International Summer Undergraduate Inbound Research Program 2024

International Summer Undergraduate Inbound Research Program 2024

The International Summer Undergraduate Inbound Research Program is an opportunity for aspiring undergraduate students from top-tier overseas universities to take up a research placement for eight or ten weeks in the summer at HKUST.

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Program highlights

  • 8 or 10 weeks in the summer spent in Hong Kong at HKUST
  • Work on a HKUST research project under the mentorship of the research project supervisor
  • Immerse in the local Hong Kong culture through orientation and cultural activities throughout the program
  • End-of-program symposium for presentation and discussion of your research work
  • All research work, reports and presentations conducted in English



Participants are expected to show high commitment to the research work. Research supervisors will discuss with participants on the time commitment and expectations.


Program dates

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10-week Program

  • Arrival date and dorm check-in: 6 Jun 2024 (Thu)
  • Research program period (including end-of-program symposium): 10 Jun (Mon) - 16 Aug 2024 (Fri)
  • Dorm check-out date: 17 Aug 2024 (Sat)


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8-week Program

  • Arrival date and dorm check-in: 20 Jun 2024 (Thu)
  • Research program period (including end-of-program symposium): 24 Jun (Mon) - 16 Aug 2024 (Fri)
  • Dorm check-out date: 17 Aug 2024 (Sat)


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Research Projects

Please click below tabs to see the details of the research projects. 

School of Science
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Project title: The investigation of how time-restricted feeding regulates muscle stem cell functions

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Tom Cheung
Division of Life Science
Project description: Time-restricted feeding confines diet intake to a specific time period. Previous reports showed that time-restricted feeding promoted longevity and enhanced metabolic health in mice. Our project focuses on studying the role of time-restricted feeding in modulating skeletal muscle stem cell behaviors. Various time-restricted feeding schemes will be adopted and compared in young mice. We aim to identify the optimal time-restricted feeding scheme which maximizes the beneficial effect on skeletal muscle health and potentially ameliorates skeletal muscle aging.


Project title: Evolution of mating system and chemical communication between opposite sexes in nematode

HKUST Supervisor: Prof King Chow
Division of Life Science
Project description: Students will be conducting behavioral assays of animals using existing and newly defined assay system to evaluate how they interacts to facilitate reproductive success. Genetic mutants and possibly genetically modified animals will be used in the assay to ascertain critical molecular components used in this process.


Project title: Deciphering epigenetic changes at non-coding DNA in cancer

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Danny Leung
Division of Life Science
Project description: If the genome is an instruction manual encoding all the biological functions of cells, then the epigenome is the set of annotations and side notes that further dictate how these instructions are implemented and enforced. This process consists of chemical modifications of DNA and associated proteins that govern how genes turn on or off, while not affecting the underlying genetic sequences. The failure of such mechanisms contributes to many of our most serious diseases, including neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancers. In this project, students will learn about epigenetic pathways that control gene expression and how dysregulation can lead to cancers. Students will participate in efforts of deciphering unique epigenetics features associated with cancers development and progression.


Project title: Modeling peroxisomal disorders with C. elegans

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Ho Yi Mak
Division of Life Science
Project description: Peroxisomes are organelles for the processing of specific fatty acids. Genetic mutations that disrupt peroxisomal function cause varying degrees of liver dysfunction, developmental delay, and neurological defects that impair one's ability to move, see and hear. In this project, mutations that mimic those found in human patients will be introduced into C. elegans using CRISPR. The transgenic animals could potentially be used for genetic and drug screens to identify therapeutic strategies for treating peroxisomal disorders. Students will actively participate in experiments that employ molecular biology, genetic and fluorescence microscopy techniques.
School of Engineering
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Project title: Research and development of machine learning technologies for location-based and video analytics applications

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Gary Chan
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Project description: Students in the project will work with my research team conducting research and development on advanced machine techniques to overcome critical industrial challenges in order to provide novel services. These services can be location-based (e.g., how to know a person’s indoor localization over time, location-based recommendation, location privacy, etc.), and/or video based (e.g., edge AI camera, human activity recognition, motion tracking, etc.). We are working with industry to deploy our solutions, and hence the research will be applied in nature, with cost-effective deployment to meet market requirements or user needs as our end goal.


Project title: The future of medical imaging: Advancements in analysis through vision language and large models

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Hao Chen
Department of Computer Science and Engineering|Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project description: Medical image analysis plays a crucial role in healthcare by providing a non-invasive way to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. With the advent of deep learning techniques, computer vision-based medical image analysis has achieved remarkable success in recent years. However, the current state-of-the-art methods are limited by the availability of large annotated datasets and the need for expert domain knowledge. This research proposal aims to explore the application of vision language models and large language models (e.g., CLIP, ChatGPT) in medical image analysis to address these limitations and improve the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis.


Project title: Video DragGAN: Interactive editing on the generative video manifold

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Chi Keung Tang
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Project description: We extend Image DragGAN (SIGGRAPH'23) to Video DragGAN, which allows users to easily edit and control the pose, shape, expression and layout of generated objects, similar to Image DragGAN. Temporal consistency on the other hand need to be addressed in the output video. Existing generative adversarial networks (GANs) uses manually annotated training data or a prior 3D model. In this study we propose to control GANs, that is, to "drag" any points of the image to precisely reach target points in a user-interactive manner. These user-specified points are propagated across the video sequence. By leveraging stable diffusion for adding temporal stability, DragGAN can produce compelling results while maintaining temporal consistency for the edited or added features.


