Collaborative PhD with SusTech
Collaborative PhD with SUSTech
SUSTech has become an important epicentre for science and technology research in China. In August 2016 we signed a partnership agreement to establish a collaborative PhD mobility programme. As SUSTech is a new university, the partnership supports it with gaining a licence for awarding PhDs, while for Warwick funded PhDs students increase our research capacity and peer reviewed publications.
How did this work?
The programme recruits five Joint PhD students a year to spend two years developing their talents at the University of Warwick, followed by a further two years at SUSTech. This innovates research as the co-supervisors from each University have different specialisms and PhD students go on to develop distinctive research skills.
First Awards of PhD
Yvonne Chen was one of the first students from the programme to be awarded her PhD under the supervision of Professor Yongmann Chung and Professor Minping Wan. She arrived at Warwick with an outstanding reference from Imperial College and had already had her undergraduate research published in a top journal.
Student Focus and Experience
During the first two years, Yvonne used theoretical approaches to investigate flow dynamics using scientific computing simulations at Warwick. For her final two years she moved to SUSTech to focus on experimental approaches. Fulfilling the requirements of two different institutions required her to manage her time effectively and be highly organised. Her supervisors were flexible and supportive as she made the transition from data-based research to experimental work.
Pandemic lockdowns in both China and the UK did not have a significant impact on Yvonne’s research as her PhD was data and modelling focused. Once she completed her final project in China, and had published papers, she excelled at defending her research at her online viva, and she was awarded her PhD. This gave her the knowledge and skills needed to continue her journey in the academic field. She is now continuing her research career as Postdoc researcher in the Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering at SUSTech.
"The joint PhD programme between Warwick and SUSTech has been a challenging and rewarding experience for me. During the first two years of my study at the University of Warwick, I was patiently guided by my supervisor in establishing my research project. I enjoyed the great dynamic in our research group which has many other international students, and we helped each other both academically and in life. The department was very supportive and provided great opportunities in academic outreach and transferrable skills." - Dr Yvonne Chen
The scholarships are open to students of any nationality or institution who meet eligibility criteria. As SUSTech teaches entirely in English, candidates do not need prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese (though SUSTech offers supplementary courses in Chinese language during the two years of residence there to help with day-to-day language needs outside the campus).
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