For PhD Students

Whether you are at the beginning of your SDC PhD journey, near the end or somewhere in between, this is where you can find all the information you need. If you have questions that are not covered below you are of course welcome to contact the Danish SDC Office.

SDC requirements

You are expected to contribute to the teaching on at least one of the SDC MSc programmes and the collaboration between and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and the Danish universities in general. Also, you can choose to pursue a double degree; a degree from both UCAS and your Danish university. You can read more about this below.


As an SDC PhD student, you are required to enroll at UCAS parallel to your enrolment at your Danish university thus a Chinese co-supervisor is affiliated with your PhD project along with your Danish main supervisor. It is important that you initiate contact with your Chinese co-supervisor immediately after your employment has commenced. The name and email address of your Chinese co-supervisor is in the “Important information as newly employed SDC PhD student”-e-mail which you will receive shortly after your employment start date has passed.

Double degree

A double degree is optional and if you decide to pursue a degree from UCAS along with your Danish degree there are several requirements that must be met; they are addressed overall in “UCAS requirements”. For the specifics please visit UCAS’ website. If you choose to pursue a double degree your local PhD School requires a written agreement with UCAS that outlines all the details. Please contact your local PhD School in this regard. When an agreement is in place please let the Danish SDC Office know at

Enrolment at UCAS

The first thing you need to do when you have started your employment as PhD is to apply for enrolment at UCAS; the application process must be completed within the first month. Instructions on how to apply will appear from the “Important information as newly employed SDC PhD student”-e-mail. All questions related to the application process must be addressed to Wang Xin.

Once the application is completed, please let SDC know at

UCAS will review the completed application and upon approval they will issue an Admission Notice and a Visa Application Form (JW 202). Both documents will be sent to the Danish SDC Office and you will be given notice via email once the two documents have arrived at the SDC Office in Aarhus. The documents are necessary in order to apply for an X-visa needed for a long term stay in China.

UCAS requirements

Below is an overall review of the requirements that must be met if you are pursuing a degree from UCAS as part of your double degree.

UCAS’ PhD Educational Plan

First of all you need to familiarize with UCAS’ general Education Plan for International PhD-students that constitutes the framework of what is expected from an International PhD at UCAS and is quite extensive.

In addition UCAS’ Education Plan there are a number of specific requirements that needs to be fulfilled in order to obtain the degree at UCAS:

• Opening Speech

• Affiliation

• Mid-term assessment

• Academic reports and social activities

• Chinese Culture and Panorama

• Format requirements for the dissertation/thesis; header type, font size, font type etc.

Opening Speech

The purpose of the Opening Speech is to present your research plan based on previous studies in order to acquire input from experts within the research area. The Opening Speech must be completed within the second semester after enrollment at UCAS.

On UCAS’ website you can find general information about the Opening Speech and the relevant forms that needs be filled out in advance. Your Chinese co-supervisor can also be of assistance if you need clarification on matters regarding the Opening Speech.


Please consult UCAS’ website for the correct affiliation.

Mid-term assessment

International PhD students must complete the Mid-term assessment. The Mid-term assessment is a session, where the PhD student, the Danish main supervisor and the Chinese co-supervisor qualify the thesis research topic, main research progress and research plan.

The Mid-term assessment is described in the Education Plan for International PhD-students and it only applies for international PhD students enrolling at UCAS in 2022 and onwards.

Academic Reports and Social Practices

During the employment, PhD students must complete a number of academic reports i.e. give presentations or attend lectures at summits/seminars.

Furthermore, PhD students must carry out social practices i.e. administrative or volunteer activities.

The academic reports and social practices are assessed and approved by the Chinese supervisor. Consult the Education Plan for International PhD-students.

Chinese Language and Panorama

It is a national requirement from the Ministry of Education in China that all international students acquires basic knowledge of Chinese Language and Chinese Culture.

The course has a duration of approximately two weeks and is offered once each semester (spring and autumn). Some PhD students may be exempted due to previous activities. If you attended the course as an SDC Master students you are exempted.

You can read about it in section 4 in the general Education Plan for International PhD-students. The specific dates are announced in advance via e-mail and in both the relevant WeChat- and Facebook-group.

Format requirements for the dissertation/thesis

The requirements for the layout of the dissertation/thesis are quite extensive and it is very important that you abide by them. SDC recommends that you familiarize with them as early as possible.

Going to China

There is some preparation involved with going to China and the most important aspects are addressed in this section.

Give notice of your arrival

One month in advance of your arrival in China you must send a copy of your Admission Notice and JW 202-form to your Chinese co-supervisor so that office space, lab access etc. can be arranged.

