Sino-UK Higher Education Research
Partnership for PhD Studies
Invitation for applications
1. On behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills of the British
Government (BIS) and Devolved Administrations and Ministry of Education of P.R.
China (MOE), British Council China which operates as the Cultural and Education
Section of the British Embassy and the China Scholarship Council are pleased to
invite applications for funding to support research partnerships and exchange of PhD
students between UK and Chinese institutions.
2. The research partnership funding is available for two financial years: 1st April 2012 to
31st March 2013 and 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014. Bids are welcomed for a
maximum of ?36,000 for each partnership from the British Government. The grants
will be paid in two parts - ?18,000 a year for two years. Chinese universities can apply
from Ministry of Education a separate fund for this partnership project. Funding for
each partnership will be provided for 2 years but activities can continue till the end of
3. Up to 28 partnerships will be funded. BIS will fund 20 partnerships, Scotland 6 and
Wales 2. Northern Ireland has decided not to participate.
4. To apply for the research partnership funding please complete the application form
which can be downloaded from http://www.britishcouncil.org.cn or
http://www.csc.edu.cn. Please note that Part I of the Application should be jointly
written in English by the partner institutions in two countries, co-signed and sent
together with the supporting documents to British Council China and China
Scholarship Council respectively via email; Part II should be completed by the Chinese
partner universities in Chinese and a hard copy should be posted to the China
Scholarship Council at the address provided at the end of this document. The deadline thfor receipt of applications is 10 September 2012. The announcement of the selection stresults will be made by 31 October 2012.
th5. On 27 October 2011, during the 6th Education Summit in London, China’s Minister
for Education Yuan Guiren and Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove signed
a 3-year UK-China Partners in Education Action Plan to agree education co-operation
across four strands, one of which is higher education research partnerships. The PhD thAgreement was signed in London on 16 April 2012.
6. It is intended that this Higher Education Research Partnerships for PhD Studies
programme will increase the number and breadth of higher education partnerships The United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland).
between the UK and China, in emerging academic areas of interest to China and the
UK as well as in traditional areas such as science, technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM) and business and finance.
7. This is an opportunity to reach out to institutions specialising in subject areas not
covered by current UK-China collaboration. These partnerships will promote activities
such as the international mobility of students, PhD researchers and staff through
exchanges and short-term research visits, and research collaborations and capacity
building. The programme will also encourage engagement with industry and the
private sector in supporting these partnerships.
8. Participating universities and institutions will benefit from an enhanced international
profile as an outward-looking, technologically advanced institution and will gain access
to top-class students and researchers. This will support valuable and cutting edge
research and build the groundwork for greater and lasting institutional links and future
partnerships, and establish a long lasting personal relationship between individuals.
Mission and objectives
9. The Sino-UK Higher Education Research Partnership for PhD Studies aims to
promote collaboration between UK and China in joint training of PhD students, in view
of long-term and mutually-beneficial university/institution partnerships between the two
Objectives of the programme include:
; Enhance mutual awareness of research strength in higher education institutions of the
; Promote mutual understanding and facilitate partnership in sectors of mutual interest
and strength through exchanges between leaders of research teams and researchers. ; Develop joint PhD training mechanisms through exchange of PhD students.
10. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills of the British Government and
Ministry of Education of P.R. China have agreed to support partnerships in the
; Energy, resources and environment
; Engineering Sciences
; Life sciences and public health
; Technology, including Biotechnology, Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, ICT and
high-and-new technology in agriculture
; Urbanization and Urban Development
; Material Science and New Material
; Basic Research and Development
; Humanities and Applied Social Science
; Creative industries
; Digital economy
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; Media and communications
; Social Science
11. On the UK side applications will be considered from all institutions and research
consortia which are strong in research in the agreed sectors except those based in
Northern Ireland. On the Chinese side applications will be open to Project 211
universities only. UK institutions can partner with multiple Chinese universities and
12. Chinese applicants should comply with the selection rules stated in the official notice
of the China Scholarship Council.
13. The Programme will fund two activities – mobility of researchers and exchange of PhD
students. Each research team must include both researchers and PhD students.
Applications without the involvement of students will not be considered.
14. The team must be headed by a professor and include up to 3 researchers and up to 3
PhD students. The total number of each partnership is up to 12, 6 from each side. In
cases where in a team there is one researcher and 5 students, the researcher will
have to decide which 3 students will participate as the programme will only fund 4
people, 1 researcher plus 3 students.
15. Chinese researchers and students must have a good command of English. Although
they are not required to take English language test, their partner in the UK must be
confident that they are able to deliver their project in English.
16. Mobility grants for researchers
; Mobility grants will allow the UK and the Chinese researchers to visit one another to
develop their partnership and related research proposals.
; Each Chinese researcher can visit the partner institution once for a period between 1
month and 3 months. Once the application is approved, any change of Chinese
researchers will not be allowed. These restrictions apply to the Chinese side only,
whereas the UK researchers can be more flexible. UK institutions need to agree their
plans with their partner institutions.
; It is suggested that researchers should schedule their visits when their PhD students
are studying in the partner institution.
