The National Natural Science Fund is China’s largest fund for supporting basic research and applied research in natural sciences, particularly in the fields of physics and mathematics; chemistry; life sciences; earth sciences; engineering and materials; information sciences; and management sciences.
The Fund is administered by the Natural Science Foundation of China (“NSFC”), which was founded in 1986 under the State Council, and now under the supervision of MOST. The NSFC, which has a strong reputation of fairness and rigor in the management of scientific projects and grants, is responsible for directing, coordinating and making effective use of the National Natural Science Fund while stimulating free exploration, identifying and fostering scientific talents and teams, and promoting science and technology development in line with the country’s strategies and needs.
The NSFC’s funding system is divided into 14 different programmes, grouped under three categories: research promotion; talents fostering; and research environment. One of these programmes is exclusively directed to international joint research, the remaining target China-based actors, meaning that China-based affiliates of European institutes and European scientists working in China can apply too