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FAQ

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Study Issues

1.

How do I know which subjects I should take to fulfil the coursework requirement?

2.

When and how do I apply for confirmation of registration?

3.

When and how do I apply for transfer of study from MPhil to PhD?

4.

Can I study outside Hong Kong?

5.

What are my working hours and work duties as a full-time research student?

6.

Can I do part-time work while receiving a studentship?

7.

How can I apply for visa extension?

8.

What is the procedure for applying to enter the maximum period?

Conference Issues

9.

Are there any upper limits on the number of applications for conference attendance and the amount of funding for each application?

10.

How can I be reimbursed for the expenses of conference attendance?

Examination Issues

11.

I would like to submit my thesis well before the normal period of study ends. Is it possible?

12.

How soon after the submission of the thesis will the oral examination (viva) be conducted?

Studentship Issues

13.

What is the application procedure for extension of studentship? Is there a form for application?

Tuition Fee Issues

14.

Should I pay the tuition fee in case I fail to submit the thesis by the end of the normal period?

15.

Will any of the unused whole-month portion of the continuation fee be refunded?

16.

Can I apply for deferment of the payment of my tuition fees?

17.

Can I use the resources of the University after submitting my thesis?

Supervision Issues

18.

Can academic staff with no previous supervision experience be appointed the Chief Supervisor of a student?

Other Issues

19.

I have lost the hardcopy of the Research Degree Regulations; can I obtain a replacement copy and from where?

20.

Can I borrow equipment or facilities from other academic departments?

21.

Can I use electronic means to submit application forms to the RO?

 
 
Study Issues
 

1. How do I know which subjects I should take to fulfil the coursework requirement?

 

Please consult your Chief Supervisor and DRC for advice.

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2. When and how do I apply for confirmation of registration?

 

You have to *apply for confirmation of registration within the first half of your normal period of study, starting from the date of provisional registration, and undergo a formal assessment whereby you are required to submit a written report and make a presentation to a panel. The panel shall provide a written assessment of the report and the presentation to the DRC. You will be given another opportunity to revise your report and make a second presentation within three months of the first assessment if you do not perform satisfactorily in the first assessment.
<<Research Student Handbook (for students admitted before 1 July 2014) Appendix A Sections R3 and P3>>
<<Research Student Handbook (for students admitted after 1 July 2014) Appendix A Section 6a>>

*Students admitted after 1 July 2015 are required to have their registration confirmed within the first half of the normal study period, starting from the date of provisional registration.
<<Research Student Handbook (for students admitted after 1 July 2014) Appendix A Section 6b>>

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3. When and how do I apply for transfer of study from MPhil to PhD?

 

You may apply for transfer of study within your normal period of study. Your supervisor(s) will submit on your behalf a brief report that contains the following information to the DRC:

 

  • - Your name;

     

  • - Whether the topic being researched can be extended to PhD level. If not, what additional topics need to be researched in order to ensure that the research programme provides a sufficient basis for PhD-standard work;

     

  • - A brief explanation as to why the supervisor(s) think that your past performance indicates you have the capacity to pursue a PhD (attaching a list of publications, if any, being prepared or submitted by you).

The report, signed and dated by your supervisor(s), should then be submitted to the DRC for approval or otherwise. If approved, the DRC will inform the RO that your status has been changed to a PhD candidate.

 

It will be optimal if the transfer of registration can be done at the same time as the confirmation of registration, if applicable. However, this is not a requirement.

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4. Can I study outside Hong Kong?

 

Where you needs to conduct your research outside Hong Kong, adequate supervision arrangements must be proposed by the Chief Supervisor and approved by the DRC for study periods spent outside Hong Kong.

You must fulfil the residence requirement before thesis submission.

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5. What are my working hours and work duties as a full-time research student?

 

As a full-time research student, you shall devote full-time effort to your programme of study on campus. You should normally be in the University during normal working hours unless you have obtained prior approval to conduct research elsewhere. You shall not take up any employment with the University or any other employers, unless with the prior approval of the University.

