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CSC-Leiden University Scholarship

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) provides scholarships for outstanding Chinese master's students, recent graduates and young (academic) professionals who want to do a full-time PhD programme at Leiden University.

Leiden University deadline: 21 February 2021 for Science faculty candidates and 28 February 2021 for candidates of all other faculties / CSC deadline: between 10 and 31 March 2021
Target group
Countries/ nationalities
Chinese nationals
Scholarship type
Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science, Interfacultair Centrum voor Lerarenopleiding, Onderwijsontwikkeling en Nascholing (ICLON), African Studies Centre, International Institute for Asian Studies

For who

Outstanding Chinese master's students, recent graduates and young (academic) professionals who want to do a full PhD programme (48 months) at Leiden University.

All fields of research are eligible for funding, however the following areas are given priority:

  • Law - focus areas: International Law, Air and Space Law, Public Law and Private Law
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Archaeology
  • Humanities - focus areas: Linguistics, Art History and Literary Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy and Religion
  • Science - focus areas: Mathematics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Drug Research, Biology and Environmental Sciences
  • Medicine

For more information, please visit the CSC website.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a CSC-Leiden University Scholarship, you must:

  • be a citizen of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application
  • be between 18 and 35 years old
  • hold a Master’s degree or be in the process of obtaining a Master's degree
  • be (conditionally) admitted to the relevant graduate school at Leiden University
  • have a high level of English language proficiency
  • have a letter of acceptance for a PhD programme at Leiden University
  • satisfy the CSC selection criteria


Scholarship awardees should return to China upon completion of their PhD programme.

Scholarship amount

The scholarship includes:

  • Full waiver of the application fee and bench fee for the PhD programme
  • Full waiver of the residence permit fee
  • Living allowance of € 1,350 per month (including health insurance)
  • Return ticket from China to the Netherlands and vice versa
  • One-time contribution of € 500 towards the costs of a health insurance
  • Supervision and personal research programme
  • 140 hours of academic & professional skills training and career events
  • Participation in at least 2 (inter)national conferences and/or seminars
  • Membership of faculty social clubs for PhD candidates
  • Printing costs of the dissertation

Note that the above-mentioned funding will be available for a maximum duration of 48 months.

Application process

  1. Find a PhD position and supervisor at Leiden University.
    Visit the website of the relevant graduate school for details of how to do so.
  2. Once you have found a PhD position and supervisor, apply for admission to the PhD programme at the graduate school in question.
  3. After admission, ask your PhD supervisor (promotor) to write an acceptance letter using the format below. The letter must be signed and written on Leiden University letterhead paper:
  4. Science faculty candidates only: Your PhD supervisor (promotor) must send a copy of your acceptance letter to the Graduate School of Science (gsoffice@science.leidenuniv.nl) by 21 February 2021.
    Candidates for all other faculties: Your PhD supervisor (promotor) must send a copy of your acceptance letter to the Scholarships Team (scholarships@sea.leidenuniv.nl) by 28 February 2021.
  5. Between 10 and 31 March 2021: Apply for the CSC-Leiden University Scholarship via the CSC website. You must include your letter of acceptance, a copy of your supervisor's CV and a research proposal in the application. 

Selection process

  • Leiden University’s Scholarships Team will provide CSC with a list of nominated candidates for the CSC-Leiden University Scholarship at the beginning of March 2021.
  • CSC will select the scholarship recipients from the list of nominated candidates and inform both the candidates and the Scholarships Team of the selection results in June 2021.

Specific information

  • Contact the relevant graduate school for more information about obtaining a PhD position and admission to a PhD programme.
  • Visit the CSC website for more information about the CSC-Leiden University Scholarship application process and access to the online application portal.
  • The website of Leiden University’s Service Centre International Staff provides detailed information about issues such as residence permits, insurances, bank matters and accommodation for international PhD candidates. 


The applicant is responsible for submitting a complete application, according to the steps described above and before the aforementioned deadline. Leiden University cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

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