These Visitorships are to enable scientists under 45 years of age in the mainland of China to come to Hong Kong to do academic attachments in one of the institutions in Hong Kong. The attachment may be for training, collaborative research and giving lectures and workshops to staff and students in the recipient institution.
All Croucher Chinese Visitors, as these awardees are called, must be ready to spend six months on this attachment in Hong Kong. It is hoped that apart from scientific exchanges, the Visitors may also have the opportunity to understand the different aspects of life in Hong Kong with reasonable exposure to the community.
Each visitorship is in the form of a grant made by the Croucher Foundation Limited (“the Foundation”) to the recipient institution which may at its discretion decide on the form of distribution of the grant to the Visitor. The Foundation however emphasizes that while each grant carries stipend to subsidise the Visitor’s living expenses in Hong Kong, it is NOT a salary and it is inconsistent with the terms of such grants if an institution uses it to employ staff.
Procedurally, the Foundation does not take direct applications, and only accepts nominations from tertiary institutions in Hong Kong where these visitorships are tenable.
These Visitorships are at present tenable only in the following institutions in Hong Kong: The Open University of Hong Kong, Lingnan University, and The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
The Foundation informs each institution, around January every year, of the number of visitorships that will be available in that institution in the coming academic year. Each will be invited to submit nominations for the Foundation’s consideration.
Nominations are accompanied with the curriculum vitae of each of the candidate.
The nominator must spell out the intended programme of activities for the nominated candidate, and to confirm that the relevant department/unit is responsible for taking care of the Visitor during the attachment.
In the event of concurrent nominations of the same candidate by two or more universities in one exercise, the Foundation reserves the right to designate the host institution. For these reasons, universities are not entitled to confirm an offer of a visitorship to its candidates until the Foundation formally approves in writing the nominations.
Nominated visitors should be informed by the nominating institutions that they are supported by the Croucher Foundation when they receive invitations from the universities.
Invitation letters by the institutions to visitors should be copied to the Foundation for record. The Foundation appreciates to be informed about the dates when the nominated visitor actually arrives and stays in Hong Kong, to enable the Foundation to establish contact if appropriate.
The relevant administrative office in each institution will make annual reports to the Foundation at the end of each academic year about the visits during that year, and if for some reason a balance remains by the end of the year the Foundation expects to be accordingly advised about the disposal of the remainder.
Criteria for the Selection of the Croucher Visitor
The selected visitor should be younger scientist and are willing to stay for six months to spare some time to understand the way of life in Hong Kong. Those who prefer to stay for less must obtain agreement from the Foundation, and under this scheme it does not wish to support any individual who plans to stay for less than three months.
The areas of specialization of visitors are confined to Natural Science, Technology and Medicine, but the Scheme may also cover such subjects like physical geography and environmental sciences which are sometimes organised outside the faculties of science, engineering or medicine in some institutions. Unless circumstances are exceptional, Trustees do not favour candidates above 45 years of age.
An individual who is on a Croucher Visitorship scheme to any institution in Hong Kong within three years of the current nomination will not be acceptable.
Upon completion of the Visitorship, a Croucher Visitor is expected to return to serve the academic community on Mainland China and not stay on immediately in Hong Kong or move on to another country for employment.
Croucher Chinese Visitorships were first introduced in 1992 and by 2016 this very popular scheme attracted 399 young and outstanding scientists to take six-month attachments in universities in Hong Kong.