Croucher Studentships tenable in Hong Kong

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. One of the Foundation’s regular funding initiatives is to provide financial support for promising young people in Hong Kong to pursue scientific research at postdoctoral and doctoral levels.

The awards offered by the Croucher Foundation Limited (“the Foundation”) are intended to enable applicants who are permanent residents of Hong Kong to devote themselves to a period of full-time study or research in natural sciences, medicine or technology in approved academic institutions in Hong Kong.

Research Studentships

These awards are intended for those engaged in full-time study leading to a PhD degree. Applicants must have obtained First Class Honours in their first degree. Otherwise they must obtain substantively an MPhil degree by September 2021 to become eligible (MPhil transfer to doctoral candidature is not considered as equivalent). Students in their final year of first degree may also apply, but any offer of award will be conditional on their obtaining First Class Honours upon their graduation by July 2021.

Research Studentship holders must be full-time students.

Value of awards

The award comprises an annual cash award (currently at HK$80,000 per annum), an academic development allowance of up to HK$15,600 per annum to allow recipients to attend conferences, workshops or courses during the tenure of their awards, and a science education allowance to offer support to those Croucher award recipients particularly interested in science education through well-designed activities and projects in schools and in the wider community.  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, within the tenure of their awards.

Croucher Research Studentships can be held concurrently with a university postgraduate studentship or another award.

Duration of awards

A Studentship will cover only up to and including the third year of the relevant PhD studies programme. This does not therefore necessarily mean that all recipients will get three years of support, e.g. a candidate starting the Studentship from the second year of his/her PhD study will get only two years of support, starting from the third year of PhD will get one year, etc.

The length of the award will be explicitly stated in the grant letter when the offer is made. If the award is for more than one year, the candidate will in the first instance be “on probation” for one year, and the award for the remaining period is entirely at the Foundation’s discretion subject to confirmation upon evidence of satisfactory progress in the first year.

All awards will be subject to 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 letterhead to be sent direct 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 document, up to 6 pages in length, including:
    1. a proposal describing the research to be undertaken which should include the names of potential supervisors and their research groups. To ensure fairness in competition to all applicants, a proposal once submitted cannot be amended;
    2. a description of the candidate’s research experience, and a list of publications;
  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;
  3. copies of reprints of the applicant’s three most significant publications (if applicable); and
  4. 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.

The Butterfield-Croucher Studentship

Applicants in the Medical and Biological Sciences should also be informed that the Butterfield-Croucher Studentship will be awarded to the best candidate in that category to be identified by the Selection Committee. The Butterfield-Croucher Studentship is established to commemorate Lord Butterfield of Stetchford, a former Croucher Trustee who has dedicated his entire life to medical research and education. This award carries an additional cash award of HK$20,000 on top of the regular HK$80,000 under the Croucher Research Studentship, along with a certificate of merit. There is no need to submit a separate application for this award.

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