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Mandarin Language Scholars Program

The Mandarin Language Scholars Program is an opportunity for young Indian scholars and practitioners to develop a working knowledge of the Mandarin language for research, teaching, or professional work, through one-year intensive Mandarin Language training in Taiwan.

A fully funded program, the fellowship is open to applicants from different backgrounds-academia, research, or practitioners. The applicant must have a proven record of working with or on China. For instance, scholars applying to the fellowship should either be pursuing their Masters’ or PhD in China Studies (or an associated field) or have finished their PhDs no earlier than 2016. Practitioners who work in a field with a specific focus on China can also apply.

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Program Details 

The Mandarin Language Scholars Fellowship Program will fund up to 5 fellows to pursue an intensive, one-year Mandarin Language course in Taiwan. The fellows will be placed at the Mandarin Training Centre (MTC) at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), Taiwan.

The program will be divided into 4 terms, each of a duration of 3 months. The program will include 15 hours of intensive classes, and up to 5 hours of one-to-one classes per week.

Fellows will be required to take a pre-course language assessment test that will help NTNU determine their current knowledge of Mandarin. Based on this test, the fellows will be placed in a batch of 6-9 scholars with similar capabilities for the duration of the program.

The academic session for the founding batch of the Mandarin Language Scholars Program will commence on July 2022. The fellows will be shortlisted by a Fellowship Selection Committee comprising of leading Indian and international experts on China.

At the end of the Program, the fellows will receive a course completion certificate from National Taiwan Normal University. They will also be required to take the HSK/TOCFL certification exam.

Fellowship Funding

The classes at National Taiwan Normal University will be fully funded by the Mandarin Language Scholars Program. In addition to that, scholars will be given a monthly stipend of INR 1,50,000/- to cover all living expenses, including a house rent allowance and medical insurance. Scholars will also receive INR 75,000/- to cover their round-trip travel expense to and from Taiwan.


Applicants need to meet the following criteria for the Mandarin Language Scholars Program:

  • Applicants can either be:

    • Scholars who are either currently enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program in China Studies, or have finished their PhDs no earlier than 2016, with a specific China focus across various disciplines of humanities and the social sciences;


    • Practitioners who work closely on China and require to learn the language to further their research/work;

  • Applicants need to be Indian citizens, or permanent residents of India;
  • For scholars applying with a Master’s or PhD in China Studies, prior training in the Mandarin Language (HSK 2 or equivalent) will be preferred. In case candidates do not have any training in Mandarin, they will be asked to answer an additional question to explain why they have not invested in language learning so far, and why now is the right time for them to learn Mandarin;
  • For applicants from professional background, prior knowledge of Mandarin is not mandatory. However, candidates will be expected to explain why learning the language is important for them and how it will support their work further.

Selection Process

The selection process would take place over two stages. In Stage 1, fellows will be selected based on their written application. In Stage 2, shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by the Fellowship Selection Committee.

Stage 1

  • In Stage 1, applicants will be expected to apply through an application form, which will include:

    • Statement of intent detailing their interests in learning Mandarin Language and the relevance of learning the language for their long-term goals,

    • Details of applicant’s academic background, qualifications, and work experience,

    • A brief note on their aspiration to contribute to the field of China Studies.

  • Additionally, applicants will be required to submit their academic transcripts from all graduate and postgraduate level programs.

  • Applicants will provide one letter of recommendation from an academic advisor/scholar in universities/research institutions or from their supervisor at work.

  • Applicants selected in Stage 1 will be invited for an interview with the Fellowship Selection Committee.

Stage 2

  • Applicants will be interviewed by a Fellowship Selection Committee. The committee will assess applicants based on their commitment to pursue Mandarin language training academically, presence of necessary rigor to undergo a one-year intensive language course, and their intent to contribute to Indian academia through the learning of the language.

Important Dates





Application Start Date

December 6, 2021


Application Deadline

February 12, 2022


Announcement of Founding Cohort

March 1, 2022


Start of the Semester

July, 2022

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