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 the approval of the Graduate Division, transfer from the MPhil to the first (pre-candidacy) part of the PhD, and vice-versa.

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  • Our fields of specialization are:

  1. Non-communicable Disease and Aging

  2. Environmental Health and Infectious Diseases

  3. Global Health Policy, Health System & Healthcare Delivery

  4. Mental Well-Being, Social & Health Behavior, Addiction

  5. Bioinformatics, Machine Learning and Big Data

  6. Family Medicine and Primary Health Care

  • 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.

  • Ranked 38th in QS World University Rankings 2022

  • Ranked 11th in QS Asia University Rankings 2022

  • Ranked 49th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

  • Ranked 7th in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2022

  • 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.

  • You may refer to the Graduate School webpage about application and admission (

  • Application deadline:

    • For MPhil / PhD applicants: 1 December 2022;

    • For non-HKPFS PhD applicants: 1 December 2022;

    • For part-time PhD applicants: Applications are accepted throughout the year.

  • Admission date: 1 August for Term 1 intake or 1 January for Term 2 intake​

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 22-23 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$27,100 per month to the awardees and a conference and research-related travel allowance at HK$13,600 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 2022 HKT; and

      • To submit full application to CUHK by 5pm, 1 December 2022 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? 

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 about our taught postgraduate programmes, you may refer to our webpage

  • 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): 


  • CHEUNG Yee Lai, Eliza - Clinical Psychologist cum Service-in-charge, Psychological Support Service, Hong Kong Red Cross; MHPSS Technical Advisor, Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

  • HOU Jing (Rebecca) - Family Medicine Specialist Higher Trainee in Kowloon Central, HKSAR

  • LI Xue - Assistant Professor, jointly appointed between the Department of Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong

  • LING Sai On - Chief of Service of the Respiratory Medical Department in Kowloon Hospital

  • LO Ka-hei, Kenneth – Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • LUI Wai Sze Wacy - Senior Psychologist in OASIS, Hospital Authority, HKSAR

  • WONG Chiu-yi Claudie - Environmental Protection Officer in the Department of Environmental Protection, HKSAR Government

  • WONG Yuk Shim, Doris - Professional Consultant in the Nethersole School of Nursing, CUHK

  • XIA Xiaoxuan - Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Statistics, CUHK.

  • ZHANG Dexing, Daisy – Research Assistant Professor, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, CUHK 


  • CAI Yue - Associate Professor in Center for Health Statistics and Information, National Health Commission, China

  • CHEN Ruirui (Cherry) - Programme Coordinator at the Women & Children Hospital in Shenzhen

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

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

  • GUO Yawei (Vivian) – Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

  • HAN Xiaoran -  Biostatistician, Pfizer Inc., Shanghai

  • 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

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

  • LIN Hualiang – Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University
  • LIU Xudong – Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University

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

  • LUO Chao (Tina) - Biostatistician in Boehringer Ingelheim, Shanghai

  • MEN Routing - Doctor in the West China Hospital Sichuan University

  • SUN Rui - Associate Fellow in the Seventh Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University

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

  • WENG Haoyi - Senior Bioinformatics Analyst at WeGene

  • WU Xin Yin (Irene) - Professor, Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, China

  • 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

  • ZHANG Zilong – Associate Professor, Sun Yat-sen University


  • CAO Wangnan – Research Associate at the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health, School of Public Health, Brown University

  • CHEN Shanquan - Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, UK

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

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

  • LAM Ching Yu, Holly - Medical Council Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Genomic and Environmental Medicine at Imperial College in the UK

  • LI Mengjie, Maggie - Research Associate at University of Drexel, USA

  • LI Wentao - Research Fellow and Resident (doctor) Monash University, Australia

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

  • WANG Pin (Alpin) - Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Public Health at Yale University

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

  • XIE Shaohua - Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institutet, SwedenYANG Xueying - Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina

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

  • ​Selected Publications for RPg students for the past 5 years

High Impact Journals (with 2019 Impact factor 10.0 and above)

(In reverse chronological order and the name of RPg students in bold)

  • Huang JJ, Lok V, Ngai CH, Zhang L, Yuan JQ, Lao XQ, Ng K, Chong C, Zheng ZJ, Wong MCS (2020).  Worldwide Burden of, Risk Factors for, and Trends in Pancreatic Cancer.  Gastroenterology, published online on 13 Oct 2020.     View


  • Yuan JQ, He QS, Nguyen LH, Wong MCS, Huang JJ, Yu YY, Xia B, Tang Y, He YL, Zhang CH (2020).  Regular use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective cohort studies.  Gut, published online on 28 September 2020.     View


