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Research Postgraduate Programme

Research Postgraduate Fellowship / Scholarship

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) is a prestigious award established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong. Awardees will be provided an annual stipend of HK$319,200 (~US$40,900) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,300 (~US$1,700) per year for each awardee for a period up to three years.

Further support for HKPF awardees:

  • Faculty Entrance Scholarship of HK$15,000 (~US$1,900) in their first year of study; and
  • The HKU Presidential PhD Scholarship of HK$40,000 (~US$5,100) in Year 1 and HK$20,000 (~US$2,550) per year in the remaining normative study period; and 
  • A guaranteed hall place for their first year of study with  possibility of renewal in the second year; and
  • Composition fees will be waived for the whole normative study  period (HK$42,100 (~US$5,300) per year)

Full-time MPhil and PhD students (those not awarded under the HKPF scheme) who hold a first degree with second-class honours first division or above are normally considered eligible to receive a Postgraduate Scholarship during the normative study period. The basic level of scholarship is HK$18,030 (~US$2,300) per month.

The fellowship is at a total value of HK$70,000 (~US$8,900) on top of the Postgraduate Scholarships for full-time PhD candidates with an excellent academic record. 

Composition fees will be waived for the whole normative study period (HK$42,100 (~US$5,300) per year) for all local students enrolled in full-time PhD and MPhil programmes.

The Fellowship shall be awarded to a full-time PhD student with a research interest related to applied ecology in monsoonal and equatorial Asia including but not limited to studies in botany, zoology, biochemistry, physiology, and climatology.

The Fellowship shall be awarded to a national or permanent resident of Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam. Priority shall be given to candidate who has obtained his/her first degree at The University of Hong Kong.



The fellowship will be available in every four years and the next fellowship will be available in 2024. Application details will be announced around end of 2023.



Robert Orr Whyte

Robert Whyte was the son of Robert Orr Whyte, a medical practitioner from Cambridge. He was born in Ayrshire in 1903, and educated at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He was admitted to Caius (University of Cambridge) in 1926 to study for a PhD in Botany. After completing his PhD in 1929, he was appointed as a Chief Officer at the Imperial Bureau of Plant Genetics in Aberystwyth (later known as The Commonwealth Bureau of Pastures and Field Crops) and became eventually its Director.

He worked for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO; Rome) in the 1950s, and participated FAO missions to India and Japan. He moved to the University of Hong Kong in 1966, where he held a hononary fellowship conducting research on applied ecology of monsoonal and equatorial Asia.

He authored numerous books in Asian Ecology including Rape of the Earth: A world survey of Soil Erosion (1939, with Graham Jacks), Crop Production and Environment (1960), Grasslands and Fodder resources of India (1964) and Grasslands of the Monsoon (1968).

He died on 31 October 1986.