Faculty Grants

This page provides information about three faculty grant categories: 1) (Re)engage with China Grant, 2) Research Assistant and Small Grants, and 3) Annual Conference and Research Grants. Please scroll down for details.

(Re)engage with China Grant

Maximum Amount: $20,000

To Apply: Please submit proposals electronically to hcfchair@harvard.edu.

Deadline: Rolling

Amidst strained U.S.-China relations, academic engagement and dialogue can play a crucial role in fostering cross-cultural understanding and helping to inform wise policymaking in both countries. China’s revalidation of all visas—and apparent willingness to offer new ones for scholarly exchange—presents a timely opportunity for our faculty members to reconnect with Chinese academic partners.

We are pleased to announce the (Re)engage with China Grant, a funding opportunity for faculty members seeking to make short visits to China with the goal of reestablishing academic connections and exploring collaboration with Chinese institutions and partners. This grant aims to give scholars the chance to engage with academic counterparts in person without a major research project already in hand. The goal is to strengthen ties, promote intellectual exchange, and support various educational activities beyond hosting academic conferences and leading research projects. We also welcome proposals for the first-time engagement with China.

For longer-term academic conferences and research projects, we encourage you to apply for our Annual Conference and Research Grants below.

Proposals for Reengage with China Grants may cover various academic activities beyond research and conferences, including but not limited to:

  • Faculty exchanges: faculty visits to Chinese institutions for the purpose of exploring academic exchange or collaboration, teaching or giving lectures, or pursuing short-term academic research.
  • Curriculum/program development: the development of new courses or programs, or the enhancement of existing ones.
  • Attending academic events: participation in training programs, seminars, conferences, or workshops conducted in collaboration with Chinese institutions
  • Joint publications: work on joint research findings or collaborative projects.
  • Other projects not listed above may be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to discussion and evaluation.

All Harvard faculty members are eligible to apply for the (Re)engage with China Grant. Preference will be given to proposed trips for which funding might not be otherwise available.

Please submit a written proposal (suggested length of one page) including:

  • Description of the primary academic activity
  • Rationale—why is this important?
  • List of target participants, including Harvard faculty and Chinese colleagues, as well as other international scholars as appropriate
  • Time frame and plan
  • Preliminary budget

We encourage faculty members to seize this opportunity to reengage with Chinese academic partners, promote scholarly communication, and broaden educational experiences.

Research Assistant (RA) and Small Grants

Maximum Amount: $5,000 for RA Grant
$10,000 for Small Grants

To Apply: Please submit complete application forms electronically to hcfchair@harvard.edu.

Deadline: Rolling

The Harvard China Fund is soliciting proposals from Harvard faculty to fund research assistants (RA) and other academic needs. Preference will be given to faculty whose primary academic domains are related to China Studies. The selection process will highly prioritize non-tenured faculty.


The maximum award to hire each research assistant is 5,000 USD for up to six months. Faculty applying to hire an RA must have someone in mind whom they would like to hire. All the China-based RAs will be hired and paid by the Harvard Center Shanghai (HCS) and as such must have Chinese citizenship. The RA will be supervised by the faculty member. The faculty member is responsible for notifying the Harvard China Fund staff based in HCS one month in advance of how much the RA is getting paid in the upcoming month. The RAs will need to sign a Service Agreement with HCS before the first day of work. Please note all RAs should obey local laws and regulations.

On the application form, please provide details regarding the research assistant’s job responsibilities, start date, contract length, work hours, and compensation. The HCS may request further information or negotiate specific details before the grant disbursement on account of potential complications in the multinational hiring process. Please download the application form here and submit completed applications to hcfchair@harvard.edu.


These small grants with the maximum amount of $10,000 will be awarded to cover the costs for academic needs related to China studies. This might include honoraria for manuscript readers, subscriptions, and other academic activities or needs. Please download the application form here and submit completed applications to hcfchair@harvard.edu.

For grants to fund book workshops or conferences, please consult the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies website to learn more.

Chinese roof

Annual Conference and Research Grants

Maximum Amount: $50,000

To Apply: Please submit proposals electronically to hcfchair@harvard.edu.

Deadline: January 15, 2024

We welcome conference and research proposals with a focus on China in any field.

Preference for conference and research grants will be given to proposed projects for which funding might not be otherwise available. Proposals are judged on the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence and benefit to or involvement of Harvard faculty
  • Feasibility, innovation and interdisciplinary nature
  • Organizational support (from Harvard, Chinese universities, and other relevant institutions)
  • Potential for impact in China

Conference and research proposals will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Harvard China Fund Steering Committee (comprised of 17 scholars from 7 of the University’s schools). The principal applicant must be a full-time faculty member who has worked at Harvard for at least 5 years and plans to stay until the project completion date. Harvard Medical School faculty must have a primary appointment in one of HMS’s basic or social science departments.


Please submit a written proposal including:

  • One-page abstract
  • List of key participants
  • Time frame and travel itinerary
  • Preliminary budget

Following a review of the proposed projects, finalists will be asked to submit a formal proposal.


Please submit a written proposal including:

  • Narrative (suggested length of two pages):
  • Conference topic
  • Rationale—why is this important? What are the objectives?
  • List of target participants, including Harvard faculty and Chinese colleagues, as well as other international scholars as appropriate
  • Time frame and organization plan
  • Preliminary budget

Applicants may wish to consult with Harvard Global Support Services for the most updated information and plan accordingly. In addition, grant recipients should first consult with the Harvard Center Shanghai and Harvard China Fund staff regarding booking the space and other logistics before beginning to plan for the event.


As a major internal funder of Harvard research related to China, the Harvard China Fund administers the Harvard China Faculty Grant Program to advance the research goals of Harvard faculty and improve the education of Harvard students, in collaboration with Chinese partners. The Harvard China Fund expanded the program to offer support for academic conferences to be held at the Harvard Center Shanghai beginning in 2013.

Since 2007, the Harvard China Fund has awarded faculty grants totaling approximately $4.5 million to 74 projects led by 64 faculty from 23 schools and departments. A sampling of funded projects includes:

archaeology • cataloguing of local histories • civil society/nonprofit organizations • crisis management research/training • disability law and rights • economic growth/air pollution control • health systems reform • humanities education • insurance access • landscape and ecological urbanism • medical training • mental health stigma • moral and civic engagement • seismic hazard assessment • social injustice • village development • water purification • urbanization • philanthropy • paleontology

Every school at Harvard has multiple projects and academic partners in China. Please visit Past Awards for more details.