Common Core Transdisciplinary Research Exchange 2019-20


Why? To increase the capacities of our students for creative problem-solving and global collaboration, both virtual and physical, that produces tangible outcomes around issues of urgent importance.

Who? From HKU, 10 highly motivated, creative, and curious students from across all the Faculties who have (i) successfully completed at least three Common Core courses with Grade B or above; (ii) obtained a cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 3.0 or above; and (iii) are committed to full engagement with the exchange, including insuring availability during the week of Utrecht’s visit. (10 similar students from the Honours College at Utrecht.)

What? With their peers in Utrecht, students will co-create transdisciplinary research strands, events for public participation, and creative + scholarly + media outcomes for the purposes of discovery, visibility, and illumination. They will organize the exchange around the concept of the More-Than-Human-City, with the “more,” the “human” and the “city” all in need of articulation, elaboration, and exploration.



  • One meeting in Semester 1 [December 10, 2018] to begin to brainstorm possible projects and intersections with our Utrecht colleagues.
  • Beginning in January, 2019, the group will meet approximately every two weeks, in the early evening, to get to know one another, and to get the research and project-management process underway
  • The virtual collaboration between the two research groups will begin, approximately, in early February.
  • Utrecht Students will visit Hong Kong from (approximately) April 8 to April 12, 2019 and the Hong Kong Students will visit Utrecht from (approximately) May 26 to June 1, 2019. You must be available for the shared activities during the week of the Utrecht visit.


The project will produce a series of tangible outcomes, including:

  • An increased capacity for transdisciplinary research, project-management, facilitating seminars, and presenting related activities
  • A physical project notebook
  • A shared HKU-Utrecht TransDisciplinary Research website and FaceBook Page
  • Public Events organized around the topics of the students’ choice, but related to the experience of the More-Than-Human-City
  • You will be asked to write an analytic reflection on the experience, to co-construct media with your Utrecht partners, to share the experience with others, and to serve as peer mentors for the following year’s group
  • Collaborative research and friendship networks, videos, social interventions, and, potentially, publications

This type of collaborative research will deepen your participatory understanding of the world and the possibilities for your own future work. Participants will receive Certificates of Accomplishment and will be able to share their experience in a number of different venues. You may, for instance, want upon your return to join our on-campus group of Nomadic Transdisciplinary Researchers. In addition, each participant, should the need arise, will receive a letter of recommendation for post-graduate study or jobs/internships placement from the Common Core Director.

Costs? Participants will be responsible for all costs including hotel accommodation, airfare—the estimated economy return airfare between Hong Kong and Amsterdam, with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is HK$7,100—additional insurance, visa and in-country costs, etc. Each participant, however, will receive a subsidy of HK$7,000 from the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre (

Arrangements will be made to disburse 70% (HK$ 4,900) of the subsidy to support their participation prior to their departure for Utrecht. The remaining 30% (HK$2,100) will be disbursed upon their completion of the entire programme and the submission of a final written reflection. Failure to complete the entire programme shall result in withdrawal and/or reduction of financial subsidies as determined by the Common Core Office.

All participants are required to stay at NH Centre Utrecht ( during the exchange period in Utrecht. They will be required to make a prepayment to the hotel via the Common Core Office around 2 months before their departure. The price for a Standard Twin room (excluding breakfast) is approximately € 829.37 for the exchange period.

How to apply and participate?

Two Information Sessions, with the same content, will be offered on October 3 (Wed) and October 22 (Monday).

Dates: October 3, 2018 (Wednesday) & October 22, 2018 (Monday)
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue: Common Core Lounge (Room 150, 1/F, Main Building)

All applicants should submit a 500 word statement in which s/he demonstrates how s/he would most like to participate in a transdisciplinary research, exhibition, and event team as well as how s/he would most like to serve as a social change-agent in relation to the More-Than-Human-City. (Please do not assume that you have to completely understand this term ahead of time.) In addition, please include an updated CV; a student copy of the transcript of academic record; and a photograph.

For details about obtaining a student copy of the academic transcript, please visit the website of the Academic Support and Examinations Section (

The application materials should be sent to with the subject line reading Common Core Transdisciplinary Research Exchange Application 2018-19.

Successful applicants will be asked to sign a Common Core Transdisciplinary Research Exchange Letter of Commitment, insuring their full engagement with the project throughout the entire trajectory, including, potentially, during the Reading Week and the Assessment period. We will be happy to provide letters of request to professors if you need to miss class during the week when your Utrecht colleagues visit. (We also understand if there will be examinations that cannot be missed.)

Application Deadline: November 2, 2018 (No late applications will be accepted.)

2018 Final Presentations


The Common Core@HKU: The Common Core serves all HKU undergraduates, who take six interdisciplinary courses across four Areas of Inquiry: Science and Technological Literacy, Humanities and Arts, Global Issues, and China. The Core emphasizes transdisciplinary practice, learning organized around exploratory projects, building capacities for creative collaboration, and knowledge-exchanges with the campus, Hong Kong, and beyond. (

The Honours Humanities Programme at Utrecht University: The Humanities Honours programme runs for three years alongside the regular bachelor programmes. It is accessible only to the top 5% of Utrecht University students, which means that only the brightest, most creative and active students are part of this initiative. With an emphasis on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary theory and practice, the programme is focused on deepening and broadening the student perspective and on the societal relevance of research. (

The Utrecht University Honours College: The Honours College serves all interdisciplinary and faculty-based honours programmes (BA and MA) that run at Utrecht University. Its courses, seminars and exchange programs circle around the major research areas of the University and ask students to approach complex questions from multiple perspectives and to work towards manageable solutions. (

Programme Directors:

Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, PhD, Professor & Director, Common Core, University of Hong Kong (
Rick Dolphijn, PhD, Humanities Honours Programme Coordinator, Associate Professor, Media and Cultural Studies, University of Utrecht; Visiting Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong (