Mat Wright

The UK-China PhD Placement programme 2018 has now closed for application. 

For UK PhD candidates, please be noted the link for application on China Scholarship Council’s website has been changed to http://studyinchina.csc.edu.cn/#/login

Special note on Physical Examination Record for Foreigner

For UK applicants, China Scholarship Council has confirmed that it is compulsory to submit the completed Physical Examination Record for Foreigner (in the Download section) for the application with CSC, so please try your best to get this completed. However we understand it sometimes can take a long time to complete this details in the UK, particularly getting an X-ray and ECG. IF it is not possible at all to get this completed before the application deadline, please upload a notice instead for the application, explaining the following things:

  1. Why you are not able to complete the Physical Examination
  2. When this can be completed
  3. Please state that China Scholarship Council and British Council have been informed of this;

Please be noted the host university in China MAY decline your application due to lack of Physical Examination Record. Please make sure you submit this notice to explain the case if you cannot submit the Physical Examination Record.

About this opportunity

The UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Partnership Fund (known in the UK as the Newton Fund) PhD placement programme is delivered by the British Council China and the China Scholarship Council on behalf of the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and China’s Ministry of Education.

This programme is a sponsorship opportunity for UK and Chinese PhD students and their supervisors to spend a period of study of three to 12 months (for PhD students) and up to three months (for supervisors) at higher education institutions in China or the UK. The focus is on research areas that reflect the common interests and demands of both countries, including: 

  • health and life sciences
  • food and water security
  • environmental technologies
  • energy
  • urbanisation
  • education and creative economy for economic development and social welfare

Please note, applicants must find a host institution in their target country and placements must start between January and December 2019.

Programme Outcomes

The PhD placement programme aims to promote the research capacity of PhD students, to build UK-China institutional exchanges and collaborations that benefit future students, and to strengthen UK-China links in research and innovation. 

The programme aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • development of individual capacity through international training and development opportunities
  • cultivation of highly trained researchers in the UK and China with international experience who are able to contribute to research and innovation, thereby generating economic and social benefits for both countries
  • participation of British and Chinese PhD students in international intellectual networks, building cultural understanding and fostering long-term sustainable research collaborations
  • development of international joint training pathways
  • raising awareness of the UK’s and China’s research strengths


The application process closes at 12:00 pm GMT on 20 September 2018


This opportunity is open to UK and Chinese nationals who are currently enrolled, as PhD students, at accredited higher education institutions or research institutions in the UK or China respectively. UK students studying for their PhDs at institutions in China and Chinese students studying for their PhDs at institutions in the UK are not eligible. 

On the UK side, applications will be considered from all UK institutions with a strong research record in the agreed fields. Host universities in China must be eligible to admit international students. For a list of Chinese universities eligible to admit international students, please visit http://www.campuschina.org/universities/index.html

Applicants must hold either UK passport OR passports from countries that have diplomatic relations with China. 

How to apply

Please refer to the ‘Call Guidelines (for UK applicants)’ available in the Downloads section for a detailed introduction of the programme and application process, the evaluation criteria, and funding arrangements.

Any enquiries about the UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Partnership Fund can also be sent to newtonfundchina@britishcouncil.org.cn

External links