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KI - CSC Programme

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) awards Chinese government scholarships to Chinese scholars going abroad for training, research or studies. Karolinska Institutet signed an agreement with the China Scholarship in 2015 which entitles KI to receive doctoral students, post-doc fellows, visiting researchers and master degree students supported by CSC scholarships during 2016-2020.

The agreement entitles KI to receive up to

  • 30 doctoral students
  • 20 post-doc fellows
  • 5 visiting researchers
  • 5 master degree students

supported by CSC scholarships per year 2016-2020. For the master degree students, the scholarship recipients will also receive a CSC-KI joint support to cover tuition fees.

Financial support through the CSC

Note. The financial support from CSC has been adjusted from January 2019 with a retroactive payment in April 2019.

The current financial support from CSC is:

  • doctoral students is SEK 15,000/month, up to 48 months,
  • postdoc fellows is SEK 15,000/month for a period of 6-24 months,
  • visiting researchers is SEK 15,000/month for 3-12 months.

KI supervisors receiving/hosting post-docs and registered doctoral students must top up the CSC scholarship to the minimum level required by KI with either a complementary scholarship or by part time employment, see doctoral students with external scholarships. The increased CSC scholarship from January 2019, means that the supplementary funding from KI, in the form of a KI scholarship, should be reduced by the corresponding amount.

Please pay attention to the following

  • The CSC scholarship is sought by and awarded to the Chinese applicant. The KI host/supervisor provides a project with which the applicant can apply for a scholarship.
  • The CSC only accepts post-doc scholarship applications approved by the employer of the applicant. Thus, the applicant should have received her or his doctoral degree within 3 years, and been employed in China on the date of application submission.
  • Due to changes in regulation for visitor’s permit for doctoral exchange, a permit for a visiting doctoral student can only be 12 months to the maximum, and it is not possible to extend the stay beyond 12 months. Thus, an invitation for a visiting PhD student can not be more than 12 months.

Information for potential KI hosts/supervisors

Call for CSC applications spring 2019

  • Before October 10
    Interested hosts at KI submit a one-page project description/intent of research hosting (template on KI CSC webpage) to KI International Relations Office, Each intent of research hosting (visiting doctoral student, postdoc or visiting researcher) must be approved by head of department. KI supervisors for potential doctoral students must have Green light from their department. Approval/Green light form must be submitted together with the intent of research hosting.
    The project descriptions from KI will be published at the CSC website prior to the CSC 2018 Recruitment Fairs in mid-October, in which KI representatives will participate. No project descriptions will be published on the CSC website without an approval/Green light.
  • From October 2018 to February 2019

    Students, post-docs, and visiting scholars will contact potential KI supervisors or hosts according to their research interests. KI hosts are strongly recommended to contact applicant’s references and to conduct video interviews for the evaluation and judgement of the applicant’s scientific competence and language skills.

    If a KI supervisor is contacted by a potential doctoral student without having a project description posted on the CSC website, the supervisor must urgently apply for a Green light before taking the discussion further with the potential student or get approval for taking on a visiting doctoral student/postdoc/visiting researcher.

  • Before the end of February 2019

    The supervisor/host sends
    - a letter of invitation (template on KI CSC webpage)
    - a detailed research plan for the research training (2-4 pages)
    to the selected applicant.

    The invitation letter must be co-signed by the head of department. A copy of the letter of invitation must also be sent to KI International Relations Office ( for documentation and for KI’s endorsement to CSC. CSC will only consider applicants with invitation letters included in the official KI endorsement list.

Note A. KI supervisors must top up the CSC stipend to the minimum income level required by KI for registered doctoral students and post-docs.

Note B. The student must be admitted to doctoral studies and get their student visa before starting at KI, according to the new regulation for doctoral student admission at KI. A period as a visiting researcher before admittance is no longer allowed. However, the potential student could be invited for a short visit to the lab on a visitor’s visa for in depth interview and discussion of the research project.

Note C. The prospective supervisor should encourage the candidate to take TOEFL or IELTS test as early as possible if the potential doctoral candidate does not have a qualified English proficiency score (TOEFL 90 IBT, ≥20 on the written section; or IELTS 6.5, no section below 5.5) or does not hold a master diploma issued from an English-speaking country or Sweden. An English proficiency score is needed for the eligibility assessment of doctoral study entry at KI once the doctoral student is granted a CSC scholarship.
More information about admission and entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.
It should also be noted that it is not advisable for KI supervisors/hosts to issue more letters of invitation than their actual hosting capacities.

Detailed instructions for KI hosts for doctoral students (PDF)

Detailed instructions for KI hosts for post-docs and visiting researchers (PDF)

Information for Master's students

Information regarding KI-CSC scholarship program for Master’s studies will be available shortly on the KI Global Master’s web site .

Information for prospective doctoral students, post-docs and visiting scholars

From October, 2018 to late February, 2019, students, post-docs, and visiting scholars should identify and contact potential KI supervisors or hosts according to their research interests from, but not limited to, the list of KI hosts published at CSC website.
CSC only accepts post-doc scholarship application approved by the employer of the applicant.

Detailed instructions for Chinese applicants for doctoral studies, post-docs and visiting researchers (PDF)

CSC 2019 guide for Chinese citizens to study abroad under CSC sponsorship (
The guide is in Chinese as it is mainly for Chinese candidates in order to facilitate the preparation for application.

Later stage procedure for CSC application and selection outcome

March 10-31 2019
The applicants submit their online applications for CSC scholarships at the CSC website under the category of CSC-KI collaborative project (国家留学基金委与卡罗林斯卡医学院合作项目)


  • the letter of invitation and a research plan (for doctoral students, post-docs, and visiting scholars). Or
  • the letter of admission (for master degree students)

Upon completing the online application, the applicant submits the hardcopy application with all required documents to their home universities/institutions for institutional endorsement/recommendation. When institutional endorsement procedures have been completed, the home universities/institutions will mail the hardcopy applications to CSC.

Notably, CSC must receive the complete applications (both online and hardcopy applications) by end of March 2019. Hence, it is highly recommendable that all applicants complete online application as soon as possible, and proceed to institutional endorsement early.

Applicants who are in Sweden, can submit their applications through Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm.

KI International Relations Office collects copies of all issued letters of invitation and early admission letters for global master’s degree students in order to prepare an official list of the applicants endorsed by KI. The list will be sent to CSC in early March 2019. Only applicants on this list will be considered by CSC.

CSC organizes independent evaluations of all submitted applications during April to early May, 2019.

CSC informs applicants’ home universities/institutions, as well as KI, of the final outcome of the applications in late May, 2019.

KI International Relations Office informs KI supervisors/hosts, as well as the admissions office of global master’s degree programmes of the outcomes of CSC scholarship applications upon receiving the notifications from CSC.

KI supervisors/hosts and corresponding CSC scholarship awardees plan the doctoral education or visiting research at KI. Potential doctoral students must apply for assessment of eligibility as soon as possible after receiving notice of awarded scholarship. Once eligibility is established, the potential doctoral student applies for admittance to doctoral studies at KI following the instructions for “Admission procedure in the case of exemption from the announcement requirement” ( , and finally after being admitted applies for a student visa.

CSC-funded master’s degree students should contact the admissions office of the global master’s degree programmes for information about enrolment and housing assistance.


KI:s template invitation letter has been cleared with CSC. No additional sentence about the English as working language is needed.


Ms Monika Berge, International coordinator

Associate professor Nailin Li, KI academic coordinator for China