Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) - Project Abstract

Project Reference No.: UGC/IDS11/14
Project Title: Establishment of Research Office
Principal Investigator: Prof KWAN Reggie (Caritas)

Central to the proposed Programme on Research is the setting up of a research office with its primary aim of providing a powerful research infrastructure to render support to staff members in their research, to ensure robust research standards and effective management of all research work through the following planned activities:

1. Professional editing service will be provided to coordinate research projects and ensure the overall quality of research publications. Workshops on research writing skills will be offered to sharpen faculty members' skills in writing for academic publication;

2. Workshops on research skills will be delivered to heighten the research expertise and competency levels of faculty members. The Office will collaborate with other institutions and professional bodies to organize similar workshops;

3. Technical support in statistical analysis will be made available to staff in need. Consultation sessions on statistical analysis will also be provided. The Office will help research projects to design statistical models and undertake data analysis and compilation if required;

4. A research funding scheme will be implemented to give opportunities to faculty members to pursue research in cutting edge areas. Priorities will be given to young and new faculty members to induce a research culture in the Institute;

5. Sponsorships will be allocated to support staff members for participation in conferences, exchange programmes and training workshops;

6. A student research programme will be introduced to final year undergraduate students across all disciplines of studies for them to conduct small-scaled research projects under the supervision of faculty members. This programme has the potential to nurture future researchers and young prodigies;

7. Inter-institutional research collaborative arrangements will be made with other self-financing degree-awarding institutions to create synergy in joined research efforts. Working in unison, overall research output will be maximized and resources required minimized;

8. A Research and ethics committee will be established to safeguard professional issues and ethics related to research and protect the interest of stakeholders. The committee will also ensure that the research activities are in line with the contributory role the Institute wishes to play in the community; and

9. A Research handbook will be written and published to provide guidelines related to research activities and seminars will also be held for renowned scholars, seasoned professionals and veteran researchers to share expertise and good practice with other researchers and staff members.

The Research Office will play a major role in facilitating and overseeing all research activities in the Institute.

One-Off 'Start-up' Fund

The Institute has identified social sciences and digital entertainment technology as its two priority areas of development initially. Under the auspices of the Research Office, two laboratories, namely the Statistics Analysis Laboratory and the Digital Entertainment Laboratory will be established to support research and curriculum development in those two areas.

The Statistics Analysis Laboratory will be equipped with high performance notebook computers and state-of-the-art statistics software. Workshops on statistics analysis will be regularly organized to update faculty members' knowledge in this area. Notebook computers with statistics software installed would be loaned to faculty members, especially from the Social Sciences faculty, to support their research projects.

The Digital Entertainment Laboratory, on the other hand, provides research facilities in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and game technology. The School of Computing and Information Sciences proposes to use the Laboratory as a venue to organize a Symposium on Toy and Entertainment Computing (STEC) in the summer of 2015 to bring together researchers, designers and inventors in Digital Entertainment from all over the world to Hong Kong which will reaffirm the SAR's reputation as an international high-tech centre.

Funding is also required for the Institute to upgrade its existing anti-plagiarism software to a new global plagiarism detection service. The Digital Entertainment Laboratory will subscribe to journals and purchase books to house them in a mini-library within the Laboratory. A joint electronic library system will be developed to link up with the databases of libraries of a number of self-financing degree-awarding institutions to provide highly effective and efficient services to users.

As expounded earlier, the founding of a Research Office is paramount in order to bolster the research capabilities of the Institute as a whole. The staffing of this Office constitutes the following:

- a Director will be employed to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Office and monitor the implementation and progress of research programmes;

- an Administrative Officer will be employed to assume responsibilities over the general administration of the Office and its research projects;

- a Clerical Officer will be employed to assist the Administrative Officer in administrative duties and provide clerical support to research projects;

- a Research Fellow/Postdoctoral Fellow fully conversant in statistics analysis and information technology will be employed to support the operation of the Statistics Analysis Laboratory and provide technical support to research projects.

Upon completion of this Programme on Research, the Institute will absorb the maintenance and operational costs of the above facilities and equipment, and sustain the continuing operation of the Research Office using its own annual budget, tuition fee income, the 15% overhead cost from RGC and other funding sources.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IDS12/14
Project Title: Establishing a Case Research Centre
Principal Investigator: Prof MALPAS John Graham (Centennial)

Centennial College is committed to promoting liberal education and the use of a broad-based approach in addressing real-life managerial issues. In this project, a Case Research Centre will be set up to co-ordinate multi-disciplinary research teams in conducting management case research and writing, and organize workshops, conferences and public seminars to disseminate the research effort and outputs. The project will also help enhance the research infrastructure of the College, which includes the subscription of research databases, acquisition of computer software, and recruitment of supporting staff for the Centre.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IDS13/14
Project Title: Programme for the Enhancement of Research Capacity in Sustainable Systems and Technologies
Principal Investigator: Prof CHANG Chung-nan (Chu Hai)

