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 2021-22, 250 PhD Fellowships were awarded to all institutions and application started in September 2020.
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 HKPF provides each awardee with a monthly studentship of HK$26,600 and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,300 per year for a period up to three years. For HKPF awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme in 2021-22, 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.
HKU guarantees HKPF awardees a hall place in year 1 possibility of renewal in year 2.
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 December 1, 2020 noon. For RGC's online initial application, please visit http://www.rgc.edu.hk/hkphd.
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 also December 1, 2020.
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 following session. Nevertheless, applicants who have successfully been selected for the award of HKPF will not concurrently be awarded UPF and Postgraduate Scholarships 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 Presidential PhD Scholarship (HKU-PS) is launched to offer the most prestigious package to selected outstanding full-time PhD students admitted to HKU.
Recipients of HKU-PS will be selected from among the HKPF nominees. In principle, all HKPF awardees will receive HKU-PS. Selected candidates who are not awarded HKPF but considered to be of high calibre by the University will also receive HKU-PS.
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, 2020. There is no separate online 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 online on why they should be awarded UPF.
UPF awardees will not be concurrently award HKU Presidential Scholarships.
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.
The basic level of PGS is HK$18,030 per month. With effect from September 1, 2020, a Postgraduate Scholarship holder who is a PhD student and whose candidature has been confirmed will receive a higher rate of Scholarship ($18,520) with effect from the following calendar month after his/her probation is fully confirmed.
Further details of PGS regulations are available on the website: https://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/f/page/333/reg-pgs-amended.pdf.
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 PGS 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:
The Faculty has established close research collaborative links with many prestigious universities/research institutions overseas. Research Postgraduate 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 from eligible students at various times throughout the year:
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.
Details of the above scholarships can be found at http://www.scholarships.hku.hk.
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 (http://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/en/index.htm).
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 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 http://www.cedars.hku.hk/.
Composition fee of HK$42,100 per year will be waived for all local full-time MPhil/PhD candidates (https://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funding_opport/tws.html)
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://www.cedars.hku.hk).