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Dr Shimin Zhu
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Shimin ZHU

Associate Professor


Dr Shimin Zhu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She received her PhD in Social Work from The University of Hong Kong in 2014 and her BSc and MEd in Psychology from South China Normal University. She lectured in Psychology in Guangdong University of Education in China before her doctoral study and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The University of Hong Kong. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Dr Zhu has a major research interest in promoting adolescent positive development and well-being. She studies children and adolescents’ possible selves - how young people perceive their future possibilities leverages their feeling and behaviour. She also examines mindsets - the beliefs of one’s own attributes can change or not, - influence well-being, behaviours, and mental health. She studies youth with disadvantages, such as urban youth in poverty, youth with substance use, and migrant and left-behind children in China. Her research provides evidence-based knowledge to foster the positive development of young people and has direct implications for the school education and youth social work services.

Recently, her work is focused on unravelling the acceptability and efficacy of brief interventions for promoting youth mental health in the Chinese context. She is particularly interested in understanding the effect of integrating possible self and growth mindset intervention on youth motivation and mental health.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work, The University of Hong Kong  
  • Master of Education in Psychology, South China Normal University  
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, South China Normal University

Research Interests

  • Possible selves
  • Youth mental health
  • Mindsets (implicit theories)
  • Brief intervention

Grants (selected)

Web-based single-session growth mindset intervention for adolescent anxiety: A three-arm cluster randomised control trial
General Research Grant Funded by RGC (Ref:15601621) HKD 498,386 2022-2023(on-going)

Implicit theories and adolescent anxiety: A longitudinal test of reciprocal relationships
Early Career Scheme Funded by RGC(Ref:25605418) HKD 518,040 2019-2021(on-going)

Localisation of possible selves intervention program  RGC-Fulbright Research Project Funded by RGC-Fulbright Program HKD 87,360 2013-2014(completed)

Research on the training modes on nurturing innovative students in technology universities in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area: from the perspective of research and design National Social Science Foundation, China, Education Panel (Ref: BIA200169) RMB 200,000 2020-2023(on-going)

SoInno Design Education Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust HK$24,190,000 2019-2021(completed)


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