Recruitment of Ph.D. Students

“Let us be, first and above all, kind, then honest and then let us never forget each other!”

– Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov

If you are an enthusiastic, conscientious, and collegial student pursuing an academic career in the field of public personnel management, organization theory and behavior, Chinese politics, civic engagement, or policy implementation, you may be the perfect fit for Dr. Bo WEN’s research team, located in the Public Policy Department of the City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Specifically, primary research themes of my group include:

1. Chinese Local bureaucracy and Street-level Bureaucrats

Currently, I am exploring the potential pitfalls of emerging bureaucratic phenomena, ranging from the civil service reform, a hybrid governance structure characterized by administrative subcontracts and political tournaments, to the evolving challenges faced by local administrations and frontline officials in implementing centrally mandated directives.

2. Participatory and Collaborative Governance 

I am investigating the role that citizens play in China’s governance. More broadly speaking, I strive to examine how this engagement can be leveraged to break down barriers to effective participation, including the difficulties of reconciling value conflicts, the prohibitively high costs of deliberation, the blurred lines of accountability, and opinion leaders subordinate collaboration to strategy of control, etc.

3. Measurements, Antecedents, and Consequences of Public Service Motivation (PSM)

By virtue of a mixed-method approach, consisting of focus-group interviews, questionnaire surveys, and randomized survey and real-effort experiments, I aim to develop a localized PSM measurement scale that is tailored to the Chinese context, causally pinpoint key non-organizational antecedents of individuals’ PSM, and shed a counterintuitive light on a host of unethical behavioral outcomes stemming from PSM.

4. Regulatory Governance

I analyze the mechanisms and processes through which anti-money laundering (AML), an increasingly used yet largely understudied regulatory and enforcement tool, limits transnational corruption and facilitates international fugitive repatriation and asset recovery for corruption-related crimes. I plan to extend this strand of research to the fields of energy conservation, environmental protection, and green finance.


The ideal candidate possesses the following qualities: (1) proficiency in English (both oral and written), (2) familiarity with Excel and Stata (or R), (3) basic understanding of survey administration and experimental methods, and (4) a strong interest in research demonstrated by coursework achievements or prior experience. Priority will be given to applicants who have solid training in quantitative data (econometrical) analysis and programming skills.

Joining my team will give students abundant opportunities to conduct joint research projects with overseas research teams, publish alongside top-notch scholars, and further their studies at leading U.S. and European institutions (e.g., as postdocs).

Financial Support

  • Full-time doctoral students admitted through regular channels will be automatically entitled to a postgraduate scholarship (HK$17,510 per month). Applicants with exceptional skills and background knowledge are also eligible to compete for the Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship, which includes an annual stipend of HK$319,200 and a travel allowance of HK$13,300 per year.
  • CityU has also launched a joint Ph.D. program with 23 high-ranking Mainland partner universities. Upon fulfillment of the program’s requirements, students will earn Ph.D. degree certificates from both universities. The postgraduate studentship, with a monthly allowance of HK$17,510, will be offered to students in this program during their two-year practicum at the main campus of CityU in Hong Kong. Candidates seeking admission to this program must meet the following requirements: 1) already be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at their home universities, 2) be able to satisfy the university’s minimum English proficiency requirements, and 3) have explicit approval from their current supervisors prior to applying. Further inquiries can be directed to

Contact Information

Please send a letter of introduction via email to In your letter, please include the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Language ability in English (writing sample required)
  • Your most recent CV/resume
  • A brief essay that addresses the questions below (one paragraph for each will suffice)
    • What are your research interests?
    • How are they related to your areas of specialization?
    • Tell about any previous research experience.
    • Previous experience working with data (please elaborate).
    • What are your future career plans?