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China Scholarship Council-Yale World Scholars Program

Fall 2021: Admission of new students into the China Scholarship Council - Yale World Scholars Program is on hold for upcoming 2022-2023 academic year. Applicants from participating universities within the CSC-Yale Program should apply to the BBS Program via the regular admissions route. This site will be updated once we are able to begin soliciting nominations for the CSC-Yale Program again.

Yale University has a longstanding relationship and deep history of collaboration with China. In 2006, Yale and the Chinese Ministry of Education forged their first major educational partnership in the biosciences, the China Scholarship Council (CSC) – Yale World Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences. This program recruits top graduates from nine premier institutions in China for enrollment in Yale’s Combined Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS), with funding from both the CSC and Yale. The CSC-Yale World Scholars program offers students the same outstanding research training available to all BBS students and also provides additional specialized professional development programs. The overall goal is to prepare the Scholars to become the next generation of scientific leaders in China, after completion of their graduate and postdoctoral training.

The nine partner institutions in China are Fudan University, Nanjing University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology of China, and Zhejiang University. These universities nominate four highly qualified graduating students for consideration, and each will be interviewed by BBS faculty. Over fifty Scholars from these universities are currently enrolled in Yale.

Please note that applicants from these and other Chinese institutions may apply directly to the BBS Program. As stated elsewhere on this site, however, funding for international applicants is very limited, and only a very small percentage of international applicants receive offers of admission.

Tony Koleske and Hongyu Zhao, co-Directors of the CSC-Yale World Scholars Program, meet with the students at the beginning of the semester.

Specialized Training

Through meetings with successful Yale faculty and senior members of the Yale administration, CSC-Yale World Scholars will be introduced to the critical practices, strategies, and conventions necessary to become future leaders in biomedical research. For example, Scholars meet with faculty to gain insights on how to succeed in graduate school, run a successful research lab, start a biotech company, or translate basic science discoveries into clinical advancements. Students also have the opportunity to meet with deans, vice presidents, or provosts, to learn about the operations of leading a research university. Meetings are exclusively for CSC-Yale World Scholars and are not offered to other students.

Admissions Process

Photo by Folasade Kammen
Weiwei Han, Microbiology Track

"The best thing about the BBS program is that we were admitted and taken very good care of by individual tracks (Microbiology, Immunology, etc.), yet we have the flexibility to rotate in and join any lab within BBS, and the access to all the resources from the large BBS community.

Take my experience as an example, the Microbiology program is like a small cozy family to me. Our year has only 4 Microbiology students, and we got very close with each other and also with fellow Microbiology graduate students from different years, through courses, and events of the Microbiology program, such as rotation talks, research in progress seminars, departmental symposium and retreat, 2017 recruitment, etc. Our director of graduate studies and all other faculty and staff members in care about our academic performance, personal development, and want to make sure we are enjoying graduate school. For every question I have, no matter it is about graduate study, science, career or life, I can always find some faculty member or senior student who is willing to help me figure it out. The flexible course requirement allows me to access high-quality courses offered by any programs in BBS, and even other departments outside BBS, according to my developing academic interest. Seminars and symposiums offered by different departments in BBS expose me to cutting-edge knowledge and research of different fields. From what I saw and heard, inter-departmental communication and collaboration is so common that complex biological questions can always be addressed from different aspects, leading us most close to the truth.

Being in the CSC-Yale World Scholars Program is a bonus, allowing more opportunities to communicate with Yale faculty members and other peer CSC students. One privilege of being CSC students is that we can hold special events such as CSC Luncheons and invite any faculty member to discuss topics that we are interested in. For example, in one of the CSC Luncheons during my first year, a young professor shared his story on how to start his own lab right after PhD graduation, and how to start and run a biotech company. It was a huge impact to know what one can achieve at such a young age giving the fact that he is just a few years older than me. I could not think of a better place other than Yale BBS Microbiology program to start my scientific career. In this collaborative community, with the guidance of inspiring mentors and the supports from smart colleagues, I am so ready to take on greater challenges and hopefully make some discoveries in science!"

Each institution above will select and nominate four students for the CSC-Yale World Scholars Program. The CSC will then notify the BBS Program of the students’ nominations. The students apply to any Track of the BBS Program via the Yale Graduate School’s online application, and should mention in their personal statements that they have been nominated for consideration as a CSC-Yale World Scholar.

The BBS application deadline is December 1, 2021. Nominees for the CSC-Yale World Scholars program need to submit their application in early November, and the deadline will be posted on this site. Faculty from the BBS Program normally travel to travel to China in early December to interview applicants, and the November deadline will provide admissions committees with sufficient time to review application materials before the interviews.

Applicants will be contacted by email to schedule the interview times. After the interviews have been completed, the BBS admissions committees will recommend a subset of the nominees to the Graduate School for admission. These Scholars will be the best candidates in the judgment of the Yale admissions committees and will not necessarily be evenly distributed among the nine Chinese universities. The Dean of the Graduate School makes all final admissions decisions, which will be communicated to the students, the CSC, and the Chinese universities in writing.

The students admitted to Yale will then proceed to apply for a two-year CSC fellowship via an online application, available at The CSC will officially announce the selection results to relevant Chinese universities and grantees in official documents. The terms of the CSC fellowship include an obligation to return to China for at least two years following the completion of Ph.D. and postdoctoral training.