Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong SENIOR Research Scholar Award Program

The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong & Macau and the Research Grants Council are pleased to invite Hong Kong scholars to apply for the Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award Program to conduct research activities in the United States.

Funded by the Research Grants Council, two awards will be on offer annually for Hong Kong scholars to spend from four to ten months as Fulbright visiting scholars affiliated with American universities and research institutes. The basic award provides HK$35,000 per month for up to 10 months. A supplementary award of up to HK$150,000 is available for research expenses in justified cases. This award may be used in combination with sabbatical leave or other research grants. Scholars should make arrangements directly with their Hong Kong universities about terms of leave to take up this award.

Application Guidelines:

  • Applicants must be permanent residents of Hong Kong.  American citizens and permanent residents are not eligible.
  • Applicants must possess a doctorate or equivalent professional qualification. This may be from an American university.
  • Applicants should not have had recent extensive experience in the United States, i.e. more than a six-month continuous sojourn within the last five years.
  • Applicants must be full-time academic staff of UGC-funded institutions and residents of Hong Kong at the time of application. They must have served in an academic capacity in Hong Kong for at least the previous three years.
  • Applicants should have strong English language proficiency (Optional to submit English language proficiency test result), and good health.
  • The academic disciplines eligible for this fellowship program are: Arts, humanities, social sciences, business studies and law.

Application deadline is October 31, 2019. Interview of finalists will be held in fall and award announcement will be made in early 2020.

To access the online application forms for the award, please see the official online application for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.

All applicants should complete the application with a duly signed Institutional Confirmation Form (MS Word 15 KB).

For those seeking additional research funding, please complete the Application for Additional Funding Form (MS Word 13 KB). Applicants who do not submit this form will be considered as supplemental funding not required.

For inquiries, please email Fulbright-HK@state.gov.

faq: Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award Program


About the Program
  • The Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award Program is a collaborative program between the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong & Macau (USCG) and the Research Grants Council (RGC) of the Hong Kong government.
  • It supports senior Hong Kong scholars to undertake research activities at American universities and research institutes. This program is overseen by USCG and funded by RGC with administrative assistance by the Hong Kong America Center (HKAC).
  • Arts, humanities, social sciences, business studies and law.
  • About two awards on offer each year.

Eligibility
  • Applicants must be permanent residents of Hong Kong SAR. PRC, American citizens or American permanent residents are not eligible.
  • Applicants must have a doctorate or equivalent professional qualifications. This may be from an American university.
  • Applicants should not have had recent extensive experience in the United States, i.e. more than a six-month continuous sojourn within the last five years.
  • Applicants must be full-time academic staff of any of the University Grants Council (UGC)-funded institutions in Hong Kong at the time of application. They must have served in an academic capacity in Hong Kong for at least the previous three years.

The Fulbright Grant
  • The award will provide HK$35,000 per month to support living costs throughout the entire grant period.
  • However, the award may be used in combination with sabbatical leave or other research grants.
  • Other fees as deemed necessary by host universities may be charged, such as insurance premiums as a number of universities may pre-emptively require visiting scholars to enroll in the school’s own health insurance program.
  • The grants range from four to ten months.

Application Process
  • The online application cycle usually starts in July of each calendar year.
  • Deadline is usually in late October of each calendar year. Exact date will be announced when application cycle commences.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview in December.
  • Successful applicants will be notified in the following spring after submission of application.
  • Deadline of the application cycle 2020/2021 is October 31, 2019.
  • Awardees may begin their programs in the United States from September 2020 onwards but not earlier. In other words, no program can be commenced in February.
  • All awardees are expected to complete their programs by the end of June 2021.
  • Please email to Fulbright-HK@state.gov to indicate your interest to apply for this program, so to make sure that your application is under Hong Kong pool.
  • No need to print out the forms. Simply enter the contact information of your referees and the system will invite them to submit a reference letter for you.
  • As a Fulbright scholar, you will be traveling to the U.S. on a J-1 visa. Certain exchange visitors (J-1) are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement which requires the visa holders to return to her/his home country for at least two years at the end of the exchange program. This is also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, Immigration and Nationality Act, section 212(e). If a person is unable to return to her/his home country to fulfill the two-year requirement, s/he must obtain a waiver approved by the Department of Homeland Security prior to changing status in the U.S. or being issued a visa in certain categories for travel to the U.S.

Other Questions
  • Yes, but you’ll need to cover all their expenses including travel, living, insurance, etc.
  • And same as you, they will also subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement of J-1 visa.
  • As a requirement for all exchange visitor visa holders, all awardees are required to return to Hong Kong after the award period according to the two-year rule as above-mentioned.