Notes for recipients of TDG/ TSG Principal Investigators
(Adopted from Research Office – Startup Grants for New Faculty)

These notes are guidelines for Principal Investigators (PIs) (or their Co-Investigators (Co-Is) and support staff) who have received TDG/ TSG.  They will also be of use to prospective applicants. 

The University has established principles governing good research practice. These are set out in the Code of Practice for Research, which has been approved by the Senate.  The document is available in Departmental and College Offices, the Research Grants & Contracts Office (RO) and can also be downloaded from http://www.cityu.edu.hk/ro.

  1. Responsibilities of Principal Investigators
    The major responsibilities of Principal Investigators (PIs) include:

    1.1) managing the project within the funds allocated and in accordance with the University's financial and staffing procedures;

    1.2) reporting to the TDG Panel any changes to the project or difficulties encountered that may affect the progress of the research work;

    1.3) completing the project within the approved time-scale and submitting the final report on completion of the project.


  2. Funding and Financial Responsibility

    2.1 PIs are expected to operate within the approved budget allocation.  Virement between projects are not allowed. 

    2.2 PIs may refer to the financial statement posted on AIMS, which provides on-line financial information on their projects (https://banweb.cityu.edu.hk/pls/PROD/twgkpswd_cityu.P_WWWLogin) for detailed transactions on the Finance Office Oracle System. It is primarily the responsibility of the PIs to keep track of the expenditures and monitor the spending carefully.

    2.3 Withdrawal of Funding

    The TDG Panel reserves the right to withdraw the funding  and/or bar the PI from internal grant application for up to 24 months in cases where the grant recipient fails to fulfil his responsibility as PI or fails to comply with the grant conditions, including but not limited to :

    (i) failure  to commit project funds 12 months after the commencement date of the project;
    (ii) failure to submit final report;

    2.4 Principal Investigator will be required to go through the procedures for Ethical Review of Research involving Human subjects.

    2.5 Principal Investigator should manage the project within the approved budget and in accordance with the University’s financial and staffing procedures.


  3. Expenditures
    PIs have the responsibility to exercise care in monitoring project expenses within the approved budget and in accordance with the University's staffing and financial procedures determined by HRO and FO.  Please refer to the FO's "Financial Policies and Procedures Manual" on financial matters.  The Manual is available in Departmental Offices and the electronic version is on the FO website (http://www.cityu.edu.hk/fo/) under “Financial Manual”.

    3.1 Staffing

    Research support staff appointments are processed by HRO and they must not go beyond the project completion date.  PIs have the flexibility to appoint the appropriate category of research staff within their approved staffing budget and to exercise discretion in offering a higher point on the approved salary scale (if prepared to employ for a shorter period) or converting a full-time post to a part-time post.  PIs should ensure that there is sufficient funding to support the whole appointment period, including, where appropriate, provisions for severance/long service payment or contribution to the MPF*.  The research support staff salary scale is posted on the RO webpage.  Expenses relating to Visitors e.g. visits of research collaborators are not allowed.  Please consult HRO on recruitment procedures and refer to the “Guidelines on Appointment of Research Support Staff” which is also posted on the RO webpage.

    3.2 Contracts for Services

    TDG grants do not generally support Contract for Services (special needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis). 

    3.3 Equipment

    TDG no longer supports equipment purchase.
    For exceptional case:

    (i) Equipment items purchased in connection with an approved project are for use by the investigators (and other project-related uses) while the project is in progress.  Upon completion of the project, PIs have to transfer all assets to their Department for further use or disposal. 

    (ii) Reimbursement of gifts / souvenir / cash payment for interviewees/respondents will not be entertained unless they are approved as part of the project budget. 

    (iii) For cases involving financial incentives to participants other than reasonable expenses and compensation for time applicable to the nature of the study for the discipline concerned, the advice of the Human Subjects Ethics Sub-Committee should be sought as appropriate. For details about human research ethics, please read the documents posted at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/ro/studentlan/dlHuman.htm.

    3.4 General Expenses

    (i) Provision for honoraria, entertainment (meals) and refreshments to respondents will not normally be allowed.

    (ii) Personal membership fees, furniture expenses and expenses for organising seminars or conferences are not supported.

    (iii) Expenses relating to Visitors, (eg. visits of overseas collaborators) and CityU PIs to attend conferences / staff development programmes are not supported.

    (vi) Subscription fees for online tools or other web services should be treated as "General Expenses" instead of software cost under Equipment (as fixed assets) unless we actually own the software (e.g. a SPSS CD-R).

  4. Monitoring Project Progress
    4.1 PIs should aim to complete the project within the indicated time-scale.  If a delay is anticipated, PIs should report this in advance to the Office of Education Development and Gateway Education (EDGE) and apply for an extension of the project duration.

    Departure of Principal Investigators

    4.2 PIs who are leaving the University will normally be required to submit final reports on all active projects.  The project accounts will be frozen as soon as the departure is confirmed and no major expenses and staffing appointments should be committed when his/her imminent departure is anticipated.  It is the responsibility of PIs to inform the TDG Panel and other concerned parties well in advance if they foresee difficulties in completing their projects before their end of service and to make arrangements with HRO for redeployment/termination of associated research support staff.


  5. Reporting
    5.1 The Final report including evidences of outcomes, deliverables and any research outputs should be submitted within 1 month after completion of the project.

    5.2 Principal Investigator should disseminate project outcomes and share experience with    home department, within the University and with other institutions, as appropriate.

    5.3 PIs are required to submit a final report upon completion of the funded project.  The project equipment should be transferred to the Department.

    5.4 Non-submission of final report is taken seriously by EDGE office. Failure to submit final report by the stipulated deadline will result in suspension of project accounts, termination of projects and exclusion from making new TDG grant applications for specified periods.


  6. Shared Work
    Investigators who employ research support staff or collaborate with others, including research students, for their projects are reminded of the need to recognize and acknowledge contributions by such individuals whenever and wherever the projects is promulgated.  City University has a responsibility to ensure that the teaching and learning project does not lead to conflict over the “ownership” of a piece of work.


  7. Conflict of Interests
    Investigators should be cautious and avoid any potential conflict of interests in undertaking research especially for projects that involved outsourcing contracts for data collection. Any arrangement that may infringe fair competition in the consideration for outsourcing contracts should be avoided.


  8. Acknowledgement
    All publications arising from the funded project should contain an acknowledgement of the financial support given by the University Grants Committee’s Teaching Development Grants/ Teaching Start-up Grants, quoting the relevant project number(s) as far as possible.  The following format of acknowledgement should be used:

    "The work described in this paper was fully/substantially/partially supported by the University Grants Committee’s Teaching Development Grants/ Teaching Start-up Grants (Project No. xxxxxxx)".


  9. Intellectual property right
    The UGC does not claim copyright or other intellectual property right of the TDG project deliverables. Project Investigators are required to have a suitable acknowledgement of the TDG funding in any publication/publicity in relation to the TDG projects.