Imperial College London and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) have created a scholarship programme to enable talented Chinese students to undertake a PhD programme at Imperial. The scholarships build on Imperial's existing relationship with China. Imperial has extensive research links with Chinese research institutions and Universities. The CSC Imperial Scholarships are supported jointly and equally by both Imperial and the CSC. There are 15 full scholarships per year available for students to start a PhD. Students can apply for a PhD in any subject area* offered by Imperial (*Please note that Centre of Environmental Policy - CEP will not participate in the 2024-25 scholarships)


  • Chinese students with a strong academic background. 
  • Students must hold a PR Chinese passport (applicants from Hong Kong or Taiwan are not eligible). Applicants can either be resident in China (domestic applicants) at the time of application or Chinese applicants studying overseas. 
  • Students with prior experience of studying overseas (including in the UK) are eligible to apply. Chinese Imperial graduates/Masters students are therefore eligible for the scheme.  
  • Applicants can be either a new applicant or in their first year* of PhD study at Imperial  (*for the purpose of the 2024-25 awards, applicants in their first year are only those starting the PhD  from 1 August 2023 to 31 August 2024)

Chinese students applying from China (domestic applicant) 

  • Students applying from China (domestic applicant) must have a referral unit, so applicants must be either working or studying to be eligible to apply for these scholarships.
  • Students currently studying an undergraduate degree in China can apply for this scholarship provided they will graduate in 2024 before the start of their programme. Students must apply via their academic institution in China.  
  • Students currently studying a Master’s in China are eligible to apply for these scholarships.  Students must apply via their academic institution in China.  
  • Applicants currently employed in China by a company must apply via their company.  The company shall be aware of and agree to its employees applying for CSC scholarships.

Chinese students applying while overseas

  • Students currently completing their Master’s degree from their overseas universities can apply for these scholarships.
  • CSC have different application requirements for Chinese applicants who have come back to China (domestic applicants) and for Chinese applicants who stay overseas. If students stay overseas when applying for CSC scholarships, students need to apply within one year after obtaining their Master's degree from overseas universities.  Those who have graduated over a year can also apply if they are in their first year of PhD study at Imperial. (If students return to China after their study abroad, students must follow the rules as a domestic applicant).
  • Students staying overseas after obtaining their Master’s degree from their overseas university can apply for these scholarships even if they are not either working or studying but students need to apply within one year after obtaining their Master's degree from overseas.
  • Undergraduate students studying overseas cannot apply for the CSC PhD programme.

Successful scholarship applicants are required to return to China for a period of two years after completing their PhD.

What the CSC Imperial Scholarship includes


Each scholarship covers:

  1. International tuition fees
  2. Maintenance allowance equal to Imperial’s minimum stipend allowance in any given year (£20,622 in 2023-24) per year
  3. One economy class return journey to China 

+For new applicants, scholarships will support either three years of study for a PhD or four years in certain cases where the student is required to undertake a one-year postgraduate degree prior to beginning their PhD.

+For students in their first year of PhD study at Imperial (October 2023 start), scholarships will support two years of study.  

How to Apply

Prospective scholars must follow all of the following steps in this order:


  1. Prospective PhD students must approach individual Imperial Departments and supervisors with details of their proposed project well before the PhD application deadline of 10 January 2024.  It is essential that students make contact with departments/supervisors before submitting a PhD application. Guidance on finding a supervisor can be found in the 'Finding a supervisor' page.
  2. Students submit a complete PhD application by 10 January 2024.  You can apply online through My Imperial at the 'Application process' webpage.  Imperial’s Registry processes the application and either reject it or issues a formal conditional/unconditional offer. Please note: It can take 6-8 weeks for PhD applications to be processed.
  3. Departments will nominate candidates for this scholarship. Each Department is required to submit the completed 'China Scholarship Council - Nomination Form'. The form is available via the Information for staff webpage and should be submitted by 11:59 pm on Friday 9 February 2024.  Students must have a formal offer of admission by the time your department submits the completed 'China Scholarship Council - Nomination Form'  All applications and pre - scholarship nomination process are administered by departments. Department have their individual process therefore please contact your supervisor directly for further guidance on scholarship nomination. 
  4. Student must have also met the English language condition of the offer by 6 March 2024.      Please see our 'English language requirements page' for details on our language requirements and ensure you meet the English requirements by 6 March. 
  5. The CSC Imperial Scholarship Panel will then consider all the nomination forms and will produce a list of students to be recommended for a CSC Imperial Scholarship. Those recommended for a CSC Imperial Scholarship will be asked to complete the CSC application form (this is expected to take place early March).  Applicants must complete the CSC application on the CSC website.  The CSC application usually opens between 10 March  - 31 March  (The CSC application window  will be confirmed early 2024) . Applicants are required to attach the email confirming we have received your application which is sent upon successful completion of an application to study at Imperial College London. This deadline/timeframe is non-negotiable.  Instructions to complete this application are available via the CSC website.

FIRST YEAR PhD students at Imperial must follow steps 3 and 5 above

SELECTION PROCESSChina Scholarship Council logo

  1. The CSC Imperial Scholarship Panel will produce a list of students to be recommended for a CSC Imperial Scholarship. Please note: The CSC will not accept any application that is conditional upon English
  2. Students will be informed of the progress of their scholarship application and whether they have been selected as a potential scholarship recipient
  3. Between April and June 2024, CSC will review and approve the scholarships
  4. After this, students will be informed of the final outcome of their application and issued with a formal CSC Imperial Scholarship letter
  5. Upon fulfilling any outstanding requirements for admission to a PhD programme (for example, provision of a satisfactory Masters qualification result if necessary, and arranging visas and travel), CSC Imperial scholars will commence their PhD programme in October 2024.

Useful Links

 If you have any questions about the scheme, please contact the Student Financial Support team.