Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) For International Students – Hong Kong

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) is a prestigious scholarship program established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) to attract outstanding international students to pursue doctoral studies in Hong Kong’s universities. The program aims to foster a vibrant research ecosystem and contribute to Hong Kong’s global reputation as a leading center for higher education and scientific research.


To be eligible for the HKPFS, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Nationality: Be a non-local student (non-permanent Hong Kong resident)
  • PhD Program Enrollment: Be admitted to or enrolled full-time in a PhD program at an eligible UGC-funded university in Hong Kong
  • Field of Study: Pursue research in one of the eligible disciplines, which span a broad range of fields, including science, engineering, technology, humanities, social sciences, business, and law.
  • Academic Record: Possess a strong academic background, typically with a first-class or upper second-class honors bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university.
  • Research Potential: Demonstrate a strong research aptitude and potential to make significant contributions to their chosen field of study.
  • English Language Proficiency: Exhibit fluency in English, both written and spoken, to a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
  • Leadership Potential: Display leadership skills, initiative, and a commitment to making a positive impact on their field of study.
  • Motivation and Contribution: Articulate a clear motivation for pursuing a PhD in Hong Kong and demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their chosen field.


The HKPFS provides a comprehensive package of benefits to successful applicants:

  • Full Tuition Coverage: Full tuition fee coverage for the duration of the PhD program at the chosen university
  • Generous Stipend: A generous annual stipend of HK$331,200 (approximately US$42,460) to cover living expenses such as accommodation, meals, and transportation.
  • Conference and Research-Related Travel Allowance: An annual allowance of HK$13,800 (approximately US$1,760) to support conference attendance and research-related travel.
  • Mentorship and Networking Opportunities: Access to mentorship from experienced faculty members and opportunities to connect with fellow scholars and researchers in Hong Kong and beyond.
  • Contribution to Research Excellence: The opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their chosen field, fostering Hong Kong’s position as a global research hub.

Application Process

The application process for the HKPFS is highly competitive and requires the submission of the following documents:

  • Completed Online Application Form: A complete online application form with all required information.
  • Academic Transcripts: Official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Degree Certificate: A copy of the bachelor’s degree certificate and a copy of the master’s degree certificate (if applicable).
  • Research Proposal: A detailed research proposal outlining the proposed research project, including objectives, methodology, and timeline.
  • Letter of Motivation: A compelling letter of motivation highlighting academic goals, research aspirations, and contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the chosen field.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation from academic supervisors or research mentors.
  • Copy of Identity Document or Passport: A copy of a valid identity document or passport.
  • Resume: A detailed resume highlighting relevant academic achievements, research experience, and publications.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the HKPFS typically falls between December and January of the year prior to the intended start date of study. For the 2024/2025 academic year, the application deadline is December 1, 2023.

Selection Process

Applications for the HKPFS are reviewed by a selection committee composed of experts in various fields of study. The committee considers the following factors:

  • Academic Record: Strength of academic performance, including GPA, coursework, and research experience.
  • Research Proposal: Clarity, originality, and feasibility of the proposed research project.
  • Alignment with Hong Kong’s Research Priorities: Alignment of the research proposal with Hong Kong’s research priorities and potential contributions to advancing knowledge in the chosen field.
  • Leadership Potential: Evidence of leadership skills, initiative, and a commitment to making a positive impact in their field of study.
  • Personal Statement: Clarity and persuasiveness of the letter of motivation, highlighting personal goals, research aspirations, and contributions to the advancement of knowledge.
  • References: Insights and recommendations provided by academic supervisors or research mentors.
  • Overall Fit: The applicant’s alignment with the fellowship’s objectives and their potential to contribute to Hong Kong’s global research excellence.

Start of Program

The successful applicants of the HKPFS will commence their PhD studies at their chosen university in September of the year following the application deadline. Fellows will receive full tuition coverage and a generous stipend for the duration of their PhD program, allowing them to focus on their research endeavors without financial constraints. Additionally, fellows will have access to world-class research facilities, mentorship from experienced faculty members, and opportunities to connect with fellow scholars and researchers, fostering a vibrant and supportive research environment.

For more information about the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS), application deadlines, and eligibility criteria, please visit the Research Grants Council website.

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