Sheffield–China Scholarships Council PhD Scholarship Programme

This scheme provides academically excellent Chinese students with the opportunity to study for a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The scholarships are supported jointly by the China Scholarship Council and the University of Sheffield.


Applications for the Sheffield–China Scholarships Council PhD Scholarship Programme for 2024 entry are closed.

The scholarship application form will close at 5pm GMT on 24 January 2024. Some departments have earlier internal deadlines by which they need to have received your application. Please ensure that you have consulted your department so you are aware of their deadline.


The University of Sheffield will fund tuition fees for 3.5 years. Students are expected to submit their thesis within this period. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) will fund a grant for living costs for up to four years, and one return flight from China to the UK.

To be eligible for a CSC scholarship, you must:

  • be applying to start a new full-time PhD programme at Sheffield
  • have a strong academic background
  • be a national of and reside in, mainland China (not including Hong Kong or Macau) – see CSC policies
  • intend to return to China once your programme is completed
  • hold a study offer from the University of Sheffield (see below for further details)
  • satisfy all of the CSC's selection criteria 

Study offers can be Unconditional (fully meeting academic and language requirements) or Conditional if the condition is on the successful completion of the candidate’s current Master's degree, to the minimum level of attainment set by the relevant academic department, and the candidate is in their final year of master study. Candidates with offers that are conditional on meeting language requirements are not eligible to be nominated to CSC.

Research areas

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and the fit of the applicant’s proposed research programme with Sheffield’s identified research priorities, which are:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing.
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bioeconomy.
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy.
  • Smart, green and integrated transport.
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
  • The changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
  • Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of citizens.

Candidates should be intending to pursue research in one of the priority academic areas identified by Sheffield and CSC. However, applicants to other study/research areas will also be considered subject to the availability of relevant programmes of study at Sheffield. Up to five scholarships will be supported per year.

How to apply

All applicants are required to submit a study application via the Postgraduate Online Application Form. 

Apply for admission now

Applicants must select a start date of no earlier than 1 September 2024.

Applicants to the Faculties of Engineering, Social Science, Arts & Humanities, and Science must ensure that they complete the additional 'Scholarship Application' section of the Postgraduate Online Application Form. This section of the form is only accessible to those who select a PhD start date of 1 September 2024 or later.

Applicants to the Faculty of Health should refer to these instructions.

Nomination process

Following the application deadline, departments and faculties will hold internal selection processes to determine which of their offer holders will be nominated to CSC. A total of 10 nominees across the five faculties will be selected.

The University will inform these candidates by 10 March each year. These 10 candidates will be issued with a provisional fee offer letter in addition to the study offer letter they will have received from their department, and nominated to CSC.

Nominated candidates must then apply directly to CSC for the Sheffield–China Scholarships Council PhD Scholarship Programme to secure the maintenance award, using their study offer letter and provisional fee award offer letter.

CSC will select the final five successful candidates from the list of 10 nominees and inform the University of their decision. These five successful candidates will then be issued with a final fee award letter.

Further information

If you have any questions about scholarships please see our FAQs or email

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