Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)

Funding for China-related studies in the UK

Students and researchers trying to identify funding to advance their studies of China-related subjects should look at the website of The British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS) which includes the ‘BACS report on funding for China-related Studies in the UK’.

The report provides as comprehensive a survey as possible of funding available and can be accessed by clicking here.

The Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)

UCCL gives limited grants to Chinese scholars who seek to make research visits to the UK or to British-based scholars working on, or studying, relevant subjects at UK universities who wish to undertake visits to China for specific research or lecture reasons. It also supports academic conferences and the promotion and teaching of Chinese and other Chinese studies in the UK.

Grants are given to cover flight and modest living expenses plus occasionally academic and research costs, but only if no other source is available.

The UCCL administers certain grants on behalf of The Sino-British Fellowship Trust.

The UCCL has to screen a large number of applications; those seeking grants will therefore help themselves considerably if they ensure that their applications are clear and succinct. Allowance will of course be made for those for whom English is not their prime language. The UCCL will look particularly closely at the aim of the project, its methodology (ie. that there is a clear description of how the aim will be achieved) and at the reference.

Outline criteria

  • UCCL is able to provide limited financial support for university level research and advanced study, directly connected with China. The grants are normally given to doctoral candidates and for advanced research degrees only.
  • Normal maximum grants are for £1500, although £2000 can be allocated in exceptional cases.
  • China is deemed to mean the whole of the People's Republic of China, including Hong Kong, (although grants are not often given to those in the latter which has its own sources of funding), but not Taiwan.
  • Scholars from China, in any discipline in the arts, sciences or social sciences who wish to visit the UK, may be supported if the research they wish to pursue here has a demonstrable focus on China-related subjects.
  • Projects which are scientific, medical or environmental in nature will be considered, provided they have a strong China focus
  • Scholars based in universities in the UK who wish to visit China to conduct research, attend academic conferences or carry out similar work may also be supported.
  • Conferences: Applications from those who are attending international conferences in China or the UK will only be entertained if those conferences have a particular China-related focus and if the applicant has been invited to speak or take a leading role on the panel or similar. Only scholars from China who are currently studying at, or on the academic staff of, a university in China may apply for support to attend conferences in the UK.
  • Repeat Bids: The UCCL will view with little enthusiasm second bids for projects which have enjoyed an initial grant from the UCCL. In such cases, applicants would have to give cogent reasons why the initial bid had not made adequate provision.
  • Retrospective bids will not be entertained.

Guidelines for costing

In considering applications, the UCCL will use the following guideline costs (2017):

Return flights - Up to £850 from London/Beijing return.
Food/accommodation - Up to £80/day in UK and £60/day in China for academic staff on short visits. £40/day for students wanting to stay longer.
Conference, registration costs - Flat fee of £100.


In making its decisions the Executive Council relies heavily on the references which support the applications. Two references are therefore preferable, but one might suffice if it manages to cover the following ground:

  • References must be provided at the instigation of the applicant.
  • The purpose of the references is to provide to the Executive Council (EC) confidence that the project will in some way improve the overall level of UK-China academic exchange and that the investment which the UCCL is being asked to make will provide gain for the wider academic community. The content of the reference will therefore depend on the nature of the application.
  • The EC will be interested in the qualifications and potential of the applicant, his or her formal status if a postgraduate (and, when applicable, when the applicant was upgraded), the aims of the project, its academic content, the relationships involved and the likely content and distribution of the product.
  • References must be written in English, must be signed (scanned or mailed) and must state clearly the relationship between their authors and the applicants or projects.
  • References should be in letter form.

How to fill in the application form - click here
It is important that you read the information on this page before completing the application.

Successful applicants will be required to submit very brief reports on completion of the relevant work or trip.

Contact details: 

Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)
Swire House 
59 Buckingham Gate 
London SW1E 6AJ 
tel: 020 7963 9480

The UCCL web pages are hosted on the website of the Great Britain-China Centre. For any technical problems with these pages, please contact trust@gbcc.org.uk

Last Updated May 2016