China Scholarship Council – University of Birmingham PhD Scholarships

Level of study
Doctoral research
Subject area
Arts and Law, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Medical and Dental Sciences, Social Sciences
Type of Award
External, University
Deadline for applying
Closed 19/03/2021 (Note: competition closed for this year)

Award Description

The University of Birmingham is proud of its long history of engagement with China and this year the relationship is further enhanced with the re-establishment of this prestigious scholarship partnership. We welcomed our first students from China in 1907 and since then we have provided education for more than 7,000 Chinese scholars including Li Siguang, one of the University of Birmingham’s most famous Chinese graduates and a pioneer in the field of geology. There are currently some 200 PhD students from China studying at Birmingham in a wide variety of fields.

We are pleased to offer up to 10 joint-funded PhD scholarships in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council (the ‘CSC’). These scholarships are competitive and will be awarded to candidates seeking entry to a PhD programme in Autumn 2021.

Value of Award

Up to 10 full PhD scholarships covering full payment of tuition fees (at the 'overseas' fee rate) and any associated bench fees, paid for by the University of Birmingham, and a maintenance stipend and return international airfare between the UK and China, paid for by the China Scholarship Council. 

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible, candidates must:

  • Meet the eligibility criteria set out by the CSC ( Note that the CSC requires candidates to return to China after completing their PhD.
  • Hold a People's Republic of China Passport (applicants from Hong Kong or Taiwan are not eligible) and either be permanently resident in China or studying overseas. Those working overseas are not eligible.
  • Where students have prior experience of studying overseas (including the UK) it is important to check eligibility rules on the China Scholarship Council website; this includes Current 1st year PhD students and those in year '1' of a 1+3.
  • Hold an unconditional offer of admission to a full-time PhD programme at the University of Birmingham commencing in October 2021. Note that the only outstanding offer conditions accepted by the CSC are: completion of a degree and ATAS approval. Additionally candidates must have already met the English language requirement of their offer prior to applying to the CSC (i.e. fulfilment of the English language requirement as a remaining condition of an offer is not deemed an acceptable outstanding condition). 
  • Candidates must have applied for, and must have already been awarded, a University of Birmingham PhD scholarship covering tuition fees in order to be eligible for nomation to the CSC under this joint scholarship scheme.

Priority will be given to PhD students in the following fields, however the scholarship is not confined solely to these areas of research:

  • Rail decarbonisation, sustainable future of plastics, water science, sustainable cities, quantum technologies, air pollution.
  • Liver transplantation, cancer immunology, microbiology and infection, healthcare technologies, health data, ageing, youth mental health.
  • African studies, responsible business, inclusive education, global ethics, ancient texts, superdiversity.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship candidates must:

  • First apply for admission to a PhD programme at the University of Birmingham. Admission for PhD programmes opens in October each year and early applications are highly recommended.
  • Secure a conditional or unconditional offer of admission to the University PhD programme by the end of March.
  • Contact their proposed primary supervisor at Birmingham to express their interest in being nominated for this scholarship. Each College within the University will collate these expressions of interest and will shortlist them and arrive at a final selection of candidates by 19 March. College staff will use the information candidates provided in their PhD application to shortlist. If candidates are successfully shortlisted they will be asked by their College to complete a nomination form providing their Chinese ID number/passport number and a declaration allowing us to share their details with the CSC. The shortlist/nomination forms will then be sent to the CSC on 31 March for final selection of scholars. If candidates have a query they are invited to contact their proposed primary supervisor in the College who should keep them updated as to the progress of their expression of interest.
  • Ensure that they also submit a separate application direct to the China Scholarship Council for a PhD scholarship by their deadline in March. Details of the University of Birmingham CSC partnership can found on the CSC website.

Only students who were shortlisted/nominated for a CSC scholarship by the University AND who received an offer of funding from CSC will be awarded a scholarship. Final decisions are made by the CSC. CSC will inform applicants of the final outcome of their funding application in June.

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