City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK), one of eight government-funded institutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), is a modern, hi-tech institution committed to providing a high-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. CityUHK currently has a student enrolment of over 20,000, of which over 9,000 are postgraduates.

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, established by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of the HKSAR government, aims to attract the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their research degree programmes in Hong Kong’s institutions.


The RGC is a non-statutory advisory body established under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC). For details of its terms of reference, please visit the homepage of the Council at


Entrance Requirements

Those who are seeking admission as new full-time PhD students in UGC-funded institutions in Hong Kong should be eligible to apply, irrespective of their country of origin and ethnic background. Applicants should demonstrate outstanding academic performance, research ability/potential, communication and interpersonal skills and leadership abilities.

Applicants 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.


The equivalent qualifications mentioned above include relevant professional qualifications and other scholarly achievements recognised by the University. Individual Departments and Schools may prescribe additional entrance requirements.


English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants from non-English speaking universities are required to attach their TOEFL or IELTS score results with their PhD applications, unless they can provide proof that English is the language of instruction for all courses that qualify them for entrance to their proposed PhD programmes.  TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years from the test date and must be valid at the time of submission of application to CityUHK.

Funding and Scholarship

The Fellowship provides awardees with a monthly stipend of HK$27,600 (~US$3,538) and a conference and research related travel allowance of HK$13,800 (~US$1,760) per year for a maximum of three years.

For Fellowship awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme, CityUHK will provide a monthly studentship at the same level as the RGC Fellowship for their fourth year of study.

Entrance Scholarships

In addition to the monthly stipend of HK$27,600 (~US$3,538) offered by the Scheme, each awardee of the CityUHK Fellowship will receive an entrance scholarship (around HK$89,496/~USD11,473), which covers students’ full-time tuition fees and on-campus hostel accommodation expenses in their first year of research studies.

Programme Structure and Requirements

The programme structure of the Doctor of Philosophy consists of both coursework and independent research studies culminating in the submission of a thesis. Details of the programme requirements are given on the Postgraduate Admissions 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 provide very strong justification for using another language.

Fields of PhD Studies at CityUHK

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

Sciences, Medicine, Engineering and Technology

Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies

Application and Programme-related Fees

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of HK$500 (~US$64) (subject to revision) will be charged for each application for a programme. The application fee must 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



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



(Re)examination fee

HK$1,500 (~USD192)


Graduation fee

HK$400 (~(USD52)

Refundable upon study withdrawal or study termination

Selection Criteria

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

Although applicants’ academic excellence is of prime consideration, the Review Panels will take into account the following yardsticks, among others, in the selection of candidates:

  • academic excellence
  • research ability and potential
  • cultural diversity
  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • leadership abilities and societal responsibilities
  • university's 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).

Application Process and Timelines, 2024/25

When applying for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, each applicant may choose up to two PhD programmes and indicate their priority. Applicants are also required to nominate two academic referees who can comment on their academic performance, 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 CityUHK, please contact the Research Degree Coordinators of the academic department concerned.

Step One: Applicants must first register on the RGC’s Online Application System (OAS) and obtain a reference number before 1 December 2023 (12:00 noon Hong Kong time).

Step Two: Applicants are required to submit a full application, including supporting documents, to CityUHK through our Online Application System on or before 1 December 2023 (11:59 pm Hong Kong Time). 



1 September 2023*

Call for application

1 December 2023*

Deadline for registration at RGC's Online Application System (OAS)

1 December 2023#

Deadline for submission of full applications to CityUHK for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

April/May 2024

Notification of results

* at 12:00 noon (Hong Kong Time or GMT +8 hours)

# at 11:59 pm (Hong Kong Time or GMT +8 hours)


Awardees will only be allowed to enrol at the institutions that nominated them in accordance with the priority indicated, otherwise they will be considered as declining the award. Awardees are normally required to commence studies at the University in September 2024.


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

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