Croucher Scholarships for Doctoral Study

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 who are looking to pursue scientific research at postdoctoral and doctoral levels.

The awards offered by the Croucher Foundation Limited 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 outside Hong Kong.

These awards are intended for those engaged in full-time study leading to a PhD degree.

Applicants must have obtained First Class Honours or equivalent qualifications in their first degree. Otherwise they will be expected to be able to receive substantively a higher degree (e.g. MSc or MPhil degree) by September 2023 to become eligible (MPhil transfer to doctoral candidature is not considered as equivalent).

Students in their final year of first degree studies may also apply, but any offer of award will be conditional on their obtaining First Class Honours or equivalent qualifications upon their graduation by July 2023.

A Croucher Scholarship normally comprises the following:

  • an annual maintenance allowance which is set at USD30,300 per annum;
  • a one-way economy class air fare at both the beginning and end of tenure;
  • tuition fees and college fees (where applicable);
  • a one-off arrival allowance of USD1,000 to cover the costs of arriving in a new country during the first year of tenure;
  • an academic development allowance of up to USD2,000 per annum to allow Croucher Scholarship recipients to attend conferences, workshops or courses during the tenure of their awards;
  • a medical insurance allowance of up to USD2,000 per annum to cover medical insurance costs;
  • a family allowance of up to USD16,000 per annum for the first child and up to USD6,800 per annum for every additional child who resides with the scholar during the entire duration of the award;
  • a commencement award of USD7,575 to be offered towards the end of doctoral studies to cover the cost of thesis preparation and travel expenses for scholars and their family members for attending their graduation ceremonies; 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.

Scholarships are tenable 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 Scholarship from the second year of his/her PhD study will get only two years of support, one starting from the third year of PhD will get one year, etc.

If you are successful, the length of the award will be explicitly stated in your offer letter. If your award is for more than one year, you will be “on probation” for your first year. This means that we will check that you are making satisfactory progress before we extend your scholarship for the second or third year.

All applications should be submitted via the Croucher Foundation’s online application system. For the 2023-24 selection exercise, applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. (Hong Kong time) on 15th November 2022 at the latest.

Please invite two referees to provide signed letters of reference for you (with your full name) on letterhead to be sent directly to references@croucher.org.hk (as a PDF), or by 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:

  • a document, up to 6 pages in length, including a proposal describing the research you wish to undertake, which should include the names of potential supervisors and their research groups; a description of the candidate’s research experience, and a list of publications. Please note that once your proposal has been submitted, it cannot be amended;
  • copies of your HKCEE and HKALE or HKDSE certificates or equivalent qualifications and copies of official transcripts of your university records;
  • copies of reprints of up to three of your most significant publications (if applicable); and
  • documentation to prove that you are a permanent resident of Hong Kong, which is a 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 are provided. Please note that we will not be able to progress your application if there is any doubt about your residential status, for example because you have not provided the right documentation.)

Short-listed candidates will be invited to attend an interview in March/April 2023. If you are not contacted by late April, you may consider that you have not been shortlisted. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. We will aim to write to unsuccessful applicants by late May, if not earlier.

While we cannot provide support on any aspect of your proposal, if you have questions about the application process, you can email us at info@croucher.org.hk.

The terms of Croucher Foundation study awards include a supplementary start-up allowance payable to Croucher Scholarship recipients upon the completion of tenure to return to Hong Kong to take up tenure-track faculty positions in University Grants Committee funded higher education institutions in Hong Kong within six years of graduation with a doctoral degree. This allowance enables recipients to have funds available immediately upon arrival in Hong Kong for research expenses including salaries for research assistants, purchase of laboratory equipment and consumables. Croucher Scholars who wish to apply please send an email to info@croucher.org.hk enclosing a copy of their employment offer letter, a copy of their PhD certificate and a brief research proposal (up to 4 sides of A4 paper) for consideration.

The Foundation 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 Start-up 2.0 check the page https://croucher.org.hk/startup-2-0.

Even for permanent Hong Kong residents, under British capital gains tax provisions, any award is liable to be taxable income if the beneficiary is already domiciled in Britain, or if he/she intends to take up residence in Britain in future. The report and payment of such tax is an individual matter and not the responsibility of the Foundation. 

All successful candidates for a Croucher award will be required to sign a statement, at the time of the offer of the award, to declare that they are not domiciled in Britain, and that they do not intend to become British domiciled, and in the event that they become eventually domiciled in Britain after receiving a Croucher award, they will be responsible for discharging all fiscal responsibilities in regard to the award.

Through separate partnership agreements with the Cambridge University and Oxford University, the Foundation will specially favour Hong Kong students with a number of full scholarships for pursuing PhD studies in topics in natural sciences, technology or medicine. 

Applicants putting ‘The University of Cambridge’ or ‘The University of Oxford’ as their proposed host will be automatically considered for “The Croucher Cambridge International Scholarship” or “The Oxford Croucher Scholarship”.

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2022