China-New Zealand Doctoral Research Scholarships

The China–New Zealand Doctoral Research Scholarships Programme (CNZDRS) was launched in April 2008 alongside the signing of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement.

The CNZDRS are for New Zealand students to undertake study in China. 

About the China-New Zealand Doctoral Research Scholarships (CNZDRS)


The CNZDRS provides financial support for up to 10 New Zealand students in 2016 to undertake a doctoral degree at Chinese universities, and a further 10 students in 2017. The CNZDRS is available for study commencing from September 2017.


Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents under the age of 40 who hold a master’s degree in a field relevant to their intended PhD study. Applicants must be in good health.


The tenure of the CNZDRS is 4 years a doctoral degree. A further two years for Chinese language study will be supported if required.

Language of Study

Candidates can register for either Chinese or English-language doctoral programmes in China. Candidates undertaking Chinese-language taught programs without adequate Chinese proficiency must take Chinese language courses for one to two years to reach the language requirements of their host university before moving on to their doctoral studies and research.

Choosing a University

China Scholarship Council’s Program Search provides an overview of available and eligible programmes and universities.

279 Chinese universities are designated by the China Ministry of Education as able to enrol international students with Chinese Government Scholarships.You can find a full list here.

If you have not selected a university at the time of application, the Chinese Scholarship Council will select one for you.

Funding and annual allowances

Amounts are shown in CNY


The CNZDRS covers

  • Return economy airfares to China - Main centre to main centre only – transfer flights within New Zealand and within China are not covered
  • Tuition fee
  • Accommodation - If the host university requires students to live on campus, the scholarship will cover this cost (usually a twin room in a dormitory). If the host university permits students to live off campus, the scholarship will cover an accommodation subsidy of CNY 1000 per month. Accommodation will be paid through the students host Chinese university.
  • Stipend - The scholarship will cover a stipend of 3,500 per month. This will be paid through the students host Chinese university. Students registering before the 15th of the month (the 15th included) will receive full stipend of that month. Those who register after the 15th of the month will receive half stipend of that month. If a student leaves China for more than 15 days (school holidays excluded), the stipend will be stopped for the duration they are away.
  • Medical insurance - The scholarship will cover full medical insurance for the duration of study in China. Please refer to Comprehensive Insurance & Protection Scheme for Foreigners Staying in China.

How to Apply

  1. Visit the or to register and download the application forms.
  2. Submit completed application forms and supporting documents (see below) to Education New Zealand. Applications must be received by 5pm Friday 20 April 2017.
  3. Applications must be submitted in duplicate hard copy (two printed copies). All documents must be bound together on top left corner in the order they are listed below. Application documents will not be returned.
  4. The application needs to be in both English and Chinese (to enable you to do the assessment)
  5. Send applications to:
    By post: Education New Zealand, Scholarships Manager, CNZDRS Applications, PO Box 12-041, Wellington 6144
    By courier: Education New Zealand, Scholarships Manager, CNZDRS Applications, Level 5, 160 Lambton Quay, Wellington Central 6011
  6. Education New Zealand will formally acknowledge receipt of your application via email.

NOTE: Do not submit applications direct to the CSC. Only applications of candidates recommended by Education New Zealand will be considered by the China Scholarship Council (CSC). No other applications or individual applications sent directly to CSC will be considered.

Required Documents (in duplicate)

  • Completed Application Form for Chinese Government Scholarship (written in Chinese or English). Register and download the form here.
  • Notarized/ officially verified photocopy of the certificate of completion for your highest qualification (written in Chinese or English). Certificates in languages other than Chinese or English must be attached with notarized Chinese or English translations. Current masters students must submit an official document issued by your university to prove current student status or expected graduation date.
  • Academic transcripts (written in Chinese or English) for your highest qualification. Transcripts in languages other than Chinese or English must be attached with notarized Chinese or English translations
  • A Study Plan or Research Proposal of at least 800 words (written in Chinese or English).
  • Two recommendation letters (written in Chinese or English) signed by a professor or associate professor.
  • A CD of your own works (only required for arts students) - Applicants for music studies are requested to submit a CD of their own musical works. Applicants for fine arts programs must submit a CD of their own works which includes two sketches, two color paintings and two other works.
  • Foreigner Physical Examination Form (photocopy) (written in English). The physical examinations must cover all the items listed in the Foreigner Physical Examination Form. Incomplete forms or forms without the signature of the attending physician, or the official stamp of the hospital, or a sealed photograph of the applicant are considered invalid. Please carefully plan your physical examination schedule as the result is valid for only 6 months. Please keep the original copy of the Foreigner Physical Examination Form for school registration.
  • Pre-admission Letter from designated Chinese university (if available).
  • Valid HSK Chinese Language Certificate (if available/required).

Placement & Scholarship Confirmation

  1. The application documents of candidates recommended by Education New Zealand will be considered by China Scholarship Council for eligibility and qualification. Ineligible or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  2. Approved applications will be sent to universities for placement. Applications enclosed with a Pre-admission Letter will be sent to the universities who issued that letter for placement confirmation. Candidates who are turned down by universities will not be granted a scholarship. CSC reserves the right to make necessary adjustments/changes to a candidate’s host university, field of study, supporting categories and the duration of the scholarship.
  3. CSC will review the placement results, approve the List of Scholarship Winners and send the admission documents to Education New Zealand before 31 July 2016.
  4. Education New Zealand will send the admission documents (Admission Letter and Visa Application Form for Study in China JW201) to scholarship winners.
  5. Scholarship winners cannot change their host university, field of study, or duration of study without forfeiting the scholarship.
  6. The Scholarship will not be reserved if the scholarship winner cannot register before the registration deadline. (Note: the registration deadline will be indicated on the admission letter from university. Normally, the deadline is beginning of September).

What's in it for me?