Research Postgraduate Programmes

MPhil-PhD in Public Health

The MPhil-PhD programme supports interdisciplinary studies in the field of public health and primary care and aims to build the capacity of students in research methodologies as they relate to public and population health, and community oriented primary care. The fields of study are related to health protection, health improvement and as well as research methodologies and health service provision. Students will need to learn by conducting independent research and by participating in the work of the CUHK JC School of Public Health and Primary Care. MPhil and PhD programmes are articulated, which means that students can, with Division approval, transfer from the MPhil to the first (pre-candidacy) part of the PhD, and vice-versa.

  • Our fields of specialization are:

  1. Biostatistics

  2. Epidemiology

  3. Family Medicine and Primary Health Care

  4. Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine

  5. Health Promotion and Behavioural Health

  6. Health System, Policy and Management

  7. Infectious Diseases

  8. Occupational and Environmental Health

  • International Perspectives and International Cooperation

JCSPHPC has established collaborations with various international organizations as we believe in collaboration and emphasize international partnership. Closer links have been established with 254 universities/institutions in 26 different countries. Links with mainland China are of particular importance and many staff members have extensive collaborations with universities and other organizations in the mainland.

Apart from the international links, JCSPHPC actively maintains collaboration with local government departments and medical organizations in Hong Kong:

  • Food and Health Bureau, HKSAR Government

  • Hong Kong Academy of Medicine

  • Hong Kong College of Community Medicine

  • Hospital Authority

  • The Hong Kong College of Family Physicians

  • ​Opportunities to research exchange in overseas

Every year around 13% of our full-time PhD students can get the grants from CUHK to conduct supervised research in prestigious universities over the world, such as:

  • Karolinska Institutet

  • Utrecht University

  • University of Oxford

  • Yale University

  • Brown University

  • University of California Berkeley

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Sydney

  • Our teaching medium is English

  • Excellent teachers

We have very experienced and excellent academic staff in the School, such as:

  • Prof. EK Yeoh  - Systems for Health

  • Prof. Emily Chan  - Disaster and Global Health

  • Prof. Joseph Lau  - Behavioural Health

  • Prof. SS Lee - Infectious diseases

  • Prof. Shelly Tse - Occupational and environmental health, cancer epidemiology

  • Prof. Martin Wong  - Prevention and screening of chronic disease 

  • Prof. Samuel Wong  - Interventional studies for common mental health problems in primary care and Multimorbidity in Primary Care 

  • Prof. Benny Zee  - Clinical trials methodology including pharmaceutical statistics, Public Health issues including infectious disease modelling, Bioinformatics including microarray data analysis, image processing and diagnostic methods


For more details about our academic staff.

  • Interdisciplinary research excellence

We have the following well-established research areas:

E.g. Interventions for chronic disease and mental health problems in primary care, Evaluation of primary care models and outcomes relevant to primary care services, Cancer screening in community and primary care settings, Global Health, Climate change, HIV, Addiction, Mental Health, Evidence-based Medicine, 24/7 Society and Public Health Exposome, Pollution and Smart Cities, Clinical trials, Health policy, Regulation of health system, Health system management, Healthcare resources, Healthcare financing, Quality of care: patient experience and engagement, patient preference and health utility,  Promotion of HPV self-sampling as patient choice in cervical cancer screening HPV, Equity in health and health care; Person-centered care and etc.

  • Accomplishments of our PhD graduates

A number of our PhD graduates are currently working in the academia, research and healthcare-related sectors in Hong Kong, Mainland and overseas.  For example, 9 of them are serving as professorial staff / Lecturers in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Below are other examples (in alphabetical order): 


  • CHEN Weiqing – Professor, Department of Medical Statistics,School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  • GU Jing- Chair, Department of Medical Statistics, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  • HAO Chun - Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  • HE Qiqiang - Associate Director, School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University

  • JIANG Yu – Associate Director, School of Public Health, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Peking Union Medical College

  • LIU Zhaomin – Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  • LI Jinghua - Associate Professor, Department of Health policy and Management, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  • WANG Haoxiang – Associate Professor, Department of Health policy and Management, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  •  ZHANG Caixia - Chair, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  •  ZHAN Siyan - Chair, Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University



  • DI Mengyang, Miranda - Resident, Internal Medicine, Brown University, USA

  • FONG Hildy Felicia - Executive Director, UC Berkeley Center for Global Public Health, USA