Project title: Fast-acting liquid adhesives for closing wounds

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Zhengtang Luo
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project description: 1. To develop a new composition of a tissue adhesive material with enhanced mechanical property, biocompatibility, or biodegradability
2.  To manufacture a prototype composed of the adhesive material and an applicator


Project title: Congestion control for real-time VR/AR applications

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Zili Meng
Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering
Project description: VR/AR applications introduce a completely different traffic pattern to the transport protocols – it sends bursty, unpredictable traffic, it requires consistently low latency, and it also asks for as many throughput as possible. Existing congestion control schemes are not designed for such a scenario, which motivates us to redesign the congestion control to better support the VR/AR applications.


Project title: Silicon carbide photonics

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Andrew Poon
Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering
Project description: This project aims to design silicon carbide (SiC) photonics for linear, nonlinear and quantum photonics on a chip spanning the visible to the near-infrared wavelengths for potential applications in optical communications and in quantum computing. SiC is a well-known wide-bandgap semiconductor with a reasonable optical nonlinearity and is compatible with the conventional silicon microelectronics. The project will involve designing the lithography mask layouts and performing numerical simulations of the SiC photonic components and circuits comprising waveguides and microresonators. The project will also allow students a hands-on experience in characterizing SiC photonic and quantum photonic devices and circuits.


Project title: Microfabrication technologies of microelectronic devices

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Yansong Yang
Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering
Project description: Nano/microfabrication technology is the engine behind microelectronics and photonics. Advances in microfabrication can enable novel structures to break limiting factors in conventional systems, leading to higher performance. This project aims to investigate different nano/microfabrication technologies (including Ebeam lithography, plasma dry etching, material deposition, etc.) for different materials and structures. Based on nano/microfabrication technology, novel micro-devices will be fabricated for signal processing.


Academy of Interdisciplinary Studies
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Project title: XR Creativity and Games

HKUST Supervisor: Prof Tristan Camille Braud
Division of Integrative Systems and Design; Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Project description: Students in the project will work on the below tasks:
  1. Develop a gamified XR application to promote creativity using techniques including freeform drawing, digital content anchoring, blockchain and ownership.
  2. Experiment with a variety of XR hardware, from standalone headsets to mobile phones.
  3. Thoroughly evaluate the application both in terms of system and usability.

Learning objectives:
  1. Get familiar with XR technologies and typical development tools.
  2. Adapt beyond the specifications of preexisting tools to handle new scenarios.
  3. Understand how games and creativity can interact in XR.
  4. Develop a functional application that could be distributed to a wider audience for larger-scale testing.

Project title: New research topics in sustainable finance

Prof Quentin Moreau
Division of Environment and Sustainability
Students in the project will work on the below tasks:
  1. Analyze the determinants and consequences of firms' environmentally friendly behaviors.
  2. Determine new metrics to gauge firms’ financial exposure to fossil fuel price fluctuations.
  3. Explore the impact of air quality on economic and financial outcomes.
  4. Evaluate the impact of natural disasters on insurance companies.

Learning objectives:
  1. Deepen one's knowledge of green and sustainable finance.
  2. Learn how to apply econometric techniques to large datasets.
  3. Learn how to interpret empirical results.
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  • Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in one of HKUST’s student exchange partners outside of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Mainland China.
  • Have completed at least Year 2 by the summer of the program
  • Show potential and passion in research
  • Nominated by the study abroad office of their home institution


Application Procedures

  • Seek nomination from the study abroad office at your home institution (Individual applications without nomination will not be accepted)
  • Complete HKUST online application at MyStudyAbroad System
  • Students are required to submit the following documents in the online application: 
    • Latest academic transcript issued by the home institution
    • A personal statement explaining your academic background and why you are interested in joining the selected research lab
    • Resume
    • If the language of instruction at your home institution is not English, a proof of English proficiency is required. Students are expected to satisfy the English language requirement of TOFEL iBT 80 or IELTS 6.0. 
    • Passport copy
  • Students may be required to attend a zoom interview.


Nomination and application timeline

  • Home institution send nomination to HKUST by: 15 February 2024 (Thu)
  • Nominated students submit HKUST online application by: 22 February 2024 (Thu)

Remarks: Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Interested students are encouraged to contact your study abroad office and seek nomination as early as possible.



The acceptance decision rests with the research project PI at HKUST.


Credit and Transcripts

Students will be enrolled in a 3-credit UG-level research course. HKUST will issue an academic transcript to the home institution upon participants’ satisfactory completion of the research placement. The home institution will determine the credit transfer in accordance to the home institution’s credit transfer policies.



Students accepted by HKUST for this program will be accommodated in on-campus student dormitories in double shared rooms.



  • HK$10,500, which is generally due 2 weeks after the acceptance confirmation (fees paid are non-refundable)
  • The fee covers accommodation in on-campus student dormitories, student visa application and handling, HKUST’s compulsory travel insurance. Tuition fee is waived.



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