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Results of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2013/14 announced

The Research Grants Council (RGC) announced the results of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2013/14 today (April 10).

One hundred and eighty-five elite candidates from 33 countries/regions have accepted offers in the fourth 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 University Grants Committee-funded institutions in Hong Kong. A total of 4 785 applications from 106 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 442 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 26 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, 25 overseas Panel Members came to Hong Kong for a meeting in late February/early March to make further selections.

After a rigorous evaluation process, 210 candidates were offered a fellowship and 185 have accepted. Among these awardees, 68 (36.7%) candidates are from a wide variety of countries/regions, including 29 (15.7%) from Europe, 19 (10.2%) from Asian countries other than Mainland and Hong Kong, 14 (7.6%) from Americas and 6 (3.2%) from Africa. There are also 103 (55.7%) awardees from Mainland China and 14 (7.6%) from Hong Kong. Most of the awardees will study in fields relating to Engineering and Technology (34.6%) and Sciences (29.2%), followed by Social Sciences (13.5%) and Arts and Humanities (12.4%). A statistical summary on the awardees is set out at Annex. A list of awardees has been uploaded to the RGC website (http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funded_research/funding_results/other.html).

Commenting on the results, the Chairman of the RGC, Professor Benjamin Wah, said, "Following the success of the first three rounds of the scheme, we continue the momentum and have attracted over 4700 applications in this round of the exercise, a 12% increase over the last exercise."

Professor Wah added, "We aim to brand the Fellowship Scheme as a prestigious international award to attract the best and brightest students from all parts of the world. The Scheme is also part of our internationalisation effort in higher education. We are glad to see elites from different countries joining our research community and look forward to welcoming the next batch of students who will come to Hong Kong later this year."

Ends/Wednesday, April 10, 2013