The Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW Sydney, wishes to offer one PhD Scholarship in conjunction with an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project on China’s Belt and Road Initiative: A New Model of Economic Governance. Applicants should have outstanding research potential and a demonstrated interest in China’s role in transnational economic governance. The scholarship will commence at a mutually agreed date between September 2022 and July 2023.


Applications are open until 31 May 2022.


The scholarship stipend will be equivalent to the value of a Research Training Program Scholarship (for 2022, this rate is $28,854 p.a.), plus Faculty top-up ($5,000 p.a.).  These scholarships generally receive favourable tax treatment and entitle candidates to apply for a fee waiver.


Three years and 6 months, subject to confirmation of candidature and satisfactory progress.


Applicants may be Australian citizens, permanent residents or international.

Students currently enrolled in or holding an offer to commence a full-time PhD in the UNSW Faculty of Law & Justice in 2022 may apply, provided that, by the application deadline, they shall have been enrolled for no longer than twelve months and they are not already holding or have been offered a scholarship for study at UNSW.

The Scholarship is for study on a full-time basis only, unless there are exceptional personal or medical circumstances that would require study on a part-time basis for all or part of the PhD program. This Scholarship is not open to students already enrolled in a PhD program elsewhere.

Residency requirement 

Applicants must pursue their PhD research in Sydney. International applicants are responsible for securing any necessary visas to enable study based in Sydney.

Selection criteria

Applicants must possess:

  • strong academic credentials and a demonstrated interest in China’s role in transnational economic governance; and
  • an undergraduate degree in Law or a related discipline with a minimum Honours I that includes a substantial research component (or equivalent); or
  • a postgraduate qualification in Law or a related discipline (including a substantial research component) with an average that equates to a Distinction average at UNSW (80%); or
  • equivalent research or professional experience, supported by references and a detailed CV.

Previous research experience, including completion of a research thesis and/or publications will be highly valued. Applicants with knowledge of China’s economic engagement in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative are especially encouraged to apply.

Fluency in Chinese (Mandarin) is not required but would be an asset.

Selection will be based on (a) the applicant’s academic qualifications, (b) their written communication skills, (c) the quality of their research proposal, (d) their research experience and potential, (d) the fit between the applicant’s proposal and the focus areas of the ARC Discovery Project.

Details of Available Scholarship

This PhD scholarship is available to an applicant who is interested in undertaking research toward a PhD as part of the wider ARC Discovery Project ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative: A New Model of Economic Governance.’  This Project seeks to understand how China is changing the way that cross-border economic interactions are governed, and the implications of these changes for how power and authority are exercised in the global economy. There is some flexibility for the successful applicant to craft their own PhD project within the scope of the wider Project– for example, by focusing on China’s role transnational governance of trade, investment, finance or dispute settlement, or China’s role in the construction and reform of multilateral institutions of economic governance.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Professor Heng Wang, Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha and Associate Professor Kun Fan and will be based in the School of Private and Commercial Law. The candidate will focus primarily on their own PhD project, but will also participate in the broader academic and engagement work associated with the Project and UNSW Law & Justice’s Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre. 

  • Applicants should attach copies of ALL academic transcripts, relevant publications, a CV, a cover letter addressing the selection criteria and outlining interest in transnational economic governance, and a 3-5 page research proposal.

    Details for two academic or professional referees must be provided (referees will be contacted only if an applicant is being considered for shortlisting).

    Applicants must also complete the Application Form to be considered for the PhD Scholarship in ‘China’s role in transnational economic governance.’

    Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview, which will take place either in person (preferable) or by Skype or Zoom Conference. Shortlisted applicants may also be asked to produce short pieces of written work or research as part of the selection process.

    The application process is separate from applying for admission to UNSW. The successful scholarship applicant will also be required to complete the formal admission process.

  • Please email completed applications to:

    Dr Jenny Jarrett
    HDR Officer
    University of New South Wales
    Faculty of Law & Justice
    Email: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au

    For further enquiries, please contact:

    Dr Jenny Jarrett
    HDR Officer
    Faculty of Law & Justice
    Tel: +61 2 0424 041 940
    Email: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au