Are you an international student aspiring to pursue a PhD coursework from globally recognized academic institution? Then you have come at the right place. The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2023-24 offers an invaluable opportunity to students to fulfil their academic dreams beyond a master’s coursework, in one of the most vibrant cities in Asia: Hong Kong. 

Introduced by the Government of Hong Kong and funded by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong, this fully-funded initiative is aimed at attracting global talent to its prestigious universities. In this article, we will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2024.

Overview of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

Referred often as HKPFS, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme is aimed towards attracting and engaging exceptional students from all across the world, offering them an invaluable opportunity to pursue their doctoral studies in the city. The best part of this endeavour is that the applications for this scheme are purely FREE OF COST, thus making it a highly accessible affair to all the eligible and deserving candidates. Also, each year 300 fellowships are awarded making it a highly accessible grant for those who have an exceptional student profile. 

Moreover, another attractive feature of this scheme is that it allows students from all nationalities to apply to the program, regardless of their academic study field, prior experiences, and social backdrop. This thus serves as an exceptional opportunity for international students to distinguish themselves and propel their academic growth trajectory in the right direction. 

The most important thing to note here is that the typical duration of a Hong Kong PhD Fellowship is three years, providing ample time for students to delve deep into their research and make significant contributions to their chosen fields. 

Moreover, academic calendars in Hong Kong typically commence in September, aligning perfectly with the timeline of the students who are eagerly looking forward to embark on their Ph.D. journey.

Eligible Universities

Eight distinguished universities in Hong Kong have opened their doors to HKPFS awardees. These universities are as follows - 

1. City University of Hong Kong

2. Hong Kong Baptist University

3. Lingnan University

4. The Chinese University of Hong Kong

5. The Education University of Hong Kong

6. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

7. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

8. The University of Hong Kong

You can visit and collect information about the programs offered within all the participating universities as part of this Fellowship Scheme by visiting the below link –

Fields of study under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2024

The HKPFS allows students from a wide range of academic disciplines, ensuring that they can pursue their passion and take their education to the next level. The key fields for which applicants can file an application under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2024 includes Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Social Sciences, and Business Studies. 

Benefits of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2024

As a recipient of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, you can enjoy a range of benefits outlined below including generous funding/financial grant, designed to empower students in their academic pursuit:

1. An annual stipend of HK$331,200 (approximately US$42,460)

2. A conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,800 (approximately US$1,760)

3. It also keeps the possibility of additional support open if a student requires more than three years to complete the fellowship due to unforeseen situations.

4. The biggest benefit of all is the fact that no prior work experience is required to apply for this fellowship grant. 

Who can apply for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme? Check your eligibility

To be eligible for this prestigious fellowship, you must meet the following criteria:

1. Be a full-time new PhD student

2. Open to candidates of all nationalities

3. It also requires you to prove your proficiency in English Language. However, if you don't wish to submit an IELTS report, you must demonstrate a proof of proficiency in English Language through a Medium of Instruction Letter issued by your previous academic institution in support of your application.

4. Choose from the list of eight participating universities [mentioned above] 

How to Apply (Application Process) for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

The application process for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme involves two crucial steps:

Step 1: Submit an Initial Application online through the Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme Electronic System (HKPFSES) by 1st December 2023, 12:00 noon, Hong Kong Time, to obtain an HKPFS Reference Number. The application is made to the Research Grants Council (RGC), Hong Kong. 

Link for applying

Link for the Initial Application;jsessionid=6w7G9oIngyC6RNXvf9iTAeTAM2XKtZbnDcufOmwl.poccentos7

NOTE – Applications are now open since September 01, 2023. 

Step 2: After completing the initial application, submit full applications for your selected Ph.D. programs to your desired universities, quoting your HKPFS Reference Number.

Moreover, please bear in mind that as an aspiring student, you can apply for up to two programs or departments at one or two universities for Ph.D. study.


1. Prospective candidates should be aware that the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme Electronic System (HKPFSES), the online application platform, has an automatic timeout feature that activates after 30 minutes of inactivity. Any entries that have not been submitted will be lost when the system times out.

2. Candidates have the flexibility to modify their preferences for universities, departments, and programs until the initial application deadline expires. Nevertheless, only the two choices that are recorded in the HKPFSES system at the deadline will be considered. Please note that the RGC will not entertain any further adjustments or requests for changes to applications beyond the initial application deadline.

3. Also, please make sure that when you apply to individual universities that are part of the program, each university may have its own deadlines for submitting applications. Be sure to pay close attention to these deadlines. You can find information about the submission deadlines for the eight participating universities at -

All the relevant guidelines related to the application for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2023-24 can be accessed easily by clicking on the link below –

Lastly, universities will put forward chosen candidates to the RGC for consideration in the competition for the HKPFS award. If, by any chance, an applicant receives nominations from two different universities, the RGC will solely consider the nomination from the university the applicant has designated as their top choice. Furthermore, any eventual award of the fellowship by the RGC will align with the applicant's indicated priority. 

In cases where an applicant selects two distinct programs within the same university and receives nominations for both, the university will have the authority to determine which program it supports in the nomination process.

Application Deadlines

All the candidates must make note that both the application for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme and the application to their chosen university must be submitted before December 1, 2023. 

No applications post this date will be considered for further processing. 

Where, when, and how will the results be declared for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2023-24

Successful applicants will receive emails and letters to inform them about the fellowship awards from the RGC. The results will be posted on the website in May 2024 at –

Please remember that the RGC's decisions are final, and they won't give specific feedback to each applicant.