PhD Studentship - The Role of Government Subsidies in High-Tech Firms’ Access to External Finance

International Business School Suzhou (IBSS), Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in accounting, finance or economics disciplines. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, or an equivalent qualification, if the first language is not English. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality. 

The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program. 

The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 3500 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award.  It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project.

Project Description:
Innovation has become a vital engine for sustainable economic growth in China, particularly in the aftermath of 2007-08 global financial crisis and under the current reforms of market and economic structure in China. However, financial constraints have been identified in the literature as one of the major obstacles to the proliferation of innovation-intensive firms. Facing such market failure, the Chinese government has actively tried to help the development of high-tech firms by both introducing various government-subsidized R&D programs and improving policies of patent applications.

This research project will investigate the role of both government R&D programs and patents as quality signals on Chinese high-tech firms’ access to external financing. The social responsibility of innovation firms will also be investigated. 

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): Please visit

How to Apply:
Interested applicants are advised to email the following documents and copy  (please put the project title in the subject line).

  • CV
  • Two reference letters with company/university letterhead
  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
  • Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of above 6.5 or equivalent is required
  • Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
  • Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required) 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. Li XIE (

Please email (principal supervisor’s email address) and copy with a subject line of the PhD project title

To learn more about working and living in China, please visit:

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Asia & Middle East

* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed