Dr Kam-cheong Li
Director of University Research Centre

Message from the Director of URC

At the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK), summer appears to be the busiest season for major academic events. The Research Institute for Digital Culture and Humanities organized its second twin conferences — a conference on digital humanities, this year’s theme being ‘Digitization and Reconceptualizations of the Humanities’, and a conference on digital culture on the theme ‘Digital Art and Film’. The University Research Centre also organized the Third International Conference on Open and Flexible Education on the theme ‘Innovative Pedagogy and Technology’, in conjunction with the Open and Innovative Education Week. Despite disciplinary boundaries and different research areas, a common theme runs through our events. The OUHK has always been responsive to changing social needs, and has leveraged the University’s many strengths to advance scholarship and applied research that contribute to a new economy driven by knowledge and innovation.

Applications are now open for the University’s Research and Development Fund approved by the Presidential Advisory Committee. I encourage colleagues to apply for research funding for a smaller or pilot research project, which can pave the way for a larger project in the future. If you would like to learn more about this funding opportunity, you are very welcome to attend one of the research roundtable meetings. The deadline for application is 17 August 2016.

Preparation of research proposals takes time. If you wish to submit an application for the coming round of Research Grants Council funding, this summer will be an excellent time for preparation. To generate a proper plan for research, it may take months to read relevant literature, discuss related ideas with potential collaborators, generate relatively mature ideas for a project, and draft and refine your proposal. You are strongly encouraged to start your research proposal preparation now, if you have not done so.

This issue of the Research Bulletin features the Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education in a series on the three research institutes established by the University this year. This Institute is rather unique among all the institutes as it is open to staff from all disciplines and Schools. The Institute supports the University’s mission to make higher education available to all, principally through open and flexible learning. Through research on open education and innovations in education — such as new, flexible modes of educational delivery, learning analytics and instructional design — the Institute helps to shape tomorrow’s open education and promote innovations in the teaching profession.

Research activities at the OUHK have moved into a higher gear as five research institutes have been established, under which research centres, research teams and research interest groups have been formed to provide a structure conducive to initiating and sustaining research projects. Distinguished professors have been appointed so that OUHK faculty members may approach these world-renowned scholars for advice, guidance and support. They also come to Hong Kong to impart their expertise in seminars and workshops, and meet with our researchers face-to-face or online throughout the year. Some institutes also send faculty members overseas in attachment programmes, where they immerse themselves in their respective host institutions and take advantage of resources that are unavailable in Hong Kong.

These two-way exchanges highlight how international collaboration contributes to research excellence in today’s academic world. To promote professional networking, an article discusses the benefits of setting up your researcher identifier as a simple yet effective way to showcase your research and document your publications. Your research counterparts or potential collaborators may learn more about you through looking up your researcher identifier and research profile. I encourage colleagues to check out this useful feature as introduced in the research resources section of this issue of the Bulletin.



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