Deadline: Sunday, February 28, 2021 @ 11:59 PM CT

The Tsinghua University – University of Chicago Joint Research Center for Economics and Finance is pleased to announce its annual call for research proposals. The goal of this funding opportunity is to support frontier academic research that provides new understanding and insights on the Chinese economy broadly and on important issues in Chinese economic policy. The Joint Center will therefore consider funding a number of research proposals proposals on topics in all relevant areas of economics and finance in China.

Grants are available for conducting research activities, including but not limited to the purchase of data, hiring of research assistants, and travel. Proposals must include faculty from both the University of Chicago and Tsinghua University whose primary findings will become available within 24 months. A list of the Joint Center’s inaugural research grants can be found here.

For questions, UChicago faculty should email Professor Zhiguo He and Tsinghua University faculty should email Professor Yi Lu.


This funding opportunity is open to all tenure-track faculty at the University of Chicago and Tsinghua University. Applications from current PhD students will be considered, but must include a letter of support from a tenure-track faculty member. Proposals must include faculty from both the University of Chicago and Tsinghua University whose primary findings will become available within 24 months. 


The Joint Center can help scholars gain access to three datasets that are housed in Tsinghua University. Researchers from UChicago and Tsinghua University who are interested in exploring these datasets together can express potential interest, and the Joint Center will “match” common interest in the same dataset. Please submit requests for data by February 12, 2021. Visit the Joint Center data page for more information.


In normal circumstances, each project will be limited with a funding cap of $50,000. A significant share of grant funding will be paid in Chinese Yuan through the Joint Center. Applicants should keep in mind that all expenditures associated with Chinese funds should occur in China.


Joint Center directors will together consider proposals from scholars at Tsinghua University and the University of Chicago. Award decisions will be announced in March 2021.


  1. Grant period: We expect project expenses to be complete within 24 months of the initial award.
  2. Progress reporting: Researchers awarded funding will be required to provide a summary progress report with key milestones and progress toward research goals at the end of year one. A final project report must be submitted within 60 days of completion of the grant period.
  3. Research Publicity: The Joint Center expects to publicize all research results from research publications associated with these grants.
  4. Participate in Joint Center activities: Grantees may be requested to participate in Joint Center activities. Activities may include: distributing working papers through the Joint Center working paper series, participating in evidence workshops, making presentations to Joint Center donors and potential partners, and other relevant tasks.
  5. Credit Joint Center: Any presentations and publications intended for the public domain, including policy briefs, press releases, blogs, and newsletters that emerge from projects should credit the Joint Center, as approved by the co-directors. When appropriate, the official logos of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago should also be included, subject to each institution’s prior approval. 
  6. Data publication: Our goal is to share all data acquired and generated with the aid of the grant as appropriate and as permitted within relevant legal restrictions. The Joint Center will grant exceptions in cases where legal or ethical reasons preclude data release.

  • Proposals that explain the research design and strategy will tend to receive more support than proposals that only include cursory descriptions of the researcher’s plan.
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