Duthie-Secchia Fellowship for Doctoral Research on Contemporary China

Fellowships for UCLA Ph.D. students' doctoral research addressing contemporary social issues in China

Duthie-Secchia Fellowship for Doctoral Research on Contemporary China

Due 4/17/2017

Online Application


v. The fellowship is awarded to UCLA Ph.D. students who are registered and enrolled for the academic year of 2016-17.

v. The fellowship is awarded to facilitate doctoral research addressing social issues of contemporary relevance in China.

v. Students from any department are welcome to apply; however preference will be given to those projects that have a clear connection to social issues in contemporary China.

v. Fellowship at the range of $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded based on compatibility of research proposal, student merits, and other funding available to students. 

v. Fellowship recipient is required to provide a one-page summary of research outcomes (such as conference presentations, dissertation chapters, or publications) and a picture of her/his research for dissemination on UCLA/CCS website and social media.


Research Proposal Guidelines (4-6 pages, double-spaced)

Describe your research project, include the following:

v. A precise statement of the project and its key objectives;

v. Preliminary budget, field site location, design of work, and timeline for completion;

v. Plan of publications, conference presentations or other public dissemination that can be expected from the work.


Check List

v. Curriculum Vitae

v. Research Proposal (see details above)

v. Faculty Recommendation Letter from committee chair (or a faculty who is most familiar with your work).


Award recipients will be contacted on 5/8/2017.

Please fill out the online application and upload all required documents HERE

You may review and revise your application anytime before the deadline (April 17, 2017)


2016 Summer Recipients

My PhD research analyzes the rapid growth of small hydropower in China as the country's first renewable energy technology, which is promoted as a model of 'green development' to other countries. To research this process, I 'follow the technology' from centers of policy-making in Beijing, to implementation in rural Yunnan, to 'export' through international training programs in Hangzhou. With the support of the Duthie-Secchia Fellowship in summer 2016, I was able to travel two rural counties in Yunnan to better situate my original case study research.

First, I travelled to Maguan county in Wenshan prefecture, Yunnan, which rapidly developed small hydropower in the mid-2000s to power local mining and mineral processing facilities. While there, I interviewed government officials at the prefecture and county levels, and visited four hydropower plants. After a few days of interviews in Beijing, I then returned to Yunnan and made my way to Gongshan county in Nujiang prefecture, one of China's most remote regions (and 30+ hours of travel from Kunming). As in Wenshan, I interviewed local officials and visited several hydropower plants. 

This fieldwork has given me a much more comprehensive understanding of small hydropower development in China, and has resulted in two papers currently under review for publication. Thank you again to the Center for Chinese Studies for supporting my research!

I spent a total of five months in Chengdu, Sichuan while on the Duthie-Secchia fellowship (combined with other funding) and my experiences there has really expanded the way I'm framing my research. The project started as an ethnographic case study of congregational dancers; I intended to look at the way they make meaning of their own lives under the backdrop of quickly changing kinship dynamics and a state that is increasingly disinterested in providing care for elderly and/or unemployed people. What I realized during the course of my research was that "dancing grannies" are already a self-selected group, and that if I want to understand the full picture of how retired people are faring in post-reform society, I will also need to look at people who do not have the means or the motivation to seek fulfilling activities and relationships by themselves. In order to address this blind spot in my research, I am going to spend a few months of the second phase of my research protocol with a local social work agency that conducts home visits to older adults who are socially isolated. 

Chengdu is a great place to do work, and I'm very grateful for the support of this fellowship. It allowed me to get an apartment closer to the university, where I met with an advisor in the sociology department on a weekly basis. The extra funding also allowed me to take part in many social activities with my informants, which opened up new connections and deeper insights into their outlooks.

During the funding period of Duthie-Secchia Fellowship, I have been mainly working on two papers aimed at journal publishing.
The first paper, “Which Chinese Cities Are More Inclusive, and Why?”, examines variations across Chinese cities in terms of their inclusiveness towards urban migrants and explores potential causes to such heterogeneity. We find great disparities in the provision of local public service to migrants exist in Chinese cities with similar economic productivity and natural amenities; local fiscal capacity, current economic openness and the exposure to a diverse culture in recent history help further explain the level of a city’s inclusiveness to new comers. This paper is going to be presented at the “Urban Studies Special Issue workshop” this May and the 11th International Association for China Planning (IACP) Conference this June. It is also scheduled to submit to the Urban Studies, a tier one journal in my field, very soon.

The second paper, “Urban Inclusiveness, Migration and Productivity in China”, seeks to understand how urban inclusiveness to urban migrants affects the human capital concentration in a city via influencing the quantity and quality of urban migration flow, and to further investigate how urban inclusiveness affects urban productivity in the Chinese context. We find more inclusive cities tend to attract more well-educated migrants, whereas urban inclusiveness has no significant effect on the size of less-educated migrant population. More inclusive cities tend to be more productive (i.e., having higher nominal wages), although inclusiveness increases the nominal wage of well-educated migrants much more than it does for less-educated migrants. This paper is going to be presented at the 2017 Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference this April and the 11th International Association for China Planning (IACP) Conference this June.

Lack of sufficient alternative funding sources for my living stipend and tuition over the period during which I carry out the research, the Duthie-Secchia Fellowship from UCLA Center for Chinese Studies has been a valuable financial support for me. It has reduced much of my stress from financial concerns and allows me to make significant progress in my research over this period. Without the fellowship’s help, I was not able to have accomplished so much. I sincerely appreciate the generous support for PhD students from UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and the Duthie-Secchia Fellowship!

For more info please contact:
Center for Chinese Studies