Prospective Students

Scholarship, Funding and Fees

Hong Kong PhD Fellowships

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPF), 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 250 PhD Fellowships are awarded by the RGC each academic year.  Application normally starts on September 1 (noon) and ends on December 1 noon (HK Time) every year.  Applicants can check the exact application dates on the RGC website




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.

The Fellowships

The HKPF provides each awardee with both a monthly scholarship and a conference and research related travel allowance per year for a period up to three years. In 2018-19, the scholarship is worth HK$25,100 and the conference and research related travel allowance HK$12,600.  For HKPF awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will provide a monthly scholarship and travel allowance at the same level as the HKPF for their fourth year of study*. 

Additional support from HKU to HKPF awardees is available, such as the following for the 2019-20 exercise: 

•  HKU guarantees HKPF awardees a hall place in their first year of study with possibility of renewal in Year 2.  
•  HKU waives first-year composition fees of HK$42,100 (~US$5,400) for HKPF awardees.  
•  The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine will also provide HKPF awardees with the Faculty’s Doctoral Entrance Award of
 HK$40,000 (~US$5,100) in their first year of study.

* HKPF holders in HKU have to observe the Regulations Governing Postgraduate Scholarships.




Applicants need to submit one initial on-line application (only with basic information such as their names and place of birth) through the RGC system to obtain a reference number. The deadline for submitting an initial application to RGC is December 1, 2018 at Hong Kong Time noon (GMT +8 hours). 
Please click here for RGC on-line initial application.

Applicants who have chosen HKU in their initial applications should submit an on-line application form and upload soft copies of supporting documents via the HKU application system to complete the application to HKU. They are required to indicate that they are applying for the HKPF and quote the reference number assigned to them by the RGC. They should also make sure that their application materials do not contain any plagiarised materials, particularly the research proposal & research experience and vision statements, which are expected to be an original piece of work written by the applicant.  The deadline for submitting an application to HKU is December 1, 2018. Please click here to HKU Online Application System.

[For applicants of the Joint Programmes between HKU and King's College London/The University of Toronto:

The RGC has announced that UGC-funded full-time Dual/Joint PhD Programmes having at least two years of normative study period spent in local universities would be included in the HKPF Scheme with effect from the 2019/20 intake. However, the RGC would only provide monthly fellowship as well as conference and research-related travel allowance to HKPF awardees enrolled in the Dual/Joint PhD programmes during their study period spent in Hong Kong.] 

Please click here for further details of the HK PhD Fellowship Scheme.



University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF)

The University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF) Scheme is generously supported by The University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research (‘HKU Foundation’), the Jessie & George Ho Charitable Foundation, Dr Lee Shau Kee, and Philip K H Wong Foundation, carrying the titles ‘HKU Foundation Postgraduate Fellowship’, ‘Jessie Ho Memorial Postgraduate Fellowship’, ‘Lee Shau Kee Postgraduate Fellowship’, and ‘Philip K H Wong Foundation Postgraduate Fellowship’ respectively.

The Scheme aims to attract top students worldwide to the HKU family and is available for selected new full-time PhD candidates with excellent academic performances. The fellowship is at a total value of HK$70,000 on top of the Postgraduate Scholarships for the 2019/20 intake. Applicants in their final year of undergraduate study may also apply for the UPF. The application deadline is December 1, 2018.

There is no separate on-line application form for the UPF. HKU applicants for the HKPF will be automatically considered for the UPF. However, HKPF awardees will not concurrently be awarded the UPF and Postgraduate Scholarships offered by the University.

Further information is available in the Guide to Application.


Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS)

Full-time MPhil and PhD students who hold a first degree with second-class honours first division (or equivalent) or above are normally considered eligible to receive a Postgraduate Scholarship during the normative study period. Candidates' results in Master's degrees may also be considered. The basic level of scholarship is HK$16,660 per month (w.e.f. September 1, 2018).

With effect from September 1, 2018 a PGS holder whose PhD probation has been confirmed will receive a higher PGS rate ($17,120) with effect from the following calendar month after his/her probation is fully confirmed. For example:  probation confirmed within November 1 – 30, 2018 
--> higher PGS rate applicable w.e.f. December 1, 2018.


Tuition Waiver Scheme for Local Research Postgraduate (RPg) Students

The University Grants Committee (UGC) provides a non-means-tested ‘Tuition Waiver Scheme’ (‘The Scheme’) for all current and new local students enrolled in full-time UGC-funded Research Postgraduate (RPg) programmes of any disciplines in local institutions, to cover their composition fees with effect from July 1, 2018.  Eligible students do not need to apply for the Scheme.

For more information, please refer to the UGC website.


Academic Awards

The University administers a number of scholarships that are awarded to postgraduate students for outstanding academic achievements. Here are some examples available to current students.


Financial Support for Conference Attendance and Travel

Full-time MPhil and PhD students are eligible to apply for conference and/or travel support for presenting papers/posters in overseas academic conferences or participating in other overseas educational activities.

For further information on scholarships, please refer to the University's scholarship website.



Full-time non-local research postgraduate students who register on July 1, 2019 and thereafter are guaranteed a hall place in their first year of study.


Composition Fees and Living Expenses

Composition Fees of MPhil and PhD students (2018-19):
Full-time $42,100 p.a.a
Part-time $63,000 p.a.b



a. The fees are reviewed annually.
For candidates registered from September 2019 to August 2020: To be confirmed

b. Due to the withdrawal of funding from the University Grants Committee on part-time places with effect from 2009-10, part-time MPhil and PhD programmes will be offered on a self-funded basis. The fees are reviewed annually.

For candidates registered from September 2019 to August 2020: To be confirmed

c. HKU waives first-year composition fees of HK$42,100 (~US$5,400) for HKPF awardees of the 2018-19 exercise.

d. UGC waives composition fees for all local students enrolled in full-time UGC-funded RPg programmes w.e.f. July 1, 2018. For more information, please refer to the UGC website.


Please click here for the full schedule of fees.

Living Expenses for Non-local Students

The living costs vary from one person to another, depending on the type of accommodation selected and other factors. Usually, the postgraduate scholarship is sufficient to cover food, lodging, general living expenses and composition fees. Please click here for further information.