Workflow of TDG Applications

Under normal circumstances, TDG applications submitted to the TDG Secretariat are processed according to this WORKFLOW which sets out the steps to be undertaken by both of the TDG Panel (and its Secretariat) and the Principal Investigator (PI). 

Important Notes on Obtaining Ethical Clearance for your Proposal

Guidelines (with sample screenshots) for Obtaining Ethical Clearance from the Research Ethics Committee (Download here!)

You must submit your proposal to the Human (non-clinical) Research Ethics Panel of the Research Ethics Committee (REC) to obtain ethics/safety clearance in parallel while the TDG Panel is reviewing your application. The TDG Secretariat will confirm that you have obtained clearance from the said Panel after the review. Please note that TDG cannot support any project without ethical clearance. You are strongly advised to follow the above Guidelines for the procedures and an example of applying for ethical clearance from the REC.

Depending on when your proposal will be finally approved, the actual start and completion dates of your project may differ from your proposed ones.


Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) initiated the Teaching Development Grants (TDG) scheme in the 1994–1995 academic year to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. The scheme was established with funding from internal sources and subsequently, it was augmented by funds received from the University Grants Committee (UGC). Funding priority and selection criteria are updated according to external developments as well as the strategic direction of the University for teaching and learning.

In light of the recent developments in higher education, and particularly the implementation of the outcomes-based approach (OBA) and the shift to the learning-centred paradigm, the TDG scheme at HKBU now aims to encourage adoption of innovative pedagogical approaches in teaching and learning. As a result, TDG proposals on enhanced pedagogies rather than content development are more likely to be supported.

Funding Priorities
The current focus in order of funding priority includes the following items:
  1. the development of practices that can help facilitate the University to address the issues as set out in our long-term vision for teaching and learning (T&L) – Institutional Strategic Plan 2018-2028;
  2. the design of practices that further enable our students to achieve the HKBU Graduate Attributes;
  3. the development of new pedagogical or teaching approach(es), with special emphasis on Virtual Teaching and Learning (VTL);
  4. the development of new pedagogical or teaching approach(es) on internationalisation and service learning;
  5. the design of traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L processes with suitable evaluation mechanisms conducive to student participation and the implementation of outcomes-based learning;
  6. the design of traditional and/or digital assessment framework and the use of assessment results to enhance traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L;
  7. worthwhile initiatives resulting from previous UGC funding schemes, such as the Funding Scheme for Teaching and Learning Related Proposals and the Collaborative Language Enhancement Projects;
  8. the monitoring of student-centred learning effectiveness;
  9. new and/or experimental approaches to syllabus design for traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L enhancement;
  10. the incorporation of technology into classroom, laboratory, studio, and/or fieldwork learning experiences for students;
  11. the development of other new and innovative materials for use in traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L; and
  12. other possibilities or new initiatives.

TDG must NOT be used to fund research activities. However, some measures of didactic processes and outcomes measurement based on experimental teaching may be included. Should such activities involve the use of humans (such as students) as subjects, please consult the Senate approved Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research or the Research Ethics Committee via the Graduate School prior to the submission of application (https://research.hkbu.edu.hk/support/policies-and-guidelines).


Eligibility for TDG Support

TDG is an ear-marked grant from the UGC, hence all initiatives included in TDG proposals must target UGC-funded students as priority beneficiaries. In this regard, only full-time academic, teaching and teaching-support staff who have UGC-funded students within their proposals can be project investigators responsible to hold the budgets for approved TDG projects. TDG fund should not be used to support direct costs of student activities, e.g. expenses to attend events, prizes or incentives, for non UGC-funded students.

