Selection Criteria


Selection Criteria for New Projects

All project submissions will be evaluated through the following five criteria.


1.        Project Champions

a.     Projects must have one or more champions who is a full time staff or faculty who will serve as the project team leaders and point of contact. This ensures that team members are invested and active participants in the work.

b.     Students and alumni are eligible to participate, but must identify a full-time staff or faculty member to serve in the Project Champion role. 

2.        Stage of development

a.     Projects must already be sufficiently developed and ready to be implemented on campus. Project leaders should have already shared their ideas with relevant operations staff (FMO, CSO, etc) and incorporated feedback into proposal.

b.     Ineligible projects are those asking for seed grants, basic research, or start-up funds for entrepreneurship. App development is acceptable, but only if there is already a working prototype that can be adapted.

c.      Projects should not compete or duplicate with existing funding sources, including T&L grants, Z-th grants, or initiation grants from VPRDO.

3.        Visibility and Educational Potential

a.     Projects must demonstrate an ability to provide a visible educational or learning outcome for the HKUST community. As such, the project proposals should be developed in ways that engage the various campus stakeholder groups.

b.     Projects must have strong potential for enabling follow-on projects or research, especially in ways that may contribute to the advancement of learning outcomes, including:

                                               i.     Identifying how the learning outcomes can be measured or developed as KPIs;

                                              ii.     Designing the project to generate data useful in future research projects or coursework;

                                             iii.     Connecting the project to ongoing educational platforms like USEL or UROP or FYP;

                                             iv.     Connection with external stakeholders for potential for knowledge transfer.

4.        Sustainable and Smart

a.     Projects must demonstrate that they can satisfy our definitions of being sustainable (improving the conditions by which humans can thrive over time within planetary boundaries) and smart (use of ICT tools, technologies, and behavioural insights to communicate, connect, share information to build a vibrant community).

5.        Value for money

a.     There is no minimum or maximum award value.  Rather, projects will be evaluated on certain value for money metrics, such as

                                               i.     How does the project compare to others in terms of budget versus overall impact of the outcome (particularly in benefits to campus community members)?

                                              ii.     What is the long-term value for the campus in terms of project life-cycle costs and benefits?

                                             iii.     What are the long-term needs and end of life requirements including decommissioning, removal, or recycling/salvage value?

                                             iv.     What are the expectations for an HKUST operations team (FMO, CSO, etc) to invest in staff time and resources?


In addition to the required criteria above, the selection process may also be influenced by the following subjective measures:


·          While not required, “home-grown” projects – those developed through HKUST research, scholarship, student input, or alumni innovation – are preferred. If proposals include approaches not developed at HKUST, they should show how the installation on our campus contributes to our community in terms of learning, research, or impacts.

·          Projects should aspire to be inspirational; they should generate a “Wow factor” that stimulates conversations and pride among our community.


It is important to note that the SSC also encourages experimentation in arts, humanities, and behavioural experiences, recognizing that innovation is not technology-exclusive. Additionally, experimenting with new ideas is critical, and the emphasis is on trying, not whether the project is successful in the end. While we wish all projects to succeed, we recognize that failure is also a part of the learning process. Therefore, all project ideas – no matter how unusual – will be considered.

You can click here to download and complete the Project template and submit your project proposal by email to by 22 March 2019.