Prospective Students

Scholarship, Funding and Fees

Hong Kong PhD Fellowships

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPF) was established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2009. The HKPF aims at attracting the best and brightest students across the world to pursue their research degree programmes in Hong Kong. 250 PhD Fellowships will be awarded to all institutions in each academic year. For the 2019-20 exercise, application starts on September 1, 2018 (noon).

To discourage plagiarism, the RGC requests institutions to conduct plagiarism checking on all nominated applications before submitting their nominations to the RGC. Applicants should make sure that their application materials do not contain any plagiarised materials, in particular the research proposal & past research experience and vision statements which are expected to be an original piece of work written by the applicant.



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 a monthly scholarship of HK$25,100* and a conference and research related travel allowance of HK$12,600 per year for a period up to three years. For HKPF awardees who are admitted to a 4-year PhD programme in 2018-19, the University will provide a monthly scholarship and travel allowance at the same level as the HKPF for their fourth year of study. Please click here for further details 

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.

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 in the 2019-20 exercise.

* HKPF holders in the University of Hong Kong have to observe the Regulations Governing Postgraduate Scholarships.




Applicants will need to submit one initial application to the RGC (only with basic information such as their names, the two chosen programmes / institutions, place of birth, etc.) through RGC's on-line system, and each of the applications will be allocated a reference number. The deadline for submitting an initial application to RGC is December 1, 2018 at Hong Kong Time 12:00:00 (GMT +8 hours). Please click here for RGC on-line initial application.

Applicants who have chosen HKU in their initial applications have to submit an on-line application form and upload soft copies of supporting documents via the on-line application system of HKU to apply for admission. They are required to indicate that they are applying for the HKPF in the on-line application form and quote the reference number assigned to them by the RGC. The deadline for submitting an application to HKU is December 1, 2018. Faculties will then submit the nominated candidates to the Graduate School for consideration. Please click here to HKU Online Application System.

Applicants who have applied for the HKPF will be automatically considered for the award of University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF) mentioned in the following session. Nevertheless, applicants who have successfully been selected for the award of HKPF will not concurrently be awarded the UPF and Postgraduate Scholarships offered by the University. 

In addition, the Research Grants Council (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 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. (Note: Applicable to the Joint Programmes between HKU and King’s College London/The University of Toronto only).



University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF)

The University Postgraduate Fellowships (UPF) Scheme is generously supported by several donors and the Fellowships awarded to awardees are funded 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 names ‘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 and is available for selected new full-time PhD candidates with excellent academic performances. The fellowship is at a value of HK$70,000 on top of the Postgraduate Scholarships. Applicants in their final year of study may also apply for the UPF. The deadline for application is December 1, 2018.

There is no separate on-line application form for UPF. Applicants who have applied for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowships will be automatically considered for the award of UPF. 

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) has announced a ‘Tuition Waiver Scheme’ (‘The Scheme’) for all local students enrolled in full-time UGC-funded Research Postgraduate (RPg) programmes in local institutions, to cover their composition fees with effect from the academic year 2018-19 (i.e. from July 1, 2018).

This Tuition Waiver Scheme provides non-means-tested funding to all current and new local students from all disciplines of study enrolled in full-time UGC-funded RPg programmes. Eligible students do not need to apply for the Scheme.

For more information, please refer to the UGC website.


Scholarships and Conference / Travel Support

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

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.


Composition Fees and Living Expenses


All students (including Scholarship holdersc) have to pay the composition fees.


Composition Fees:
Full-time $42,100 p.a.a
Part-time $63,000 p.a.b



a. The fees will be reviewed annually.
For candidates registered from September 2019 to August 2020: To be confirmed
For candidates registered from September 2018 to August 2019: $42,100

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 tuition fees will be reviewed annually.

For candidates registered from September 2019 to August 2020: To be confirmed
For candidates registered from September 2018 to August 2019: $63,000

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


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.