HKU Home Campus Map HKU Portal Employment Contact Us

Academic Matters

Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme

Objective and Overview
The Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP) is a prestigious programme aimed to enhance students’ learning experience and to nurture the next generation of researchers/scholars. It offers opportunities for academically outstanding students to undertake research under the guidance and supervision of academic staff who have a strong research track record and experience in training research postgraduate students.Students enrolled in the URFP are required to undertake a research study.Research internship may form an essential part of such a research study, if determined by the supervisors concerned.

Eligibility Criteria
The following are eligible for participating in the URFP:

  1. Students who are in the 90th percentile of top students in a study programme; or
  2. Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and above

Year of Study
Students generally enroll in the URFP in their final year of study. Flexibility is provided for cases with strong research interest and potential are identified earlier than the final year.

URFP Components and Postgraduate Courses

Credit-bearing components GEOG3009 Honours Dissertation (12 credits)
GEOG3027 Directed Project (6 credits)
GEOG3036 Directed Project in urban governance (6 credits)
POLI4046 Thesis in Politics and Public Administration (12 credits)
POLI4092 Research internship in Politics and Public Administration (6 credits)
POLI4109 Directed project in Politics and Public Administration (6 credits)
PSYC2072 Research internship in psychology I (6 credits)
PSYC2073 Research internship in psychology II (6 credits)
PSYC4007 Independent study in psychology (12 credits)
PSYC4008 Thesis in psychology(12 credits)
SOWK3129 Research method in social work and social administration I (6 credits)
SOWK3130 Research method in social work and social administration II (6 credits)
JMSC6046 Media research: Concepts and Methods (3 credits)
JMSC6055 Research methods for media studies (6 credits)
Postgraduate courses and other seminars SOCI6011 Ethnographic Research Methods

All students enrolled in the URFP will be required to produce a research deliverable, e.g. dissertation, research paper, etc., with acknowledgement of funding, for assessment. Students who have participated in research internship are required to submit a report on the internship in addition to the research deliverable.

Responsibilities of Supervisors
A supervisor’s responsibilities include helping the student to define the topic of his/her research study; determining whether research internship is to be required for the student’s research study and making arrangements for the student to undertake such an internship if required; setting work targets for any internship to be undertaken by the student; arranging regular meetings with the student at which all matters relating to the student’s research study can be discussed with the supervisor; and monitoring the student’s progress through to completion of his/her research study.

The fellowship will be recorded in the transcripts of students who have successfully completed the URFP. Awards will be established to recognize outstanding performance.

University Research Internship Awards
Research internship awards under the URFP 2019-20 will be funded by the HKU Foundation with co-funding from Faculties as well as the Joseph Chow Education Fund. They are generally expected to take place during inter-semester breaks, and if there are alternative arrangements, sound justification should be provided. For overseas research internships, the value of an award is up to HK$40,000 for a period of not less than 8 weeks on a full-time basis to cover economy return airfare and part of overseas accommodation and living costs. For research internships in Hong Kong or the Mainland, the value of an award is HK$15,000 for the same period as stated above.

To provide more research learning opportunities to students, the University has partnered with the University of Warwick to allow undergraduate students participating in HKU’s URFP and Warwick’s Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) to carry out a non-credit bearing summer research project under the guidance of an allocated supervisor at the other university. Each year, HKU can send up to four students to Warwick for a period of 8 to 10 weeks between June and August for an overseas research internship under the URFP.

Departments identify students who have met the eligibility criteria and seek comments from teachers on their suitability and capability. Interested students are requested to return the application form to the Departments.

Useful links
More information of the Programme is available at

Copyright © Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong