List of Active Chinese programmes targeting foreign citizens

The following list includes mobility programmes targeting international scientists and researchers to
conduct academic/scientific research in Chinese universities, research institutes, laboratories and enterprise.
Furthermore, the list only includes programmes that target foreign citizens, rather than Chinese
returnees (some programmes target both) . A limited number of programmes included in the list also targets
foreign experts who have already relocated to China – regardless if they did so thanks to mobility or
recruitment schemes or not. These are more frequent at the local level (e.g. the Jiangsu ‘Mass Innovation
and Entrepreneurship’ Talent Programme).

We will only talk through National Thousand Talents Plan (Foreign Experts programme) as others are quite similar.

National High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Plan
National Thousand Talents Plan (Foreign Experts programme)
Jiaxing Talents Program(In Chinese) 

There are at least three key issues relating to these programmes:

▪There is only a very limited number of programmes supporting the mobility of researchers in the
field of humanities and social sciences: the Confucius China Studies Programme, and general
government scholarships.
▪Applications are submitted by host/recruiting entities, rather than experts themselves. In limited
cases, ad hoc job ads are published online. If not, interested candidates can any in case contact
independently a potential recruiting entity in China (human resources / talent attraction offices)
and enquiry on their support to candidatures for foreign expert programmes or through an recruiter agency like us.
▪Information available in English remain scarce and fragmented.

It must be noted that several fellowships and job positions are also available and published by
individual universities or research institutes (see, for instance, this page from the institutes under the
Chinese Academy of Sciences). In most cases, these offer competitive packages, also thanks to support
and subsidies that they will receive from talent attraction policies sponsored by local governments. 8
Individual universities and research institutes, in many cases, will also publish ad hoc calls for collecting
sponsorship applications to national- or local-level talent attraction programmes (see, for instance, this
page for candidates to be sponsored by the Zhejiang University).

 

National Thousand Talents Plan (Foreign Experts programme)

China’s National Recruitment Plan of Global Experts, commonly known as the Thousand Talents Plan,was established in 2008 with the purpose of recruiting high-level scientists and talents from overseas. It offers significant financial support to overseas experts who relocate to China for conducting research in high-tech industries or in new fields at the frontiers of science, or to participate in the country’s major scientific programmes, key laboratories, state-owned enterprises, state-owned financial institutions, or high-tech development zones and industrial parks. The programme consists of several categories targeting a different pool of experts, including one exclusively targeting foreign experts.

Eligibility requirements (foreign expert programme):

▪ Foreign nationals (including non-ethnic Chinese)
▪ Under 85 year’s old
▪ Intended to work with a China Uni or Enterprise

▪ Professorship or an equivalent title in a prestigious foreign university or research institute; or senior technology or management position in a renowned international enterprise or financial institution

Age, academic and professional qualifications restrictions may be removed in case of extremely needed talents or in exceptional cases of outstanding performance.

Benefits:
The awardees will be granted preferential policies in terms of entry-exit immigration (including for their families), residence, medical insurance, housing, tax and salary.

A lump sum of 1 million RMB of research grants will also be granted upon selection, together with 3 to 5 million RMB of additional research grants to experts conducting scientific basic research. Selected experts are often also encouraged to lead or to take
part in other local or national government-funded programmes.

Useful links:
Example of a recruitment ad published on University of Science and Technology of China’s website (in English)

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