UKIC / Office of China Initiatives / Research in China

Research in China

Funding Opportunities

Agencies of the Chinese national government support science and technology research, including research conducted by U.S. citizens in collaboration with Chinese researchers. Most of UK’s partners in China wish to promote collaborations with the United States and would welcome the development of joint projects eligible for Chinese government funding.

Chinese government support is available for short-term visits, workshops and seminars, and research activities. Research is expected to take place in China. Grants ordinarily cannot be used to support activities in the United States. The principal funding agencies for collaborative ventures in China are:

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Program descriptions: 

  • International (Regional) Cooperation and Exchange Program 
    This program supports collaborative research, bilateral cooperation between governments, international exchange, international conferences, and fellowships for young scientists.  
  • Joint Research Fund for Overseas Chinese Scholars and Scholars in Hong Kong and Macao  
    Overseas Chinese scholars can include foreign nationals (i.e., US citizens).  
  • General Program 
    Fields include mathematical and physical sciences, chemical sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, engineering and materials science, information sciences, management sciences, and medical sciences.   
  • Key Program 
    This describes scores of “main research directions” currently being funded (e.g., Algebraic structure in number theory and theoretical physics; Formation, structure and evolution of galaxies, interstellar matter; Synthesis and reaction chemistry of metal organic compounds; Mechanisms of Forest degradation and restoration, …).  Descriptions of each area (in Chinese, untranslated) can be found as follows: 
  • Major Program 
    This document describes very specific funding priorities (e.g., Research on the Metabolic Mechanism and Engineering of Industrial Biocatalysts; Source, Fate, Human Population Exposure and Health Risk of Typical Semi-Volatile Persistent Organic Pollutants in Eastern China; …) 
  • Major Research Plan   
    This program funds groups of projects with similar objectives, in order to achieve breakthroughs in key fields.  The document describes current funding priorities (e.g., Integrated Research on the Eco-Hydrological Process in Heihe Basin, Single Quantum State Detection and Its Interactions, Fuel Proliferation and Transmutation in Advanced Nuclear Fission Energy, …) 
  • Programs of Joint Funds  
    These are programs jointly funded by NSFC and other Chinese entities – research institutes, government ministries, or provincial governments. 

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Descriptions of the fellowship and cooperative programs: 

  • This pdf describes the Einstein Professorship (funds one- or two-week visits to China), Visiting Professorships for Senior International Scientists (funds collaborative research in China for two to twelve months), and Fellowships for Young International Scientists (funds cooperative research in China for one year).  

Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)

The principal MoST programs permit U.S. co-PIs.  Unfortunately, almost all of the information on the MoST web site is in Chinese and has not been translated into English.  

Program descriptions: 

China Scholarship Council

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) is a non-profit institution with legal person status affiliated with the Ministry of Education. 

The objective of the CSC is to provide, in accordance with the law, statutes and relevant principles and policies of China, financial assistance to the Chinese citizens wishing to study abroad and to the foreign citizens wishing to study in China in order to develop the educational, scientific and technological, and cultural exchanges and economic and trade cooperation between China and other countries, to strengthen the friendship and understanding between Chinese people and the people of all other countries, and to promote world peace and the socialist modernization drive in China. 

China Scholarship Council is financed mainly by the states special appropriations for scholarship programs. At the same time the CSC accepts donations from the personages, enterprises, social organizations and other organizations at home and abroad. 

The tasks of the CSC are to use legal and economic means to manage the affairs of the Chinese citizens studying abroad and of the foreigners studying in China, take charge of the management and utilization of China Scholarship, determine the relevant assistance projects and modes, formulate management regulations and put the scholarship to best use; manage the bilateral and multilateral exchange or unilateral scholarships between China and other countries; manage other matters concerning educational exchanges and scientific and technological cooperation on behalf of relevant organizations, institutions and individuals inside and outside China; provide financial support to the projects conducive to the development of China’s education and its friendly relations with other countries; strive for donations from home and abroad, expand the sources of the Scholarship and increase the Scholarship; establish contacts with its counterparts at home and abroad and carry out exchange and cooperation with them. 

The CSC establishes a committee and a secretariat. The committee takes charge of consultation and examination, and the secretariat is in charge of the day-to-day work. The main functions of the secretariat of the CSC are to implement the work principles and plans formulated by the committee; organize the implementation of the financial assistance to the Chinese citizens wishing to study abroad and foreigners wishing to study in China, formulate the relevant management regulations and methods, process, assess and approve the application for financial assistance, award scholarships and provide the relevant consultation and service; supervise and inspect the use of China Scholarship by the projects and people financed by the CSC. 

Address: The China Scholarship Council 
Level 13, Building A3 No.9 Chegongzhuang Avenue 
Beijing 100044 
P.R. China 
Telephone: 86-10-66093900 
Fax: 86-10-88393620