Chinese Visiting Research Scholars Program


The Visiting Research Scholar Program (VRS) provides opportunities for Chinese established scholars with teaching experience and specialist background to undertake independent advanced research at U.S. universities for 10 months in the fields of American studies, broadly defined.

Visiting Research Scholars travel to the U.S. not only for the purpose of academic research, but also to learn more about the country, its people and its culture through direct interaction with Americans in order to better teach about the U.S. upon their return to China.

VRS grantees contribute to improve mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of China by publishing research results, developing undergraduate and graduate curricula, and expanding faculty expertise within American Studies programs at Chinese institutions of higher learning.

Through participating in the VRS program, many VRS grantees establish permanent links with American colleagues, through whom they continue to exchange ideas and information.


  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of China, must be in good health, and must be able to leave their home institutions for a ten-month period to participate in the program starting from September each year.
  • Applicants should be mid-career or senior faculty members who hold the  professional rank of at least associate professor, or the equivalent in the field of their proposed research.  Applicants are expected to be experienced in the field of their proposed research.
  • Applicants must have appropriate English language skills for communication on a professional level in a university environment, including participation in lectures and panel discussions, and to engage in social activities with Americans, an integral part of the exchange experience.
  • Applicants should actively contribute to their field of proposed research through publications and/or participation in local, regional, or international fora.
  • Preference will also be given to applicants who have not previously received Fulbright scholar grants or who have not studied or worked in the U.S. within the last four years.

Fields of Study:

At present, the Fulbright Program for Chinese Visiting Research Scholars encompasses the following fields in the social sciences and humanities:

American Government & Politics Information Science
American History Journalism
American Literature Law
American Studies Library Science
Anthropology Linguistics
Archaeology Music
Architecture Philosophy
Art History Public Administration/Public Policy
Business Administration Public/Global Health Policy
Communications Social Work
Creative Writing Sociology and Culture
Economics TEFL/Applied Linguistics
Education Theater
Environmental Studies Urban Planning
Film Studies U.S. Foreign Policy
Geography International Relations


Grantee benefits:

  • Monthly Stipend up to $3,100 per month depending on the location of the U.S. host institution
  • Accident and Sickness Insurance
  • Professional Allowance
  • Settle-in Allowance
  • Dependent Allowance for VRS grantees ONLY if the dependents are with the grantees in the U.S. more than 80% percent of the grant period

Program Timelines:

  • March/April: online application available through the China Scholarship Council (CSC)
  • July 31st: deadline for submitting online applications in both CSC and U.S. systems.
  • Mid-September: academic pre-screening of the application
  • Early December: selection interviews in Beijing
  • Early January of the following year: notification the applicants of the result of selection interviews
  • June/July: (Year After Application): Pre-departure orientation, candidates secure J-1visas following confirmation of placement/receipt of visa paperwork and make travel arragemnet throught Chinese Service Center for Shorlaly Exhange (CSCSE).
  • Auguest/September: (Year After Application): Grantees depart for the U.S.

The program administrator reserves the right to adjust the timeline above per the needs of the program.


Application Process:

  • Contact either the Human Resource Office or the International Cooperation and Exchange Office of your institute to ensure you are eligible to apply in March each year.
  • Check the website of the China Scholarship Council (CSC) in April to see if the VRS program competition announcement has posted on
  • Start to fill in the online application form
  • Submit online application before the August deadline
  • Academic Pre-screening the applications in September
  • Interview Selections in Early December

Applicants who pass the academic pre-screening selection are invited to an interview conducted in English in Beijing, Chinese and Americans experts serve on the selection panel. Based on the recommendations made by the interview panel, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing will forward the selected candidates in January of the following year to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) in Washington D.C. for final approval. The result of the final selections will come out in March each year.

If you have any questions regarding the application, please email us

Program Administration: 

In China, the Fulbright program is administered by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, in conjunction with the Division of American and Oceania Affairs in the Department of International Exchanges and Cooperation of the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE).  Under authority of MOE, the China Scholarship Council (CSC) assists in the publicity of the Fulbright program, recruiting Chinese scholars, organizing interviews, and informing candidates of their application status.

In the United States, the Fulbright VRS program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) located in New York under a contract from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  CIES provides services to all scholars during their stay in the United States, including enrollment in insurance, guidance on immigration matters and facilitation of affiliation processes, grant writing and other matters during Chinese scholars’ grant period in the United States.

Program Administrators:

Public Affairs Section
U.S. Embassy in Beijing
(8610) 8531 3000

Ministry of Education of China
Division of American and Oceanian Affairs
Department of International Cooperation and Exchange


China Scholarship Council
Division of American & Oceanian Affairs

(8610) 6609-3949

Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
Washington D.C.