UK-China PhD Placement Programme - deadline extended

About this opportunity

Sponsorships 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 2017.


The application process has been extended to close at 12:00 pm GMT on 30 September 2016.

This extension applies only to UK applicants, the process for Chinese applicants has already closed.


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.


China applicants
The HE Internaitonal Unit can support applicants from overseas who are looking to come to the UK on a PhD grant. They support with the following:

  • Assisting candidates in identifying potential PhD programmes and/or supervisors in their field of study at UK Universities 
  • Facilitating contact between applicants, academics and University admissions staff
  • Acting as a general point of assistance for PhD candidates/scholars during the application process

For more information please visit their webpage.

UK applicants

UK PhD students having difficulties in finding host institutions/universities and host supervisors for their placement in China can contact for help.

How to apply

UK PhD applicants must:

- Step 1: Complete the online registration form of the China Scholarship Council here and print it.  

- Step 2: Complete the application form on the British Council’s online application system here. A word version of the form is available in the Downloads section below. Please note this is for information only, and all submissions must be made using the online form.

Any enquiries about the UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Partnership Fund can also be sent to

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.

Chinese applicants should visit China Scholarship Council website for further information regarding the application process and for contact details.

Background information

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, Innovation and Skills and China’s Ministry of Education. The PhD placement programme aims to cultivate highly trained researchers with international experience who are able to contribute to innovative research and participate in international networks, thereby building cultural understanding and fostering long-term sustainable research collaborations between the UK and China.