National Funding Programmes in Mainland China

In China, there are several governmental agencies that offer science and technology research fundings to the researchers at central level. The major funding agencies are the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) affiliated to the Ministry of Education (MoE). Each funding agency provides a variety of programmes, which serve the strategic aims of the country and meet the needs of different research areas.




The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) is a ministry of the Chinese government which coordinates science and technology activities in the country. MoST is the major funding agency of the central government that supports several national level science and technology programmes.

The main MoST programmes open to European researchers include the following:

I. Major Research Programmes

  • MoST 1 - National Basic Research Programme (973 Programme - new) Fact Sheet
  • MoST 2 - National High-Tech Research and Development Programme (863 Programme) Fact Sheet (new)
  • MoST 3 - National Key Technologies R&D Programme Fact Sheet (new)
  • MoST 4 - National S&T Major Projects Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.1 - National S&T Major Projects - Advanced Digital Control Machines and Fundamental Manufacturing Equipments Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.2 - National S&T Major Projects - Breeding of New Variety for Transgenic Biology Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.3 - National S&T Major Projects - Core Electronic Devices, High-end General Chips and Fundamental Software Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.4 - National S&T Major Projects - Key New Drug Innovation  Fact Sheet (new) 
    • MoST 4.5 - National S&T Major Projects - Large-scale Development of Oil & Gas Fields and Coal-bed Gas Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.6 - National S&T Major Projects - Mega-scale Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Technologies Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.7 - National S&T Major Projects - Next Generation of Broadband Wireless Mobile Networks Fact Sheet (new)
    • MoST 4.8 - National S&T Major Projects - Waste Water Control and Treatment Fact Sheet (new)

II. Policy Guidance Programmes

  • MoST 5 - Basic Science and Technology Specialized Project Fact Sheet (new)
  • MoST 6 - Agriculture S&T Achievement Industrialisation Fund Fact Sheet (new)
  • MoST 7 - National New Products Programme Fact Sheet (new)
  • MoST 8 - National Soft Science Research Programme Fact Sheet (new)

III. Other Programmes

  • MoST 9 - International S&T Cooperation Programme (ISTCP) Fact Sheet (new) 
  • MoST 10 -EU-China SME energy conservation and emission reduction research collaboration fund Fact Sheet (new)








The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) was set up under the State Council in 1986. It coordinates and financially supports basic research and applied basic research, and aims to identify and foster scientific talents in China.

The main NSFC programmes open to European researchers include the following:

  • NSFC 1 - General Programme Fact Sheet (new)
  • NSFC 2 - International (Regional) Cooperation and Exchange Programme Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 2.1 - International (Regional) Cooperation and Exchange Programme - Major International (Regional) Joint Research Programme Fact Sheet (new) 
    • NSFC 2.2 - International (Regional) Cooperation and Exchange Programme - Research Fellowship for International Young Scientists Fact Sheet (new)
  • NSFC 3 - Joint Funds Programme Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.1 - Joint Funds Programme - Joint Fund of Astronomy Fact Sheet (new) 
    • NSFC 3.2 - Joint Funds Programme - Joint Fund of Civil Aviation Research Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.3 - Joint Funds Programme - Joint Fund of Iron and Steel Research Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.4 - Joint Funds Programme - Joint Fund of Research utilizing Large-scale Scientific Facilities Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.5 - Joint Funds Programme - NSAF Joint Fund Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.6 - Joint Funds Programme - NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.7 - Joint Funds Programme - NSFC-Yunnan Joint Fund Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.8 - Joint Funds Programme - NSFC-Xinjiang Joint Fund Fact Sheet (new)
    • NSFC 3.9 - Joint Funds Programme - Joint Fund of Coal Fact Sheet (new)
  • NSFC 4 - Joint Research Fund for Overseas Chinese Scholars and Scholars in Hong Kong and Macao Fact Sheet (new)
  • NSFC 5 - Key Programme Fact Sheet (new) 
  • NSFC 6 - Major Research Plan Fact Sheet (new)
  • NSFC 7 - Young Scientists Fund Fact Sheet (new)







Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is a leading academic institution and comprehensive research and development centre in natural science, technological science and high-tech innovation in China. CAS provides support to promote the exchange of researchers between CAS and international institutes.

The main CAS programmes open to European researchers include the following:

  • CAS 1 - Einstein Professorship Programme Fact Sheet (new)
  • CAS 2 - Fellowships for Young International Scientists Fact Sheet  (new)
  • CAS 3 - Visiting Professorships for Senior International Scientists Fact Sheet (new)







China Scholarship Council (CSC) is a non-profit institution affiliated to the Ministry of Education (MoE). With different types of funding programmes, it offers financial support to Chinese citizens studying abroad and to international students and scholars studying in China.

The main CSC programmes open to European researchers include the following:

  • CSC 1 - CHINA/UNESCO - the Great Wall Fellowship Fact Sheet (new)
  • CSC 2 - Chinese Government Scholarship Scheme Fact Sheet (new) 
  • CSC 3 - Distinguished International Students Scholarship Fact Sheet (new) 
  • CSC 4 - University Postgraduate Programme Fact Sheet (new)



Information on EU-China bilateral funding programmes is available on the CO-REACH website: (temporarily unavailable)

A good and extensive overview of the Chinese S&T landscape is available at: