Croucher Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research, Croucher Foundation

Updated: almost 5 years ago
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Croucher Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research

Notes for Applicants

The Croucher Foundation is a private endowment set up in 1979 and permanently domiciled in Hong Kong, with the objective of promoting excellence in natural science, technology and medicine in Hong Kong. One of the Foundation’s regular funding initiatives is to provide financial support for promising young people in Hong Kong to pursue scientific research at postdoctoral and doctoral levels.

The awards offered by the Croucher Foundation Limited (“the Foundation”) are intended to enable applicants who are permanent residents of Hong Kong to devote themselves to a period of full-time research in natural science, medicine or technology in approved academic institutions outside Hong Kong.

These are educational awards for graduates who obtained their doctoral degrees after September 2011, and not primarily meant as grants for enabling a university or institution to employ research personnel for research projects. Some Fellowships are also available for fully qualified medical doctors who wish to pursue research under a speciality.

Applicants who propose to continue their postdoctoral research in the same institution where they do their doctoral degrees will normally not be favoured. Applicants who receive full financial support from their proposed host institutions need not apply.

Value of the award

A Fellowship comprises an annual maintenance allowance with assistance towards airfare. Assistance towards airfare to return to Hong Kong not claimed within a period of twelve months from the expiry date of the Fellowship award shall be automatically forfeited. Fellows who terminate their awards before the expiry date are not entitled to such assistance.

The Foundation also offers a partial research contribution to a Fellow’s host institution as a token of appreciation. The amount to be approved by the Foundation is normally based on an estimate provided by an authorised person of the host institution.

A one-off grant for books and clothing will be given during the first year of tenure.

Duration of Fellowships

The length of the award will be explicitly stated in the grant letter when the offer is made. If the award is for more than one year, the candidate will in the first instance be “on probation” for one year, and the award for the remaining period is entirely at the Foundation’s discretion subject to confirmation upon evidence of satisfactory progress in the first year. The maximum period for a Fellowship is two years.

Spouse and child allowances

As an ex gratia benefit but not as part of the scholastic award, married Fellows will be offered a spouse allowance and airfare for the spouse, but only if he or she is dependant and accompanying the holder throughout the period of the award.

In addition, a child allowance will be provided but only if the child is residing with the candidate during the entire period of the award.

Successful applicants on any form of paid leave during the tenure of the award are not entitled to any maintenance or family allowances.

To become eligible for this benefit, recipients are requested to sign a Declaration, and legally bound to report to the Foundation in the event of change of circumstances which have a bearing on the terms of the award. The Foundation reserves the right to request return of the allowance awarded, and in serious instances may take other appropriate action against a recipient who fails to comply with the terms of the declaration.

Fellows’ responsibilities

Fellows must be full-time research workers.

All applicants must disclose offers of financial support received, or likely to be received, from other sources. Applicants and Fellowship holders must keep the Foundation informed of the progress of applications for support from other sources. Croucher Fellowships are on occasion, and at the discretion of the Foundation as an exception, allowed to be held concurrently with other minor awards.

The Foundation occasionally gives approval for Fellows to be remunerated for a limited amount of teaching or research responsibilities but such Fellows must seek approval in advance from the Foundation which may in its absolute discretion modify the terms of the Fellowship.

Fellows who finish their research prior to the expiry date of the awards must report to the Foundation, and are liable to return on a pro-rata basis any excess maintenance allowance and other allowances to the Foundation within one month upon the completion of research.

Fellows who have to terminate their research for whatever reason must first seek approval from the Foundation at least three months in advance, and return the whole or part of the award at an amount at the discretion of the Foundation. Failure to do so will have legal consequences.

All awards will be subject to:

  • a satisfactory medical examination by a medical practitioner, and
  • the candidate’s acceptance by the institution in which he/she proposes to work.

How to apply

All applications should be submitted to the Croucher Foundation online. For the 2013-14 selection exercise, applications should be submitted by 5 p.m. (Hong Kong time) on 15th November 2012 at the latest.

While proceeding with your application, please invite two referees to provide signed letters of reference for you under confidential cover to be sent to (in PDF), or fax to (852) 2730 0742 by the deadline above.

Please make sure the following documents in PDF format (each not exceeding 8MB) have been uploaded to your application:

  • a document, fewer than 6 pages in length, including:
  • a proposal describing the research to be undertaken which should include the names of potential supervisors and their research groups. To ensure fairness in competition to all applicants, a proposal once submitted cannot be amended;
  • a description of the candidate’s research experience, and a list of publications;
  • copies of the applicant’s HKCEE and HKALE certificates (or equivalent) and transcripts of his/her university records;
  • copies of reprints of the applicant’s three most significant publications (if applicable); and
  • one set of relevant documentation to provide proof of identity in respect of the applicant’s status as a permanent resident of Hong Kong which is pre-requisite to the award. (For applicants who choose to use their ID card copies, please make sure that both sides of the ID card must be provided. The Foundation is not prepared to take an application any further if there is doubt of the residential status of an applicant upon incomplete documentation.)
  • All applicants should be aware that the Croucher awards are highly competitive and there are always more applicants than awards available. Short-listed candidates may be required to attend an interview in March/April 2013. An applicant who is not notified of the outcome of his application by late May 2013 may assume that it is unsuccessful. The Foundation does NOT provide critiques for unsuccessful applications.

    Please note that applications for the Foundation’s study awards are accepted only in annual competitive exercises, which are normally open for applications by early October and closed by mid-November. Any application received at any other time will not be considered.

    To ensure fair competition, the Foundation, as a grant-making body, does not welcome any direct request from any individual for help or counselling.

    To apply, please enter the online system here.

    Start-up Allowance for Croucher Fellows

    The terms of Croucher Foundation study awards have been expanded recently to include a supplementary start-up allowance payable to Croucher Fellowship recipients upon their return to Hong Kong to take up tenure-track faculty positions in University Grants Committee-funded higher education institutions in Hong Kong within six years of graduation with a doctoral degree.  This allowance would enable recipients to have funds available immediately upon arrival in Hong Kong for research expenses including salaries for research assistants, purchase of laboratory equipment and consumables. 

    Croucher Fellows who wish to apply please send an email to enclosing a copy of their employment offer letter for consideration.

    Notes for Applicants who intend to study in Britain

    The Croucher Foundation is a Hong Kong-based charity, and all Croucher awards are made to permanent Hong Kong residents only. For this purpose, all applicants are required to produce evidence to the satisfaction of the Foundation that they are eligible.

    Even for permanent Hong Kong residents, however, under British capital gains tax provisions, any award is liable to be taxable income if the beneficiary is already domiciled in Britain, or if he/she intends to take up residence in Britain in future. The report and payment of such tax is an individual matter and not the responsibility of the Foundation.

    All successful candidates for a Croucher award will be required to sign a statement, at the time of the offer of the award, to declare that they are not domiciled in Britain, and that they do not intend to become British domiciled, and in the event that they become eventually domiciled in Britain after receiving a Croucher award, they will be responsible for discharging all fiscal responsibilities in regard to the award.

    Last Modified: 16/11/2012

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