Building upon more than half a century of experience in providing quality tertiary education, the Chu Hai College of Higher Education (the College) has been undergoing significant transformation to meet the demand for a knowledge-base economy of the 21st century since the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation (HKCAA, now known as Hong Kong Council for Academic and Vocational Accreditation, HKCAAVQ) confirmed the granting of accreditation status to the College in early 2003. Recently, the College had also completed two Programme Area Accreditation exercises (self-accrediting status exercises), further signifying the quality of its delivered degree programmes. Further supports from the Government for the College to construct a new campus at Tuen Mun East Castle Peak Bay has also marked an important stage of its educational development to better serve the Hong Kong community.

In this project, a research capacity enhancement programme is proposed that could enable the College realise its long-term mission and vision as one of the outstanding and influential universities in targeted fields of pursuit by treating research and teaching as equally vital. The proposed programme emphasising research on sustainable systems and technologies takes the advantage of adopting an interdisciplinary approach to combining various research efforts being engaged in the architecture, civil engineering and computer science fields under the Faculty of Science and Engineering, in which the study on environmental sustainability is identified as a key strategic area of development for the College. The main focus is to improve and promote relevant research activities, so as to help the College to gain better standing in pursuing excellence in such targeted field of study.

Four research themes are identified for the proposed programme, encompassing architectural design modelling and simulation, environmental monitoring, materials technology, and intelligent sensing and computing technology. The Faculty of Science and Engineering of the College will boost the support for these themes in specific research landscape through establishing core facilities and equipment with the state-of-the-art information and communication technology, such that a sophisticated and integrated research environment can be provided for the Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Computer Science Departments. Moreover, the infrastructure for supporting research will be strengthened by recruiting an administrative and technical supporting team to assist faculty staff to carry out their investigations. The supporting team will also help plan and organise a series of scholarly activities to facilitate information sharing and exchange with the academic and the research communities.

In a long run, the enhancement of research capacity for the Faculty of Science and Engineering will have a significant impact on the future development of the College with respect to achieving its goal of becoming reputable institution of higher education in the targeted field of pursuit. For more immediate benefits, it is envisaged that the project will contribute greatly to the development of a research centre for sustainable systems and technologies within the College. Such a research centre will play an important role in promoting interdisciplinary research activities and enabling the development of new architectural design, civil engineering and computer science curricula to educate a new generation of scientists, engineers and architects capable of incorporating designs and processes associated with sustainability concepts.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IDS15/14
Project Title: Constructing An Interdisciplinary Research Platform at Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Principal Investigator: Dr HU Fai-chung (Shue Yan)

Currently, there are twelve research centres at HKSYU, attached to various academic departments. They operate independently and there is very little in the way of interdisciplinary collaboration. The benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration have been established in various fields such as social sciences and healthcare, adolescent health and development, investment, project management and knowledge production.

We have identified three areas common to all disciplines: Brain-Based Teaching and Learning, Decision-Making, and Negotiation and Persuasion, and intend to build an interdisciplinary research platform around these areas.

The project will commence with a combined package of two public lectures, three workshops and three tutorials for each of the three areas, delivered over twelve months, or a total of 36 months. The public lectures and workshops will be delivered by leading international scholars and researchers, and the tutorials conducted by Hong Kong-based senior academics.

Five long-term outcomes are anticipated. First, the resources currently available for the individual research centres will be pooled to provide greater opportunities for researchers. Second, the interdisciplinary research platform will increase the potential for research. Third, the intellectual stimulation resulting from the interdisciplinary interaction will enhance both the quality and quantity of research at HKSYU. Fourth, collaboration will create a niche for HKSYU in the three identified areas of academic research. Last, it is certain that such a platform will be of significant benefit in both teaching and learning.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IDS16/14
Project Title: First Phase of Institutional Research Capacity Development
Principal Investigator: Prof WONG Yuk-shan (OUHK)

As the first phase of the University's current plan to systematically develop its research capacity, this proposed project aims to (a) implement a plan to build up and strengthen the research capability of academic staff and (b) set up two research institutes, one in the arts and humanities area and the other in the science and technologies area. The two research institutes will capitalise on the strengths of relevant academic units to develop the University's capability in applied areas for strategic research. The proposed institution-wide plan to enhance research engagement will support the two institutes as well as prepare other academic teams to gradually develop their research strengths.

The key points concerning the programmes of the institution-wide initiative and the two institutes are summarized below.

Institutional Research Capacity Building

A plan is proposed to promote the research culture within the institution so as to improve the research capability of academic staff. A series of seminars and workshops on research skills will be organized by the University Research Centre for three years to enable academic staff to capitalise on research funding opportunities. The seminars and workshops will provide a venue for academic staff to regularly exchange research ideas, share research results and explore collaborations. An online portal will also be set up for academic staff to exchange news and information on research trends as well as professional views on research-related issues. It is anticipated that the proposed programmes will give academic staff the necessary professional development support and equip them with the knowledge and skills required to submit high quality proposals, conduct meaningful research and produce impactful research outputs.

Institute for Research in Digital Culture and Humanities

The proposed Institute for Research in Digital Culture and Humanities aims to promote interest, research and interaction among academics in relevant disciplines in digital culture and humanities. Seminars for research sharing will be held on a regular basis to address the relevant social issues. The institute will focus on two research programmes during its first three years: (1) the Digital Humanities Research Programme will address how digital culture has revolutionized humanities; and (2) the Digital Culture Research Programme will tackle the social and artistic impacts that the emergence of digital culture has made. Three seminars and conferences, one in each of the three-year period, will be held for each of the two proposed research programmes. The seminars and conferences will serve as a platform on which academics at OUHK can brush up on their knowledge, sensitivity, and research capabilities which would eventually also benefit their teaching.

Institute for Research in Innovative Technology and Sustainability

The potential for strategic development of research in environmental science and advanced network technologies leads to the proposed establishment of the Institute for Research in Innovative Technology and Sustainability. The proposed institute aims to strengthen the environmental science research in water quality and algae and to develop synergy for more focused research and theme-based expertise in advanced network technologies. Strategic directions in environmental science and advanced network technologies will be identified through relevant research activities. With the proposed development, OUHK will then be in a proper position to establish other research institutes in the years to come.

One off 'start-up' fund

The one-off 'start up fund' will be utilized to enrich the University's research resources, promote research and nurture an environment for developing its strategic research areas in the following ways.

Institutional Research Capacity Building

To enhance the professional development of the University's academic staff in research skills and to facilitate research work by our academics, common data management and research tools are needed. Given the limited research resources currently available for academic staff, it is proposed that the software tools NVivo, EndNote, and iThenticate be purchased. NVivo enables efficient qualitative data management (including storage, indexing, and searching as well as exploration of data and ideas) and analysis in a systematic and flexible manner. As a bibliographic management tool, EndNote enables systematic management of references and bibliographies. iThenticate enables plagiarism prevention such that academic misconduct can be avoided and standards for proper research and citation can be enhanced. Bearing the main responsibility of research development at the University Research Centre, a Research Assistant Professor (at the rank of Assistant Professor) will be hired to provide professional advice on the planning and preparation of research proposals and reports. A Senior Research Fellow and a Research Associate will also be hired to support the organisation of seminars and workshops on all aspects of R&D as part of the professional development of the University's staff, and to run activities for the promotion and coordination of research during the establishment of the two proposed institutes.

Institute for Research in Digital Culture and Humanities

If the Institute for Research in Digital Culture and Humanities is to successfully implement its two programmes (the Digital Culture Research Programme and the Digital Humanities Research Programme), it must be properly equipped with computers and AV equipment, including digital cameras, digital sound recorders, and memory cards which are needed for the relevant field work and collection of video data. The equipment will be shared among the two programmes of the institute to maximize utility. The institute will be headed by a Director (the Institute Director) who will be an expert in digital culture and humanities. He/she will be tasked with the overall planning of the institute in terms of programme supervision as well as budget and staff management. A Programme Director and a Research Assistant II will be hired for each of the two programmes. The Programme Directors will coordinate the research projects within each programme. The Institute Director and Programme Directors will be concurrent appointments selected among academic staff in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at OUHK. The Research Assistants II will be hired to collect, organize, and analyze data as directed by the Programme Directors and project supervisors. They will also help with managing data and files as well as with organizing regular seminars and annual conferences. In support of research in digital culture and humanities, an additional Research Assistant II will be recruited to build up a digital database for use by researchers of OUHK and other institutions.

Institute for Research in Innovative Technology and Sustainability

The OUHK Jockey Club Environmental Laboratory currently houses general laboratory equipment for research in water quality and algae. The OUHK Jockey Club Technology Laboratory and the University are equipped with general facilities for research in computer networks (including computers and primitive networking facilities). The two laboratories in their current state can adequately support the theme-based research to be carried out at the Institute for Research in Innovative Technology and Sustainability. A Senior Research Fellow will be hired to oversee the strategic directions of research in the two disciplines and advise on knowledge management. Two Research Associates will be hired to foster collaboration among the academic staff and identify strategic areas of research in the two disciplines.