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Being appointed as Endowed Young Scholar is an immense honour to me. I strongly believe that a healthy society is the one that is inclusive and supports its most vulnerable members. My research team and I are committed to studying and enhancing the health and well-being of elderly individuals who are socially excluded from society.
Dr Crystal Kwan
Thetos Foundation Young Scholar in
Social Services

Dr Crystal Kwan

It is the shared vision of the Foundation and the Scheme to support aspiring young scholars who cannot fully develop their potential due to lack of funding support. We look forward to having further opportunities of this kind to give back to society.
Charles To - Thetos


Thetos Foundation

Mr Charles To


Thetos Foundation


Thetos Foundation is a Christian faith-based private family foundation deeply rooted in Hong Kong. The grant-making organisation aims to give back to society by endorsing and empowering non-governmental organisations.

The Foundation supports a wide range of NGOs of different scales and scopes of service. It recognises NGOs that are genuinely engaged in serving the community and endorses their efforts in the form of grants. Further financial support may be offered to them for scaling up their meaningful endeavours.

The Foundation has established Thetos Foundation Young Scholar in Social Services to support talented PolyU young scholars who are devoted to serving the community, particularly in the context of social services, an area that may not be attracting enough funding otherwise.

Chairman of the Foundation, Hong Kong Solicitor Mr Charles To said “We are looking forward to having further opportunities of this kind to give back to society.”



Dr Crystal Kwan


Dr Crystal Kwan, Assistant Professor at PolyU's Department of Applied Social Sciences, focuses on understanding and supporting underprivileged elderly individuals. Her research, which began during her PhD studies, aims to reveal the social realities of older adults who are marginalised, stigmatized, and least privileged. Dr Kwan is committed to innovating and implementing social services and policies with a vision of leaving no one behind in healthy aging policies and practice.

Dr Kwan obtained her PhD in Social Work from the University of Calgary, where she was honoured with two of the most prestigious awards for top-ranked post-secondary students in Canada, namely the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship and Killam Doctoral Scholarship, for her research examining the resilience of elderly individuals living in poverty and disaster-prone communities. Prior to academia, Dr Kwan spent over 2 years as a social worker and was also the co-creator and leader of Elder Service Corps, a community-based programme aimed at engaging socially isolated elderly individuals.

At PolyU, Dr Kwan leads research projects on elderly individuals who are socially excluded, homeless, or living in poverty alone or with their spouses. She always collaborates with local non-government organisations to bridge the gap between research and practice, ensuring a significant and direct impact on society. Dr Kwan was awarded the Research Grants Council's Early Career Scheme and received funding from Public Policy Research for two projects aimed at better understanding and supporting elderly individuals who are living alone, experiencing economic deprivation, or have experienced homelessness.

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