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From Residents to New Citizens: Aspirations, Identities and Decision-making in Two Chinese Municipalities

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Cheung
    Dr B Tang
    Prof D Goodman
    Dr L Rocha
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

走上“新市民”之路: 居住在中国两市流动人口的志向,身份认同与决

Applications are invited from suitably-qualified candidates to work on a funded doctoral research project in the disciplines of linguistics and sociology. The successful candidate will be studying internal migrants in China during the nation-wide “new citizenship” campaign. According to official sources, 100 million internal migrants are expected become new citizens by 2020 and gain access to the public services offered in the cities of residence. In its data collection phase, the study involves the application of both quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences to discern how internal migrants make decisions over applications, how they regard themselves during the application process, and what they hope to achieve by such applications. The study can be expected to shed light on the aspirations, identities and decision-making of internal migrants who choose the path of citizenship uptake or of absence from the place of household registration. As such, the project requires a high level of knowledge of Chinese language and society.

The doctoral research project is designed to complement the parent project undertaken by Dr Paul Cheung and Dr Beibei Tang entitled Governance in Light of the “New Citizenship” Campaign in China (“新市民”计划中的中国城市治理). The doctoral research project shares the same contextual background and field sites as the parent project but is different in aims, scope, research questions,
significance and outputs.

The successful candidate is expected to exercise independence within the framework of the doctoral research project as summarised above. Essential attributes apart from independence include acumen in dealing with research participants in the field, commitment to academic excellence across the disciplines and willingness to be apprenticed the supervisors.

Apart from advanced training in the disciplines in linguistics and sociology, the successful candidate will be provided with the opportunity to serve as Teaching Assistant (TA) in academic departments of the university including Department of English.

For more information about doctoral scholarships and PhD programmes at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), please go to and Click Study with Us.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are advised to email [Email Address Removed] (XJTLU principal supervisor’s email address) the following documents for initial review and assessment (please put the project title in the subject line).
• CV
• Two reference letters on company/university letterhead
• A personal statement outlining your interest in, and planned approach to, the doctoral research project plus previous experience in research
• Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of 7 or above)
• Proof of Chinese language proficiency (HSK certificate level 9, only if the first language is not Chinese)
• Verified university degree transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students,only the English version is required)
• A sample report on empirical research authored solely by the candidate in English

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Paul Cheung ([Email Address Removed]), whose personal profile can be viewed at


Academic qualification: The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in sociolinguistics, sociology, or related disciplines in the social sciences.

Language requirements: Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 7 or above across all components, if their first language is not English. Due to the nature of the project, the candidate should also have an advanced level in spoken and written Contemporary Standard Chinese (native speaker or a score of at least 9 on HSK 9) plus demonstrable experience in empirical research, preferably fieldwork in residential community settings.

This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality


The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program.

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 5,000 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching or research assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project.

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