China Scholarship Council: Scholarships

Award Overview

Value & Duration

PhD degree program students:

CSC contribution: a living allowance (~$2200 CAD / month) as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes UHIP) for up to forty-eight (48) months, a return international airfare and visa application fees.

U of T (graduate unit or supervisor) contribution: funding equivalent to the full cost of tuition and fees, and endeavour to provide other economic supports whenever possible by offering teaching assistantships or research assistantships. Units should cover any differential in funding between the CSC Scholarship and that of the normal funding package provided to international students.

Visiting PhD students, Postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars:

CSC will provide successful candidates a living allowance as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes health insurance) for the duration of the scholarship as determined by CSC, a return international airfare and visa application fees. U of T will provide the necessary resources and equipment, e.g. office space, laboratory, computer, network, library access, etc. Postdoctoral fellows will also receive additional financial support from their U of T supervisors.


In partnership with the University of Toronto (U of T), the China Scholarship Council (CSC) offers scholarships to outstanding Chinese students who will pursue doctoral or postdoctoral studies at U of T under the established collaborative program: China Scholarship Council – University of Toronto Joint Funding Program.

The CSC aims to fund in its annual competition:

  • 20 Chinese students for U of T’s PhD program for up to 48 months
  • 20 Chinese visiting PhD ​students at U of T, for up to 24 months
  • 10 postdoctoral fellows for up to 24 months
  • 10 visiting scholars for up to 12 months


In order to qualify for a CSC PhD degree scholarship, the applicant:

  • Must be a citizen of the People’s Republic of China. Applicants who have permanent residency in another country are ineligible for this opportunity. Residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are also ineligible for this opportunity.
  • Shall not exceed 35 years old at the time of application (be born after January 1, 1987).
  • Is either:
    • an undergraduate or master’s degree student or graduate studying and/or living in mainland China; or
    • a master’s degree student or graduate (within 1 year) from a foreign university (including U of T). Undergraduate students studying at a foreign institution who wish to pursue a direct-entry PhD are ineligible to apply for the CSC. Graduates who return to China more than a year after completing a master’s degree at a foreign institution may be eligible to apply for the CSC again if they are affiliated with a Chinese university or are a Chinese institutional (e.g. company, non-profit, government, etc.) employee;
  • Has received an offer of admission letter from the University of Toronto formatted appropriately for the CSC application;
  • Has proof of English Proficiency at the time of application demonstrated by one of the following:
    • Obtained an undergraduate or higher degree instructed entirely in English;
    • In the past ten years, have studied in Canada for a minimum of one academic year (8-12 months);
    • Completed the National Foreign Language Proficiency Test (WSK) and meet the eligibility criteria;
    • Completed the IELTS (Academic) or TOEFL proficiency tests, scoring the following minimums: IELTS 6.5, TOEFL (IBT) 95; or
    • For Ministry of Education employees, participated in relevant language training and obtain a certificate of completion (English advanced class) through the Department of Study Abroad Training.

​Current first year U of T PhD students in the funded cohort are eligible to apply but they must demonstrate that no or limited funding (a living allowance below $1600 CAD per month) is being received.

Please note that recipients are required to sign a legal document agreeing to return to China for two years after completing their studies. Applicants must review the full list of eligibility criteria, application instructions, and terms and conditions to hold the award. For the full list of criteria, please refer directly to the CSC website.

Application Process

For the 2023 CSC PhD degree and PhD visiting program, the CSC Application Platform is open until March 31, 2023 (Beijing time) during which yo​u must submit all required documents. For Postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars, applications are accepted during various time periods – see below.

See details below for PhD, Visiting and Postdoctoral applicants.


PhD degree program a​​pplicants:

Step 1: Apply to the University of Toronto for admission to a PhD program as required, but early enough to obtain an official offer of admission letter before CSC application deadline.

IMPORTANT: When applying, indicate on the SGS Online Admissions Application that you will be applying for the “China Scholarship Council – University of Toronto Joint Funding Program”. In addition, make sure to notify the graduate unit, and your potential supervisor that you will also be applying for a CSC scholarship.

