Research Postgraduate Studies
Scholarships and Financial Support

The HKPF Scheme was established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2009 with the aim to attract the best and brightest students across the world to pursue their research degree programmes in Hong Kong.  

HKPF homepage



New applicants to full-time PhD programmes in government-funded institutions in Hong Kong, irrespective of their country of origin and ethnic background, are eligible to apply.  Applicants should demonstrate outstanding academic performance, research ability/potential, communication and interpersonal skills, and leadership abilities.


The Award

The HKPF provides each awardee with a monthly studentship of HK$26,900 and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,500 per year for a period up to three years.  

In addition, HKU will provide

  • a guaranteed hall place in year 1, with possibility of renewal; and
  • awardees admitted to the 4-year PhD programme a monthly stipend and travel allowance at the same level as the HKPF for their fourth year of study.



Applicants will need to submit an initial application to RGC (only with basic information such as their names, the two chosen programmes/institutions, place of birth, etc.) through RGC's online system, and a reference number will be allocated to each application.  The deadline for submitting an initial application to RGC is 1 December 2021 noon.  Please visit the HKPF homepage for information on RGC's online initial application. 

Applicants who have chosen HKU in their initial applications have to submit an online application form and upload soft copies of supporting documents via the online application system of HKU to apply for admission.  They are required to indicate that they are applying for HKPF in the online application form and quote the reference number assigned to them by RGC.  The deadline for submitting an application to HKU is 1 December 2021.

To discourage plagiarism, RGC requests institutions to conduct plagiarism checking on all nominated applications before submitting their nominations to them.  Applicants should make sure that their application materials do not contain any plagiarised materials, in particular the research plan, research proposal and vision statements which are expected to be an original piece of work written by the applicant.

Applicants who have applied for HKPF will be automatically considered for the award of University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF) mentioned in the below section.  Nevertheless, applicants who have successfully been selected for the award of HKPF will not concurrently be awarded UPF and Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) offered by the University.  The HKPF Scheme does not cover the Joint PhD programmes.

In order to attract top candidates from around the world to pursue full-time PhD studies at HKU, the HKU-PS is launched to offer the most prestigious package to selected outstanding full-time PhD students admitted to HKU.

HKU-PS information



  • HK$40,000 in Year 1; HK$20,000 per year in the remaining normative study period;
  • Waiver of composition fees for the whole normative study period (i.e. HK$42,100 per year);
  • Postgraduate Scholarship of HK$26,900 per month;
  • Conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,500 per year; and
  • A guaranteed hall place in year 1, with possibility of renewal.



PhD applicants with very strong qualifications in academic and/or research achievements will be considered for the HKU-PS Programme.

The purpose of Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS) is to provide selected students who have attained good academic qualifications as determined by the Board of Graduate Studies with financial assistance to study full-time for the degree of MPhil or PhD.

PGS regulations



The basic level of PGS is HK$18,030 per month. With effect from 1 September 2020, a Postgraduate Scholarship holder who is a PhD student and whose candidature has been confirmed will receive a higher rate of Scholarship of $18,520 with effect from the following calendar month after his/her probation is fully confirmed. 



PGS shall be awarded to full-time MPhil and PhD students who:

  1. normally hold a Bachelor's degree at second class honours first division or above and/or Master's degree as appropriate from this University, or another qualification of equivalent standard, as determined by the Board which has sole and absolute discretion in this matter; and
  2. hold full-time candidature for the degree of MPhil or PhD.

Scholarships are tenable on an annual basis and are renewable upon satisfactory academic progress having been made and the availability of funding.

The Faculty has established close research collaborative links with many prestigious universities/research institutions overseas. Student exchange activities are therefore encouraged with a view to broadening the scope of collaborations. MPhil/PhD students may have opportunities to engage in research exchange at overseas universities/research institutions to allow them to acquire advanced research knowledge and technology. The maximum duration of exchange is half the period of a student's programme of study. Subsistence allowance and travel grant may be granted to eligible candidates. Students are required to consult their supervisors to explore opportunities for research exchange.

The University/Medical Faculty administers a number of scholarships which are awarded to postgraduate students for outstanding academic achievements. Applications for the scholarships will be invited throughout the year.



  • Doris Zimmern HKU-Cambridge Hughes Hall Scholarships
  • Dr Lo Kwee Seong Education Foundation Travel and Conference Grants
  • HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund
  • Jessie Ho Memorial Postgraduate Fellowship
  • Li Po Chun Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Philip K H Wong Foundation Postgraduate Fellowship
  • Sin Wai-Kin Junior Fellowship
  • Starr Hall Well of Ishmael Scholarships
  • Swire Graduate Studentships
  • Swire Scholarships
  • Swire Travel Grants


Specific to the Medical Faculty

  • Bau Tsu Zung Bau Kwan Yeu Hing Research and Clinical Fellowship
  • Chan To Haan Prize for Research Postgraduate Students in Pathology
  • Dragon Culture Doctoral Scholarship for Medicine
  • HKU Postgraduate Fellowships in Integrative Medicine
  • HKU Postgraduate Fellowship in Neurosurgery
  • The Hong Kong Cancer Fund Scholarship in Psycho-Oncology
  • The Hui Pun Hing Scholarships for Postgraduate Research
  • Johnson and Johnson Asia Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award in Bio-tech
  • KAN Shin Yu Chinese Medicine Postgraduate Research Prizes
  • Leong Che-Hung Medical and Research Enrichment Scholarship
  • Mary Sun Medical Scholarships
  • Simon Wong Pharm Manufacturing Industrial Scholarship
  • Wong Ching Yee Medical Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Yip Cheung Yip Ka Bing Residential Scholarship and Lee Sum Ping Medical Humanities Enrichment Award
  • YS and Christabel Lung Postgraduate Scholarship

MPhil and PhD students are eligible to apply for conference and/or travel grants for presenting papers/posters in overseas academic conferences or participating in other overseas educational activities. The maximum amount of funding is HK$13,500.

Students who are admitted to a UGC-funded full-time curriculum and need financial assistance for their studies may apply for the means-tested loans and grants scheme administered by the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency (WFSFAA).  

To qualify for assistance, a student must have the right of abode in Hong Kong or have resided in Hong Kong continuously for three years prior to admission to the University. (Please note students staying in Hong Kong holding student visas do not count as being ‘continuously resident’.) The value of their Postgraduate Scholarship will be counted as income. 

To apply for assistance, students should submit a completed application form to the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) within one month following the commencement of the course.  Application forms could be obtained from CEDARS or the WFSFAA.  

Non-means tested loan scheme is also available for application by both full-time and part-time students who meet the residency requirements.  Application forms are also available at CEDARS.

Composition fee of HK$42,100 per year will be waived for all local full-time MPhil/PhD candidates.

Scheme information

University funds are in general used to supplement government grants and loans. A limited number of means-tested bursaries and loans are available to local full-time students who are in financial need. However, these are of very limited value, and should not be seen as an alternative to Government support. The value of Postgraduate Scholarship will be counted in the assessment of their needs. 

Application through the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) are invited in September each year. Students facing urgent financial hardship may however apply for emergency assistance any time during the year.