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Results of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2010/11 announced

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced today (March 30) the results of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2010/11.

One hundred and fifteen international elite candidates have accepted offers in the first round of the Scheme established by the RGC for admission to PhD programmes of local institutions in the 2010/11 academic year.

The RGC launched this new fellowship scheme in September 2009 to attract the best and brightest students from around the world (including Hong Kong) to pursue their PhD studies and research in UGC-funded institutions in Hong Kong. A total of 2 996 applications worldwide from 100 countries / regions were received.

The seven participating institutions, namely City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Lingnan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The University of Hong Kong, nominated 370 applicants to compete for the Fellowships.

Two Selection Panels, namely Science, Medicine, Engineering and Technology Panel and Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies Panel, comprising 21 overseas and 15 local academics who had good experience in recruitment of research postgraduate students for top-notch institutions, were set up to evaluate the nominated candidates.

The local academics conducted assessment of the applications by means of a blind review to avoid any conflict of interest. Furthermore, 16 overseas Panel Members came to Hong Kong in late February to examine the shortlisted applications further at a two-day meeting.

After a rigorous evaluation process, 148 candidates were offered a Fellowship and 115 have accepted. Among these awardees, 71 (62%) candidates are from the Mainland and 10 (9%) from Hong Kong. The remaining 34 (29%) come from other parts of the world, including 13 (11%) from Europe, 12 (10%) from other Asian countries, six (5%) from America, two (2%) from Africa, and one (1%) from Australia. Most of the awardees will study in the fields of Engineering (31%) and Physical Sciences (27%), while the rest will study in areas relating to Biology and Medicine (16%) and Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies (26%). A summary of the awardees statistics is set out at Annex. Details of the awardees can also be retrieved from the Scheme's website at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funding_opport/fellowships/hkphdfs.html.

Commenting on the results of the scheme Chairman of the RGC, Professor Roland Chin, said, "We are delighted to see that for this debut of the scheme, we have been able to attract and recruit such outstanding applicants. We envisage that the dynamics generated by these outstanding students, with diverse cultural backgrounds, will enrich the educational experience of all other students. The Scheme attracted a large number of the best and the brightest from around the world to Hong Kong. The RGC decided to only offer Fellowships to outstanding candidates: those who could also gain admittance to the top universities around the world. Thus we only made 148 offers. 115 acceptances is a very good 'success rate'. This broadening of our recruitment base will surely over time improve the overall research capacity of Hong Kong and benefit Hong Kong."

Professor Chin was extremely pleased with the quality of the awardees in the first round exercise, "In fact, it is a good starting point for our scheme to establish its brand, and for Hong Kong to be known in the world for students to pursue their research careers. I hope that in the near future, along with achievements of our institutions in the global higher education scene, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme will be recognized as one of the top scholarship schemes that elite research students around the world will aspire to pursue."

Ends/Tuesday, March 30, 2010