 

As a full-time research student awarded a research studentship, you will receive certain training as assigned by the Head of Department/Dean of School in consultation with the supervisor(s) within your Department/School for up to six hours per week. The nature of the training shall be related to teaching and research, and be relevant to your formal programme of study.

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6. Can I do part-time work while receiving a studentship?

 

Students provided with stipend or financial assistance under the Teaching Postgraduate Studentship (TPS) Scheme are not allowed to take up any part-time employment unless special approval is granted by the University. Should recipients of studentship/other financial assistance be found to be undertaking/have undertaken part-time work without prior approval of the University, his/her studentship/financial assistance will be suspended immediately.

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7. How can I apply for visa extension?

 

To apply for an extension of the visa when it is due to expire, non-local research students residing overseas should start the process by completing Form ID91. For details, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Immigration Department at http://www.immd.gov.hk.

 

Non-local research students may approach the Research Office for a testimonial (Form RC/19) in support of their application for an extension of their visa. The usual processing time for a testimonial is seven working days.

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8. What is the procedure for applying to enter the maximum period?

 

If you are unable to submit your thesis to the Research Office before the end of the normal period of study, you are expected to notify your DRC via your Chief Supervisor in writing before the normal period expires, indicating the expected completion date and the reasons for failing to submit the thesis within the normal period. Your DRC will act on your supervisor(s)’ recommendation and inform the RO of any action taken.

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Conference Issues

 

9. Are there any upper limits on the number of applications for conference attendance and the amount of funding for each application?

 

There are no upper limits on the number of applications for conference attendance. However, a maximum of HK$15,000 will be granted for each application, which must be relevant to your research degree programme. An application for conference attendance must include the recommendation of the supervisor and is subject to the approval of the Chair of the DRC. The level of funding for each application is also at the discretion of the Chair of the DRC.

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10. How can I be reimbursed for the expenses of conference attendance?

 

You should complete the Miscellaneous Expenses Claim Form, available at the Finance Office (FO) or your Department General Office, together with a detailed breakdown of the expenditures incurred, and send it with the following supporting documents directly to the Finance Office (FO):

a. copy of Form RC/4 (approved by the Department/School)
b. receipt for the airfare and counterfoil of the (used) air-ticket/boarding pass
c. receipt for the conference registration fee
d. receipts for meals, local travel and accommodation expenses

 

Please note that applications for reimbursement of expenses should be made within six months of the conference. You may contact the following colleagues of the FO if you have any queries on reimbursement or payment:

 

- Ms Mavis Mak (Tel.: 2766 4766)
- Ms Nancy Ho (Tel.: 2766 5243)
- Ms Kristie Wong (Tel.: 2766 4971)

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Examination Issues

 

11. I would like to submit my thesis well before the normal period of study ends. Is it possible?

 

Yes, as long as you have satisfied the residence and *the coursework requirements, you can submit your thesis to the Research Office. You are, however, reminded that the thesis must be accompanied by a Form RC/18 (Thesis Approval Form) duly signed by your Chief Supervisor.

 

Students admitted after 1 July 2014 must have also passed the language enhancement subjects/programmes designed and conducted by the English Language Centre or the Department of English, if improvement in the area of academic writing, academic speaking or both is imposed after the Research Language Skills Assessment.

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12. How soon after the submission of the thesis will the oral examination (viva) be conducted?

 

As soon as the duly completed "Notice of Intention to Take Thesis Examination" is received, the Research Office will set up a Board of Examination (BoE). On receipt of the two copies of the thesis, along with the Chief Supervisor's confirmation that the thesis is ready for submission (Form RC/18), the Research Office will send one copy of the thesis to the Chief Supervisor and the other one to the BoE Chair. The former will be asked to submit a report on the thesis within two weeks. As soon as the Chief Supervisor's report is received, the Chair of the BoE will be asked to confirm within two weeks whether, on a prima facie basis, the thesis can be sent to the external examiners for consideration. If the thesis is found to be acceptable by the BoE Chair, three additional copies will be required. Each external examiner shall be asked to read the thesis and submit a report on the thesis within six weeks.

