How to apply?
Academic qualification
HKPFS candidates should possess:
  • an MPhil or a research postgraduate degree with a dissertation as an award requirement, conferred by a recognised university (for 3-year PhD programmes); or
  • a Bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours, or a Master's degree, conferred by a recognised university (for 4-year PhD programmes).

English requirement

  • Exempted for candidates who have obtained a degree awarded by institutions where the medium of instruction was English; or
  • IELTS >= 6.5; or
  • TOEFL >=550 for paper-based test; or
  • TOEFL >=80 for internet-based test.
  • All English language test scores are considered valid for two years after the date of the test.


  • HKPFS candidates should also possess the following attributes: cultural diversity, leadership ability, societal responsibility, communication and interpersonal skills.
Step 1. Submission of Initial Application

  • Each applicant is allowed to make one initial application only to the Research Grants Council (RGC) through the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) Electronic System to obtain a HKPFS reference number by 1 December 2021 at Hong Kong Time 12:00 (GMT+8 hours).
  • Indicate the preference on the institutions if two institutions are chosen instead of one.
  • No change to the choice of institutions/preference is allowed after application submission.
Please read the FAQs available at the RGC website before submitting the initial application to the RGC.

Step 2. Submission of Full Application to PolyU

  • Submit a full application and pay the application fee, via eAdmission System on or before 1 December 2021 at Hong Kong Time 23:59 (GMT +8 hours), by quoting the HKPFS reference number.
  • Applicant is reminded to submit two separate full applications online if s/he has chosen two PolyU programmes from two different departments. An application fee is required for each full application.
  • If two PolyU programmes belong to two research areas of a programme offered by the same department, only one full application is required.
  • Nominate two academic referees who can comment on your academic performances.

Each HKPFS application received by PolyU will concurrently be processed as a normal application for PhD admission.

  • Date
  • Milestones
  • 1 Sep 2021
    at Hong Kong Time 12:00 (GMT +8 hours)
  • Call for applications
  • 1 Dec 2021
    at Hong Kong Time 12:00 (GMT +8 hours)
  • Deadline for submitting initial applications to the Research Grants Council (RGC) by the applicants for allocation of reference numbers
  • 1 Dec 2021
    at Hong Kong Time 23:59 (GMT +8 hours)
  • Deadline for submission of full applications and payment of application fee through the eAdmission System of PolyU
  • Mar/
    Apr 2022
  • Notification of results by RGC via email

A non-refundable fee of HK$300 will be charged for each application. Applicants should settle the application fee upon submission of each application by the specified deadline. Otherwise, the application will not be further processed. Applicants are advised to use Visa or Master Card to do so. Please click here to view the details on payment methods.