; Relevant costs incurred by the researchers under this partnership project will be
covered by their sending government, i.e. part of the grant of 36,000GBP from the
British Government will cover the costs of returning international airfares (economy
class), accommodation, subsistence and local travel of the British researchers. Any
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other costs have to be met by the researchers or their universities. See below for a summary of which expenditures will be covered by each government.
17. Exchange of PhD students
; To conform to the rules and regulations of the Chinese side, each student can visit the partner institution once for a period between 3 months and 12 months. The total number is 24 person/months from each side of the partnership. For example, if there are 3 Chinese students, splitting equally, each can spend 8 months in the UK. If the rdfirst 2 students spend 6 months each, then the 3 student can visit for 12 months.
Once the application is approved, any change of the named UK and Chinese students ;
will not be allowed. Named individuals must be provided in the application form. ; Visa fee and international airfares incurred by PhD students will be met within the grant of this partnership project from their sending government.
; Host institutions are expected to waive any bench fees as part of their contribution to the partnership.
; Part of the grant of ?36,000 from the UK Government will cover Chinese students’
one-off arrival allowance of ?550 and a monthly stipend of ?1091 in London and ?882 outside London (to cover meals, accommodation and domestic travel, etc.). ; UK students will be awarded Chinese government funded scholarship and should comply with the registration rules stated in the official notice sent by the China Scholarship Council to Chinese universities. Please check with the Chinese partner universities for details.
; The Chinese Government will pay UK students a monthly stipend of 2000 RMB, comprehensive medical care insurance for Chinese Government Scholarship holders, and a one-off arrival allowance (1000 RMB for those who stay for less than one academic year and 1500 RMB for those who stay for more than one academic year). ; Accommodation for the UK PhD students will be provided by the Chinese host university. UK PhD students will be exempt from accommodation fees, tuition fees, experiment fees and basic teaching material costs. Costs beyond the above arrangements will be born by the students themselves.
; UK Institutions should assist the Chinese partner PhD students in opening bank accounts and securing accommodation in the UK when necessary.
18. To summarise, funding from the British Government will cover the following items:
; Mobility grants for researchers:
; UK researchers’ visa fee to China
; UK researchers’ returning airfares (economy class)
; UK researchers’ accommodation in China
; UK researchers’ subsistence in China
; UK researchers’ local travel in China
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; Exchange of PhD students:
; UK students’ visa fees to China
; UK students’ returning airfares (economy class)
; Chinese students’ arrival allowance in the UK
; Chinese students’ stipend in the UK
19. Funding from the Chinese Government will cover the following items:
; Mobility grants for researchers:
; Chinese researchers’ visa fee to the UK
; Chinese researchers’ returning airfares (economy class)
; Chinese researchers’ accommodation in the UK
; Chinese researchers’ subsistence in the UK
; Chinese researchers’ local travel in the UK
; Exchange of PhD students:
; Chinese students’ visa fees to the UK
; Chinese students’ returning airfares (economy class)
; UK students’ arrival allowance in China
; UK students’ stipend in China
20. Each applicant should ensure their applications meet the criteria set out below. The
principles underlying the assessment of applications will be:
; All questions on the Application Form are answered;
; The overall project objectives and anticipated outcomes are clearly defined;
; The activities are planned to deliver the outcomes in the most effective way;
; The extent to which the project will contribute towards developing a long term
sustainable partnership between UK and Chinese universities;
; The quality of the research collaboration proposed, the researchers and the
; The finance is well planned in line with the above guidance.
21. On behalf of BIS and MOE the British Council China and China Scholarship Council
will evaluate applications they receive to eliminate technically ineligible ones and draw
up a prioritised list of proposals for further evaluation at a selection panel.
22. A selection panel will be made up by experts from both countries. They will meet via
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23. BIS and MOE will review the recommendations made by the panel. Decisions made
by BIS and MOE will be final.
Contracting and Financial Arrangements
24. The grant letter for each partnership will be signed between the British Council China
and the UK research team leader. The team leader will be responsible for:
a. Provision of accounts to detail how the UK Government funds have been spent
over the reporting period.
b. Alerting the British Council China to any substantive changes in the partnership
that will impact on project outcomes.
Reporting and Monitoring
25. Each partnership will submit two joint reports, to the British Council China and China
Scholarship Council respectively; mid-term report due at the end of April 2013, and
final report by the end of December 2014 when all the activities are completed.
Allocation of funding for year 2 is subject to progress made in year one and
submission of the mid-term report.
Ms Yvonne Yang
Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate-General
Unit 2018-19| 20/F The Center
989 Changle Road, Shanghai 200031 China
Tel: +86 21 6192 2626 x 215 | Fax: +86 21 6192 2121
电话;+86 (21) 6192 2626转215
传真;+86 (21) 6192 2121
Ms. Sun Lulu
Division of European, Asian & African Affairs
China Scholarship Council
Level 13, Building A3, Five Buildings, No.9 Chegongzhuang Avenue,
Beijing 100044, P. R. China
Tel: +86-(0)10 6609 3934
Fax: +86-(0)10 6609 3929
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电话;+86-(0)10 6609 3934
传真: +86-(0)10 6609 3929
电子邮件: : firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners involved include :
BIS and DAs logos, MOE logo, BC logo and CSC logo
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