Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) in Hong Kong’s universities

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Established by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong in 2009, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong’s universities.

Eligibility

Candidates who are seeking admission as new full time PhD students in the following eight universities, irrespective of their country of origin, prior work experience and ethnic background, should be eligible to apply.

  • City University of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Lingnan University
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • The University of Hong Kong

Applicants should demonstrate outstanding qualities of academic performance, research ability / potential, communication and interpersonal skills, and leadership abilities.

Fellowship Award

The Fellowship provides an annual stipend of HK$309,600 (approximately US$39,700) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$12,900 (approximately US$1,700) per year for each awardee for a period up to three years. 250 PhD Fellowships will be awarded in the 2020/21 academic year*. For awardees who need more than three years to complete the PhD degree, additional support may be provided by the chosen universities. For details, please contact the universities concerned directly.

How to Apply

Eligible candidates should first make an Initial Application online through the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme Electronic System (HKPFSES) to obtain an HKPFS Reference Number by 2 December 2019 at Hong Kong Time 12:00:00 before submitting applications for PhD admission to their desired universities.

Applicants may choose up to two programmes / departments at one or two universities for PhD study under HKPFS 2020/21. They should comply with the admission requirements of their selected universities and programmes.

As the deadlines for applications to some of the universities may immediately follow that of the Initial Application, candidates should submit initial applications as early as possible to ensure that they have sufficient time to submit applications to universities.

Step 1: Submit Initial Application to Research Grants Council

Open for applications: 1 September 2019 at 12:00 noon Hong Kong Time

Explanatory Notes for completing the Initial Application (in PDF format)
HKPFS Electronic System – Initial Application

Step 2: Submit Full Applications to Proposed Universities

After completing an initial application, applicants should submit full applications for their selected PhD programmes to the proposed universities quoting their HKPFS Reference Number before the universities’ respective deadlines. As regards programme information, requirements for PhD admission, application methods, regulations and policy of individual universities, please refer to individual universities and PhD programmes for information.
City University of Hong Kong
Application Deadline: 2 December 2019
Hong Kong Baptist University
Application Deadline: 2 December 2019 (11:59pm Hong Kong Time)
Lingnan University
Application Deadline: 2 December 2019 (11:59pm Hong Kong Time)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Application Deadline: 2 December 2019 (5:00pm Hong Kong Time)
The Education University of Hong Kong
Application Deadline : 2 December 2019
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Application Deadline: 2 December 2019 (11:59pm Hong Kong Time)
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Application Deadline: 2 December 2019 (11:59pm Hong Kong Time)
The University of Hong Kong
Application Deadline: 2 December, 2019 (11:59pm Hong Kong Time)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme?

Established in 2009 by the Research Grants Council (RGC), the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD programmes in Hong Kong’s universities.
Q2. What is the amount of award under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship?The Fellowship provides each awardee with an annual stipend of HK$309,600 (approximately US$39,700) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$12,900 (approximately US$1,700) per year for a period of up to three years. 250 PhD Fellowships will be awarded in the 2020/21 academic year. 
Q3. Which universities are supported by the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme?

The HKPFS supports the awardees to pursue their PhD studies at the following eight University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded universities in Hong Kong:
– City University of Hong Kong
– Hong Kong Baptist University
– Lingnan University
– The Chinese University of Hong Kong 
– The Education University of Hong Kong
– The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
– The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
– The University of Hong Kong

Q4. Am I eligible for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship?

Those who are seeking admission as new full-time PhD students in UGC-funded universities of Hong Kong, irrespective of their country of origin, prior work experience and ethnic background, should be eligible to apply. Applicants should demonstrate outstanding qualities of academic performance, research ability / potential, communication and interpersonal skills, and leadership abilities.

Q5. I am not sure whether I am eligible to apply for the PhD programmes in Hong Kong.How can I obtain such information?

UGC-funded universities determine the eligibility requirements of their respective PhD programmes. Interested parties should consult individual universities on eligibility.

Q6. I am currently a PhD student. Am I eligible to apply for the Fellowship?

You are eligible to apply for the Fellowship if you apply for another PhD programmes as a new full-time PhD student. However, it is up to the Selection Panel to decide whether the previous PhD study experience should be discounted so as to ensure a level play field for those who do not have any PhD background.

Q7. I have difficulties in obtaining transcripts/ certificates/ test results by the application deadline of the university I selected. Am I still eligible?

We encourage students with excellent academic performance and good potential in research work to apply for the HKPFS. Universities may give conditional offer to candidates who demonstrate outstanding ability and potential in their areas of studies. Since the candidates of the HKPFS are to be nominated by universities, applicants should consult the universities at which they intend to pursue their PhD studies directly in respect of their eligibility for admission to the PhD programmes concerned.

Q8. Do I need to attain a required score from IELTS/TOEFL/GMAT/GRE before applying for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship?

For applicants from non-English speaking universities, unless they provide proof that English is the language of instruction for all courses, they are required to attach score results of TOEFL or IELTS in their PhD applications to the universities concerned. This requirement is exempted if their proposed PhD studies/programmes are specifically in non-English medium, e.g. in Chinese language. Please note that since the UGC-funded universities determine the admission requirements of their PhD programmes, whether applicants need to submit results of any other specific tests is subject to the requirements of individual universities. In general, good results obtained from an open examination widely recognised by international academic institutions will be very useful for universities and Selection Panels of the Scheme to assess one’s intellectual and language competency.

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