Visa and residence permit

For a short term stay please visit SDC’s website “Arranging you travel to China”.

A long term stay requires an X-visa and to apply an Admission Notice and a JW202-form must be enclosed. However, both the Admission Notice and the JW202-form expires relatively soon after they have been issued (the exact time of expiration is unknown) but the validity can be extended with a certificate of validation. Please contact Wang Xin if such an extension is needed.

Make sure to get the original Admission Notice and JW202 back if you bring them to the Visa Center because they must be used in process of converting the X-visa to a residence permit.

The first time you enter China with an X-visa it must be converted to a residence permit allowing you multiple entries. To apply for a residence permit one must be in Beijing. If you are affiliated with an institute outside of Beijing please contact Wang Xin. It is imperative that the duration of your first stay in China with an X-visa entry is at least 30 days to ensure there is enough time for the Chinese authorities to convert the X-visa into a residence permit.

NB! If your first stay is during the Chinese New Year (January/February) or during the summer holiday (July/August), the processing of a residence permit will most likely exceed 30 days.

For both short term and long term stays application is made online via the Chinese Visa Application Service Center and it is recommended to begin the application well in advance of your departure for China.


Insurance is a matter between you and your employer so any question in this regard must be addressed to the university where you are employed.

Scientific equipment, research material etc.

If you need to bring any kind of scientific equipment, research material etc., make sure you meet the requirements of the customs laws of China. (If you fail to declare any goods, you risk a penalty and to have your equipment/material seized in customs).

Expenses and Travel Costs

The PhD students must incur expenses and travel costs themselves in accordance with the rules that applies at the university where one is employed.


Chinese taxi drivers’ English proficiencies are often limited at best thus SDC recommends having the relevant addresses written in Chinese, when moving around.


PhD students must arrange their stay by themselves and the costs of accommodation during the stay will be covered by the PhD student. The Chinese host institution may be helpful in securing accommodation.

Booking of apartment in the SDC Building or hotel.

For apartment rental outside of the SDC Building it is necessary to contact a real estate agent upon arrival in Beijing. The WeChat group (see below) is a great a way to get a useful reference. If you decide upon renting an apartment, you need to register at the local police station within 24 hours and they will also issue a temporary Residence Registration.

Normally, it is possible to find an apartment within a few days. Please note, that leases in China can be complicated, so it is important that the real estate agency helps you understand all terms and conditions before you sign a contract.

Information security when travelling with SDC

Read about information security here.


It is difficult to reside in China for a longer period without using the social media platform, WeChat. Among other things it is used for payments, instant messaging, taxi fares etc.

There is also WeChat group named “SDC PhDs” that is recommended for PhD students to join. When you are in China, it is an easy way to get in touch with fellow SDC PhDs students and a forum for sharing information about how to find apartments, invite fellow PhD students to social events, symposiums etc. The Chinese SDC Office will also post information in this group. Join the group by asking a member of the Facebook group (see below) to add you to the group.


We recommended that you join the Facebook group “SDC PhD”, where you can reach out to fellow SDC PhD students and share information. Occasionally information from the Danish SDC Office will be posted also. Be advised, that you can only logon to Facebook via a VPN-connection when in China.

Arriving in China

Within 7 days of arrival in China you need to apply for a “Foreigner´s Health Certificate” or verify that you have undergone a similar examination in Denmark. Wang Xin can assist you in this regard.

You also need to register with Wang Xin and ISO (within 30 days after arrival) in that order. Wang Xin’s office is in the SDC Building.

Writing retreats

Twice a year – late April/early May and early/mid November – the Danish SDC Office hosts a writing retreat for SDC PhD students. Besides from having dedicated time to work on your PhD project whether it is fund applications, articles etc. it is a great opportunity to meet fellow SDC PhDs and draw inspiration among peers. Information about venue and programme is sent out by e-mail well in advance.


Application for enrolment and admission to UCAS, residence permit and specific UCAS related issues

Xin Wang

CN PhD plan/specifics about UCAS PhD regulations – double degree etc.

Yiwei Wang

Your CN-supervisor

Chinese PhD Supervisors

Yiwei Wang

Course information and credit transfer

Yuxiao Yang

Chinese Language and Panorama course

Yuxiao Yang

Questions outside of the above

The Danish SDC Office:

SDC Powerpoint Template

If you need to add SDC's visual identity to your presentations, you may download our Powerpoint Template.

For enquiries regarding the templates, reach out to Michael Bihlet or Lonnie Høgh.

Be aware that you must click the "Insert New Slide" drop down menu within Powerpoint to access the different slide templates.