  • LI Mengjie, Maggie - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA

  • MOU Jin - Senior Research Epidemiologist, MultiCare Health System, Hospital In Tacoma, Washington, USA

  • WU Shenghui - Assistant Professor, The University of Texas Health at San Antonio, USA

  • XIE Shaohua - Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

  • YUAN Qi - Research Fellow, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore

  • ​Graduates' Voice 

WANG Kailu, Volcano

PhD graduate (2015-2019)

"My life and experience as a PhD student in JC School of Public Health and Primary Care was a fruitful journey. I have the opportunities to work with excellent professors and colleagues here, and can get access to rich resources to implement my ideas to research and make a difference in communities. The guidance that I received from professors in our school enlightened me to explore solutions to problems and improve research skills in various areas. The study groups that I attended are very informative and enable discussions and collaborations with other students. The financial supports provided by the school and university allow me to attend conferences and academic activities all around the world and get the chance to exchange ideas with scholars and experts in my research field. Here, I can choose to be a student in academia, a teacher of undergraduate and master degree students, a volunteer to serve the interests of communities and vulnerable people, and an organizer and coordinator of research teams. The School has not only made me a researcher from a student, but also prepared me for the unexpected challenges in my career. It shows me every possibility to my future and encourage me to make a choice based on my interests.

LAI Tsz-tsun Francisco

PhD graduate (2016-2019);

Postdoc Fellow, JCSPHPC

Besides the facilitation of access to a wide variety of data during my study, I was given great flexibility on the choice of research topics, without which I could not have become an independent researcher who knows how to ask important research questions as much as how to answer them. As graduated with my PhD degree in Nov 2019, I had published 9 first-author articles and 11 co-author articles. In recognition of my scholarly contributions, I received the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship 2018/19 as well as the CUHK 2019 Outstanding Students Award.

POON Chin-man Steven

PhD graduate (2011-2015);

Scientific Officer (Medical), Department of Health

JCSPHPC does an excellent job of offering quality postgraduate education programme over the years, with well-rounded courses, expert guidance from academic staff, resourceful research environment and overseas exchange opportunities. The learning experiences at JCSPHPC were fruitful for developing my career in public health field.

  • MPhil-PhD programme in Public Health

We offer the articulated MPhil-PhD programme in Public Health and we support interdisciplinary studies in the fields of public health and primary care.


Studentship and Scholarship

  • CUHK Postgraduate Studentships (Scholarship/Stipend)

    • The CUHK Postgraduate Studentship is available for full-time research postgraduate students throughout normative study period in 3 or 4 years which is to be decided by the Graduate School

    • Monthly stipend in 20-21 is HK$18,025 (pre-candidacy / PGS-1) or HK$18,525 (post-candidacy / PGS-2).


  • Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) from the RGC

    • Apart from the CUHK regular scholarship, the HKSAR Government offers the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship to full-time PhD students.  It offers HK$26,600 per month to the awardees and a conference and research-related travel allowance at HK$13,300 per year. A tuition waiver will be provided to HKPFS awardees during their whole normative study period. Also it provides an award for lodging in the first year of study of HKPFS awardees. The awardees will have guaranteed on-campus accommodation during the normative study period and their on-campus hostel fee will be waived in the first year of study. HKPFS awardees with a normative study period of 4 years, CUHK provides stipend and conference travel allowance at HKPFS level for the fourth year of study. 

    • The application deadline

      • To submit an initial application to RGC by 12 noon, 1 December 2020 HKT; and

      • To submit full application to CUHK by 5pm, 1 December 2020 HKT.

    • Applicants can visit for more information from the RGC and from the Graduate School

  • Tuition Fee

Tuition fee is HK$42,100 per year.

A tuition waiver will be provided to local Hong Kong students during their normative study period under the Tuition Waiver Scheme for Local Research Postgraduate (RPg) Students. Please refer to this link.

  • How to apply PhD/MPhil programme? 

  • CUHK in the international ranking

  • Ranked 46th in QS World University Rankings 2018

  • Ranked 58th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018

  • Ranked 10th in Asia

Our funded places are limited. MPhil and PhD applicants have to compete these places together.  If you want to graduate at the master’s level, please consider our taught programmes in Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Master of Science in Health Services Management, as well as these diploma and postgraduate diploma programmes.


For more details, you may refer to webpage

Last Updated: 8 September 2020

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