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Women and Political Participation in Rural China: A Tempo-spatial Perspective

Project Description


Applications are invited from suitably-qualified candidates to work on a funded doctoral research project in the disciplines of sociology. The successful candidate will be studying the political, social and economic factors affecting rural women's political participation, through oral history interviews with three generations of politically involved women in rural China. The project will also aim to compare rural women's political participation in both economically developed provinces and less economically developed provinces, to have a better understanding of interplay of regional, political, socio-economic factors on rural women's political participation.

The doctoral research project is designed to complement the parent project undertaken by Dr Yu Song, Dr. Susan Pickard and Dr Xi Liu entitled “Women’s Political Participation in Rural China: Agency and Power Redistribution (中国农村妇女参政:能动性与权力的再分配)”. 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 by the supervisors.

Apart from advanced training in the disciplines in 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 China Studies.

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 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 Yu Song (), whose personal profile is linked below,


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