Harvard China Faculty Grant Program - Overview

Partnerships: Teaching and Research Across the Pacific

As the major internal funder of Harvard research related to China, the Harvard China Fund administers the Harvard China Faculty Grant Program to advance the research goals of Harvard faculty and improve the education of Harvard students, in collaboration with Chinese partners. The Fund also provides course development grants to faculty in order to support summer research in China leading to the creation of new courses with a focus on China.

Since 2007, the Harvard China Faculty Grant Program has awarded over $2.2 million in grants to 24 faculty from across the University. A sampling of funded projects includes:

archaeology • cataloguing of local histories • civil society/nonprofit organizations • crisis management research/training • disability law and rights • economic growth/air pollution control • health systems reform • humanities education • insurance access • landscape and ecological urbanism • medical training • mental health stigma • moral and civic engagement • seismic hazard assessment • social injustice • village development • water purification

Every school at Harvard has multiple projects and academic partners in China. Beginning in 2011, an Annual Research Symposium is held at the Harvard Center Shanghai to generate research proposals and promote scholarly exchange between Harvard faculty and their Chinese colleagues. These symposia address the following key themes: Humanities and Higher Education • Public Health • Civil Society and Governance • Energy and Environment

FY08 Awards    FY09 Awards    FY10 Awards    FY11 Awards    FY12 Awards    FY13 Awards

In its first year (FY08), the Harvard China Faculty Grant Program fielded 28 proposals from faculty across the University and awarded grants to four different Schools (HKS, HLS, HMS, SEAS).

“The Harvard Project on Disability” ($160K) William Alford (HLS) and colleagues, both here and in China, will spend three years conducting research on disability issues, helping build capacity in Chinese universities, offering advice regarding legal development, and working with pertinent civic organizations for persons with disabilities (who may number some 130 million). This remains, as the proposal puts it, a “much-neglected area” of law and services. http://www.hpod.org/

“Crisis Management: Research and Executive Training in Collaboration with Tsinghua University” ($150K) Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard, who holds professorial appointments in the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Business School, and HKS colleagues will develop, with Tsinghua University, executive-education programs for emergency preparedness and response to crises during their 18-month project. http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/taubmancenter/emergencyprep/

“Reconciling Economic Growth and Air Pollution Control in China: An Integrated Approach” ($121K) Michael McElroy and Chris Nielsen, executive director of the Harvard China Project, both of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will direct a two-year project in collaboration with Tsinghua to build scholarly capacity—from basic science to economic modeling and public-health studies—to assess China’s policies for controlling air pollution. (Nielsen co-edited Clearing the Air: The Health and Economic Damages of Air Pollution in China, an integrated Harvard-Tsinghua analysis of the health and economic damages of air pollution in China, and the costs and benefits of policies to control it.)

“The Dragon's Kidney's—Medical Training and the National Standards of Care in China” ($50K) A smaller 1-year grant was awarded to the Harvard Medical School-Brigham and Women’s Hospital team of Dr. Dirk Hentschel and Dr. Joseph Bonventre for joint medical training to address China’s emerging problems of kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

FY08 Awards    FY09 Awards    FY10 Awards    FY11 Awards    FY12 Awards    FY13 Awards

In FY09, proposals were submitted by 23 applicants and four grants were again awarded (FAS, GSD, HGSE, HMS).

“A Longitudinal Study of Childbearing and Childrearing in Two Chinese Cities” ($125K) The two-year grant awarded to Vanessa Fong (HGSE) and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (HGSE) will allow them to link two longitudinal studies of families in Dalian and Nanjing in order to examine the long-term implications of China’s one-child policy for childbearing and childrearing among young adults who were themselves born under that policy. Their study will be conducted in collaboration with Southeast University and Liaoning Normal University. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty_research/profiles/spon_proj.shtml?vperson_id=49495#spon_proj

“Villages in Development” ($175K)Margaret Crawford (GSD) was awarded a four-year grant to identify and analyze how a range of different Guangzhou villages in the Pearl River Delta might contribute to and be integrated into local urban and economic development in the region. She will conduct a joint seminar and studio sequence, collaborating with landscape and planning students and faculty at the South China University of Technology.

“Interdisciplinary Research and Training for Improved Access to and Use of Medicines in China” ($150K)In order to address China’s challenge of providing affordable access to essential medicines for its 1.3 billion citizens, Anita Wagner (HMS) and her colleagues at Harvard School of Public Health, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital University of Medical Sciences, the Beijing Public Health Insurance Committee, the Ministry of Health and WHO China will use a one-year grant to conduct research and training on medicines financing in the urban and rural health systems in China and expand the novel Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative to China. http://www.whoccpp.org/research/medic.asp

“Chinese Attitudes toward Inequality and Distributive Injustice: Changes at the Societal and Individual Level” ($100K)Martin Whyte (FAS-Sociology) will use his three-year grant to explore the patterns of change over time in Chinese citizen’s attitudes toward inequality and distributive injustice issues. Working with colleagues from Harvard, Yale, Oxford, UC-Irvine, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Beida, this national survey will build upon the findings of a comparable survey previously conducted in 2004. http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/node/91

FY08 Awards    FY09 Awards    FY10 Awards    FY11 Awards    FY12 Awards    FY13 Awards

The China Fund received 15 proposals in FY10 and final awards were granted to three recipients (2 in FAS, 1 in HSPH). A second grant program promoting course development was also launched.

