Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)

The UCCL Executive Council meets three times a year, and currently offers sponsorship as follows:

  • UCCL Grants for China-based scholars who seek to make research visits to the UK, and for British-based scholars who seek to make research visits to China

NB: In 2020, because of the pandemic, the Executive Council will have an additional meeting in early September.

UCCL Grants

UCCL is able to provide limited financial support for university level research and advanced study that is directly connected with China. Maximum grants are for £2000.


  • China-based scholars (in any discipline in the arts, sciences or social sciences) who seek to make China-focused research visits to the UK, or British-based scholars working on relevant subjects at UK universities and wishing to undertake visits to China for specific China-related research or lecture reasons.
  • The grants are normally given to those studying for PhDs or equivalent, postdoctoral and early career researchers.
  • Grants can also be made to those on the Academic Staffs of UK or Chinese Universities, who otherwise comply with the UCCL criteria.
  • Grants are given to cover flights and modest living expenses, plus occasionally academic and research costs, but only if no other source is available.
  • Grants to attend academic conferences in China and the UK will only be entertained where conferences have a particular China-related focus, and if the applicant has been invited to speak or take a leading role on the panel or similar. Only scholars from China who are currently studying at, or on the academic staff of, a university in China may apply for support to attend conferences in the UK.
  • Grants are also available for the promotion and teaching of Chinese and other Chinese studies in the UK.
  • China is deemed to mean the whole of the People's Republic of China, including Hong Kong, but not Taiwan.

The UCCL has to screen a large number of applications; those seeking grants will therefore help themselves considerably if they ensure that their applications are tidy and succinct. Allowance will of course be made for those for whom English is not their first language.

Application restrictions

  • The UCCL will view with little enthusiasm repeat bids for projects which have already enjoyed an initial grant from the UCCL. In such cases, applicants would have to give cogent reasons why the initial bid had not made adequate provision.
  • Retrospective bids will not be considered.
  • Confirmation will be required, in relevant applications, that the applicant has sought clearance for the project from his or her ethics committee.


In making its decisions the Executive Council relies heavily on the references which support the applications. Two references are therefore preferable, but one might suffice if it manages to cover the following ground:

  • References must be provided at the instigation of the applicant.
  • The purpose of the references is to provide to the Executive Council (EC) confidence that the project will in some way improve the overall level of UK-China academic exchange and that the investment which the UCCL is being asked to make will provide gain for the wider academic community. The content of the reference will therefore depend on the nature of the application.
  • The EC will be interested in the qualifications and potential of the applicant, his or her formal status if a postgraduate (and, when applicable, when the applicant was upgraded), the aims of the project, its academic content, the relationships involved and the likely content and distribution of the product.
  • References must be written in English, must be signed (scanned or mailed) and must state clearly the relationship between their authors and the applicants or projects.
  • References should be in letter form.

Guidelines for costing

In considering applications for grants, the UCCL will use the following guideline costs (2020):

Return flights - Up to £900 from London/Beijing return.

Food/accommodation - Up to £90/day in UK and £70/day in China for academic staff on short visits. £45/day for students wanting to stay longer.

Conference, registration costs - Flat fee of £100.

Visa - Flat fee of £200.

Information for Applicants

Applications and enquiries should be addressed to:

NB: During the current lockdown, any postal applications should be sent to ‘UCCL, The Barn House, Lees Hill, South Warnborough, Hook, Hampshire RG29 1RQ’.

Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)
Swire House
59 Buckingham Gate
☎ 020 7963 9480


Successful applicants will be required to submit very brief reports on completion of the relevant work or trip.

See also Useful Links in GBCET box at the top of this page.

Both the GBCET and UCCL administer certain grants on behalf of the Sino-British Fellowship Trust. However, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust also independently administers its own Katherine Whitaker Bequest for which more information is available here.

The Great Britain-China Centre hosts this webpage on behalf of the Universities’ China Committee in London. For any questions about UCCL awards please contact universitiesccl@yahoo.co.uk direct.

For any technical problems with these pages, please contact trust@gbcc.org.uk.