The Food and Health Bureau and the Research Council granted HK$55.9 million from the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) to PolyU for commencing two large scale, cross-disciplinary COVID-19 studies– underscoring the government’s approval of PolyU’s research capability.


In the latest round of HMRF backed COVID-19 research by PolyU, the studies led by Professor Alex Molasiotis, Chair Professor of Nursing and Head of School of Nursing, were granted HK$27.6 million. The studies will explore “a community-based participatory research approach to reduce the COVID-19 risk in Hong Kong: developing and testing social and behavioural interventions”.


Another set of studies led by Professor David Man, Associate Head of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, were awarded HK$28.3 million. The studies will explore “the Prevention-Protection-Promotion approach as a novel and effective strategy to prevent infection and enhance recovery in individuals with COVID-19”.


The two multi-disciplinary studies, each comprising five distinct research areas, range from exploring a new holistic approach in preventing infection and enhancing recovery, to developing more effective strategies in strengthening community-level protection against the coronavirus, especially for vulnerable groups. The studies will engage and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders in the community.


The new studies follow the previous round of HMRF financed COVID-19 research conducted by PolyU, several of which have yielded impactful outputs that have contributed to better informed public health measures and responses, while other ongoing studies are making good progress.


Professor David Shum, Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, said these HMRF backed studies demonstrate PolyU’s strength in producing research that addresses societal challenges and creates a positive impact, particularly with respect to anti-pandemic efforts in the community.


He noted that the cross-disciplinary research teams include PolyU experts from health science, nursing, psychology and information technology fields, as well as partners form local hospitals and non-profit organizations.


The new studies will commence as early as October and the researchers welcome public participation in the studies. Interested community members and groups can contact the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences on telephone numbers 3400 3184 or 3400 3973, or by sending an email to