School of Nursing

Doctor of Philosophy / Master of Philosophy

Jan 2024 Entry



The mission of research in the School of Nursing is to advance evidence-based nursing practice for an optimal health and well-being of all people locally, nationally and internationally. The School provides a nurturing and supportive environment for scientific knowledge inquiry and provides a platform and infrastructure for intellectual exchanges and opportunities and challenges for researchers in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas.


The strengths of research in the School of Nursing lie in the diversity of our output and the innovations and talents of our faculty. We have been conducting high quality clinical and applied research in nursing and other health sciences. The high quality, applied research has contributed to various positive impacts on nursing sciences and knowledge for education and social policies. The School supports different new research initiatives and development, invests strategically and continuously in prioritized areas of research in order to develop the critical mass and excellence of research based on the School’s internationally recognized strengths and expertise.

Research Areas

Research Areas

Ageing and Health

The ageing and health research theme aims to build scientific evidence for nursing practice and impacting policy on ageing population, to strengthen research collaboration with international and regional partners in research, practice and education, to nurture young researchers’ capacity in research and to engage actively in policy making which inform and shape policy to improve care for older people.

The key research foci of the group are:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Frailty
  • Health literacy and gerontechnology
  • Symptom management

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our School of Nursing.

Family and Community Health

The family and community health research theme embraces an orientation towards health, focuses on the populations at risk of ill-health, and engage in research aiming at health promotion for all in the context of family, school, workplace, and community.

This team focuses on identification of health risks and early preventive interventions for all populations: children, adolescents, parents, and partners in the context of family, school, and workplace. 

Research foci are based on the Social-ecological Model for prevention: encompasses individuals, interpersonal / partner / parental / family relationships, school and work environments, community and societal health.

  • Child and adolescent health
  • Community health
  • Family health

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our School of Nursing.

Mental Health Care

The mental health care research theme aims to build the capacity and develop a strong research profile in the field of mental health care.

The team has a focused research strategy, which has been established around two research areas that are closely linked to local, regional, and international mental health needs, services, and education.

The main research topics are:

  • Challenging relationships, social adversity, and mental health
  • Interventions for people with Severe Mental Illnesses (SMI)

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our School of Nursing.

Transitional, Supportive and Palliative Care

The transitional, supportive and palliative care research theme aims to develop models of care delivery for clients with chronic diseases and/or complex needs, who require cost effective and holistic interventions. Such studies will help promote cost-effective care delivery and quality outcomes.

The research priorities are on three areas:

  • Symptom management in cancer, palliative care and life-limiting illnesses
  • Traditional Chinese medicine and complementary therapies
  • Models of care delivery with a focus on transitional care and community-based chronic disease management

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our School of Nursing.

Research Facilities

Research Facilities

Centre for Smart Health

The Centre for Smart Health aims to create healthcare innovations with technology, making positive impacts on practice and the quality of care. We conduct cross-disciplinary applied research that capitalises on our expertise in technology, including virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and translates the results into practice to improve healthcare education, diagnosis and treatment.


Gerontological Nursing Laboratory

The Gerontological Nursing Laboratory (GNL), located in A107, opened in September 2014. It provides a simulated environment in which students can experience age-related changes, assess the physical and psychosocial health of older people and practise skills in gerontological nursing. The laboratory allows students to gain deeper understandings of the care needs of older people and their caregivers that will facilitate better care planning and quality care provision. The laboratory also serves as a venue for conducting research activities, where questionnaires and interviews will be conducted, and interventions will be delivered.


Squina International Centre for Infection Control

The Squina International Centre for Infection Control (CIC) is a specialist centre hosted by the School of Nursing, tasked to lead by promoting excellence in the practice of infection prevention and control through training, research and community education. Members are actively involved in research areas including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, antibiotic resistant pathogens, influenza vaccination and the use of ultraviolet-C irradiation for environmental decontamination to inactivate multi-drug resistant organisms. Research collaborations with other disciplines, including engineering, biomedical, optometry, textiles and clothing, are carried out as appropriate. Research findings are frequently published in reputable and high impact academic journals.


WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Health Services (WHO CC)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Health Services since December 2007. This is the first and only WHO collaborating centre on ‘Ageing’ in Asia and the Pacific, assisting the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) to roll out its strategic initiatives on ageing for the region. Through implementing the WHO's mandate, the School has been playing a proactive role in strengthening evidence-based community health services and improving the health outcomes of local, regional and global populations. As the focus of WHO CC is “Healthy Ageing”, collaborative research studies in connection with the WHO ‘Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) model have been developed with academics, practitioners and government units in different countries in Western Pacific Region This redesignated WHO CC unit on ‘Healthy Ageing’.


Interdisciplinary Centre for Qualitative Research

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Qualitative Research (ICQR) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is the first dedicated interdisciplinary qualitative research centre in Asia. Established in 2021, the ICQR aims to generate and transfer knowledge through qualitative research into the clinical and business setting.  We also believe qualitative research methods are proving increasingly beneficial in exploring and answering those questions that cannot be easily answered by quantitative approaches alone. Indeed, the role of qualitative research allows for a more thorough exploration in examining individual experiences in all their complexity and in the contexts where these experiences take place which can be particularly conductive to policy design and improvement.


Centre for Advancing Patient Health Outcomes: A Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Affiliated Group

The Centre for Advancing Patient Health Outcomes: A JBI Affiliated Group is hosted by the School of Nursing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a world leader in gerontological, mental health, cancer and palliative care and community health services research. We believe the addition of the JBI group based at PolyU will be integral in developing new research questions to address some of the key health priorities affecting Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area’s population. We also see our JBI group being prominent leaders in developing and advancing cost-effective and improved evidenced based practice. Our focus is not only on knowledge generation and translation but also evidence implementation education through systematic review and continuous professional training in industry.

Other Information

Other Information

Applications with insufficient supporting documents will not be processed.

Suitable applicants may be invited to attend an interview.

For enquiries about the programmes, please email the School of Nursing at


Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents

Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports (applicable to applications for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme)

Optional - For PolyU Research Postgraduate programmes

Curriculum Vitae

Optional (strongly advised to submit)

Research Proposal

Compulsory - A standard form should be used for submission of research proposal.  Please click here to download the form.

Transcript / Certificate

Compulsory - If candidates apply for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, certificates for the award of both Bachelor's and Master's degrees should be submitted.