Prospective Students

Alumni/Student Stories:

Stories showcasing the career progression/study life of some of our MPhil/PhD alumni/students

The alumni featured included:

Dr NG Pun Tung, 2013 PhD Graduate, School of Biological Sciences (SBS), Postdoctoral Fellow and Honorary Assistant Professor at the Swire Institute of Marine Science and SBS, HKU, Hong Kong

Dr NG Pun Tung


"I have always loved marine biology and so it was an exhilarating four-year postgraduate experience to be surrounded by people who were genuinely interested in the same subject in a beautiful, region leading, marine facility - The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS) of HKU. SWIMS has a wealth of international culture with staff and students from over 15 countries, which filled my research life with multinational insights. I also appreciated the initiative at HKU of the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT), which helped me greatly improve my skills in conveying my research findings to different audiences. From my experience with researchers in HKU, I believe that being proactive and passionate is the key to success, and I hope our future generations of students share these important lifelong traits."

Dr PHOON Yee Peng, 2014 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, Department of Clinical Oncology, Postdoctoral Fellow at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Dr PHOON Yee Peng


Chasing my dream is what brought me to HKU, the door to international exposure and networks. And the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme was the key to opening up the whole new exciting worlds of cancer stem cell research and the bench-to-bedside approach. I gained invaluable critical thinking skills and strengthened my transferable skill sets including experimental techniques, cementing the basic foundation for research study. I believe that daring to dream and following 3Ps (passion, persistence and perseverance) will bring forth great achievements.

Dr YU Xi, 2014 PhD Graduate, Faculty of Education, Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, USA

Dr YU Xi


Through studying at HKU, I have not only received excellent research training, but also benefited greatly from the rich international activities/interactions at various levels. These experiences provided me with opportunities to communicate with top researchers worldwide and introduce my own work at conferences. Among them, I’d like to highlight the RGC-Fulbright Hong Kong Dissertation Research Programme Fellowship. Through this precious programme, I got to visit top universities and meet with all other Fulbrighters to learn about different cultures and research fields. I sincerely wish that new students can develop an international outlook and grow to their full potential through participating in the various exchange/visiting programmes available at HKU.

Dr CHU Kiu-Wai, 2015 PhD Graduate, School of Humanities (Comparative Literature),  Postdoctoral  Research Fellow at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Dr CHU Kiu-Wai


"Four years passed quickly with the endless support and freedom given to me for conducting my research project at HKU. The award of my Fulbright-RGC scholarship and financial support for attending Cornell University’s summer School of Criticism and Theory enabled me to conduct part of my research in the US with world-leading scholars in my field. During that time, attending and presenting my research findings at international conferences enabled knowledge exchange and networking with international scholars. HKU has equipped me with a solid base and opportunities to pursue an academic career that is not bounded by regional or cultural boundaries."

Dr LIU Tianyin, 2015 PhD Graduate, Awardee of University Postgraduate Fellowship, Department of Psychology, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Sau Po Centre on Ageing at HKU, Hong Kong

Dr LIU Tianyin


“My name is Tianyin Liu, and I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Sau Po Centre on Ageing at HKU. In 1923, Dr Sun Yat-sen said, “I feel as though I have returned home, because Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong are the birth place of my knowledge”. Nearly a century has passed, and I can still relate to every one of Dr Sun’s heartfelt words. I am deeply grateful for the guidance and encouragement from my advisor, I am truly honoured to be crowned the champion of the HKU Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition for my PhD work, and I feel extremely lucky to have peers from a global community. Nurture your curiosity, seize opportunities, and embrace diversity: HKU is a community that we all call home.”

Dr MUHAMMAD Adeel, 2015 PhD Graduate, Awardee of University Postgraduate Fellowship, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Research Officer, Cities Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science



“Studying in HKU as a University Postgraduate Fellow provided me with a great opportunity to learn and interact with the world-leading scholars and experts in my field. Access to library, computer labs and study courses provided all the help I could need to conduct high quality research. HKU campus life also provided me with plenty of opportunities for active living and making friends with diverse cultural backgrounds that made my four year stay in Hong Kong a great experience.”

