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Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme


City University of Hong Kong (CityU), one of the eight government-funded institutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), is a modern, hi-tech institution committed to providing a quality learning environment for its students and the community. It has a vibrant research culture and has gained an excellent reputation for research and innovation in a wide range of disciplines. It has an outstanding team of academics dedicated to advancing knowledge to benefit society and the region. To date, CityU has a student enrolment of around 19,000 (excluding Associate Degree students) of which over 6,000 are postgraduates.


The "Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme", established by the Research Grants Councili (RGC) of the HKSAR Government, aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their research degree programs in Hong Kong's institutions.


Those who are seeking admission as new full time PhD students in UGC-funded institutions of Hong Kong, irrespective of their country of origin 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.

Entrance and English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies at CityU should satisfy the following minimum entrance requirements:

  • hold a higher degree by research (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university; or
  • hold a taught Master's degree (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university; or
  • hold a Bachelor's degree with first class honours (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university.

Equivalent qualifications mentioned above include relevant professional qualifications or other scholarly achievements recognised by the University. In addition to the above, individual Departments and Schools may prescribe further entrance requirements.

English Proficiency Requirements

For applicants from non-English speaking universities, unless they provide proof that English is the language of instruction for all courses for the entrance qualifications of their proposed PhD programmes, they are required to attach score results of TOEFL or IELTS in their PhD applications. 

The above-said requirement is exempted if their proposed PhD studies/programmes are specifically in non-English medium, e.g. in Chinese language. 

Funding and Scholarship

The Fellowship provides a monthly stipend of HK$20,000 (~US$2,564) and conference and research related travel allowance of HK$10,000 (~US$1,282) per year for the awardees for a maximum period of three years.
For Fellowship awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme, CityU will provide a monthly studentship at the same level as the Fellowship awarded by the RGC for their fourth year of study.  In addition, CityU offers the following:

  • Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Entrance Scholarships

For nominees selected by RGC for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, in addition to the monthly stipend of HK$20,000 (~USD2,564) offered by Scheme, each awardee of the Fellowship of CityU will also receive the "Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Entrance Scholarships" (around HK$72,000 / ~USD9,230) which covers student's full-time tuition fees and on-campus hostel accommodation expenses in their 1st year of research studies.

Application Process and Time Lines, 2018/19

Each applicant may choose up to two PhD programmes with indicated priority, when applying for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship. Besides, applicants are also required to nominate two academic referees who can comment on their academic performances, and invite them to complete and return the designated form to the chosen institution(s) directly. For more information on pursuing a PhD degree in your chosen area at CityU, please contact the Research Degree Coordinators of the academic department concerned.

Step One:  Applicants must first register at the RGC's Online Application System (OAS) and obtain a reference number on or before 1 December 2017 (12 noon Hong Kong time).

Step Two: Applicants are required to submit full application, including supporting documents, to CityU through our Online Application System on or before 1 December 2017.

Date Milestones
1 September 2017* Call for application
1 December 2017* Deadline for registration at RGC's Online Application System (OAS)
1 December 2017 Deadline for submission of full applications to CityU for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme
March 2018 Notification of results

* at 12 noon (Hong Kong Time or GMT +8 hours)

Programme Structure and Requirements

The programme structure of Doctor of Philosophy consists of both coursework and independent research studies culminating in the submission of a thesis. Details of the programme requirement are given in SGS Website.

The normal medium of instruction and assessment at the University is English. Research students should write and present their theses in English, unless they give very strong justifications for using another language.

Fields of PhD studies at CityU

Applicants may consider applying for PhD studies in one of the disciplines under two broad areas, namely "Science Medicine, Engineering and Technology" and "Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies". The relevant disciplines under these two broad areas are listed below:

Science Medicine, Engineering and Technology (subject to revision) Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies

Application and Programme-related Fees

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of HK$200 (~US$26) (subject to revision) will be charged for each application of a programme. The application fee shall be made via on-line credit card payment.

Please note that applications will not be processed if the payment of the application fee has not been settled.

Programme-related Fees

The following are the major fees for PhD programmes. Please note that fees are subject to revision from time to time without prior notification, and any adjustments to fees will apply to both new and current students.

Tuition/Continuation Fees for Government-funded students (normally adjusted in September every year)

Type of Fee Mode of Study Remarks
Tuition fee HK$3,508 (~USD450)
per month
Non-refundable; applicable to students within their stipulated study period
Continuation fee

HK$877 (~USD112)
per month

Non-refundable; applicable to students who have been approved for an extension of their study period

Other Fees (for all students)


Type of Fee Mode of Study Remarks
Membership fee for CityU
Postgraduate Association
HK$300 (~USD39) One-off payment covering a student's entire study period
(Re)examination fee HK$1,500 (~USD192) Non-refundable
Graduation fee HK$400 (~(USD52) Refundable upon study withdrawal or study termination

Review Panels

Applications, subject to their areas of studies, will be reviewed by two Selection Panels with experts in the broad areas, one for science medicine, engineering and technology and another one for humanities, social science and business studies.

Selection Criteria

While the academic excellence is of prime consideration, the Review Panels will take into account, but not limit to, the following yardsticks for the selection of candidates:

  1. Academic excellence;
  2. Research ability and potential;
  3. Cultural diversity;
  4. Communication, and interpersonal skills;
  5. Leadership abilities; and
  6. Institutional support.

As part of application process to facilitate the assessment of applicants' communication and interpersonal skills, interviews will be conducted with the nominated applicants.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to admission interview (either face-to-face or via telephone).


Awardees will only be allowed to enroll at the institutions which nominated them in accordance with the priority indicated, otherwise they would be considered as declining the award. Awardees are normally required to commence studies at the University in September 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to: Frequently Asked Questions


Below are the postal address and enquiry details for submission of referee reports to CityU:

  • By phone: +(852) 3442 9076
  • By fax: +(852) 3442 0332
  • By email: sgfellow@cityu.edu.hk
  • Postal address: Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies (Research Degree and Professional Doctorate), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR.


15 August 2017


RGC is a non-statutory advisory body established under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC) responsible for advising the Government on the needs of Hong Kong's higher education institutions in the field of academic research and for the distribution of funding for academic research projects. Please visit the homepage of the Council at https://cerg1.ugc.edu.hk/hkpfs/index.html for details.