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Ignite Fellowship

"What you want to ignite in others must first burn inside yourself.” ~ Charlotte Brontë

As we motivate our students to make their dreams come true,

why not do so ourselves?




Shout out to educators who are passionate and driven to turn their ideas into reality!!


The CEL Education Ignite Fellowship is designed to help Hong Kong educators “ignite” promising teaching and learning projects, transform ideas into reality and position innovations for future success.


Fellows will receive ongoing feedback, funding and community support. Each Fellow will be assigned Ignite Coach(s), who will serve as mentors and strategic thought partners during the Fellowship. 


The Program is intended to be:

  • Accessible -- We welcome any educators at Hong Kong schools to apply, no matter what stage their idea is in

  • Resourceful -- Leveraging expertise and resources within and beyond Hong Kong, we seek to find ways to best support Fellows in moving their ideas forward

  • Personalized -- Fellows are matched with coaches and customized support that are most relevant to their needs and context


We are looking for candidates who are:

  • Compassionate -- eager to solve authentic problems/challenges that students, fellow educators and schools face 

  • Innovative -- value proven science, but actively develops creative solutions to meet the growing challenges in the education space

  • Collaborative -- believe that people working together can create a greater impact than any one individual or organization can accomplish alone

  • Curious -- curious about the future, willing to ask tough questions, and committed to learning and deeper understanding

  • Transparent -- Willing to be open, honest and accountable regarding the innovative process as well as outcome, so that the takeaways can benefit the education space at large 



Any educators at Hong Kong primary or secondary schools are eligible to apply, either as an individual or as a team. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Application Process

Application Process

To indicate your interest in the Fellowship, please share with us a simple story of the idea you want to ignite using any format you deem appropriate (e.g. video of less than 3 minutes, short essay of less than 1 page, brief presentation or other multimedia elements). When sharing your story, consider the following: 

  • Who are you/who are the members of your team?

  • What is the problem you have identified? What is the goal you are trying to achieve?

  • What is the tentative project plan and deliverables?

  • How do you think success should be defined/measured?

  • How can CEL best support this project (e.g. ideal mentors or resources)?

  • In what aspects do you think the budget needs to be spent (e.g. To fund research? To employ technology specialist to develop solution?)? Any rough estimation?

The above is meant to be guiding questions for you to consider, so please use them for reference only. We encourage you to present your current ideas and CEL will work with the individual/team to further refine the proposals before submitting it to the Review Panel for consideration. 

Application & Program Review


Applications will be reviewed and approved by the Review Panel consisting of:

  • Founder of CEL

  • Senior leadership of CEL’s Partner Schools

  • Advisors from MIT and other academic/industry practitioners 


The Review Panel will take into consideration the following criteria: 

  • Authenticity -- Is the proposed work targeting a real problem in the target population? Is there data/information that can serve as evidence?

  • “Ignition” -- Will the proposed work ignite something that would not occur otherwise? Does it enable a promising idea, rather than established projects?

  • Forward-Looking -- Does the proposed work match the shifting expectations in education (e.g. hands-on, problem-based, cross-disciplinary learning)? 

  • Collaboration -- Does the proposed work involve multiple members? Can the project build connections across role or organizational lines? 

  • Transferability -- Can the proposed work be transferable to other contexts (e.g. in other subjects or other schools?)? 

  • Measurability -- Are there metrics for success identified? Is it matched to the outcome anticipated?


The Panel will also help assess the overall effectiveness of the Fellowship and provide directional guidance towards its implementation.

Application & Program Review


Fellows accepted into the program are expected to:

  • Demonstrate commitment throughout the fellowship

    • Meet physically/virtually with the assigned Ignite Coach on a regular basis to provide status updates and receive feedback 

    • Provide regular updates on their learning/project with CEL

  • Embrace an open sharing mentality 

    • Share/publish their learning story (both process & outcome) online & in person

    • Showcase their project on CEL’s website and events

  • Be mindful of “so what?” and “what’s next?”

    • Reflect on how the work has impacted teaching and learning, as well as the overall education context 

    • Consider how others can benefit from/advance the work

Share Ideas
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How much funding will be provided?

The funding amount is dependent on the project need. It is up to the applicant to propose the ways in which funding would be needed, e.g. to fund research, employ technology specialist to develop solution, buy tools or equipment. It will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


2. What type of ideas will be preferred?

We do not wish to impose any constraints on the topic or theme of the project, as long as it is authentic, innovative and forward-looking (Refer to Section D for evaluation criteria). 

Below are examples of some research and development projects by teachers that CEL has supported in the past, for your reference. These are NOT requirements:

Interactive Digital Portfolio for Chinese Language Education

The aim of the project is to investigate whether an interactive digital portfolio enhances Chinese language education and learner’s experience for primary school students. Digital portfolios serve as a platform for students to record key exercises and activities, and allows their regular self-review and reflection. The use of these portfolios also create incentives for self-directed and self-sustained learning, and provides students with an authentic audience to share and display their work. Parents can also be able to their child's progress. Questionnaires and interviews will be used to evaluate student and teacher experiences with Seesaw at different time points, and whether different aspects of Chinese learning are enhanced. Unit exam results of students 'pre' and 'post' academic results will be reviewed. 

Evaluation of MIT STEAM Camp

The purpose of the fellowship is to conduct three research studies around the CIS MIT STEAM camp. The first study identifies teacher perceptions of STEAM education and the self reported impact for teachers who participated in the camp. The second study identifies parent perceptions around STEM education and the self reported impact for their child/ren who participated in the CIS MIT summer program. The third study identifies student interest in and around STEM content and careers and the self reported impact for students who participated in a STEAM summer program.


Determinants of self-regulation in children

The aim of the research is to identify the determinants that contribute to self-regulation in children. Recent studies done in the field of neuroscience suggest that the areas of the brain responsible for self-regulation, are most active during infancy and early childhood (Calkin 2002). Therefore, the environmental factors that occur during this time have the greatest impact on building the strength of self-regulation. To find correlations between early childhood parenting and the level of a child’s self regulation, my research will require measurement tests to occur on a range of students aged between 10-13 years. Parents whose students show either high or low levels of self-regulation, will be asked to complete surveys regarding their child’s environmental conditions and parenting techniques used during their early years of development. Any correlations found contributes vital information towards positive parenting, and the vital role parents play in creating independent life-long learners. Most importantly, it has the capacity to provide understandings on how to maximise the growth of the whole child.


Practicising Mindfulness in the Classroom

Research indicates that adults who practice mindfulness experience greater emotional regulation and enhanced well being.  This action research asks the question about the effects of mindfulness when practiced in the classroom. As the school counsellor, I will carry out an 8-week Mind Up curriculum in one class in a year group.  The three remaining classes will serve as control groups. A Children’s Happiness Scale will serve as a pre and post test for all students in the year group. Additional qualitative data in the form of interviews will be used to measure strategies learned about mindfulness and generalizability outside the classroom. 

Should you have any enquiries, 

please contact us via email at

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