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The Australian National University

PhD Scholarships Program

Note: There will be no intake to CIW PhD program via CIW Scholarships for 2017. Applicants who have other means of funding for next year should consider applying to PhD programs in other Schools within the College of Asia and the Pacific.


The Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) was established in 2010 as a joint venture between the ANU and the Australian Government. It is an interdisciplinary research institution established to enhance the existing capabilities of ANU in the field of Chinese studies. It aims to be an integrated, world-leading institution for Chinese Studies and the understanding of China, or what has been called 'Greater China' or the 'Chinese Commonwealth' (the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, as well as Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora), on a global scale.

PhD Scholarships at the Australian Centre on China in the World last for three years. Depending on approval, a scholarship may be extended by six months. CIW will also provide access to a 'skill development fund' to enable students to participate in training activities deemed necessary to the research endeavour of the candidate. Skill development may include language training in Chinese, or other skills relevant to the topic of the dissertation.

Students will have access to a working space in CIW's new purpose-built facilities located on the ANU’s Canberra campus and will become part of a vibrant community of young China scholars at the ANU. More on the programs and public activities of the Centre can be found at our event page and The China Story.

Field of Study

Any disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences and with a strong focus on China.

Commencement Date

There is no intake in CIW in 2017

Conditions of Award

Domestic (PDF, 115KB)
International (PDF, 111KB)

Frequently Asked Questions

View the FAQ

How to ApplyHow to Apply


Australia and New Zealand Citizens; Australian Permanent Residents are domestic students; other citizenship holders will apply as international students

To be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy program you will be required to have completed at least a four-year Australian degree with at least an upper second class honours or its international equivalent, or a Graduate Diploma or Master’s Degree with a significant research thesis component. There must be a supervisor within the College of Asia & the Pacific (CAP) available to supervise your research.

Students in the CIW program are expected to engage deeply with issues related to China from all disciplinary backgrounds. Thus, proficiency in Chinese is strongly recommended.

All applicants must meet the University's English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

You may be granted admission if you can demonstrate that you have a background equivalent to these qualifications.


Program Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy requires the submission and successful examination of a thesis of up to 100,000 words.

From 2016 newly enrolled PhD students will need to complete twelve credits of coursework. Appropriate courses will be determined by the student and his/her Chair, and might include two online Master’s level courses offered by CIW:

  • ASIA8513 China: the Big Questions (6 units, Semester 1)
  • ASIA8514 China: Wealth and Power (6 units, Semester 2)

A student may also be asked by their supervisor to undertake additional courses to aid the successful completion of their dissertation. Please discuss this with your supervisor/convenor before you enrol.

How to apply

The Australian Centre on China in the World Scholarship is considered as part of your application for admission to the ANU PhD Program.

Please follow the steps below for admission to the ANU PhD Program:

Before submitting an application, applicants must establish contact with a potential supervisor from among either the CIW full time academic staff or from other full time academics in the College of Asia & the Pacific at ANU. Please note not all academics listed on the websites will be available. You must include the name of the person who agreed to supervise you in your application.

Tip: When writing to your potential supervisor, include your CV and a two-three page research proposal. This will help a potential supervisor understand more about your research interests.

To ensure that your application is assessed, you must submit the following documents with your application:

  • CV
  • Three relevant academic referee reports. The form can be downloaded on the ANU Postgraduate Research Applications link
  • A short research proposal summary (one page)
  • A comprehensive research proposal (two to three pages)
  • IELTS or TOEFL English language test results (see the University's English Language Admission Requirements for Students for more information)
  • High quality colour copies of official academic qualifications including undergraduate and postgraduate studies. If the original document is not in English, the applicant must supply:
    • the original language transcript of studies showing subjects and results
    • the original language testmur or graduation certificate
    • an verified English translation of these documents
    • a copy of the grading scale

Apply via the ANU Postgraduate Research Applications

Search for 9513XPHD and apply for a Doctor of Philosophy, Australian Centre on China in the World

If you wish to be considered for a CIW Scholarship, you must indicate 'China in the World Scholarship' in the Scholarship section. If you also want to be considered for other ANU research scholarships, please be aware that they may have different scholarship application deadlines. You must indicate on your admission application form whether you still wish to be considered for admission if your application for a scholarship is unsuccessful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for an answer after reading the information and documents on this page? Most questions can be answered here.

How long is the program?
The duration of a full-time PhD program is normally between two and four years. A thesis may be submitted any time after the minimum program duration of two years has been reached, subject to all mandatory milestones being met. A student wishing to submit before the minimum program duration has been reached must make a case in writing, through his/her supervisor.
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This scholarship only covers three years of the program, what happens after that if I don’t finish on time?
The scholarship will only cover three years with a possible six-month extension. After the period, you will need to find other funding to support your study.
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Are there any prerequisite coursework courses required before commencing on the thesis?
Beginning in 2016 all HDR students in the College of Asia and the Pacific will be required to take a minimum of 12 units of Coursework. What courses will be taken by each students will be decided with your supervisor. See Program Requirements for more details.

See Program Requirements for more details.
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Can I start the program later than the commencement date?
All new students will be expected to undertake mandatory coursework, so you will need to start the program no later than the first day of semester one.
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What fees does the scholarship cover?
Please view the Conditions of Award for more details.
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Can I apply without listing a proposed supervisor?
No, the application requires you to find someone within CAP who has agreed to serve as your Primary Supervisor.
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My proposed supervisor is not in CIW, can I apply?
Yes, you can apply as long as your proposed supervisor is a full time academic within the College of Asia & the Pacific. If your supervisor is not in CIW, one of our senior academics will be the Chair of your Panel.
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Can you help me to find a supervisor? Do you have any suggestions?
It is your responsible to find a supervisor and make initial contact with them. We suggest that you look carefully at the profile pages of CAP academics whose research field is related to your proposed research. Make sure you provide enough information for them to understand why you think they would be the best person to supervise your work.
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The potential supervisor has not responded to my email, what should I do?
Please allow some time for the academic to respond emails, they may be travelling, teaching or busy with other commitments. You can also try approaching a number of academics to discuss your research proposal.
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I have been offered an admission by a College other than the College of Asia & the Pacific/ I’m an enrolled ANU student, can I apply for this scholarship?
No, only new applicants who have not accepted an offer from other schools and are not currently enrolled in other programs are eligible to apply.
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Is a Master by Research degree necessary for application? Do I need to have completed one prior to applying to the PhD program at CIW?
Not necessarily. The selection committee will evaluate your potential to write a significant piece of research within the time of your candidature. You need to have completed an undergraduate or Master’s degree in a discipline relevant to your area of proposed research. For undergraduate degrees your result should be First or Second Class Honors (First Division), or its international equivalent. For Master’s degrees that have not been preceded by Honors degrees, you will need to show that it had a research component.
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I’m interested in doing a PhD with CIW but I don’t have any background in Chinese Studies, can I apply?
Yes, this program is open to applicants in any disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences who meet the minimum requirements of ANU admission and have a strong focus on China. Preference will be given to people with Chinese language skills.
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English is not my native language but I studied in an English- speaking country, do I need to sit for TOEFL or IELTS?
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements for ANU admission.  If you have successfully completed two years full-time study within the last four years where the medium of instruction is English and are able to provide documents to support this, there is no need to take an English language test. Please refer to the English Language Admission Requirements for Students for more information about the requirements.
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I will finish my Master/Honours mid-year next year, do you accept mid-year or second semester intake?
No, all successful candidates must start in the first semester. If you will finish your current program in mid-year please apply in the next round.
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How can I update the documents after submitting an application?
Please send through the updated documents directly to we will update it in the system. Do not submit a new application as the duplicated one will not be assessed.
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I have already submitted an application but I only just found out about this scholarship program. Do I need to submit a new application to be considered for it?
No. Please send an email to with your UniID stating that you would like to be considered for the Australian Centre on China in the World Scholarship.
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If I can’t submit some documents by the deadline, can I submit them later?
An application must be made before the deadline. However, if there are some documents you are unable to provide at that time, e.g. IELTS test result, graduate certificate, please send them to as soon as you have the documents. Your application will be delayed and may not be considered if insufficient documents are provided.
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My supervisor is in other another School in the College of Asia & the Pacific, but I want to be considered for this scholarship. Which program code should I use to apply for this scholarship? Do I need to submit a second application?

If you wish to be considered for the CIW program, enter 9513XPHD as your first preference. You may put another CAP PhD program code as a second preference and your application will be forwarded to the School of your supervisor if you are unsuccessful for the CIW Scholarship. There is no need to submit a second application.
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Who can be my referees? Where should they send the report?
Any professionals, including at least two academics, who are able to comment on your potential to conduct postgraduate research. They will need to fill in a report provided on the ANU Postgraduate Research Application page and send it to upon completion.
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Can I submit a paper version of application?
No, you need to complete the application online.
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My original documents are not in English, can I translate them myself?
Self-translated documents are not acceptable. The translation must be from one of the following organisations:

If you are unable to find your answers above, please make an enquiry to We will respond within two to four days.

Updated:  24 August 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World