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Cancer Research in China

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Funding Opportunities

New Funding Announcement

Several existing research and training opportunities exist in the United States and China to support international biomedical research cooperation.

For additional tips on locating potential partners for collaborative research between U.S. and Chinese scientists, please see Tips for Collaboration. Funding opportunities include:

Selected U.S. funding programs:

Fogarty International Center

The Fogarty International Center (FIC), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is dedicated to advancing the mission of the NIH by supporting and facilitating global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937 and is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training. The National Cancer Act of 1971 broadened the scope and responsibilities of the NCI and created the National Cancer Program. Over the years, legislative amendments have maintained the NCI authorities and responsibilities and added new information dissemination mandates as well as a requirement to assess the incorporation of state-of-the-art cancer treatments into clinical practice. NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation's medical research agency—making important medical discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs by funding thousands of scientists in universities and research institutions in every state across America and around the globe. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. NIH supports many innovative training programs and funding mechanisms that foster scientific creativity and exploration. The goal is to strengthen our nation's research capacity, broaden our research base, and inspire a passion for science in current and future generations of researchers.

  • NIH Visiting Program
    This program includes a Visiting Fellow program for foreign students who have completed their doctoral degree within the past five years.

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…". NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal support.

Selected Chinese funding programs:

Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is a prestigious basic and applied research organization in China. More than 26 of approximately 100 CAS research institutions across the country conduct biological (including biomedical) research activities. Although not a national funding agency, CAS administers several programs to support international research and training activities within its institutes, including:

  • CAS Einstein Professorship Program supports approximately 20 world-class researchers to conduct lecture tours in China. International scientists who participate in this program place a few young Chinese scholars in their laboratory for training.

  • CAS Fellowship for Young International Scientists supports early career scientists to work in a CAS laboratory for approximately one year.

  • CAS Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists supports international scientists at the university professor/associate professor level to work in CAS laboratories for 2-12 months.

  • CAS Grant (as Initial Fund) for Key Bilateral/Multilateral Cooperation Projects supports concrete collaborative research activities for 2-3 years. Applications are submitted by CAS institutes only.

Ministry of Science and Technology of the P.R. China

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is the largest scientific funding agency in China, and supports several international collaborations.

National Natural Science Foundation of China

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) was established in 1986 as an independent government agency to support investigator-initiated proposals in basic research using a peer-review process. Approximately 10-15% of NSFC grants awarded to domestic investigators can be used to support international cooperation, and NSFC also allocates 3-5% of its total research budget for an International Cooperation Fund. Specific NSFC mechanisms that support international research cooperation include:

  • NSFC Fund for Chinese Scholars Abroad Returning for Short Period of Work or Lecture supports overseas Chinese scholars to participate in NSFC funded projects. This program supports living expenses for overseas Chinese scholars during their short-term stay in China to conduct joint research, organize workshops or seminars, and attend international conferences or other related activities.

  • NSFC International Academic Conferences Held in China provides funding for international and regional academic conferences which are closely related to priority funding areas of NSFC or to newly emerging scientific disciplines.

  • NSFC Joint Research Projects supports joint research activities conducted by Chinese scientists with ongoing projects funded by NSFC and their foreign counterparts. Personnel and/or information exchange costs and research costs can be supported by this fund.

  • NSFC Major International Joint Research supports activities to strengthen China's competitiveness in basic research to enhance innovation. Projects supported under this program generally last 3-4 years and funding can be used to support research costs and personnel exchanges.

  • NSFC Research Fellowship for International Young Scientists supports postdoctoral scientists under the age of 35 with more than 3 years of international experience to work in China for 6-12 months.

Additional information about NSFC International Activities can be found at: