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Bristol welcomes new Chinese PhD scholarship students

China Scholarship Council PhD scholarship holders with Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Nishan Canagarajah and BDC Director Dr Terry McMaster.

20 December 2017

The Bristol Doctoral College hosted a celebration event on 18 December for the 2017 cohort of China Scholarship Council (CSC) PhD scholarship holders

A special festive celebration was held to welcome 18 new research students who have joined the University of Bristol as part of a new Joint Scholarship Scheme for PhD students, delivered in partnership with the CSC.

For some this was the first time they had all spent time together, and many enjoyed the opportunity to share their experiences of moving to a new city. The group were joined by members of staff who had helped forge the partnership with the CSC.

The new PhD students were invited to reflect on their time since joining the University during an afternoon of mince pies, Christmas carols and festive drinks.

Yunfei Li is researching osteoarthritis in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and shared his thoughts about his experience so far; “The best thing so far is my supervisor and our research team, they have always been really helpful since I started in September. My supervisor’s office is just behind mine, so we meet everyday and we talk together and discuss our research. The second best thing is the city. I’m living in the city centre. It’s really convenient and I’ve got supermarkets and Chinese restaurants in the area which makes my life easier.”

Wenjun Ding, a PhD student in the School of Education, also shared her thoughts on living in Bristol: “I really like the city of Bristol. I think it’s quite a vibrant city and a city of diversity, where you can easily bump into historical buildings and listen to some stories about the industrial revolution, but on the other hand you can view modern buildings and enjoy some festivals, arts and even watch some musicals. But all of this can happen in walking distance so all of this is really amazing!”

Xiao Liu from the Faculty of Arts said: “The city is great, the climate is better than my hometown because it is not very cold in winter and I think because Bristol is near the coast, when I want to relax I can go to the river or watch the sea. It helps me to relax. But Bristol is a hilly city so sometimes maybe it’s hard to climb the hills!”

The event was hosted by the Bristol Doctoral College, which works to support postgraduate research students from across all faculties to realise their full potential as researchers and professionals. The College organises a number of interdisciplinary and community-building events throughout the year.

Bristol Doctoral College Director, Dr. Terry McMaster, raised a toast at the event to the new students and said, “It’s fantastic to have this talented group of students join our postgraduate research community. You represent all the different parts of our University, and together form a CSC cohort. Next year, we hope to be joined by many more CSC-sponsored students, who will help to grow this wonderful community.”

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, also helped welcome the new students at the event, saying: “The University of Bristol is very proud of its relationship with the China Scholarship Council and our joint scholarship scheme which enables increasing numbers of bright and talented young Chinese researchers to work with us and to develop your research careers. Your contribution to our research community is highly valued and will be felt for many years to come, both here in Bristol and the institutions where you will go on to develop your careers.”

The event was held shortly after an agreement between the University and the China Scholarship Council to expand the number of scholarships year-on-year. It is expected that in next academic year, 40 CSC-supported scholars will join the University as part of the scheme, and by the year 2021 this will have increased to 100 CSC scholars per year.

Y Zhang, a PhD student in the Faculty of Engineering, expressed his happiness at being part of the new scholarship scheme; “I really appreciate the joint scholarship between the UoB and the CSC and because of this funding I have the opportunity to enjoy my life as a researcher - I hope more students will come to Bristol and enjoy their life as a researcher as much as me.”

Further information

The China Scholarship Council-University of Bristol Joint PhD Scholarship Scheme is open for applications until 15 January, with up to 40 places available to start in October 2018.

To find out more, including how to apply, please visit the CSC-UoB page in the Fees and funding section — or contact Dr Kevin Higgins, the Global Bristol PhD Programme Manager of the Bristol Doctoral College, at kevin.higgins@bristol.ac.uk

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