Research

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:

  1. Global China
  2. Civil society and social change
  3. 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.

Coffee plantation adjacent to the Nu River, Yunnan Province – Photo: Zoe Wang, 2017

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

Visiting Scholars

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 china-centre@unimelb.edu.au.

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.

Past Asia Scholars

A poverty resettlement project in Shaanxi Province – Photo: Sarah Rogers, 2018
Resettlement village near the Bui dam in Ghana – Photo: Xiao Han, 2015

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.

An NGO-led eco-tourism and local capacity building project in Amdo, southern Gansu Province
An NGO-led eco-tourism and local capacity building project in Amdo, southern Gansu Province – Photo: Fengshi Wu, 2018