Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) for International students 2021-22 Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) for International students 2021-22

Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) for International students 2021-22 Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) for International students 2021-22

Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) for International students 2021-22


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.


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$319,200 (approximately US$40,900) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,300 (approximately US$1,700) per year for each awardee for a period up to three years. 300 PhD Fellowships will be awarded in the 2021/22 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.

Shortlisted applications, subject to their areas of studies, will be reviewed by one of the following two Selection Panels comprising experts in the relevant board areas:

  • Sciences, Medicine, Engineering and Technology
  • Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies

Selection Criteria

While candidates’ academic excellence is of primary consideration, the Selection Panels will take into account factors as follows:

  • Academic excellence;
  • Research ability and potential;
  • Communication and interpersonal skills; and
  • Leadership abilities.

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 1 December 2020 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 2021/22. 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 2020 at 12:00 noon Hong Kong Time


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.

Pursuing PhD in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a free and dynamic society where creativity and entrepreneurship converge. Strategically located in the heart of Asia, it is a cosmopolitan city offering global connectivity, security and rich diversity, and is home to a unique network of people who celebrate excellence and quality living.

Hong Kong’s education system fosters lifelong learning and independent research, leading to a motivated, highly skilled and entrepreneurial workforce. Hong Kong welcomes an international workforce.

Universities in Hong Kong offer special strengths amidst a wide choice of disciplines, developing the city into a regional and international hub for higher education and talent development.

Living and Studying in Hong Kong

So what does Hong Kong offer in respect of higher education? What is it like to undertake PhD studies in Hong Kong?

Participating Universities

Eight research degree-awarding universities take part in the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme:

CityU City University of Hong Kong
HKBU Hong Kong Baptist University
LU Lingnan University
CUHK The Chinese University of Hong Kong
EdUHK The Education University of Hong Kong
PolyU The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
HKUST The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
HKU The University of Hong Kong
For detailed information of individual universities, please click the tabs belo









For enquiries about the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, please contact us by email at [email protected]. You may also get instant answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

As regards admission and application requirements for PhD studies, please refer to individual universities for information.

Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

Q1. What is Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme?

Q2. What is the amount of award under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship?

Q3. Which universities are supported by the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme?

Q4. Am I eligible for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship?

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

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

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

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

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Q9.  What is an initial application for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme?

Q10.  Am I required to submit applications to my selected universities directly after successful submission of my Initial Application Form?

Q11.  If I have forgotten to present the reference number assigned by the HKPFS, will my application still be considered as an application for HKPFS?

Q12.  I forgot to read the “Explanatory Notes to Applicants” before filling out the Initial Application. Will it affect my application?

Q13.  Can I submit more than one initial application for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship?

Q14.  May I print out the template of the initial application and fill it out manually for submission to the RGC?

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Q15.  After the submission of the initial application, I would like to make changes to university/programme choices. What should I do?

Q16.  How many universities and PhD programmes I can choose for an application under Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme?

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Q17.  Do I need to pay any fees for making an application under HKPFS?

Q18.  If I have problem in paying application fee to my chosen university, what should I do?

Q19.  Where can I get the information about PhD programmes and admission requirements of the universities?

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Q20.  Is there a definite time frame for submission of my Initial Application?

Q21.  Are application deadlines for the eight universities the same as that for the Initial Application?

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Q22.  How are the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship awardees selected?

Q23.   What are the selection criteria?

Q24.  When will the result of the HKPFS be announced?

Q25.  If I am not awarded the fellowship, does it mean that my application for PhD admission with the universities will also be turned down?

Q26.  When should I register with the universities?

Q27.  How can I apply for a student visa/ an entry permit?

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Q28.  What can I do if I have more questions?

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