Dr WEN Haofu, 2015 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Founder and CEO at Accosys Limited, Hong Kong

Dr WEN Haofu


"I spent eight years receiving education from my alma mater. The University witnessed me grow from an 18-year-old kid who had never been too far away from home to a 26-year-old professional who just started his own company. Thanks to HKU, I managed to meet talented peers, some of whom later became my best friends in life, and learnt from great professors, most of whom are still inspiring and mentoring me today. 

HKU is a great place for people to grow and improve themselves. To those who are fortunate enough to join the HKU family, treasure your time at HKU and always be learning."

Dr TSOI Wing See Emily, 2016 PhD Graduate, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Research Officer in the Department of Psychology, HKU

Miss Emily TSOI


“The mentorship I have received at HKU as a PhD student in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration has been priceless and changed me profoundly – both academically and personally. The past four years as a research student have been very fruitful – I received a Fulbright scholarship in 2015 and I have become a better researcher with even more passion to serve the marginalized in our society. My advice to new students: don’t spend all your time reading in your office; always reach out to people, especially minorities; and look for a meaningful cause that would strengthen your aim in pursuing a graduate degree.”

Dr YUNG Man Na Mana, 2016 PhD Graduate, School of Biological Sciences, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, HKU

Miss YUNG Man Na Mana


"HKU is a great place to start the research journey. Here I learned from outstanding professors and obtained travel grants to attend academic conferences worldwide. I was awarded the Best Student Poster Presentation at the International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of Marine Ecosystems (BECoME 2015) and the Online People’s Choice Award in the Three Minute Thesis Competition 2015. I also attended summer research training programmes in a world leading marine laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA, in 2012 and in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland in 2014. These experiences sharpened my presentation skills and provided me with valuable opportunities to develop a network with international researchers."

Dr DIRKZWAGER Roderick, 2016 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, School of Biomedical Sciences, Trainee Solicitor (Life Sciences Department), Covington & Burling LLP, London



"I had a fantastic experience during my PhD at HKU and I made many life-long friends in the process. As an international student, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) scheme was very attractive to me as it provided important financial security throughout my research studies. The travel allowance was particularly beneficial. I was able to attend numerous international conferences and initiate a research exchange in Australia which were greatly beneficial to my research. This international exposure really helped the strength of my job applications after graduating. I’d encourage any international student to apply to HKU and the HKPF scheme!"

Dr GAO Peng (back row, third left), 2016 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Associate, Goldman Sachs

Dr GAO Peng


"My PhD study at HKU was truly rewarding. HKU has a critical and innovative culture. It provides not only the best library facilities for scholars and students, but also a fully international environment with intelligent people from across the world. Most importantly, I was grateful to work with many brilliant professors who are top scientists and carry out cutting-edge researches in their fields. I believe my four-year experience is a precious value to my future career."

Dr HO Chi Pui, 2016 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, Faculty of Business and Economics, Research Assistant, Faculty of Business and Economics, HKU

Dr HO Chi Pui


"I can still recall the joy when I was informed of my Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) award. HKPF has encouraged and prompted me to pursue academic excellence. It eased my financial burden so that I could fully devote myself to study and research in my PhD journey. I got the (perhaps once-in-a-life time) opportunity to explore a research question deeply in an encouraging environment and creative atmosphere, where excellent teachers and wonderful peers, together with a global outlook and advanced facilities have been vital for my development. All these shaped my critical thinking, enhanced my personal growth, and enabled me to complete the dissertation that I am proud of."

Dr ULICHEVA Ana, 2015 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, Faculty of Education, ESRC Future Research Leader 2016 and Marie Curie Fellow 2017, Royal Holloway University of London, UK



"The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme was an excellent start of my academic career. It provided a generous travel support that helped me establish a robust research network comprising scholars from all over the world (Europe, Australia, and the USA) through conferences, summer schools, and research visits. This broadened the scope of my interests and drove my research in an unexpectedly exciting direction."