  • Teoh JYC, Huang JJ, Ko WYK, Lok V, Choi P, Ng CF, Sengupta S, Mostafid H, Kamat A, Black P, Shariat S, Babjuk M, Wong MCS (2020).  Global trends of bladder cancer incidence and mortality, and their associations with tobacco use and gross domestic product per capita.  European Urology, published online on 21 September 2020.     View


  • Bai D, Marrus N, Yip BHK, Reichenberg A, Constantino J, Sandin S (2020).  Inherited Risk for Autism Through Maternal and Paternal Lineage.  Biological Psychiatry, 88(6):480–487.     View

  • Guo C, Tam T, Bo YC, Chang LY, Lao XQ, Thomas GN (2020).  Habitual physical activity, renal function and chronic kidney disease: a cohort study of nearly 200 000 adults.  British Journal of Sports Medicine, 54(20):1225–1230.     View


  • Wang JJ, Huang LW, Gao Y, Wang YH, Chen SQ, Huang JJ, Zheng WJ, Bao PP, Gong YM, Zhang YF, Wang M, Wong MCS (2020).  Physically active individuals have a 23% lower risk of any colorectal neoplasia and a 27% lower risk of advanced colorectal neoplasia than their non-active counterparts: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.  British Journal of Sports Medicine, 54(10):582–591.     View


  • Guo C, Zeng YQ, Chang LY, Yu ZG, Bo YC, Lin CQ, Lau AKH, Tam T, Lao XQ (2020).  Independent and Opposing Associations of Habitual Exercise and Chronic PM2.5 Exposures on Hypertension Incidence.  Circulation, 142(7): 645–656.     View


  • Xia XX, Wu WKK, Wong SH, Liu D, Kwong TNY,  Nakatsu G, Yan PS, Chuang YM, Chan MWY, Coker O, Chen ZG, Yeoh YK, Zhao LY, Wang XS, Chen WY, Chan MTV, Chan PKS, Sung JJY, Wang MHT, Yu J (2020).  Bacteria pathogens drive host colonic epithelial cell promoter hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes in colorectal cancer. Microbiome, 8:108.     View


  • Feng Q, Zhou AS, Zou HC, Ingle S, May MT, Cai WP, Cheng CY, Yang ZY, Tang JL (2019).  Quadruple versus triple combination antiretroviral therapies for treatment naive people with HIV: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.  British Medical Journal, 366(8208):l4179.     View


  • Bai D, Yip BHK, Windham G, Sourander A, Francis R, Yoffe R, Glasson E, Mahjani B, Suominen A, Leonard H, Gissler M, Buxbaum J, Wong K, Schendel D,  Kodesh a, Breshnaha M (2019).  Association of Genetic and Environmental Factors With Autism in a 5-Country Cohort.  JAMA Psychiatry, 76(10):1035–1043.    View


  • Wong MCS, Huang LW, George J, Huang JJ, Leung C, Eslam M, Chan HLY, Ng SC (2019).  The changing epidemiology of liver diseases in the Asia-Pacific region.  Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 16(1): 57–73.     View


  • Yip BHK, Bai D, Mahjani B, Klei L, Pawitan Y, Hultman CM, Grice DE, Roeder K, Buxbaum JD, Devlin B, Reichenberg A, Sandin S (2018).  Heritable Variation, With Little or No Maternal Effect, Accounts for Recurrence Risk to Autism Spectrum Disorder in Sweden.  Biological Psychiatry, 83(7):589–597.     View

  • Lam HCY, Chan JCN, Luk AOY, Chan EYY, Goggins WB (2018).  Short-term association between ambient temperature and acute myocardial infarction hospitalizations for diabetes mellitus patients: A time series study, PLoS Medicine, 15(7):e1002612.     View

  • Di MY, Liu H, Yang ZY, Bonis PAL, Tang JL, Lau J (2016).  Prediction Models of Mortality in Acute Pancreatitis in Adults A Systematic Review.  Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(7):482–490.     View


  • Liu XD, Lao XQ, Wong CCY, Tan LX, Zhang ZL, Wong TW, Tse LA, Lau APS, Yu ITS (2016).  Frequent use of household cleaning products is associated with rhinitis in Chinese children.  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 138(3):754–760e6.     View


  • Lam HCY, Li A, Chan EYY, Goggins WB (2016).  The short-term association between asthma hospitalisations, ambient temperature, other meteorological factors and air pollutants in Hong Kong: A time-series study.  Thorax, 71(12):1097–1109.     View


  • Li BZ, Threapleton DE, Wang JY, Xu JM, Yuan JQ, Zhang C, Li P, Ye QL, Guo B, Mao C, Ye DQ (2015). Comparative effectiveness and tolerance of treatments for Helicobacter pylori: systematic review and network meta-analysis. British Medical Journal, 351:h4052.     View

View more Selected Publications for RPg students

  • ​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.

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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.

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Last Updated: 5 October 2021