Personal profile


- Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, Dept. Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, The Northumbria University.

- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Occupational Therapist 

Research interests

Dr Lai is an occupational therapist by training. He received BSc in Occupational Therapy from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), then awarded MSc Health Care in Occupational Therapy and obtained his PhD from the PolyU. He is the holder of the Diploma of Epidemiology & Applied Statistics, and the Diploma of Occupational Safety & Health.  

Frank has been working in the Northumbria University from 2021. He had worked as the Assistant Professor and in-charge of the Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) laboratory in the PolyU. Before took up his academic post, he had worked in the Hospital Authority (HA) of Hong Kong as frontline senior occupational therapist and allied health training officer for nearly twenty years. He has solid experience in different healthcare and social care settings over the world including teaching, clinical service, clinical research and administration that covered field of psychiatric and physical rehabilitation. His records of publications and international collaboration projects covered various important dimensions in rehabilitation sciences such as vocational rehabilitation, geri-orthopaedic rehabilitation, wheelchair & seating, amputation rehabilitation, home safety and fall prevention, executive functioning, dementia, cognitive screening, caregiving, and rehabilitation technology. His international background and experience support organisations’ process and resources management, service planning and development, and programme evaluation.

As the scholar interested with cognitive science and dementia community, Frank’s research interest geared towards two directions. The first is on the implementation of holistic dementia care, which aimed not only to people with dementia but also to their caregivers. He conducts research on neuromodulation for older people with dementia and MCI; applies VR, AR and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for earlier cognitive screening and training; develop mobile apps for executive function training; organizes intergeneration public education for dementia care. Another research direction is, through dementia care, to apply design thinking in facilitating the intergenerational care and development of moral reasoning, empathy, social responsibility, and social innovation for the prosocial behaviour and positive youth development.  

Currently, Frank is the trustee of a charity organisation in support of the population facing social inequality in Newcastle and he is an honorary advisor of an older Chinese people network of the Northeast of the United Kingdom. In Hong Kong, he is the Council Members of the Chinese Dementia Research Association and is one of the advisors of the “Dementia Care Link”  which is a co-joint community volunteer training project between HA and various district-based NGOs in the Hong Kong community. He is also the advisor of a local NGO on a social innovation intergenerational care program for positive youth development “Youth Impact Award, YIAA”.

With the support from HKSAR Governmental funding, Dr Lai developed a web-based platform 攜手跨障礙-公眾教育平台“” for public education. Moreover, with the support from the Fund of Better Living of the Innovation & Technology Committee of the HKSAR, Dr Lai and his team develop a cognitive training apps for older people "小城大事腦力挑戰 Brain Challenge for Major Events in a Small Town" 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Education, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Advance HE

Award Date: 4 Jul 2022

Philosophy, PhD, Doctor of Philosophy , Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Award Date: 15 May 2017

Management, Diploma, Diploma of Occupational Safety and Health, The Open University of Hong Kong

Award Date: 31 May 2007

Health, MSc, MSc Healthcare (Occupational Therapy), Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Award Date: 21 Nov 2001

Statistics, Diploma, Diploma of Epidemiology & Applied Statistics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Award Date: 12 Aug 1998

Occupational Therapy, BSc, BSc Occupational Therapy, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Award Date: 26 Oct 1995

External positions

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

1 Oct 2021 → …

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Oct 2021 → …

Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

1 Aug 201831 Jul 2021

Allied Health Training Officer, Hospital Authority of the Hong Kong SAR

1 Aug 20081 Oct 2009

Occupational Therapist II to Occupational Therapist I to Senior Occupational Therapist in Hospital Authority of the Hong Kong SAR

1 Sept 199531 Jul 2018


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