University of Ghana

Greater China


National Cheng Kung University

Renmin University of China


University College Dublin


Tecnológico de Monterrey


Mahidol University

The Netherlands

Maastricht University

New Zealand

The University of Auckland


University of Bergen

South Africa

University of Cape Town

University of Pretoria


University of Lausanne


Makerere University


The University of Sheffield

University of Bristol

University of Leeds

University of Southampton

University of York


University of Rochester


RDF provides one year of seed funds to foster research collaborations among WUN members with a view to stimulating larger projects that will strengthen WUN and making the collaborating partners competitive for major external grants.


WUN RDF 2022

In line with the WUN Strategic Plan 2020–2023, the principal research theme of RDF is Sustainable Development. As the world confronts a multitude of global challenges, there is a pressing need for research to inform the path forward. Cross-Global Challenge projects that address one or more of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are particularly encouraged (please click the icons below for more details of each goal):


Grants are offered to projects which:

  • Fall within the scope of the RDF 2022 theme and focus areas (i.e. SDGs).
  • Demonstrate high academic quality; address a new research problem or take an existing WUN research programme in a significantly new direction.
  •  Establish or strengthen collaborative linkages among member universities; engage researchers from a range of relevant regions, disciplines, and career stages (projects that engage or led by early career researchers are especially encouraged).
  • Capitalize on the distinctive advantages presented by WUN—the team of researchers assembled; opportunities for comparative analysis; and access to environments and resources unique to the partners.
  • Help enlarge the impact and global recognition of WUN—projects should address problems of significant public interest and be aligned with major funding initiatives from national governments and/or international agencies.



  1. An award of up to £10,000 will be offered by WUN to each selected project.
  2. An award from WUN will be matched by funding provided by CUHK (up to the value awarded by WUN and only for projects led by CUHK).
  3. Awarded funding should be expended within 12 months. Any unspent funds may be recalled.
  4. Eligible and ineligible expenditures are detailed in the WUN RDF Guidelines. (Important note: Staffing and equipment costs are NOT supported by the scheme.)
  5. At the 12thmonth of the awarded project, PIs should produce a short video to showcase the research activities/outcomes publicly.
  6. PIs should submit annual reports to WUN for the life of the awarded projects beyond the initial year of the grants. The reporting is essential to track outcomes and the return on investment for WUN.



  1. Application by the PIs (i.e. leading a project) is required only.
  2. Applicants must be full-time faculty members at CUHK. (Successful applicants are required to remain in university service for not less than a year upon completion of the project.)
  3. Complete the WUN RDF Concept Note and return it to the Office of Academic Links (OAL) by the internal deadline on Friday, 16 September 2022.
  4. The project must involve at least three WUN member universities (including CUHK) across at least two regions (i.e. Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania). The project may include non-WUN universities but it must have an active core of WUN member universities. At this stage, applicants may simply indicate possible partners.
  5. Applicants should engage/identify at least one more CUHK faculty member to collaborate in the project.


Faculty members interested in applying are encouraged to contact OAL as soon as possible to discuss the proposals.



  1. Applications will be reviewed internally and the two most qualified applications will be selected by the University for submission to WUN. Each member university may submit a maximum of two applications as lead.
  2. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to complete WUN’s online application by 24 October 2022 at 5:00pm, UK time (i.e. 00:00am on 25 October in Hong Kong).
  3. WUN will announce the results on 16 December 2022 and the awarded funding will be transferred to the University in February 2023.




For enquiries, please contact Ms. Yvonne Heung of OAL.