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About the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies (CCCS)
CCCS was established in the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts in 2013, with a focus on research and engagement. The Centre plays a vital role in shaping an Australian approach to the study of contemporary China and serves as a significant source of research-based information on China, Chinese societies and Chinese economies in the 21st century.
The Centre's mission is to facilitate high-quality research, teaching and engagement at the University of Melbourne that furthers our understanding of China’s ongoing transformation and the impacts within and beyond China. CCCS enhances Australia’s bilateral partnerships with top Chinese universities and acts as a hub for contemporary China studies in Melbourne.
In pursuing the CCCS mission, our specific objectives are:
Objective 1: To lead Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne by drawing together and highlighting the China-related expertise of colleagues from the Asia Institute, the Faculty of Arts, and across the University. CCCS is first and foremost a platform for encouraging and facilitating the University’s China-related research, teaching, and engagement.
Objective 2: To actively collaborate with leading Chinese and international institutions, conducting excellent interdisciplinary research, research training, teaching and engagement activities, and supporting the development of new China-related initiatives.
Objective 3: To provide strategic support to the University by actively assisting with the development and realisation of the Engaging with China Plan 2020-2024 and other strategies aimed at enhanced engagement with China and the Asia-Pacific region.
Study with Us
As the University of Melbourne’s hub for Chinese Studies, the Centre provides students with an interdisciplinary, collaborative and rigorous research environment to pursue their interests. Addressing the challenges and opportunities of the Asian Century necessitates a closer understanding of and partnership with China on a number of fronts. Understanding contemporary China is part of defining the contours of economic cooperation, such as through trade and investment and taxes; political collaboration such as effective diplomacy and sustainable security; and social connection through building peer-to-peer linkages and addressing shared social challenges such as an ageing population.
The Centre welcomes enquiries from graduate students with the requisite analytical skills in the social sciences who wish to pursue PhD thesis topics on contemporary China’s economy, politics, society and environment. Our team of early career and established researchers can supervise students on topics including economic development, public finance, public administration, governance, trade and security, social policy (health, education, housing), urbanisation (land use, zoning, rural-to-urban migration), agricultural development, environmental management and other topics.
Enquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants should consider the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities available at the University, including Graduate Research Scholarships and the Faculty of Arts Graduate research scholarships.
The Chinese Studies Research Group
The Chinese Studies Research Group (CSRG) is a postgraduate academic group representing all Chinese Studies researchers at the University of Melbourne, regardless of department, school, or faculty. We provide events, resources, training, and support.
To become a member of the Group, please email the CSRG.
Priority Research Themes
The Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies (CCCS) acts as a hub for contemporary Chinese studies in Australia and leads an interdisciplinary research program covering major social science disciplines, including sociology, geography, development studies, and public policy.
In its current strategic plan (2020-2024), CCCS identifies three priority research themes:
- Global China
- Civil society and social change
- Natural resources, water, and climate change
Current Research Projects
Our Centre has been spearheading Chinese Studies in Australia. We are currently working on several large research grants, including a Ford Foundation grant to conduct collaborative research on local engagement within Indonesia for Chinese investment projects, and to organise a network of scholars for sharing China knowledge in the Southeast Asia and Pacific Region (2021-2022, US$250,000), a DFAT funded project “Engaging Digitally with Chinese International Students to Promote Australian International Education: Creating a Collaborative Online Video Series about Studying In Australia” (2021-2022, AU$99,000), and another project funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China “The Process, Mechanism and Effects of Spatial Restructuring of the Multi-dimensional Primary Education” (2021-2024, AU$110,000).
Further details and smaller projects can be found on individual staff members' Find an Expert profiles or personal websites.
Past Research Projects
In the past, CCCS staff members have completed multiple research projects with funding from various sources, including the prestigious Australian Research Council, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and the National Social Science Foundation of China, among others. In the past two years, we have completed two ARC Discovery projects (“Remaking Rural China”, 2018-2020, AU$300,000; “The Technopolitics of China’s South-North Water Transfer Project”, 2017-2021, AU$550,700) and one Ford Foundation project (“China’s Urban Future: Policy, People, and Social Change”, 2018-2020, US$206,000).
Further details and smaller projects can be found on individual staff members’ Find an Expert profiles or personal websites.
Visiting Scholar Programs
CCCS regularly hosts visiting scholars (including PhD candidates) of Chinese Studies from China and elsewhere in the world. Please contact individual staff members to sponsor applications.
Enquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
Asia Scholars Program
The Asia Scholars Program provides joint appointments across the Faculty of Arts, targeting outstanding scholars from the Asia region. The Program builds the Faculty's research, teaching, and engagement profile through collaborative research projects and joint publications with scholars from the best universities in the Asia region.
CCCS Seed Funding
The Centre offers two types of Seed Funding, with the aim to encourage and support new research ideas and collaborations and high-quality publications by staff members and students at the University of Melbourne.
New Project Grant
Available to all fixed-term and ongoing staff at the University of Melbourne. Late-stage PhD students can also be included as co-investigators. The purpose of this grant is to support preliminary work on new research projects about contemporary China (broadly defined). Up to $5,000 is available.
PhD Publication Grant
Available to final year PhD students at the University of Melbourne (any Faculty / School). A small grant of up to $3,000 to support students in writing up academic publications (peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters) from their thesis.
Applications for the 2021 round are closed. See 2021 winning projects here.
The Chinese Studies Research Brief Prize
In 2021, the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies and the Chinese Studies Research Group jointly launched the Chinese Studies Research Brief Prize. The Prize supports and promotes China-related academic research across all disciplines by Research Higher Degree (RHD) students at the University of Melbourne. The Prizes are awarded annually to the student authors of the best Research Briefs submitted to the competition.
See 2021 guidelines here.
CCCS Research Briefs
The newly-established Prize builds upon a past initiative of the Centre—between 2016 and 2018, CCCS published Research Briefs on a bimonthly basis. The Briefs offer analysis of recent developments in China and an introduction to current academic research.
See past Research Briefs here.