The High Impact Research (HIR) Grants from the University of Malaya are to fund projects which will result in publication of manuscripts in Tier 1 ISI/Web of Science journals. As such, the emphasis will be on fundamental research which will lead to the generation of new knowledge rather than on the development of new products or patents. It is also aimed at generating more research capabilities and expertise within the university and this may result from collaboration with overseas ivy-league universities.
These grants will be handled differently from all existing grants and will be administered under the Chancellery. The Vice-Chancellor will be Chairman of the High Impact Research (HIR) Committee which will evaluate the projects, decide on its suitability for funding and monitor their progress.
Recognizing the importance of UM as the premier research institution in the country, the government made the bold decision to provide additional research funding to UM, with the objective of having at least one research university in the country breaking into the top 100 world ranked universities by 2015. In August 2011, the Ministry of Education (MoE) injected RM590 million into the UM-MoE HIR program.
The infusion of MoE’s additional research fund provided the opportunity for researchers to undertake more ambitious research over a longer period of time. Thus, the original Chancellory HIR program, funded modestly using internal funds, becomes less attractive for seasoned researchers. Nevertheless, it is felt that it should not be dropped completely as it can still serve a role for projects which are more focused and targeted to be completed within 2 years.
However, the Central HIR Committee, chaired by VC, decided that in 2012, UM HIR Chancellory (2 years project) will discontinue with immediate effect, the reason being that all future HIR Funding should be channeled to HIR Phase 2 (HIR II).