China Scholarship Council and University of Melbourne partnership to fund PhD candidates until 2027

L-R: Mr Qingwei Su, Program Officer for Division of American and Oceanian Affairs; Ying Richter, International Partnerships Adviser; Professor Justin Zobel, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate & International Research; Professor Michael Wesley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global, Culture and Engagement; Professor Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor; Sheng Jianxue, Secretary-General; Professor Sarah Biddulph, Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global, Culture and Engagement – China; Li Meng, Director for Division of American and Oceanian Affairs; Dr Mark Gregory, Senior Advisor, International Research Strategy.

The University of Melbourne today announced a partnership renewal with the China Scholarship Council for a combined investment of up to AUD$75 million.

Under this partnership, the China Scholarship Council and the University co-fund scholarships for top-ranking graduates from institutions in China wishing to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of Melbourne and will support up to 180 candidates over the next four years.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell announced the agreement renewal while leading a University delegation in China.

Professor Maskell said the scholarships are an important part of the University’s commitment to supporting international education and research.

“We value our strong and longstanding partnership with the China Scholarship Council, which is vital in fostering global research and knowledge sharing,” Professor Maskell said.

“As a university, we recognise the important role we play to support opportunities for global education. Our community has benefited greatly from collaborations with Chinese academics, particularly around issues of shared concern for both countries.”

The scholarship includes full PhD tuition fees for up to four years as well as airfares, health cover, visa application fees, and an allowance to cover living costs.

Jointly established in 2011 by the China Scholarship Council and the University of Melbourne, the partnership has offered scholarships to 215 candidates, with increasing demand since its inception.

China Scholarship Council Secretary-General Sheng Jianxue said the continued commitment between China Scholarship Council and the University of Melbourne fosters up-and-coming research talent.

“The partnership with the University of Melbourne promotes global excellence in research and allows top academic talent to create knowledge for better, healthier and more sustainable societies,” he said.

The partnership is approaching the significant milestone of celebrating 100 graduates to complete the program.

One such graduate, Dr Shunfei (Stephen) Yan, is now a senior investment manager at a China-based venture capital fund in the biomedical field, having graduated in 2019. Dr Yan conducted his PhD at the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology.

“Without the help of the PhD scholarship, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to study at the University of Melbourne. I gained invaluable exposure to world-class research projects and facilities in the biomedical field, which in the end prompted me to devote my career to the biopharmaceutical industry,” Dr Yan said.

The recipients’ research projects to date have spanned diverse areas including drought response strategies, understanding immune responses to severe influenza disease and minimising the spread of antibiotic resistance in food.