UNC Project - China Fellowship

We are currently accepting applications for the 2019 - 2020 UNC Project-China Fellowship. The fellowship supports mentored research training opportunities for promising medical or graduate students. Our program provides a stipend, research and travel funding for 10-month research activities. 

Applications are due on 30th April, 2019. 





2. How to Apply


4. Benefits 

5. About UNC Project - China

UNC PROJECT - CHINA          Site Director: Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD

UNC has a long history of collaborative health research, service, and training in China. The mission of UNC Project - China is to work collaboratively to improve the health of China and promote UNC-Chapel Hill’s presence in China. UNC faculty, students, and trainees are leading research on non-communicable diseases, HIV and STIs, maternal and child health, and other global health areas.

China has tremendous inequalities and unique capacity for public health implementation, providing a dynamic and rich environment in which to pursue mentored research through the fellowship program. China’s rapid resurgence of sexually transmitted diseases creates opportunities for clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, and basic science research focused on sexual health. Large funded projects supported by the NIH, WHO, and Gates Foundation create opportunities for students to carve out parallel mentored research.

Students interested in working with UNC Project - China must demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin (preferable) or Cantonese during the interview.

Students will work in Guangzhou, Nanjing or Beijing, depending on the project. Contact Weiming Tang, MD, PhD (weiming_tang@med.unc.edu) to discuss the opportunities below.

Social entrepreneurship to spur health (SESH, www.seshglobal.org):

Key populations’ HIV testing uptake rate remain suboptimal. This project uses crowdsourcing to promote HIV testing among key populations. Crowdsourcing is the process of having a large group, including experts and non-experts, solve a problem and then share the solution with the public. The project initially focused on HIV testing among MSM/TG, but now has expanded to projects on hepatitis testing, the meaning of recovery among PWID, and HIV cure. Opportunities for qualitative and quantitative research are available.
Mentors: Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD; Kathryn Muessig, PhD; Rosanna Peeling, PhD.

Pay-it-forward (PIF):

This project uses the pay-it-forward model to improve chlamydia and gonorrhea testing among key populations. The pay-it-forward model has one person receive a gift (an STD test), then asks the same person if they would like to give a gift (an STI test) to another gay man. We have launched two RCTs in Beijing and Guangzhou. Opportunities for qualitative and quantitative research are available. 

Mentors: Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD; Weiming Tang, MD, PhD.


HIV Molecular Epidemiology:

This project uses phylogenetic analysis to identify molecular clusters of recent HIV infected men who have sex with men (MSM), and uses contact tracing to investigate the transmission networks and provide focusing intervention to the sex partners. The project will be conducted in Shenzhen, China. Opportunities for qualitative and quantitative research are available. 

Mentors: Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD; Weiming Tang, MD, PhD; Jin Zhao, PhD.


Chlamydia infection in pregnancy:

This UNC - Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center collaboration examines the impact of untreated Chlamydia infection on adverse pregnancy outcomes in Guangdong, China. This study also aims to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes through screening and other intervention strategies. This project is led by the Guangdong Provincial Center for STD Prevention and Research Center. 

Mentors: Bin Yang, PhD; Shixing Tang, PhD; Heping Zheng, PhD; Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD; and Weiming Tang, PhD.


Sexually Transmitted Infections:

China has a resurgent syphilis epidemic and some of the highest rates of purchasing sex among urban men of anywhere in the world. The Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center plays a key role in organizing a response to STIs in Guangdong, a southern province with a high syphilis burden. This provides unique opportunities for clinical, behavioral, epidemiological, and modeling STI research.

Mentors: Ligang Yang, MD, MS; Heping Zheng, PhD; Bin Yang, MD, MS; Arlene Sena, MD, MPH.


MSM-Competent Services Project:

Many MSM have difficulty finding MSM-competent physicians who provide evidence-based services. This project will develop a pilot m-health platform to help link MSM and MSM-competent physicians. This project is in partnership with the Shenzhen Nanshan District Centers for Disease Control.

Mentors: Joseph D. Tucker, MD, PhD, Zhenzhuo Luo, MS, Chongyi Wei, DrPH


HIV-HCV Co-infections: 

The Number Eight Hospital in Guangzhou sees over 3,700 patients living with HIV and has detailed data on a cohort of HIV-HCV co-infected patients. Clinical, behavioral, and basic science research opportunities are available.

Mentors: Stanley Lemon, MD; Joseph D. Tuck, MD, PhD; Weiping Cai, MD.


Immunobiology of syphilis (IBIS):

This UNC - Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center collaboration examines the biological basis for the syphilis serofast state and related syphilis clinical management issues. The team has created a bio-repository of specimens, with the medium-term goals of enhancing diagnostics and developing a syphilis vaccine. 

Mentors: Arlene Sena, MD, MPH or Heping Zheng, PhD.


  • Any medical or graduate student
  • Strong interests in mentored research training opportunities
  • Proficiency in Chinese

To complete your application for the fellowship, please email the following documents to Juan Nie at niejuan@seshglobal.org.

A complete core application consists of the following, assembled into one PDF. All documents must use twelve (12) pt. font:

  • Cover Letter (1-page limit)
    a) Reasons for undertaking global clinical research
    b) Plans for future professional or graduate education and long-term career plans (1-page limit)
  • Curriculum vitae (2-page limit)
  • ​Three References (please provide their name and email address)

Application Opens: January 1st, 2019

Application Due by April 30th, 2019

Application results notified: May, 2019

Expected arrival to site: August, 2019

Estimated time on site: 10 months

The benefits of this fellowship are consistent with Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship and UMJT Fellowship, which include: 

  •   30,000 USD stipend;     
  •   International airfares for a roundtrip between US and China;     
  •   Research funding to conduct research of interests.