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PhD Program

Application for graduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS)

The Fellowship provides an annual stipend of HK$325,200 (approximately US$41,690) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,600 (approximately US$1,740) per year for each awardee for a period up to three years. 300 PhD Fellowships will be awarded in the 2023/24 academic year. While candidates' academic excellence is of primary consideration, the Selection Panels will take into account factors as follows: 1) Academic excellence; 2) Research ability and potential; 3) Communication and interpersonal skills; and 4) Leadership abilities. Candidates who are seeking admission as new full time PhD students of eight universities, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong, irrespective of their country of origin, prior work experience and ethnic background, should be eligible to apply. Deadline is December 1, 2022. Applicants can visit for more information. Besides the HKPFS, students can also apply for graduate studentship of about HK$216,300 a year for 3 to 4 years. 

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) as an excellent academic institution

CUHK is a forward-looking comprehensive research university with a global vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West. CUHK teachers and students hail from all around the world. CUHK graduates are connected worldwide through an extensive alumni network. As a top university in Hong Kong and Asia, CUHK aims to nurture students with both specialized knowledge and wisdom for life. The education experience here is distinguished by a flexible credit 

unit system, a college system, bilingualism and multiculturalism. Our eight Faculties offer a wide array of excellent undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The University's insistence on the highest standards of research has won it an enviable research reputation. Hong Kong's University Grants Committee (UGC) provides preferential grant funding to the local tertiary institutions to conduct research into 18 selected Areas of Excellence (AoEs). Seven of these AoEs are being led by researchers from CUHK. The University houses five state key laboratories which are entrusted by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China to

produce research of international quality and carry out important national research tasks. The University also has an excellent record of published research, both in discipline-specific journals and in more high-profile publications such as Science, Nature, and The Lancet. CUHK has excellent international standing. Its QS World University Rankings 2022/2023 is 38, and Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021/2022 is 45. CUHK website:

JC School of Public Health and Primary Care (JCSPHPC)

The School has the mission of improving health of populations locally, nationally and internationally. It is the first institution in Hong Kong to provide comprehensive and interdisciplinary education, training, consultation, and research in public health and primary care. Our divisions of Behavioral Health and Health Promotion, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Infectious Diseases, Occupational and Environmental Health, Health System, Policy and Management are comprehensive and have gained international reputations. We focus on developing research and teaching not only in Hong Kong but also in the mainland and the region. We collaborate with many top international and mainland universities, and work very closely with various communities and international organizations. Our publications excel in quantity and quality. Link:

Division of Behavioral Health and Health Promotion of JCSPHPC, CUHK

The division’s vision is to strengthen population health through development of interdisciplinary behavioral health in the region. Our colleagues are truly interdisciplinary, and our adjunct staff includes experts of top international universities. Its strategic research areas include HIV and sexual health, addiction (Internet addiction, substance use, smoking and alcohol use), behavioral prevention of non-communicable diseases (health-related behaviors physical activity, caregiver research, adherence, diet, and cancer prevention), obesity, ageing-related behaviors, social media and health, mental health in diseased groups and promotion, vaccination, and bio-ethics research. It spans from evidence building to implementation science. We provide state-of-the-art training on behavioral health, psychological behavioral theories, health promotion, and social marketing. We provide local and internal consultancies to the government, World Health Organization and Chinese Academy of Sciences, and collaborate with vulnerable communities, local and international non-governmental organizations, and top universities overseas and in the mainland China. We are well supported by the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion and the Centre for Health Behaviours Research.

Sharing from CHBR recent PhD graduates

Dr. Paul Shing-fong CHAN (Graduate Year: 2024)

Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Health Behaviours Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


"My immense gratitude to Prof. Zixin Wang for his precious guidance, teachings, and support during my PhD study."


(3 SCI papers published out of his thesis)


Dr. Luyao XIE (Graduate Year: 2023)

Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Health Behaviours Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


"Studying at CUHK has been an enriching experience of academic growth and interdisciplinary exploration for me. I am deeply grateful for the invaluable guidance and constant support from my supervisor throughout this journey."


(4 first-author SCI papers published)

Dr. Yanqiu YU  (Graduate Year: 2020)

Researcher, Department of Preventive Medicine and Health Education, School of Public Health, Fudan University

“My gratitude goes to all the lovely people I met during the three years of my PhD life. I'm also highly grateful for my supervisors who guided me through this challenging journey with their passion for academic research and the wisdom of life.”