Dr VANDERTOP Caitlin, 2016 PhD Graduate, Awardee of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, School of English, Lecturer in Literature (Assistant Professor), University of the South Pacific



"The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) allowed me to focus on writing my thesis and passing my graduate courses without taking on too much as a teaching and research assistant, while also providing the resources necessary for me to attend international conferences and summer schools, and even to spend time abroad as a visiting researcher. The generous support for research made me feel like an included member of the university while also helping me to build an international scholarly network. There is a lot to be learned from this part of the world, especially for those with research interests in the region or, as in my case, postcolonial cities. The opportunities provided through the HKPF scheme allowed me to develop as a researcher in ways that could not be matched elsewhere in the world."

The students featured included:

Miss CHAN Wing Yan, PhD Student, Faculty of Education

Miss CHAN Wing Yan


"Having completed my undergraduate degree at HKU, I decided to continue my studies at this world-class university because of the high quality of teaching and the wide range of learning experiences it offers. HKU provides a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment for all students. As a graduate student, I was able to equip myself and to further cultivate my interests through diverse opportunities. I enjoy being part of the strong research community, learning from experienced researchers and fellow research students from different fields and backgrounds. I am also grateful that the University has supported the pursuit of my MPhil degree at the University of Cambridge with full scholarship. I could not think of a better place than HKU for my postgraduate studies."

Miss DAI Yuanyuan, PhD Student, Faculty of Education

Miss DAI Yuanyuan


"I was attracted by Hong Kong’s unique culture that boasts a fusion of East and West and decided to further my study at HKU. A sophisticated and multicultural campus culture benefits both my academic and personal development. I not only get high-quality supervision from one of the best researchers in my field of interest, but also have access to numerous learning and research opportunities. The Fulbright Scholarship Program, one such opportunity, helps me tremendously in pursuing my dream to become a practitioner-researcher in the field of international education in higher education."

Ms DONG Xiaoxi, PhD Student, School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Ms DONG Xiaoxi


"Studying at HKU has equipped me with a holistic view of American Studies on American literature, cultures, films, and histories. I benefited a lot from my supervisors and other colleagues. I also benefited from the ten-month study at UMass Amherst, thanks to a Fulbright-RGC Award. This overseas study experience further sharpened my research intuition and academic outlook. I encourage new students to enjoy the diversity at HKU, and explore the various opportunities HKU provides."

Miss LI Zhen, PhD Student, Faculty of Education

Miss LI Zhen


"I joined the Faculty of Education at HKU in 2011 to pursue my PhD degree.  I have grown a lot as a researcher and as a human being at HKU and had numerous opportunities to have close contact with wonderful scholars from all over the world. HKU is very generous with financial grants and scholarships. Between 2013 and 2014, I was sponsored by a Doris Zimmern HKU-Cambridge Hughes Hall Scholarship to read my MPhil degree at the University of Cambridge, which has tremendously enriched my PhD life and has broadened my research insights. I also started my own choir during my residence at Graduate House, and we performed at a number of parties and high table dinners at HKU."

Dr SEE Christopher Yew Hong, PhD Student, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care

Dr SEE Christopher Yew Hong


"I chose HKU because of its renowned experts in biomedical research. I wanted to utilise their classic methodological expertise by applying it to exciting new areas such as e-learning and game-based learning, so I could become both a researcher and an innovator when I graduate. HKU’s blend of tradition and modernity allowed me to undertake a PhD journey which could meet my 21st century expectations, and then exceed them. Graduate courses and academic presentations developed skills which helped me to win the national science communication competition Famelab and perform in the annual Science Alive festival. This degree has given me the confidence to convey important scientific concepts to my peers and the public."

Miss TO Lai Ming Helen, PhD Student, Faculty of Education

Miss TO Lai Ming Helen


"This has been my seventh year studying at HKU and I see it as my second home. My favourite part of HKU is its great diversity in culture and the flexibility it provides to cater for students’ needs, both academically and personally. It offers many career and scholarships opportunities. As an HKU alumnus and current postgraduate, I was able to apply for an HKU-Cambridge Hughes Hall Scholarship, which has granted me an enlightening experience at the University of Cambridge. The experience would not have been possible without the support I gained from the teachers, staff and sponsors from HKU. I would not hesitate to recommend you all to join the HKU family!"