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WUN Research Development Fund 

Application for RDF 2020 was closed on 16 September 2020. The call for RDF 2021 will be announced around August 2021.


The Office of Academic Links (OAL) is now inviting applications for the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Research Development Fund (RDF) 2020.


WUN is an exclusive network of 22 research-led universities across six continents with a mission to create new, multilateral opportunities for international collaboration in research and education. 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:


The University of Western Australia



Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais



University of Alberta


Greater China


National Cheng Kung University

Renmin University of China

Zhejiang University


University of Ghana



University College Dublin


The Netherlands

Maastricht University


New Zealand

The University of Auckland



University of Bergen



Tecnológico de Monterrey

South Africa

University of Cape Town


University of Lausanne



The University of Sheffield

University of Bristol

University of Leeds

University of Southampton

University of York



University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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 make the collaborating partners competitive for major external grants.


The theme for this year is “Sustainable Recovery” in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Cross-Global Challenge projects that address the theme in one or more of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals are particularly encouraged (for information on what each goal encompasses, click the corresponding icon below):


Grants are offered to projects which:

  • Fall within the scope of the WUN Global Challenges and the research theme.
  • Demonstrate high academic quality and address a new research problem or take an existing WUN research programme in a significantly new direction.
  • Capitalize on the distinctive advantages presented by WUN—partners from different regions and disciplines; opportunities for comparative analysis; and access to environment and resource unique to the partners.
  • Are likely to be of significant public interest (impact on society).
  • Lie within the scope of funding initiatives from national or international agencies; likely to secure bigger grants from external 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.
  5. At the 12th month of the awarded project, PIs need to produce a short video (around 5 minutes) on their projects and activities/outcomes that can be shared publicly.
  6. Awarded PIs are required to submit annual reports to WUN on an ongoing basis for the life of the projects beyond the initial year of the grants. The reporting is essential to tracking outcomes and WUN’s return on its investments.


INTERNAL APPLICATION (Deadline: Monday, 16 September 2020)

  1. Application by the PIs is required only.
  2. Applicants must be full-time faculty members at CUHK.
  3.  Applicants who were not funded in WUN’s previous call for COVID-19 projects are also eligible for submission.
  4. Complete the WUN RDF Concept Note and return it to the Office of Academic Links (OAL) by the internal deadline.
  5. The project must involve at least three WUN member universities (including CUHK) spanning at least two countries/regions. 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.
  6. Applicants should involve/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 proposal.



  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 Friday, 23 October 2020 at 5:00pm GMT (i.e. 1:00am on 24 October in Hong Kong).
  3. WUN will announce the results on Friday, 11 December 2020 and the awarded funding will be transferred to the University in February 2021.




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