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Scholarship Programs

To view past scholarship recipients, please scroll down or click here.

Program Details:
The Joseph Needham Merit Scholarship Programme

Unlike the fully-funded Ph.D. programme below, this pilot programme was launched in cooperation with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2019-2020. Seven outstanding students already accepted for advanced studies in the US and Europe with attractive financial packages were selected for their strong empathy with humanity,  in line with our mission to create a community of "Needham Scholars" who promote science, humanity, and intellectualism following the example of the late Joseph Needham.

Each successful Merit Scholar will receive a grant for up to four years.


Applicants must have already gained graduate admission to internationally-known research universities in STEM and awarded attractive financial assistance.

Program Details:
The Joseph Needham Ph.D. Fellowship tenable at the University of Cambridge

Outstanding students in STEM graduating in 2021 are invited to apply for this highly competitive four-year JNFSC fully-funded advanced studies programme at Cambridge.


Dr. Joseph Needham (1900-1995) made enormous contributions to Cambridge where he spent over 76 years of his life as a brilliant scientist, a world authority in ancient Chinese science and technology through his monumental multi-volume "Science and Civilisation in China", a great humanist and a leading intellectual of the 20th century.

The first Joseph Needham Ph.D. Fellowship was awarded in 1993 to Mr. MEI Jianjun of the University of Science and Technology Beijing tenable at the University of Cambridge. Upon successfully completing his doctorate in metallurgical archaeology four years later, he returned to his alma mater to take up an academic position. Since 2014, he has been the Director of the Needham Research Institute (NRI) in Cambridge.

After more than two decades, JNFSC is re-launching this Ph.D. fellowship programme at Cambridge in honour of Dr. Needham's scholarship and contributions.


Consideration will be given only to applicants with successful admission to a STEM programme at the University of Cambridge. With expected in residence at Darwin College. Upon graduation, the incumbent is expected to return to his/her (home) base.

Group photo with directors and Merit Scholarship awardees at the HKUST lunch-in event


Prof. Mei Jianjun.JPG

Dr. Mei Jianjun, the first Joseph Needham PhD Fellowship recipient,

has been Director of the NRI since 2014

Joseph Needham Merit Scholars

2023 Recipients

Past Recipients

2022 Recipients

2021 Recipients

2020 Recipients

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