Renewing connections in Hong Kong

By Roger Watson | 06/20/2017

Despite a typhoon and torrential rain, a good week.

Photo of bridge with Connecting continents text

Roger WatsonHONG KONG, SAR, China—This has not been the best week for weather in Hong Kong. We’ve had a typhoon, torrential rain, thunder, and intense humidity. Professionally and socially, however, it has been very worthwhile.

I am back for my annual visit to the Research Grants Committee of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee, where we distribute approximately HK$50 million (more than US$6 million) to local researchers. I also attended the Prestigious Fellowships Committee, where senior academics are recognised and allocated funding to undertake a year of study. I looked around the table at Ivy League, Oxbridge, and Russell Group university colleagues—distinguished in all sorts of fields from design to social sciences—and had to pinch myself. However, I was equally happy to introduce myself as “Roger Watson from Hull, UK, and I’m a nurse.” 

Outside of meetings, I have had an intensive series of lunches and dinners to catch up with old friends and colleagues, including Alex Molasiotis, PhD, RN, head of nursing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Sek-Ying, PhD, RN, chair of Nethersole School of Nursing, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

For the first time in more than a decade, I visited Chinese University, which is in Shatin District in the New Territories near the Chinese border, to give a seminar on publishing in impact-factor journals. I first visited here as an external examiner in 2003—my first visit to Hong Kong and my first to the Far East. It was the start of a love affair with this part of the world.

Roger Watson and Fowie Ng
I had dinner with Fowie Ng, PhD, occupational therapist and Hull graduate. I also visited him at the state-of-the-art hospice where he works in the New Territories. On my final day, I had lunch with Eric Chan, MSc, RN, dean of Caritas Institute for Higher Education and founding member of the Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing & Midwifery (GAPFON).

Good news
Meanwhile, work goes on, and this has been a week of good news. First, I had two manuscripts accepted by good journals, one a first-authored article reporting on a longitudinal study of feeding difficulty in older people with dementia in Italy and the other a systematic review with one of my colleagues at Hull.

Then, contrary to our expectations, the impact factor for Journal of Advanced Nursing increased to 1.998. We continue to hover under the magical number 2.0, but there is always next year. 

Yu ChenThen Yu Chen, my colleague from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, graduated with her PhD. Yu spent a year working with me in Hull. In two weeks, I return to Hong Kong to take the train up to Guangzhou to spend two weeks with her.

The visual backdrop as I write this post is a 26-story view of Hong Kong harbour. Immediately below me intensive construction work is taking place—as it has ever since I started serving on the Research Grants Committee. One thing is always assured in Hong Kong: Everything changes.

Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s former blog “Hanging smart.” 


  • Vol43-2
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