UNSW-Tsinghua Collaborative Research Fund

Seed Grants




In order to strengthen research collaboration and deepen relationships, UNSW and Tsinghua University have each agreed to provide $200,000 per annum to a joint collaborative research fund over two years - commencing 1 January 2017.

Tsinghua University is consistently ranked as one of the top academic institutions in China and globally. As one of China’s most renowned universities, Tsinghua has become an important institution for fostering talent and scientific research and UNSW is pleased to be strengthening our partnership through this new scheme.

The fund will be used to provide seed grants to identify, promote and encourage opportunities for collaborative research and development in areas of common interest, provide facilities for this purpose and enhance the activities, profiles and reputation of each party. 

The purpose of the seed grants is to establish a joint research collaboration between UNSW and Tsinghua University leading to long term collaboration beyond the scope of the seed project. 

Expected Outcomes

  • at least 2 reciprocal visits for staff and/or students to be conducted within the duration of the funding period (ie UNSW will provide funding for staff and/or students to travel at least twice to Tsinghua. Tsinghua will provide funding for staff and/or students to travel to UNSW).

  • submission of at least 1 joint co-authored publication

  • target a suitable scheme for the submission of a joint application for external research funding


  • Each institution will provide funds to support the activities of its own researchers.

  • Grants of up to $20,000 per annum may be awarded for a duration of 12 months.

    • Seed grants may be renewed for one further period of 12 months subject to performance in fulfilling the objectives of the scheme.

    • A progress report will be required 11 months after receipt of funding providing evidence of outcomes to date.

  •  Grants should be spent within the period indicated in the project submission or, as a maximum, within 12 – 24 months.

Eligible items for funding:

  • Travel costs of researchers and/or research students associated with the project

  • Reimbursement of living and hosting costs of visiting researchers from each institution

  • Minor research costs associated with the project (not to exceed 25% of grant)

  • Note – salaries and scholarships will not be funded



Teams of researchers with one lead researcher from each institution should submit an application on the provided application form by the due date. Applications will be assessed by a Steering Committee with representatives including the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), UNSW and the Vice President, Research, Tsinghua University or delegates.

Theme areas to be supported in 2017/18:

  • Chemical Engineering

  • Environmental Engineering

  • Life Sciences (Note: The life sciences domain incorporates the biological, environmental and medical sciences. Life Science underpins health and environmental science. Broad fields of research may include: Anatomy, Biological Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Ecology, Genetics, Marine Science, Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Psychology.)

  • Photovoltaic and Solar Energy

Selection criteria:

  1. Quality, expected outcomes and impact of proposed research program

  2. Strength of research team relative to opportunity

  3. Alignment of proposal with purpose and expected outcomes of the fund

Key Dates

Applications close:  CLOSED
Announcements:      successful applicants notified November 22 2016 for commencement from 1 January 2017