Zen Hung-chiun graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1916 and Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1917.
Mr. Zen worked as a secretary in the Presidential Office of the Provisional Government at Nanjing in 1911. Zen Hung-chiun was a secretary in the Cabinet the same year. In 1920 he resumed his office as a professor of chemistry at the National University of Peking. He served as a chief secretary and director of the department of higher education in the Ministry of Education from October 1921 to 1922.
Zen Hung-chiun acted as a president of the Science Society of China between 1914 and 1923 and also in 1933. From 1923 to 1925 he held the position of a vice-president and professor of Southeastern University, Nanjing.
Mr. Zen served as an executive secretary and vice-director of the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture in 1925-1928 and since 1928 he became its director. From 1935 Zen Hung-chiun was a president of Sichuan University in Chengtu.