Croucher Science Communication Studentships

Notes for Applicants

The Croucher Foundation is a private endowment set up in 1979 and permanently domiciled in Hong Kong, with the objective of promoting excellence in the natural sciences, technology and medicine in Hong Kong. The Governors of the Foundation believe that all young people in Hong Kong deserve to be inspired by science and to have a sense of the relevance of science to their own lives.

To this end, a new category of awards namely the Croucher Science Communication Studentships has been introduced in 2018 and the Foundation is now accepting applications. The Studentships are intended for Hong Kong permanent residents wishing to increase their knowledge and skills by studying for a postgraduate degree in science communication at an overseas university or in Hong Kong. Applicants would be expected to have some experience of science communication and to be passionate about bringing science closer to the lives of young people in Hong Kong.

Science Communication Studentships

These awards are intended for those engaged in full-time study leading to a Master’s degree. Applicants must have obtained at least Second Class Honours Division One in their first degree. Otherwise they must obtain substantively a higher degree by September 2021 to become eligible. Students in their final year of first degree may also apply, but any offer of award will be conditional on their obtaining a suitable qualification upon their graduation by July 2021.

Studentship holders must be full-time students.

Value of awards

A Croucher Science Communication Studentship normally comprises the following:

  1. an annual maintenance allowance which is set at USD22,400;
  2. a one-way economy class air fare at both the beginning and end of tenure (if awards are tenable overseas);
  3. tuition fees;
  4. a one-off arrival allowance of USD1,000 to cover the costs of arriving in a new country during the first year of tenure (if awards are tenable overseas);
  5. an academic development allowance of up to USD2,000 to allow Croucher Studentship recipients to attend conferences, workshops or courses during the tenure of their awards;
  6. a medical insurance allowance of up to USD2,000 to cover medical insurance costs (if awards are tenable overseas);
  7. a family allowance of up to USD16,000 for the first child and up to USD6,800 for every additional child who resides with the scholar during the entire duration of the award;
  8. a commencement award of USD2,500 to be offered towards the completion of the Master’s degree to contribute towards the cost of travel expenses for family members to attend their graduation ceremonies; and
  9. a project allowance to offer support to those award recipients particularly interested in designing and implementing activities and projects in schools and in the wider community during the tenure of the award and/or the period immediately following the award. Interested scholars are invited to submit proposals to the Foundation for consideration of a programme of activities designed to involve school students, teachers, families and/or other non-specialist audiences in dialogue and debate.

Duration of awards

A Studentship will be for up to one year.

Scholar’s responsibilities

Scholars must be full-time students.
All applicants must disclose offers of financial support received, or likely to be received, from other sources. Applicants and studentship holders must keep the Foundation informed of the progress of applications for support from other sources. Croucher Studentships are on occasion, and at the discretion of the Foundation as an exception, allowed to be held concurrently with other minor awards.

Once a Croucher Studentship has been offered to an applicant, the Foundation reserves the right to ask the successful applicant to withdraw applications for support from certain other sources. If the student still chooses to proceed with such applications despite the Foundation’s request, it will be deemed that he/she opts to give up the Foundation’s offer which will accordingly be withdrawn.
The Foundation occasionally gives approval for Croucher award recipients to be remunerated for a limited amount of teaching or research responsibilities but such recipients must seek approval in advance from the Foundation which may in its absolute discretion modify the terms of the Studentship.

Award recipients who finish their studies prior to the expiry date of the awards must report to the Foundation, and are liable to return on a pro-rata basis any excess maintenance allowance and other allowances to the Foundation within one month upon the completion of studies.

Award recipients who have to terminate their studies for whatever reason must first seek approval from the Foundation at least three months in advance, and return the whole or part of the award at an amount at the discretion of the Foundation. Failure to do so will have legal consequences.

All awards will be subject to:

  • a satisfactory medical examination by a medical practitioner,
  • and the candidate’s acceptance by the institution in which he/she proposes to work.

How to apply

All applications should be submitted to the Croucher Foundation online. For the 2021-22 selection exercise, applications should be submitted by 5 p.m. (Hong Kong time) on 16th November 2020 at the latest.

While proceeding with your application, please invite two referees to provide signed letters of reference for you (with your full name) on letterheads to be sent direct by the referees to (in PDF), or fax to (852) 2730 0742 by the deadline above.

Please make sure the following documents in PDF format (each not exceeding 8MB) have been uploaded to your application:

  1. a statement, up to 4 pages in length, describing the intention of the applicant’s proposed studies;
  2. copies of the applicant’s HKCEE and HKALE or HKDSE certificates (or equivalent qualifications) and copies of official transcripts of his/her university records; and
  3. one set of relevant documentation to provide proof of identity in respect of the applicant’s status as a permanent resident of Hong Kong which is pre-requisite to the award. (For applicants who choose to use their ID card copies, please make sure that both sides of the ID card must be provided. The Foundation is not prepared to take an application any further if there is doubt of the residential status of an applicant upon incomplete documentation.)

All applicants should be aware that the Croucher awards are highly competitive and there are always more applicants than awards available. Short-listed candidates are required to attend an interview in March/April 2021. An applicant who is not notified of the outcome of his application by late May 2021 may assume that it is unsuccessful. The Foundation does NOT provide critiques for unsuccessful applications.

Please note that applications for the Foundation’s study awards are accepted only in annual competitive exercises, which are normally open for applications by late September and closed by mid-November. Any application received at any other time will not be considered.

To ensure fair competition, the Foundation, as a grant-making body, does not welcome any direct request from any individual for help or counselling.

To apply, please enter the online system here.

Croucher Startup 2.0

The Foundation recently introduced a new funding initiative for all Croucher award recipients at any career stage who wish to use their scientific and technological expertise to set up companies with linkages with Hong Kong. All Croucher award recipients from any year may apply. Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to HK$1 million from the Croucher Foundation payable to their company. The initiative supports founders at the earliest stage. Award recipients already receiving seed funding or early stage venture capital from other sources are not encouraged to apply. If you wish to find out more about Startup 2.0 click here.

Last modified: 26/08/2020