Hong Kong PhD Fellowship

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) Scheme was established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2009. The HKPF aims at attracting the best and brightest students across the world to pursue their research degree programmes in Hong Kong. For the academic year 2015-16, more than 200 PhD Fellowships will be awarded to all institutions and application will start in September 2014.

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$20,000 and a conference and research related travel allowance of HK$10,000 per year for a period up to three years. For HKPF awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme in 2015-16, the University will provide a monthly stipend and travel allowance at the same level as the HKPF for their fourth year of study. For further details, please visit http://www.rgc.edu.hk/hkphd.

Applicants will need to submit one initial application to the RGC (only with basic information such as their names, the two chosen programmes / institutions, place of birth, etc.) through RGC's on-line system, and each of the applications will be allocated a reference number. The deadline for submitting an initial application to RGC is December 1, 2014 noon. For RGC's on-line initial application, please visit http://www.rgc.edu.hk/hkphd.

Applicants who have chosen HKU in their initial applications have to submit an on-line application form and upload soft copies of supporting documents via the on-line application system of HKU to apply for admission. They are required to indicate that they are applying for the HKPF in the on-line application form and quote the reference number assigned to them by the RGC. The deadline for submitting an application to HKU is also December 1, 2014.

To discourage plagiarism, the RGC requests institutions to conduct plagiarism checking on all nominated applications before submitting their nominations to the RGC. 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 the HKPF will be automatically considered for the award of University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF) mentioned in the following session. Nevertheless, applicants who have successfully been selected for the award of HKPF will not concurrently be awarded the UPF and Postgraduate Scholarships offered by the University. The HKPF Scheme does not cover the Joint PhD programmes.

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University Postgraduate Fellowships

The University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF) Scheme aims to attract top students worldwide and is available for selected new full-time PhD candidates with excellent academic performances. The fellowship is at a value of HK$70,000 on top of the Postgraduate Scholarships. The deadline for application is December 1, 2014. There is no separate on-line application form for UPF. Applicants who have applied for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowships will be automatically considered for the award of UPF. They are required to submit a short essay on-line on why they should be awarded the UPF.

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Postgraduate Scholarships

The purpose of Postgraduate Scholarships (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 shall be awarded to full-time MPhil and PhD students who (i) 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 (ii) 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. A Postgraduate Scholarship holder may be required to provide, under supervision, services which carry educational benefits for the holder, as prescribed by the Head of the Department, Unit, Centre, School or Institute in which the holder is registered. The amount of such services shall not exceed 100 hours in any full twelve-month period (or pro rata if the period is less than twelve months), and the calculation of the hours shall include preparation time in all cases. The provision of services forms part of the research student's training covered by the value of the Scholarship, and no other payment for these hours of services may be made to a Scholarship holder. The nature of the training may for example include:

(a)assistance with research;
(b)assistance with scheduled laboratory, studio and fieldwork classes and with tutorials;
(c)assistance with the preparation of materials for scheduled classes;
(d)assistance with marking practical notebooks and answers from exercise classes; and
(e)assistance with invigilation of University degree examinations.

The basic level of PGS is HK$14,350 per month. With effect from September 1, 2014, a Postgraduate Scholarship holder who is a PhD student and whose candidature has been confirmed will receive a higher rate of Scholarship ($14,860) with effect from the following calendar month after his/her probation is fully confirmed. The higher rate of Scholarship shall be determined by the University from time to time and is not negotiable.

Further details of the Postgraduate Scholarships regulations are available on the website: http://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/f/page/380/1510/reg-pgs-amended.pdf.

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Conference and Travel Grants

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.

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Scholarships / Awards for MPhil and PhD students in the University

The University administers a number of scholarships which are awarded to postgraduate students for outstanding academic achievements. Applications for postgraduate scholarships will be invited from eligible students at various times throughout the year. They include:

  • Doris Zimmern HKU-Cambridge Hughes Hall Scholarships
  • Dr Lo Kwee Seong Education Foundation Travel and Conference Grants
  • HKSAR Government Scholarships 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

Details on the above scholarships can be found at the University scholarship website

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Scholarships / Awards for MPhil and PhD students in the Medical Faculty

  • HKU Postgraduate Fellowships in Integrative Medicine
  • The Hong Kong Cancer Fund Scholarship in Psycho-Oncology
  • Hui Pun Hing Scholarships for Postgraduate Research
  • Johnson & Johnson Asia Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award in Bio-tech
  • Joseph Shuk-Cho Lung Memorial Scholarships
  • Kan Shin Yu Chinese Medicine Postgraduate Research Prize
  • Mary Sun Medical Scholarships
  • Roche Postgraduate Research Student Prize
  • Serena Yang Postgraduate Scholarship in Nursing Studies
  • Simon Wong Pharm Manufacturing Industrial Scholarship
  • Wong Ching Yee Medical Postgraduate Scholarships
  • YS and Christabel Lung Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Yu To Sang and Yu Shing Keung Memorial Fund Scholarship

Details on the above scholarships can be found at the University scholarship website

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Government Grants and Loans

Students admitted to a UGC-funded full-time curriculum who need financial assistance for their studies at the University may apply to the means-tested loans and grants scheme administered by the Student Financial Assistance Agency. 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. (Note that 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 their income. To apply for assistance, students should:

(a) obtain an application form from the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS), or the Student Financial Assistance Agency, 11/F & 12/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon
(http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/eng/schemes/pst.htm); and

(b) submit the completed form to CEDARS within one month following the commencement of the course.

A 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 obtainable at CEDARS.

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University Financial Assistance

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 students' Postgraduate Scholarship will also be counted in the assessment of their needs. Applications are invited in early September each year. Students facing urgent financial hardship may however apply for emergency assistance any time during the year.

For enquiries, please contact the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS; http://cedars.hku.hk/cedars/finances.aspx).

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