Information for Applicants

(Last updated on 20 October 2022)


4 categories of grants are available:
  1. TDG Seed Funding – TDG 1
    This grant is intended for small-scale, single-proposer teaching and learning projects. The funding ceiling is HK$50,000, and the maximum duration is 18 months with no extension request accepted.
  2. Staff-Initiated Development Projects
    This is the usual TDG grant supporting innovations, new ideas and experiments to enhance teaching and learning. The maximum funding set for each single-proposer proposal is HK$200,000.
  3. University and/or Departmental Collaborative Endeavours
    To enhance the impact and sustainability of our TDG projects, collaborative efforts and endeavours at both the University and Departmental levels as well as with external organizations are highly encouraged. TDG proposals which involve collaboration within/across Departments/Faculties and/or external organizations will have a grant ceiling of HK$300,000.
  4. Communities of Practice (CoPs)
    The CoPs funding set for each proposal would range from HK$200,000 to HK$500,000, depending on the sustainability, size and impact of the proposal. A more detailed application form is available for applying for TDG to support a CoP.

Completed application forms should be submitted to the TDG Panel for vetting via the following way:

  • Send along the hardcopy of application to the following address:
    Dr Theresa Kwong
    Centre of Holistic Teaching and Learning
    AAB803, 8/F, Academic and Administration Building,
    No. 15 Baptist Rd, Baptist Rd Campus,
    Kowloon Tong

Based around the order of funding priorities, selection of TDG proposals will be carried out according to the following criteria:

  • Intrinsic merit (Double weighting applies for these criteria)*
    • Addressing significant issues with respect to traditional/virtual/mixed-mode teaching and learning (T&L)
    • Promoting pedagogic research and scholarship of T&L
  • Innovation (Double weighting applies for these criteria)*
    • Developing new pedagogical or teaching approaches
    • New ideas regarding aims, objectives and/or methods of traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L
  • Design
    • Appropriate project design with clear goals and specific activities/methodology
    • Clear/Feasible implementation plan
    • Involving student(s) as investigator(s) in the project
    • Engaging students to benefit their learning
    • Involving collaboration with colleague(s) outside the PI’s Department/Faculty and/or individual(s) from external organisations
    • Appropriate budgeting
  • Project Outcomes and Evaluation
    • Evaluation mechanisms to ensure the project is effective in achieving the outcomes
    • Achievable and appropriate intended outcomes, including how the project could enhance the quality of traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L, and the number of target students involved in the project
    • Ongoing monitoring process included
  • Impact
    • Likely to improve traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L for a sizable number of participants
    • Likely to continue as part of a regular programme in the future
    • Outcomes likely to apply in a wider context
  • Alignment to University’s Strategic Direction

* Double weighting applies for these selection criteria due to their direct relevance to the primary purposes of TDG on enhancing the quality of traditional/virtual/mixed-mode T&L at the University.

  1. Project investigator(s) will NOT be allowed to change any budget items in the project unless with strong justifications once the proposal is approved;
  2. In case of any need(s) of adjusting the budget, project investigators should submit their application providing sound justifications, together with a revised proposal, highlighting the impact of the proposed change on the budget; and
  3. The following budget items are limited to a maximum change of 10%:
    • Staffing,
    • Conference expenses, and
    • Expenses relating to student participation in the project.

In any case, the initiation of a Withdrawal Request can only be made by the Principal Investigator (PI) should there be strong reasons supporting his/her request. No Withdrawal Request will be considered after the first half of the duration of an approved project.

Should a PI decide to withdraw an application submitted to the TDG Secretariat before formal review, the PI should inform the Secretariat via email listing the reasons for doing so. However, once the TDG application has gone through the formal review and is approved by the TDG Panel, a Withdrawal Request will only be considered if a justification statement listing the reasonable reasons as perceived by the TDG Panel is provided.

Should the TDG Panel approve the Withdrawal Request, a notification email will be sent to the PI, with copies sent to his/her Department Head and School/Faculty Dean. In addition, all unspent funding of the approved project will be returned to the TDG Central Pool. The PI will also have to submit a written report and financial report if he/she has spent part of the approved funding.

(Please click HERE for a list of budget items not supported by the TDG Panel.)


