"A strong competition"

July 08, 2011
Kelly Haggart

Nineteen young Chinese economists, assisted by almost as many respected senior scholars, are breaking new ground as they explore new frontiers of applied research on poverty and inequality in China.

The Young China Scholars Poverty Research Network is an IDRC/CIGI collaboration that got off the ground in January 2006. The central idea has been to identify strong young researchers on poverty in China and to harness expertise within China and internationally to help develop their skills and promote their global profile.

Each scholar has been guided by at least one Chinese and one international mentor, who work closely with them as they produce a paper of original scholarship, written in English for international audiences. In all cases, the young scholars either address new research questions or take a fresh approach to familiar topics that merit deeper investigation. In most cases, they use existing poverty survey data, submitting it to more rigorous analysis than is sometimes the case.

Li Shi

In the first year, seven of 36 applicants were invited to join the network. Six scholars were selected in each of the next two years. Applicants had to be under 35. If they lacked a PhD, they had to show a solid record of achievement. Successful candidates received a grant to support a research and writing project to be completed within a year.

“The young scholars earned this support through a strong competition, which shows their research capabilities,” says the network’s Chinese coordinator, Li Shi, a professor of economics at Beijing Normal University and widely respected expert on poverty in China. “Their universities or research institutes will know that, and the network looks very good on their record.”


Learn more about this successful Canada-China collaboration: