Digital Scholarship Grant

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A. Background

Digital scholarship is an area of research and teaching that uses digital technologies to extend the life of scholarly sources and create research tools, with a view to facilitating information sharing and new research findings. Sponsored by the University's Research Committee, the Digital Scholarship Grant aims to share the valuable scholarly sources academics creates or gathers throughout their research activities with the community. These primary sources, data, or academic information have a significant value beyond usage for the original research.

Sharing scholarly sources can contribute to the overall notability of the university via:

It can also benefit the academia through:

B. Application Criteria

B1. Principal Investigators:

Only full-time HKBU academics at the rank of Research Assistant Professor or above are eligible to apply. Academics from all disciplines are invited. All Principal Investigators can hold only one Digital Scholarship Grant project at a time.

B2. Eligible Projects:

The Grant supports projects that extend the life of scholarly sources and make their intellectual content openly accessible online, through the use of digital technology. Scholarly sources that contain substantial value to the research area can be supported, including original research data, manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual materials, digital objects, etc. on condition that these materials are not freely accessible on the web at the time of grant application. In all cases, these projects should be designed to create or enhance access to scholarly information; they should also facilitate sharing and exchange of knowledge in the scholarly community. All projects supported (fully or partially) by this grant must have their websites developed and kept under the HKBU Library's domain, even after the Principal Investigator leaves the university.

B3. Emphasis on Collaboration:

To ensure the accuracy and consistency of data, the usefulness of the website, and the longevity of scholarly sources, this grant only supports collaborative projects that incorporate expertise from both HKBU faculty and HKBU librarians. Interested colleagues should first consult with the Library to discuss the scope of work including the enhancement of dataset for database development, digitization standards and methodologies, user interface programming and database structure and functionalities.

B4. Projects with a Higher Priority:

Applications may be submitted for projects that address one or more of the following activities:

This grant may not be used for:

C. Application Timeline and Procedures

Calls for applications for the Grant are announced twice a year (September and January). The corresponding deadlines are November and March.

First round : Accept applications between September 1st and November 30th
Second round : Accept applications between January 1st and March 31st

Application forms with all necessary documentations should be submitted to the Digital and Multimedia Services Section of the University Library at on or before the application deadlines. Proposals received after a deadline will be considered in the next round. In any case, you should be able to receive an email confirming receipt of your application within three working days.

The proposals are evaluated by a panel comprising of library professionals and representatives from the Graduate School. The recommended proposals are then sent to VPRD for final approval and endorsement.

C1. HKBU Digital Scholarship Grant Assessment Rubric

Criteria Exceeds Expectations
(3 points)
Meets Fully
(2 points)
(1 point)
(0 points)
Contributes to the academia and/or the general public        
Budget, staffing and resource requests are well planned        
Organisation & description of project process is clear        
The project results in successful and sustainability outcomes        
Research data or material collection is rigorous and of a high quality        
(Last updated March 1, 2017)

The application form can be downloaded from here: Download (.docx)

D. Budget

The maximum funding for each supported project is HK$ 100,000. Budget items can include (1) Staff Salaries and Fringe Benefits; (2) Technical Resources and Services as needed; (3) Miscellaneous; and (4) Copyright Fees as needed. Travelling expenses and website launch events CANNOT be funded by the grant.

D1. Staff Salaries and Fringe Benefits:

Principal Investigators may hire research assistants, project assistants, or student helpers on a short-term basis to help enhance the source materials for online access. Expected duties of these project staff may include dataset clean-up or enhancement, converting images to text using OCR technology, assigning subject-specific indexing data to materials, etc. Please consult the Library for input and guidance to the process.

Please refer to the latest pay scales that are provided on the PERS website. To hire research assistants, please refer to the "Payment Rates for Research Staff"; to hire project assistants, please refer to "Pay Structure for Non-teaching Staff". On top of the actual salary, medical cost (3% of salary) and employer's MPF contribution (5% of salary) should also be included in the budget.

D2. Technical Resources and Services:

The Library will provide IT and programming support, but in case the project scope is too large or too complicated for the Library to handle on its own, the Principal Investigator can hire outside technical services to design the system, on the condition that there is proper documentation for system specifications to ensure sustainability and system integration. The grant can also be used to purchase software for website development or server service as needed.

D3. Miscellaneous:

Equipment such as computers, i-pads, tablets, printers, audio-visual equipment, etc. cannot be funded. The grant can support miscellaneous items such as stationery, computer paper, fax, postage, etc. with a cap at HK$ 2,000.

D4. Copyright Fees:

Part of the funding (with a cap at one-third of the total budget) can be used to subsidize copyright fees if necessary, but the Principal Investigator must submit written documentations with the exact calculated amount that are endorsed by the copyright holders, with the grant application form.

E. Accounting Arrangement

The Library will serve as budget controller for all Digital Scholarship Grant projects. Principal Investigators are responsible for all hiring, out-sourcing, or purchasing procedures, but the expenses are charged through the specific account with the approval of the University Librarian. To make your claims, it is reminded that:

F. Project Duration and Completion

All projects are expected to start within three months of approval and finish within one year. An extension of project duration to a maximum period of one year is possible upon the approval of the panel. The Principal Investigator has to send an email to Digital and Multimedia Services Section, providing justifications and the new proposed deadline, at least one month prior to the original due date.

At the completion of the project, the Principal Investigator is recommended to co-organize a launch event with the Library, promoting the website internally within campus or to the public. The event can be a small reception, a launch seminar, a press conference, etc. Any costs associated with the launch event would not be funded by this grant.

All Principal Investigators are required to submit a brief completion report to Digital and Multimedia Services Section within 6 months after the latest project deadline that is approved by the panel. If a Principal Investigator has any outstanding completion report, he/she cannot submit another application until the report is submitted.

All projects will be reviewed and evaluated by the Library in 5 years' time for further enhancement or other opportunities, subject to funding availability.

The report template can be downloaded from here: Download (.docx)

G. Project Record

Brief information of all projects is listed on the here. All application materials, completion reports, copyright documentations, etc. are uploaded on an intranet system managed by the Library, which can be accessed by the panel, the Library's senior management, the Graduate School, and VPRD as necessary.

Last Updated: Nov 04, 2015

Approved Projects

2017/18 (1st round):

2016/17 (2nd round):

2016/17 (1st round):

2015/16 (2nd round):

2015/16 (1st round):


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