Click to jump to the section below: Staff / Equipment / General Expenses


1. Staff

1.1 Types

  1. Student Project Assistant/Helper
    Student Project Assistants/Helper should be current HKBU students.
  2. Project Assistant
    Project Assistants are available on a short-term basis. Based on the need of each case, the appointment can be made on a full-time or part-time basis and for a period as the case warranted.

1.2 Pay Rates

  1. Student Project Assistants will be remunerated at the standard hourly pay rate for part-time helpers recommended by the Finance Office. The pay scale for project assistants appointed for TDG projects follows the “Pay structure for Research Staff” (up to the salary level of Senior Research Assistant) as stipulated by the Personnel Office.

1.3 Detailed justification would need to be provided for recruitment of all project-related staff. Expected duties of each project-related staff member and duration of employment should be stated clearly. The duties expected of a Project Assistant would be to work directly with the Principal Investigator to assist in performing the duties as stipulated in the endorsed TDG proposal.

1.4 The Principal Investigator should ensure that the recruitment of any part-time project assistants for the project would not violate the University policy which stipulates that full-time postgraduate students receiving studentship would not be allowed to take up paid part-time work as well.

1.5 If a honorarium for guest speakers/individuals who have contributed to the project is proposed, the PI should provide relevant justifications and benchmark references to facilitate assessment of the proposed amount of honorarium. The TDG Panel shall, based on the availability of funding, decide whether the proposed honorarium is appropriate/acceptable.


2. Equipment

2.1 Normally equipment such as computers, printers, audio-visual equipment, etc. will not be funded. The Head of Department should be consulted first on the availability of the equipment from the Department or elsewhere in the University.

2.2 At the completion of the project, the equipment will be kept in the Faculty/School office and made available to all staff in the Faculty/School unless it is needed for on-going project development.


3. General Expenses

3.1 The term “Miscellaneous” includes items such as stationery, computer paper, fax, postage, etc. Normally, a maximum amount of HK$2,000 can be requested.

3.2 Other general expenses items may include minor computer equipments or electronic consumables such as films, tapes,CD/DVD/Blue-ray disks, USB flah drives, etc.

3.3 Purchase of specialized books and other teaching materials such as electronic resources, software and non-print materials that are needed for the project is allowed only if these items are not available by other means (e.g. department/faculty funding for teaching materials, etc.). Other incidental materials or non-traditional teaching and learning materials (which are directly relevant to the project) will also be supported with sound justifications.

3.4 The request for funding on the production cost of publication would not generally be supported.

3.5 Travel expenses and overseas trips (including trips for exchange of students and staff) and other one-off events without sustainable outcomes are generally not supported.

3.6 The request for the purchase of furniture, such as computer table, cabinet, etc. will not be considered.

3.7 For projects demanding support services, the Principal Investigator concerned should check the available services within the University (e.g. ITO for technical support services, CHTL/ITO for eLearning support, etc.).


Supporting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

To encourage professional development of academic/teaching colleagues, the University has set aside a funding to support the following two staff development initiatives:

  1. Presentation in teaching and learning conferences/workshops which could help disseminate outcomes of TDG and other teaching and learning projects outside HKBU
  2. Engagement of teaching and learning consultant(s) specifically for TDG projects

Each TDG project is allowed to apply funding for only one of the above initiatives. A maximum of HKD20,000 could be allocated per project (within this budget, multiple trips/consultants are allowed). The beneficiaries of this funding include but not limited to:

  • colleagues who had successfully completed their TDG projects (completed in the 2016-2019 triennium and thereafter);
  • project investigators of ongoing TDG projects; and
  • potential applicants for the TDG

All applicants are requested to complete a short application form. Priority will be given to project investigators of approved TDG projects. Potential TDG applicants can include their plan together with the following information in their proposals:

  • The type of staff development initiatives
  • Description, justifications and expected outcomes
  • Expected duration and budget
  • Supporting documents (including for example: a letter of acceptance, an abstract and programme of the conference/workshop)

The TDG Panel will consider the application for the staff development grant separately.

