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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 nomination deadline: 23 February 2024 / CSC application deadline: between 10 and 31 March 2024
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 study abroad 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 is jointly funded by CSC and Leiden University. The below-mentioned funding and support will be available for a maximum duration of 48 months.

CSC provides the following coverage:

  • Living allowance of € 1,350 per month (including health insurance)
  • Return ticket from China to the Netherlands and vice versa
Note that the CSC living allowance currently does not meet the required monthly amount for the visa application (€ 1.508,22). If you are awarded the CSC-Leiden University scholarship, you will need to demonstrate that you can cover the difference between de required amount for the visa application and the CSC living allowance from your own financial resources. You will receive more information about the visa application process and requirements, when you start preparing for your stay in the Netherlands.

Leiden University provides the following coverage:

  • Full waiver of the application fee and bench fee for the PhD programme
  • Full waiver of the residence permit fee
  • One-time contribution of € 500 towards the costs of a health insurance
  • Supervision and personal research programme
  • 140 hours of academic training activities (training in the candidate’s specialism, conference attendance etc.)
  • 140 hours of training activities focusing on transferable skills (such as academic integrity, giving presentations, academic English, time management, career orientation, entrepreneurship etc.)
  • Participation in at least 2 (inter)national conferences and/or seminars
  • Membership of faculty social clubs for PhD candidates
  • Contribution of max. € 500 towards the printing costs of the dissertation

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 or LUMC letterhead stationery:
  4. Science faculty candidates only: Your PhD supervisor (promotor) must nominate you for the scholarship by sending a copy of your acceptance letter in 1 PDF file to the Graduate School of Science (gsoffice@science.leidenuniv.nl).

    Candidates for all other faculties: Your PhD supervisor (promotor) must nominate you for the scholarship by sending a copy of your acceptance letter in 1 PDF file to Leiden  University's Scholarships Team (scholarships@sea.leidenuniv.nl).

    The deadline for submitting acceptance letters is Friday 23 February 2024.
  5. After you have received a confirmation of your nomination, you can apply for the CSC-Leiden University Scholarship via the CSC online application portal between 10 and 31 March 2024. You can find more information about the application procedure on the CSC website.

Selection process

  • Leiden University’s Scholarships Team will provide CSC with a list of nominated candidates for the CSC-Leiden University Scholarship in March 2024.
  • 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 2024.

Specific information

  • Contact the relevant graduate school for more information about obtaining a PhD position and admission to a PhD programme.
  • Visit the CSC study abroad website for more information about the CSC-Leiden University Scholarship application process and access to the online application portal.
  • For more information about practical matters that you need to arrange before and after your arrival in the Netherlands:
    LUMC candidates only: Ask your PhD supervisor to contact the relevant HR department.

    Candidates for all other faculties: Please refer to the website of Leiden University’s Service Centre International Staff.


The prospective PhD candidate is responsible for submitting an application that is complete, correct and on time by following the steps described above. Leiden University cannot be held responsible for late, incomplete and/or incorrect applications for the CSC-Leiden University scholarship.

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