Students submitting their Form RDC/2B Notice of Intention to Take Thesis Examination after 1 July 2014 are allowed to make a written request to the Research Committee for submitting a thesis for examination without the prior approval of his/her Chief Supervisor.

<<Research Student Handbook (for students admitted before 1 July 2014) Appendix A Sections R12 and P12>>
<<Research Student Handbook (for students admitted after 1 July 2014) Appendix A Section 19.5>>

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Studentship Issues

 

13. What is the application procedure for extension of studentship? Is there a form for application?

 

There is no application form. The student and/or the Chief Supervisor are required to provide sound justifications, a detailed study plan and the proposed sources of funding for the consideration and decision of the DRC.

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Tuition Fee Issues

 

14. Should I pay the tuition fee in case I fail to submit the thesis by the end of the normal period?

 

If you fail to submit your thesis to the Research Office by the end of the normal period of study, you must pay a continuation fee for a six-month period every half year, until submission of the thesis. This is regardless of your mode of study and whether you are receiving a stipend. There will not be any payment cut-off dates as in the case of the tuition fee. If you are able to submit your thesis within any six-month period for which you have paid the continuation fee, any unused whole-month portion of the continuation fee will be refunded to you in cash, after offsetting the examination fee.

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15. Will any of the unused whole-month portion of the continuation fee be refunded?

 

If you are able to submit your thesis within any six-month period for which you have paid the continuation fee, any unused whole-month portion of the continuation fee will be refunded to you in cash, after offsetting the examination fee.

 

The concept of a "month" in this policy is not the same as that of a calendar month, e.g. if your continuation fee payment starts from the 5th of a calendar month, any unused whole-month portion will also count from the 5th of the month after you have submitted your thesis to the RO.

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16. Can I apply for deferment of the payment of my tuition fees?

 

There is no mechanism for deferring payment of the tuition fee. Requests of this kind will not be entertained. If you fail to settle the tuition fee by the deadline, you will be regarded as having ceased your study. If you are given approval to reinstate your registration status, you will have to pay a fee of HK$400 for the reinstatement of registration status.

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17. Can I use the resources of the University after submitting my thesis?

 

As long as you are holding a valid student identity card and have paid the tuition and other required fees, you are entitled to the rights and privileges of a full-time or part-time student, as appropriate, of the University for the period you are eligible to register.
<<Research Student Handbook Section 20.1>>

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Supervision Issues

 

18. Can academic staff with no previous supervision experience be appointed the Chief Supervisor of a student?

 

Yes, provided that a Co-supervisor with such experience shall be appointed. Waiver of this requirement can be made by the DRC with justification.

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Other Issues

 

19. I have lost the hardcopy of the Research Degree Regulations; can I obtain a replacement copy and from where?

 

You can find a copy of the Research Degree Regulations here: Research Student Handbook
<<Research Student Handbook Appendix A>>

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20. Can I borrow equipment or facilities from other academic departments?

 

Sharing of equipment/facilities amongst academic departments has been encouraged, particularly after the establishment of the University Research Facilities (URFs). Students can make a request to the General Offices of the respective academic departments direct if they wish to borrow their equipment/facilities. However, students shall take good care of the equipment/facilities they have borrowed as they are the University’s properties and they have to ensure that other students would also have an equal chance to borrow the equipment/facilities that are in good condition.

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21. Can I use electronic means to submit application forms to the RO?

 

Currently, all RPg application forms are in soft copies and they can be downloaded for use from the RO website. In fact, students are not required to submit the completed and signed forms to the RO Office in person. They can submit the forms to the RO via email.

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Last update: 27 September 2019

 

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