Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme
Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS), established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2009, aims at attracting the best and brightest students across the world to pursue their research degree programmes in Hong Kong. Around 300 fellowships are awarded by the RGC each academic year.

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.


Hong Kong PhD Fellowships Scheme


Fellowship Awards for 2023/24 Admission

Each HKPFS awardee will receive a Postgraduate Scholarship of $27,100 per month, and conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,600 per year for a period up to three years*. For HKPFS awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme, HKU will provide the same support in the fourth year of study.

For the 2023/24 exercise, all HKPFS holders will be awarded the HKU Presidential PhD Scholarship. On top of the HKPF package, each awardee will receive:

  • Cash Award to support research and living expenses:
    HK$40,000 in Year 1; HK$20,000 per year in the remaining normative study period
  • Waiver of composition fees for the whole normative study period (i.e. HK$42,100 per year)
  • Financial support to selected outstanding students for an additional year of study beyond the normative study period to reward their outstanding research output and progress
  • A guaranteed hall place in Year 1, with possibility of renewal


Application period for HKPFS normally starts on September 1 and ends in early December every year.

For 2023/24 admission, applicants should:

Step 1: Submit an initial on-line application through the RGC’s HKPFS Electronic System on or before December 1, 2022 at 12:00 noon, Hong Kong Time (GMT +8 hours) and obtain an HKPFS Reference Number. Only one application can be submitted to RGC. Otherwise, all applications submitted by the same applicant will be disqualified.

Step 2: After submitting an initial application to the RGC, submit a full application to HKU through the HKU’s Online Application System, indicating that you are applying for HKPFS and quote the HKPFS Reference Number obtained from the RGC’s HKPFS Electronic System on or before December 1, 2022.

During the RGC’s initial application, applicants will be requested to choose up to two programmes/departments at one or two universities for PhD study. It is important to note that:

  • the choice of programmes/departments/universities cannot be amended after the RGC’s application deadline;
  • only one HKPFS award will be made to HKPFS applicants if the application is successful; and
  • declining the offer from the institution placed in the 1st choice will not lead to the transfer of offer to the institution placed in the 2nd choice.

In view of the above, applicants who would like to pursue PhD studies at HKU should state HKU as the first choice in the RGC’s HKPFS Electronic System.


* Starting from 2019/20, students admitted to UGC-funded full-time Dual/Joint PhD Programmes having at least two years of normative study period spent in local universities can be supported by the HKPFS. The RGC would provide the monthly fellowship and conference and research-related travel allowance during their study period spent in Hong Kong, and HKU will provide the same support for the remaining period within the normative study period.