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Research Student Attachment Programme – Outgoing

Guidelines   Leaflet 
Online Application System   System User Guide
Forms and Notes for Successful Applicants


Call for applications - RSAP 2023/24 Round 1 - NOW CLOSED!


Introduction to Research Student Attachment Programme – Outgoing

Research Student Attachment Programme (RSAP) provides PhD students with an opportunity for Attachment to Academic Institutions/Research Labs with the objectives to:
a)    enhance international exposure to a new environment outside their home country, and/or
b)    facilitate collaborative research at top academic institutions and research labs outside Hong Kong.
[Applications must fulfill at least one of the objectives.]


Period of attachment

  • The period of attachment is from a minimum of three months to a maximum of one year. The completion date of the attachment programme must not exceed the normal period of study.
  • For the awardees of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, the minimum period of attachment is 85 days instead of three months.
  • This period of attachment will be counted within the normal study period of the student. The shortening of the study period in Hong Kong cannot be a ground for subsequent appeals. 


  • PhD students with good academic standing are eligible for application.
  • Applicants and host supervisors should have common research interests for supervision purposes.
  • Students whose registration is not confirmed may be given a conditional offer to undertake the attachment programme. If they cannot have their registration confirmed before the latest commencement date of the attachment programme, the conditional offer will lapse.
  • Awardees of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme are reminded to note the residence requirement set out in the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme, which specifies “If an awardee stays outside Hong Kong for academic/research activity for an aggregate period exceeding 90 consecutive days, or an aggregate of 183 days, the stipend will be suspended immediately unless prior approval by the Research Grants Council (RGC) has been given upon provision of strong justification by the affiliated university.”, and obtain prior approval from the RGC where applicable.
  • Applicants who have previously completed an attachment programme can re-apply. 

Financial support

  • Students may have to pay the host university's tuition and other fees. It is recommended that students confirm with the host prior to submitting their application.
  • Successful applicants will continue to receive stipends and pay tuition fees as required by PolyU, if applicable.
  • Successful applicants are entitled to a subsistence allowance of HK$7,500 per month (or a daily rate of HK$250 for a partial month). The maximum allowance is capped at HK$45,000 per trip, i.e., the amount for a maximum of six months.
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, PolyU students from the Faculty of Business, the Faculty of Construction and Environment, and the School of Hotel and Tourism Management who attach to Zhejiang University are entitled to a monthly allowance of RMB7,500 with a cap of RMB45,000 per trip under the Zhejiang University Special Funding Scheme.
  • Successful applicants are entitled to a travel allowance capped at HK$10,000 on a reimbursement basis to cover actual travel expenses incurred. Travel expenses cover a round-trip economy class ticket and connecting transportation by the most direct route to/from the host institution and ticket-related taxes, fees and levies.
  • The aggregate amounts for subsistence allowance and travel allowance per student throughout the period of study are capped at HK$45,000 and HK$10,000, respectively.
  • Successful applicants must commence their attachment programme within nine months of the date of the notice letter from the Graduate School (GS) unless special arrangements are announced. Failing that, the approved grant will be withdrawn. 

Application procedures and timeline

  • Applicants should seek the consent of the proposed host supervisor prior to application.
  • For objective (b) of the RSAP, applicants should provide evidence, e.g., university ranking, to support that the host institution is a top academic institution/research lab in the respective discipline. Application can be made via the online submission system. Required submission documents include:
    • An invitation letter from the host supervisor or his/her affiliated department/faculty, specifying the full name of PhD student, the name of the host supervisor, and the period of attachment,
    • a copy of the academic transcript of the applicant (softcopy of assessment results on eStudent is acceptable),
    • a brief CV of the applicant with a list of representative publications, and
    • a brief CV of the host supervisor with a list of representative publications. 
  • Timeline:
     Date  Event
     11 Sep 2023  Call for application
     10 Nov 2023  Application deadline
     15 Nov 2023  PolyU supervisor endorsement deadline
     22 Nov 2023  D/SRC application assessment deadline
     13 Dec 2023  GS application selection
     Late Dec 2023  GS notification of results



For enquiries, please contact the Graduate School by email at


Student Sharing

With the supervision from Prof. David A. Weitz, I had the opportunity to learn and collaborate with the PhD students and research fellows in the Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Weitz Lab. The experience was fun and full of challenges.

Tianpeng Tu

Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME)
Outgoing to Harvard University in the United States

During my four months at Manchester, I was able to interact with experts at aging-related research works and gained precious insights into the research culture in the UK. I established connections with colleagues at Manchester and beyond, which will be valuable for my future career.

Mohana Das

School of Design (SD)
Outgoing to Manchester University in the United Kingdom

Because there is very limited Salutogenesis research within Asia districts, the RSAP provided me with a valuable opportunity to connect and collaborate with renowned and likeminded overseas scholars.

Terence Kenneth Lau

School of Nursing (SN)
Outgoing to National University of Singapore in Singapore

Meeting people from various cultures expanded my horizon and deepened my understanding of global mental health problems and social problems.

Estelle Deng

Department of Applied Social Sciences (APSS)
Outgoing to The University of Chicago in the United States

The attachment programme not only deepened my knowledge and broadened my horizon, but also benefited my research studies by building connections and inspiring future research collaboration. 

Darry Dai

School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM)
Outgoing to the University of Queensland in Australia

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