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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 BASC3001 Interdisciplinary Capstone Course (12 credits)
GEOG4002 Directed Project in Geography (6 credits)
GEOG4003 Honours Dissertation (12 credits)
GEOG4004 Directed Project in Urban Governance (6 credits)
JMSC6055 Research methods for media studies (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)
PSYC2112 Research internship in neuroscience (6 credits)
PSYC4007 Independent study in psychology (12 credits)
PSYC4008 Thesis in psychology (12 credits)
PSYC4101 Thesis in neuroscience (12 credits)
SOCI2030 Quantitative Research Methods (6 credits)
SOCI3042 Qualitative Research Methods (6 credits)
SOCI4095 Capstone project in Sociology (6 credits)
SOCI4096 Capstone project in Criminology (6 credits)
SOCI4098 Capstone project in Media and Cultural Studies (6 credits)
SOWK3136 Application of big data analytics in social sciences (6 credits)
SOWK3137 Qualitative data analysis (6 credits)
SOWK3138 Advanced social data analysis (6 credits)
SOWK3140 Survey methods for social science research (6 credits)
Non-credit bearing components SOCI6011 Ethnographic Research Methods
Postgraduate courses and other seminars GEOG6003 Research Colloquium
GEOG6007 Research methods in geography
POLI6002 Research Methods in Politics and Public Administration II
PSYC7021 Postgraduate seminar in cognitive psychology
PSYC7022 Postgraduate seminar in social psychology
PSYC7023 Postgraduate seminar in developmental psychology
SOCI6011 Ethnographic Research Methods
SOWK7006 Research Seminars for RPg Students

Deliverable(s)
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.

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

University Research Internship Awards
Research internship awards under the URFP 2022-23 will be funded by the Leung Kau Kui Research and Teaching Endowment Fund 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.

Normal times
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.

COVID times
When the COVID-19 outbreak pertains and imposes restrictions on international travel, the internships are generally expected to take place either in Hong Kong or through remote supervision from overseas host supervisors.  Overseas internship awardees are required to seek alternative arrangements in order to meet the said requirements.  The value of each research internship award will be capped at a maximum of HK$10,000.

Application
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 for nomination.

Useful links
More information of the Programme is available at http://tl.hku.hk/urfp/.

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