CSC-Leiden University joint scholarship programme

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) provides scholarships for Chinese citizens who want to follow a full or visiting PhD programme at Leiden University.

For whom?

Graduated master students and young (academic) professionals with the Chinese nationality, who want to take a full PhD or visit Leiden University for PhD research purposes.

Eligible programmes

All programmes can be applied for, as long as the research institute/faculty/graduate school you are applying to is willing to waive the fees for registration, tuition and research.  
Please be aware that priority will be given to the following research areas:

  • Law
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Archaeology
  • Humanities, including: Linguistics, Art History & Literary Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy and World Religions
  • Science, including: Mathematics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Drug Research, Biology and Environmental Sciences
  • Medicine

Leiden University also publishes a number of PhD proposals on the website of the China Scholarship Council every year. Please check the CSC website for an up-to-date overview of these proposals.

Scholarship duration and start date

Maximum duration
For a full PhD research period at Leiden University: 48 months 

For a visiting PhD research period at Leiden University: 6-24 months

Start date
You are free to choose the start date of your PhD period in agreement with your supervisor, as long as the start date lies between 1 June 2017 and 31 March 2018.

Scholarship amount

The CSC-LU joint scholarship includes the following:

  • Exemption from registration fee and tuition/bench fee
  • A living allowance of € 1.200 per month (including health insurance)
  • International travel (to/from The Netherlands)

Who will pay what?
The living allowances will be paid by the China Scholarship Council.

The Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange will book the tickets before departure.

The Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands will book the return ticket.


To be eligible for a CSC-Leiden University joint scholarship, you need to adhere to the following criteria:

  • You are a citizen of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application.

  • You hold a master’s degree.

  • You are under the age of 35.

  • The academic entry requirements of the relevant graduate school must be fulfilled, including a high level of English language proficiency and a completed master's degree.

  • You must hold an acceptance letter (standard format) from Leiden University. 
  • You should satisfy the CSC selection criteria by completing the CSC Application Form and the CSC Employer Reference Form.
  • CSC awardees must return to China upon completion of their PhD research.

How to apply?

Application procedure for an acceptance letter of Leiden University.





Find a supervisor
A PhD at Leiden takes four years of research and consists of independent and original research under the supervision of a professor.
More information about finding a supervisor

Not applicable


Admission Graduate school
Leiden University's PhD programmes are focused within 8 separate Graduate Schools. For admission procedures please contact the relevant Graduate School.

Not applicable


Acceptance letter
Ask your supervisor to write an acceptance letter for you, using the acceptance letter format full PhD study (Word) or acceptance letter format visiting PhD researcher (Word)

The letter must be signed by your promotor/supervisor and printed on Leiden University letterhead paper.

6 March 2017


Copy acceptance letter
You will receive the signed acceptance letter by scanned email via your supervisor. A copy will be sent to the Scholarship Team by your supervisor.

13 March 2017


Apply for the CSC scholarship
Apply for the CSC scholarship.
An essential document for the application is the acceptance letter mentioned under step 4. Please visit the CSC website for the additional documents that you need for the scholarship application.

Between 20 March and 5 April 2017


List of suitable candidates
The Scholarship Team will provide the China Scholarship Council with the list of suitable candidates to be considered for the scholarship programme.

20 March 2017


The decision on the scholarship application will be communicated by the China Scholarship Council directly to the student and to the Scholarship Team 

End of May 2017


Practical arrangements
All practical arrangements relatied to the arrival and stay of the selected candidates (such as visa, accommodation, work space etc.) are the responsibility of the PhD candidate, the Leiden University supervisor and the Leiden University Faculty/Department/Institute/Graduate School contact person.

Not applicable

More information

For more information about the CSC scholarship for PhD candidates, please visit the CSC website.

For specific questions related to the acceptance letter of your supervisor, you can also send an email to

Last Modified: 16-01-2017