A requirement for receiving the staff development grant for conference/workshop attendance is that, successful applicants are requested to provide the TDG Panel with electronic copies of their presentation materials within three months after the conference/workshop. The TDG Panel may also invite them to share their presentations with other colleagues at HKBU. For project investigators of ongoing projects who use the fund to engage consultants, they are required to provide some brief information in their final reports about the outcomes of the engagement.

Applications for the staff development grant are accepted all year round, until the fund is exhausted.

Submission of Final/ Progress Reports and Outcomes Dissemination

A final report is required for submission to the TDG Panel within three months after the completion of the project. The final report should generally include the following items:

  • Preamble (including the purpose of the report and its underlying philosophy, background or historical facts pertinent to the field of study)
  • Abstract (limited to 100 words)
  • Introduction (including aims and objectives)
  • Project design
  • Results/Findings (including student feedback on learning as a result of the project and how the project has been monitored for the enhancement of learning and teaching)
  • Discussion (its relevance, significance, and its implications for future pedagogic practice)
  • How the project has enhanced learning and teaching at HKBU, and the number of target students involved in the project
  • Project Outcomes and Evaluation (methods of collecting and assessing evidence, findings and implications, effectiveness/efficiency of the project in achieving the ILOs, impact of HKBU’s learning and teaching, dissemination/sharing of good practices or deliverables)
  • A list of publication(s)/conference presentation(s) on the completed TDG project*
  • How the project articulates the learning outcomes of the Department/Faculty and the strategic goals of the University (if applicable)
  • How the project continues as part of regular programme (if applicable)
  • How outcomes of the project apply in a wider context
  • Limitations and Difficulties
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Acknowledgements (if any)
  • Keywords
  • List of Equipment (if any, purchased with funds from the Teaching Development Grants)
  • Publication of Selected TDG Projects (please indicate if you would like / would not like to submit the final report of your report for review for publication purpose)
  • Statement of Account (with most updated account information, which can be obtained from the Finance Office)

The final report would be posted on-line in Acrobat PDF format for public access.
The final reports constitute important evidence for continued TDG funding. Should the TDG secretariat is unable to receive final reports from Principal Investigators (PI) within three months after project completion, the TDG secretariat would be obliged to:-

  • seek assistance from the PI’s Head of Department (or his/her immediate supervisor, whichever is applicable) for immediate submission of the due report; and
  • debar the PI from applying for any other TDG projects until a proper final report is submitted.

*Please note that PIs are required to inform the TDG Secretariat of any future/upcoming publication(s)/conference presentation(s) resulting from his/her completed TDG project. A copy of the publication(s)/conference presentation(s) should be sent to the TDG Secretariat for record. The TDG Secretariat may also approach the PIs to collect evidence of the project impacts in the future.

For projects with a duration longer than 12 months, a progress report, together with an up-to-date financial statement, shall be submitted to the TDG Panel within 1 month after the first project year. The progress report should generally include the following items:

  • A brief summary of your project (up to 100 words)
  • Interim results/findings
  • A plan for completing the project (e.g. whether the tasks were completed accordingly to the project schedule, whether the project will be completed on time, etc.), and how to disseminate the project outcomes and conduct evaluation
  • An up-to-date financial statement (can be obtained from the Finance Office system)

The progress report would be posted on-line in Acrobat PDF format for public access.

The University would compile a publication of TDG projects from time to time with a view to disseminating outcomes of TDG projects within and outside the University community. All Project Investigators would be invited to submit their final reports for review before publication. 

Principal and Co-Investigators of completed and on-going TDG supported projects will be invited to share their experiences in workshops/seminars organized by the CHTL. The aim of these sharing sessions is to provide opportunities for colleagues to share with each other their insights and strategies in obtaining the TDG. They can also showcase innovations to enhance learning and teaching as a result of carrying out their projects. 

Please click here for final reports of previous TDG projects. 


For any enquiries, please feel free to contact Dr Theresa Kwong (ext. 8083) of the Centre for Holistic Teaching and Learning.