Skip to main content

Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

China Scholarship Council and University of Exeter PhD Scholarships for 2022/23 Entry Ref: 4233

About the award

The University of Exeter is proud to offer up to Fifty full-time PhD scholarships in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for Chinese students starting in the academic year 2022-2023.

The University of Exeter combines world-class research with high levels of student satisfaction at its campuses in Exeter and Cornwall, South West England. Formed in 1955, the University has over 25,000 students from more than 130 different countries.   The University of Exeter is the UK’s fastest growing research university. We are leaders in cutting-edge science, engineering, mathematics, and medicine research, and have a world-class reputation in the humanities and social sciences.

For more information on our research topics and available research projects, please see our CSC-Exeter Scholarships website.

Applying for a Scholarship

Once you have identified a research topic, it is important that you have identified and contacted a supervisor to discuss your research idea prior to submitting an application. 

We encourage and welcome you to submit your own research proposal (see details in the 'How to Apply' section below), however, we also have a selection of research projects available, details of which can be found on the China Scholarship Council and University of Exeter PhD Scholarships web pages.  If you are interested in one of the projects available, please contact the relevant supervisor to discuss your interest prior to submitting an application.

To apply for a CSC-Exeter Scholarship you will need to follow the guidance in the 'How to Apply' section below.  Applications not submitted via the links in the 'How to Apply' section below, will not be considered for the Unniversity of Exeter Scholarships.

Important information

The University of Exeter Scholarship awards are available for new PhD students only.  Current PhD students are not eligible for the University of Exeter scholarship funding and therefore applications from current PhD students will not be considered.  

Research Topics

Scholarships are available for study in the following subject areas:

Life and Environmental Sciences

Life and Environmental Sciences brings together expertise in Biosciences, Psychology, Geography and Sport and Health Science. Our PhD and research degrees allow for supervision across a broad range of specialist fields within and across our core disciplines. Interdisciplinary research with subjects offered elsewhere within the University may also be feasible.

Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

We are committed to undertaking research that will help with some of the biggest problems of the 21st century in collaboration with industry: modelling climate change, Water informatics, future clean mobility, advanced material fabrication, vibration engineering (VSimulator), GraphExeter, Nano Engineering (metamaterials, tailored electromagnetic  and acoustic materials), Smart Grids and Low Carbon Electrical Energy Networks and Biomedical Engineering.

Much of our research is interdisciplinary, with academics from across the College collaborating to research topics in more depth. The College plays a pivotal role in four of the five key interdisciplinary research themes within the University's Science Strategy: climate change and sustainable futures, extrasolar planets, functional materials and systems biology. We will also be actively involved in the interdisciplinary research led by the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), which is based on our Cornwall Campus near Falmouth.

Our research is funded by the Research Councils; charities and through multiple industry collaborations.

Medicine and Health

Our research is driven by important clinical questions and solving future global health challenges. Our areas of research strength are biological and clinical sciences including studying diabetes, neuroscience and mental health (especially in cognitive health and dementia), medical mycology, environments and human health, antimicrobial resistance, as well as applied health research, methodology including public health, implementation science, experience and perceptions of health and health-related behaviour change. Our research environment includes work in our Living Systems Institute and the Environment and Sustainability Institute.


The University of Exeter Business School aims to train world-class researchers who will shape our understanding of and responses to the most important societal challenges. The Business School offers the opportunity to study for research degrees in: Accounting, Finance, Economics, Leadership Studies and Management (including Tourism).


Our College of Humanities offer a large interdisciplinary, rich and diverse graduate culture across a wide range of disciplines including; Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History, Drama, English and History, each having a wide range of research centres and institutes.

Exeter has access to a rich variety of resources offering unique archives in medieval and modern history, modern and contemporary literature and film. Dynamic partnerships with arts, culture and heritage organisations – including British Museum, Historic England, London Film School, National Trust, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Tate Britain among many others – give our researchers access to a remarkable range of research collections and facilities.

Social Sciences and International Studies

The College of Social Sciences and International Studies includes, Arab and Islamic Studies, Education, Law, Politics and Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology.  Our intention is to question the norm, we draw energy and ideas from our diverse community of staff and students and continue to push boundaries in the ever-changing landscape of social science research.

We encourage a vibrant, collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture based around strategic areas of expertise. We have an excellent record of winning external funding and our centres, institutes and groups provide structure and support, promoting collaboration and impact.


1. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application and intend to return to China upon completion of their studies at the University of Exeter.

2. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit with candidates requiring the equivalent of a Distinction in a UK Masters degree from a prestigious university (Typically an average of 85% or above from a Chinese Higher Education Institution).

3. Successful candidates will meet the relevant academic requirements as well as the English language proficiency requirements for entry into a PhD programme set out by the University of Exeter. Applicants are generally expected to have a score of IELTS 6.5 – 7.0 or equivalent overall with no less than 6.0 in any section. More information can be found here:

4. Candidates will be required to satisfy the selection criteria set out by CSC in addition to University of Exeter . Details can be found on the website: China Scholarship Council

5. The University of Exeter Scholarship awards are only available for new PhD students.  Current PhD students are not eligible for the University of Exeter scholarship funding and therefore applications from current PhD students will not be considered.


Full tuition fees of successful applicants will be funded by the relevant College at the University of Exeter.  The China Scholarship Council will provide a living allowance, including the cost of a return flight from China to the UK, accommodation and subsistence, depending on the applicant’s eligibility.

How to apply

Stage One – Apply to the University of Exeter

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.  Our preferred format is PDF.  Please name each file with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”.  Please ensure you identify/name a supervisor within your research proposal (see the second bullet point below)

Documents Required

•       CV
•       Your research proposal.  Please use this word document and upload to your application.         
        The document will open as read only so please save a copy to edit the document.
•       Letter of application outlining your academic interests and prior research experience.
•       Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.  This should be an
         interim transcript  if you are still studying.
•       Evidence of your English language proficiency.
•       Two references.

Please ensure you upload your reference documents before the application closing date of 5 January 2022 .  If you are unable to upload the reference documents at the time of submitting your application, you should forward your reference documents to  Your referees should not be from the prospective supervisory team.

Apply here for Life and Environmental Sciences related Scholarships

Apply here for Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences related Scholarships

Apply here for Medicine and Health related Scholarships

Apply here for Business related Scholarships

Apply here for Humanities related Scholarships

Apply here for Social Science and International Studies related Scholarships

The closing date for applications is 10am Wednesday 5 January 2022.

Information regarding the Interview process

  • Once we have received your completed application, it will be forwarded to you nominated supervisor to assess. 
  • If you are invited to interview these will be held via an online platform and will consist of a panel including your proposed supervisor.  Interview dates are likely to be held between November 2021 and 14 January 2022 depending on when your application is received.  Note; the sooner your application is received the sooner it will be considered by your prospective supervisor.
  • The outcome of the interview will be forwarded to a College level panel for review. 
  • You will be notified of the outcome by no later than 4 March 2022

CSC will be notified of the fee waiver and the programme offer. 

Stage 2 – Apply to China Scholarship Council (CSC)

Successful applicants will need to apply for CSC funding following the guidelines specified by the China Scholarship Council.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email:

For general information you can contact International Student Recruitment - East Asia Team based in Beijng and Shanghai at the following email address:


Application deadline:5th January 2022
Value:Full tuition fees and Living Allowance
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Recruitment