Step 2: Apply to CSC via the CS​C Application Platform by March 31, 2023 (Beijing time).

Once you receive the appropriate official U of T offer of admission letter, you may then use this letter to include in your CSC application. Please note that as per the CSC guidelines, the offer letter must state that admission is conditional upon obtaining CSC funding. Admission conditional upon obtaining confirmation of conferred Master’s degree is permitted. The letter shall not include conditions such as academic performance or English language proficiency.

You will be required to provide (upload) various documents in your CSC application including but not limited to:

  • Online Application Form
  • Recommendation form from Chinese home university or Chinese Consulate-General* (Form available online)
  • Copy of the official U of T offer of admission letter formatted specifically for CSC
  • Plan of Study (in English and signed by supervisor, if identified)
  • Proposed U of T supervisor’s CV (signed by supervisor, if identified)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Copy of undergraduate & graduate transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants in China)
  • Copy of valid Chinese Resident Identity Card or valid passport
  • Copy of the highest academic certificate or diploma

*Applications from students studying in mainland China require a completed recommendation form from their home university.  Applications from outside of China will be evaluated and recommended to CSC via the Chinese Consulate-General in the country they are residing at the time of application.

The above is only a partial list of the required application components. Please refer to the full list of items on the CSC website (in Chinese) specific to your applicant status (in China vs study abroad) when submitting your application.

More information about the CSC’s joint scholarship program with the University of Toronto is available on the CSC website. Detailed instructions for using the application platform are also available on the CSC website.


Visiting PhD students:

Step 1: Visit the SGS International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS) Study Abroad Program website for instructions.

Step 2: Find a prospective supervisor.

Please feel free to review our list of degree programs; each fact sheet on our listing links back to website of the graduate unit (department, faculty, or institute) offering that program, where you can review a list of faculty members. Before contacting a prospective supervisor, please check the School of Graduate Studies’ listing to ensure that they do, in fact, hold a graduate faculty appointment.

Step 3: Your prospective supervisor should draft a letter of invitation that clearly lays out the agreed terms of the visit, and both the letter and the IVGS Study Abroad Agreement need to be signed by the appropriate parties. Once all signatures have been obtained, send the completed form and letter to for final approval.

Step 4: If the School of Graduate Studies approves the visit, you will be issued an official offer of admission to the School of Graduate Studies as a full-time visiting graduate student.

Step 5: Apply to CSC via the CSC Application Platform by March 31, 2023 (Beijing time). ​

Once you receive the appropriate offer letter, you may then use this letter to include in your CSC application.


Postdoctoral fellows:

Step 1: Visit the SGS Prospective Postdoctoral Fellows website for information on finding a prospective supervisor.

Step 2: Your prospective supervisor in collaboration with the departmental business officer issues an offer letter which follows U of T established guidelines. If a supervisor wishes to extend a formal offer contingent upon you securing a CSC scholarship, the supervisor should contact the SGS Postdoctoral Office for a template letter that may use to support your CSC application. In order to hold a post-doctoral position on the basis of an external award, the annual funding (counting external awards and any stipend paid by their supervisor) must meet the university’s minimum stipend of $34,000 (as of January 2018).  ​​

Step 3: Apply to CSC via the CSC Application Platform until March 31, 2023 (Beijing time).​​

Once you receive the appropriate offer letter, you may then use this letter to include in your CSC application.


CSC will communicate the results directly to applicants by the end of May 2023.

Contacts & Resources

The China Scholarship Council administers this competition. All questions from applicants regarding aspects of the competition process (e.g., eligibility, required documents, deadlines, results) should therefore be directed to the CSC:

Program Officer
Division of American and Oceanian Affairs
China Scholarship Council

Graduate units may direct questions about U of T’s memorandum of understanding with the CSC or about award administration* to:

Janine Harper
Graduate Awards Officer
School of Graduate Studies
Tel: 416-978-3555

*Please note: As there is an approved memorandum of understanding between U of T and CSC, graduate units are permitted to issue, and CSC requires, offers of admission conditional upon the student securing CSC scholarship support by the deadline to register. Graduate administrators (not applicants) should contact Janine Harper for information on admission codes that must be included in letters.