Dr. Rui SHE (Graduate Year: 2019)

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

(2018 Conference grants. 15th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine; 2018 4th International Meeting of Public Health (IMOPH) for and the 2nd Young Scholar Symposium on Public Health (YSSOPH) in Universitas Indonesia)

“The study time at CUHK is a grateful, valuable, and impressive experience for me. I was highly motivated by the supervisors’ wisdom and passion for research, and many other brilliant scholars. All of these ​​will be beneficial  ​for my career and life”

Dr. Xueying YANG (Graduate Year: 2018)

(2015 The College Prize for Poster Presentation at the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting, Hong Kong College of Community Medicine)

"I am very grateful to have lots of brilliant, excellent and great people around me during my 3-year PhD study in CUHK. My supervisors inspired me a lot and motivated me to become a critical thinker and better writer, which benefits me a lot for both my life and study."

Dr. Wangnan CAO (Graduate Year: 2017)

Post-doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong

(2015 Scholarship under the Ph.D. Student Exchange Program to visit Karolinska Institutet; 2016 Best Poster Award at the Conference of INFECTION 2016 (13th Annual Scientific Meeting of CEID))

“My PhD study in CUHK has been a wonderful journey full of challenges and expectations. I am motivated by my supervisors’ wisdom and passion for scientific research. They help me considerably with critical thinking and academic writing, which benefit my future research career.”

Dr. Jibin LI (Graduate Year: 2016)

Assistant Researcher, Department of Clinical Research, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center


“My time in CUHK​ was a very impressive and valuable experience in my life. It ​was like a marathon that was full of challenges, frustrations, expectations, and excitement. During the study period, I learnt how to overcome frustration​s​ ​with a peaceful mind, how to think ​about ​questions critically and thoroughly, and how to conduct high-quality research. All of these ​​will be valuable ​for my career development and whole life.”

Dr. Jinghua LI (Graduate Year: 2015)

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

(Global Scholarship Programme for Research Excellence – CNOOC Grants to visit Brown University in 2014)


“Study in CUHK is a grateful, valuable and fruitful journey for me. Professors and colleagues are always kind and close to me. I also got the opportunity to exchange at Brown University for three months. PhD training broadened my knowledge and academic networking, which helped me to prepare for my future research career.”

Dr. Chunrong LI (Graduate Year: 2014)

Associate Chief Physician,  Chengdu Women’s and Children’s Central Hospital


“That is the hardest and the most wonderful experience in my life during study in CUHK.

Dr. Zixin WANG (Graduate Year: 2013)
Assistant Professor, JC School of Public Health, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

(Global Scholarship Programme for Research Excellence – CNOOC Grants to visit Yale University in 2012; Best Thesis Award, JCSPHPC, 2013; Early Career Award by the International Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2016)

“My PhD study in the CUHK allowed me to enter the area of interdisciplinary study in HIV/AIDS, where I can work with researchers from multi-disciplines and the LGBT community to improve their well-beings.”

Dr. Xiaobing WU (Graduate Year: 2012)

Associate Chief Physician, Shenzhen Center for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention


“Studying in Hong Kong was interesting and academically stimulating. I got great advices and support from my supervisor and colleagues. I learn about how to think and solve problems which has great effects on my current work in mainland China, when I am designing and implementing public health programs.”

Dr. Haochu LI (Graduate Year: 2012)
Early Career Researcher, UNC Project-China

(Global Scholarship Programme for Research Excellence – CNOOC Grants to visit Brown University in 2011; post-doctorate fellow at Wayne State University in 2014)

“I am so pleased to catch a global trend of interdisciplinary study in public health when I was doing my PhD in CUHK, where I got chances to learn from anthropologists, epidemiologists, psychologists, social workers, and medical doctors.”

Dr. Chun HAO (Graduate Year: 2011)

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University; Sun Yat-sen Global Health Institute, Institute of State Governance, Sun Yat-sen University

(Global Scholarship Programme for Research Excellence – CNOOC Grants  to visit Oxford University in 2010; post-doctorate fellow at Harvard University in 2012-2013)


“I very much cherish my study experience with this team at CUHK. What I learned here is very helpful to my current career as a teacher and a researcher. I wish I could have learned more from this team if time could be turned back.”

Dr. Lancelot MUI (Graduate Year: 2010)

Lecturer, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


“Distinguished faculty, excellent international exposure, with a dedication to make the world a better place. I believe I’ve made the right choice to pursue my PhD at the JCSPHPC.”

Dr. Xiaoyou SU (Graduate Year: 2010)

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Peking Union Medical College

(Visiting Scholar, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 2016)


“To study in the School of Public Health, CUHK is my lifetime wealth, I gained professional knowledge and benefited from a culturally diverse environment.”

Dr. Jing GU (Graduate Year:2008)

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

(Visiting Scholar, Washington University, year 2013-2014)


“My time at CUHK was a life-changing experience. During the three years, I not only learnt how to conduct research, I also expanded my way of thinking about the world.”

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