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Results of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2012/13 announced

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced today (March 30) the results of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2012/13.

One hundred and sixty-five elite candidates from 32 countries/regions have accepted offers in the third round of the scheme.

The RGC launched this 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 4 253 applications from 117 countries/regions were received in this exercise.

The eight participating institutions, namely City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Lingnan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The University of Hong Kong, nominated 452 applicants to compete for the fellowships.

Two Selection Panels, one on Science, Medicine, Engineering and Technology and the other on Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies, comprising 27 overseas and 20 local academics with excellent experience in recruiting 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, 26 overseas Panel Members came to Hong Kong for a meeting in late February to make further selections.

After a rigorous evaluation process, 200 candidates were offered a fellowship and 165 have accepted. Among these awardees, 57 (34.5%) candidates are from other countries/regions, including 25 (15.2%) from Europe, 21 (12.7%) from Asian countries/regions other than Mainland and Hong Kong, 5 (3%) from Americas, 4 (2.4%) from Africa, and 2 (1.2%) from Oceania. Besides, 92 (55.8%) awardees are from Mainland China and 16 (9.7%) are from Hong Kong. Most of the awardees will study in fields relating to Engineering (27.3%) and Sciences (26.7%), followed by Social Sciences (17%), Arts and Humanities (13.9%). A statistical summary on the awardees is set out at Annex. A list of awardees can be found in "Funding Results of Other Schemes" section of the RGC website.

Commenting on the results, the Chairman of the RGC, Professor Roland Chin, said, "The target of the scheme is to provide 135 places or more to the best students from around the world. I am glad to see that this year we made 200 offers and 165 students have accepted the fellowship, representing a 32% increase over the last round. The result is remarkable and shows that the cultural diversity and quality of awardees have improved much in the third round exercise. We look forward to welcoming the new batch of students to come to Hong Kong to pursue their PhD studies."

Ends/Friday, March 30, 2012