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Funded Research

Funding opportunities

Young Chinese and European scholars and joint China-EU research groups are at the centre of the China-EU School of Law’s funding activities. We promote research stays and research groups and we support publications. The funding provides the structural prerequisites for scientific work on Chinese law, European law, international law, human rights, international trade law and comparative law, specifically with a focus on China-EU aspects.

PhD research visit to Beijing

European PhD candidates writing their theses on legal topics can apply for a scholarship at the China-EU School of Law. We invite them to carry out research at the CESL Research Center in Beijing. A monthly grant of up to 1,000 euros for the duration of the stay for up to four months and a fixed travel grant for one return trip from the student’s place of residence to Beijing of up to 1,000 euros will be paid during the research stay. Applications for a research stay are based on rolling admissions. Stays are possible for two to four months from September to December or from March to June.

Qualified candidates must

  • reside in an EU country

  • be enrolled in a doctoral programme of law offered by an educational institution recognised by that country’s authorities

  • stay in Beijing during the period for which the scholarship has been granted

  • resume studies in the home country following the end of the grant period

PhD research visit in Europe

Chinese PhD candidates writing their theses on legal topics can apply for a scholarship for a research visit at one of the China-EU School of Law’s partner universities or associate institutions in Europe. We offer a monthly grant of up to 1,000 euros for the duration of the stay for up to six months and a fixed travel grant for one return trip from Beijing to Europe of up to 1,000 euros. Rolling admissions based on calls for applications usually take place two times a year.

Qualified candidates must

  • be enrolled in a PhD programme at the China-EU School of Law (CESL) or at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL)

  • stay in Europe during the period for which the scholarship has been granted

  • resume studies at CESL or CUPL following the end of the grant period

Funding for China-EU research groups

Who can apply?

Chinese-European teams of legal scholars or legal professionals can receive funding for their research project at the China-EU School of Law (CESL). Research is expected to be in the domain of the China-EU School of Law. All research teams are expected to account for their activities with a report after completion and to culminate their work in academic articles or book publications, e.g. in the China-EU Law Journal or in a book published in the China-EU Law Series. The call is open to researchers who are linked to CESL and will serve as project leaders and scientific supervisors. CESL’s lecturers are particularly encouraged to apply. Each research group must include at least one Chinese and one European scholar. One person must be designated as the applicant who assumes responsibility for the research and takes on the administrative responsibility associated with holding a grant. Each research group must involve at least one Chinese and one European scholar. Students, including PhD students, are not eligible to apply.

Applications for research funding should be submitted using CESL’s “Research Grant Application Form”. Please complete the form as accurately as possible. You may also provide any additional information you feel is important to your application.

What is the level and duration of funding available?

All project activities must be completed by June 2020. Depending on the content and volume of the planned research project, funding between 5,000 and 10,000 euros can be provided.

What expenses can be funded?

CESL offers financial assistance for plane or train travel. We also offer fixed amounts of so-called per diems to cover accommodation, food and local travel costs. Sponsored workshops or conferences should be held on university premises as no financial assistance for the rent of meeting venues is available. Small amounts of funding for the printing of conference materials, catering for tea breaks as well as translation and editing costs may be applied for.

What criteria will be used to evaluate proposals?

  • Relevance and benefit of outcomes to CESL

  • A collaborative element between groups of European and Chinese researchers

  • Clarity and coherence of proposals’ rationale, objectives and methodology

  • Feasibility of outcomes, timelines (and deadlines) and budget

  • Qualifications and experience of proposed project staff

  • Potential of the project to be reported in a form which would be both useful to CESL and of interest to an international audience, i.e. the China-EU Law Series or China-EU Law Journal.

What is the payment process?

  • Travel arrangements usually are booked via CESL.

  • Per diems, and, if applicable, the cost of train or plane tickets will be reimbursed upon receipt of a signed and completed CESL “Travel Reimbursement Form” together with the respective original train or flight ticket including boarding passes and proof of the purpose of the journey, e.g. invitations, conference notice, approval of a conference, attendance of a conference, agenda of a conference.

  • For European grant holders, the CESL Consortium Office at the University of Hamburg and for Chinese grant holders, the CESL Beijing office is responsible for the handling of all expenses in connection with the grants and scholarships. Chinese grant holders are obliged to obey all CUPL requirements and subsequent amendments for financial reimbursement.All grant holders are obliged to contact the Consortium Office before payments and bookings are made. CESL might be legally barred from reimbursement if relevant rules have not been observed.

  • Payments for conferences will be allocated through reimbursement of expenditure. Grant holders must inform CESL of planned activities in advance, and this includes the workshop and conference agendas to ensure that the EU visibility rules are being followed.

  • Grants are issued with the understanding that the applicant agrees to observe the general policies and procedures outlined in the “CESL Regulations on Research Grant Expenses 2016-2018”. The grant will only be awarded after receipt of a signed letter from the applicant agreeing to these conditions.

What publications and reports are necessary?

  • Grant holders are required to submit at least one publishable manuscript on the research output in English to the China-EU Law Journal. Books to which the grant has contributed shall be offered to CESL for publication in the China-EU Law Series.

  • Research groups have to submit an itemised financial report no later than six weeks following the end of the grant period. Original receipts should accompany the report, where relevant. A report on research activities must accompany the final expenditure report. The report should outline the accomplishments of the research work and provide brief explanations if any of the research objectives were not met.

How to apply

  • Applications for a PhD research stay scholarship are based on rolling admissions and can be made at any time.

  • For funding for China-EU research groups, the current application period ended on 25 October 2018.

Applications must be submitted to Ms Malin Späth. Receipt will be acknowledged. Late applications will be disqualified. Please submit identical copies of your application by post and by e-mail.

Ms Malin Späth

China-EU School of Law Consortium Office

University of Hamburg

Rothenbaumchaussee 33

20148 Hamburg



Tel: +49-40-42838-9224


CESL Regulations on Research Grant Expenses 2018-2020.pdf 

CESL 2018_Call for Research Grants_October 25.doc

Travel Reimbursement Sheet 

Research Application Form