In 2014, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UT) formed the China-UT EcoPartnership Scholars Program with China Agricultural University, Nanjing University, and the Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The purpose of the program is to foster research, education, and other international collaborations in accord with the University’s land grant mission. Over the next several years, gifted Chinese students will attain their PhD degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in collaborative arrangements between UT and Chinese faculty. Areas of study include agriculture, biology, climate, ecology, economics, environmental engineering, environmental sciences and natural resources, food science, renewable energy, water, and clean technology
Highly talented students from across China are recruited by the Chinese partners to enter the program and obtain their MS degree at one of the three Chinese universities. UT faculty may serve on their MS committee. After successfully completing the Masters degree, students are eligible to apply to UT for one of the PhD programs that are included in the EcoPartnership program. Selected students may then apply for a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council provided specifically for the program through one of the partnering Chinese universities. Chinese faculty members from the student’s MS program institution are encouraged to serve on the PhD committee.
Scholarships provide sufficient funding for living expenses, including health insurance, and travel to and from the US. Research and tuition costs are paid for by UT faculty or departments, with the out-of-state tuition costs waived. Progression into a PhD program at UT is contingent upon the availability of a sponsoring UT faculty member.
Each student is expected to publish at least two refereed journal articles from their PhD program. Each student will receive, in addition to their PhD degree, a “Certificate of Completion as a China-UT EcoPartnership Scholar” upon successful completion of their PhD. Students then return to China to seek a faculty position or other employment.