Application Guide for Shenzhen Bay Laboratory - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Joint PhD Program (2020/2021)


Shenzhen Bay Laboratory (hereinafter referred to as SZBL), initiated by Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government, is one of the second batch of the Guangdong Provincial Laboratories. SZBL is founded under the provincial government’s initiative of establishing and developing a host of high quality research institutes in Guangdong province with the aim of having a few of them eventually becoming National Laboratories. SZBL is led by the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality and the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, and jointly supported by relevant research institutions or universities in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macao. The focus research areas of SZBL are bio-data science, bioengineering, and biomedicine.

Regarding the talent model, the Laboratory adheres to the combination of introduction and cultivation, and has a systematic agenda of disciplines and research directions. Based on the regional competitiveness of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Laboratory will take active steps to absorb high-level talents from both the domestic and the international communities to facilitate the building of the Laboratory’s scientific cadres through a step-by-step process of developing research groups, scientific missions and the disciplines. Currently, SZBL has 280 employees who work in the service of the laboratory’s mission. Among these employees are 216 scientific researchers, accounting for 76.8% of the total and particularly, 47 of them had been officially awarded as high-level talents, including academicians, “The Chang Jiang Scholar”, “The Distinguished Young Scholars” as well as other talent programs at national, provincial and municipal levels.

In order to implement the Outline of Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, promoting the in-depth cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in the area of higher education and scientific research, SZBL and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (hereinafter referred to as HKUST) intend to launch a Joint PhD Student Training Program (hereinafter referred to as the Program). The Program enrolls PhD students in the fields of life science and chemistry, with the implementation of double advisors guidance, and awards the doctoral degree of the HKUST.

Enrollment Plan


Areas of Research

1.Molecular Physiology

2.Systems Biology

3.Chemical Biology

4.Drug Discovery

5.Bioanalytical Science

6.Biomedical Engineering


8.Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

9.Neurological and Psychiatric Disorder


SZBL will provide PhD candidates with a studentship for up to 4 years. Among them, during the study in Hong Kong, SZBL will provide studentship in accordance with the standard for postgraduate student of the HKUST. During the study in SZBL, the studentship will be granted in accordance with the relevant standard of the SZBL.

Tuition and Other Fees

Students are required to pay tuition fees and other related fees to the HKUST. If the period of study exceeds the maximum funding period (4 years), students shall be responsible for the extra costs.

Application Requirements

The applicant must meet all admission requirements of the HKUST (see for reference). The following conditions should be met in the pre-registration for SZBL:

1. Education background: A bachelor’s or a master’s degree in recognized institutions with outstanding performance.

2. GPA: the GPA shall reach 3.0/4 in all previous degree program.

3. English: Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:


TOEFL-pBT: 550

TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)

IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5


1) Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if:

a. Their first language is English, or

b. They obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

2) All English test score reports should be valid by October 1, 2020.

3) TOEFL or IELTS score can be submitted after the official online application of HKUST.

Application Process

The application process is as follows:



- Preparation of application materials

1. Application Form for SZBL-HKUST Joint PhD Program (see attachment);

2. Resume (CV) (English);

3. Personal statement (English);

4. Research proposal (English);

5. Two~five letters of recommendation (English);

6. Scanned copy of TOEFL/IELTS test report;

7. Scanned copy of transcript (must be stamped with the seal of the school; be attached with the transcript description and grading scale, which are usually on the back of the transcript);

8. Scanned copy of ID card (Hong Kong applicants: Hong Kong ID card/ Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents; Mainland China applicants: Mainland China ID card/Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao/Passport; other applicants: passport);

9. Scanned copy of academic degree certificate, academic credentials and academic status information certification, Electronic Registration Record Form for Educational Certificate of Ministry of Education, and Online Verification Examination of Academic Status of Ministry of Education. Website: (if the degree program is not yet completed during application, the degree certificate must be obtained before enrolling.);

10. Additional materials (such as thesis, publications, patents, honor certificate, and professional certificate).

- Submission of application materials

Please send all required application materials (in PDF version) to If there is a specific advisor whose research is of interest to you, please copy to the email of the advisor. Email subject: HKUST joint PhD – areas of research- name of applicant-(specific advisor whose research is of interest to you, if any)


Contact:   Ms. Cao

Tel. No.:  +86-755-26923202



SZBL-HKUST Joint PhD Program Application Form(2020/2021)

Shenzhen Bay Laboratory 

February 29, 2020