“From Hunting and Gathering to Early Village Lifeways – Research & Teaching in China” ($50K) Ofer Bar-Yosef (FAS-Anthropology) will use his two-year grant to: 1) write a bi-lingual book on the technologies of making Chinese stone tools (including their method of classification and function); 2) teach two Harvard courses in the School of Archaeology and Museuology in Peking University; and 3) conduct joint excavations of an early village site with colleagues from the Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics of Hunan Province, Peking University, and Harvard University.

“Developing a Wintersession Course on China’s Health System Reforms” ($50K) Yuanli Liu (HSPH) was awarded a one-year grant to develop a comprehensive curriculum for a Harvard wintersession course on China's healthcare system reforms. This course will have three parts: 1) a preparatory seminar series at Harvard; 2) three weeks of field study culminating in a policy seminar with the Chinese Ministry of Health; and 3) a final research paper. A series of teaching cases will also be developed into a textbook for use by HSPH, HMS, KSG, and College professors.

“A Digital Archive for Chinese Local History” ($150K) The two-year grant awarded to James Robson and Michael Szonyi (FAS-East Asian Languages and Civilizations) will support the infrastructure and lay the foundations for a permanent digital archive of unique historical documents and materials collected in various localities in China. The archive project will yield three significant outcomes: 1) produce significant new research on the religion, culture, and society of Hunan province from the Qing dynasty to the present; 2) produce the world’s leading web-based archive for Chinese local historical materials; and 3) create new networks of scholarly collaboration.

FY08 Awards    FY09 Awards    FY10 Awards    FY11 Awards    FY12 Awards    FY13 Awards                

The fourth year of the program (FY11) produced 30 applications, the largest and strongest yield to date. Six grants were awarded (FAS x2, GSD, HGSE, HKS, and HMS).

“Landscape and Ecological Urbanism: Future Alternatives for Beijing” ($30K) Distinguished GSD alumnus Kongjian Yu offered an advanced studio course in spring 2010 related to an existing Peking University program he runs in collaboration with the Beijing Land Bureau and the Beijing Planning Bureau. The studio was conducted with the support of Jane Hutton and Steve Ervin from the GSD. Students performed site analysis using social and economic questionnaires, and developed various urban and landscape strategies for the region based on analysis of the landscape and ecosystems, social economic context, and regional and global comparative studies.

“Course Development – “The Economy of China” ($90K) To address growing student interest and a lack of current offerings at Harvard, John Campbell (FAS-Economics) has proposed to create a visiting professorship to cover the teaching gap. Qualified candidates will specialize in Chinese or Asian economic development as their main research focus and will be knowledgeable about the broader political and social context. Ideally, they will also have a command of at least one major East Asian Language.

“Addressing Stigma to Improve Care for Persons with Serious Mental Illness in China” ($100K) In collaboration with colleagues from the Shanghai Mental Center and the Peking University Institute for Mental Health, Byron Good (HMS) and Arthur Kleinman (HMS/FAS-Anthropology) will spend two years: 1) piloting an innovative model of family support group intervention; developing a strategic plan for addressing social stigma associated with mental illness in China; and organizing a set of seminars and workshops to advance student research on the topic.

“Young People and Civic Engagement in a Changing Society ($100K) Robert Selman (HGSE/HMS) and Helen Haste (HGSE) were awarded a two-year grant to explore how Chinese school students conceptualize and experience citizenship and civic and ethical decision-making. The project will involve professors and students from East China Normal University, and broaden our understanding of cultural factors and developmental processes at stake in modern Chinese society.

“Improving Seismic Hazard Assessment in China and the United States Based on Lessons Learned from the 2008 Wenchuan (M7.9) Earthquake” ($100K) The two-year grant awarded to John Shaw (FAS-Earth and Planetary Sciences) will enable him to develop state-of-the-art community fault and velocity models for the Sichuan area that will serve as the basis for an improved understanding of earthquake hazards in the region. Collaborations with Nanjing University and PetroChina will lead to field work and research in China, student exchanges, joint publications in scientific journals, and a new course at Harvard on the active tectonics of China.

“Developing a Curriculum on Civil Society and Nonprofit Organizations in China” ($100K)
Christopher Stone and Anthony Saich (HKS) will spend 1.5-years building a cross-discipline curriculum about the development of the citizen sector in China, focusing on understanding the uniqueness of China’s nonprofits against the special political, economic, and cultural backgrounds of China. The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations will provide programmatic and administrative support in recruiting a team of seminar speakers, supporting teaching faculty, organizing field trips and workshops in China, and partnering with foundations, universities and government agencies in China.

FY08 Awards    FY09 Awards    FY10 Awards    FY11 Awards    FY12 Awards    FY13 Awards                

In its 5th year, the faculty grant program solicited 12 applications and launched an Annual Research Symposium at the Harvard Center Shanghai. The inaugural symposium theme focused on “Humanities and Higher Education” and helped generate proposal topics for the FY12 cycle. Ultimately, five grants were awarded (FAS x3, GSD, HMS).

“Landscape and Ecological Urbanism: Future Alternatives for Beijing Part 3” ($30K) Visiting Professor Kongjian Yu will offer part 3 of his advanced studio course in spring 2012, assisted by visiting Critic Adrian Blackwell and GSD Lecturer Stephen Ervin, and again in conjunction with Peking University. The same over-arching issues will be addressed as in the past two studios: the social, ecological, urbanistic, and other impacts of the expansion of Beijing into its periphery, particularly emphasizing the new 'foothills strategy' to prevent further urbanization from spreading into the agricultural plains, and rather encourage development up into the foothills of the surrounding mountains to the west and north. This year's study area is the Qinglonghu township, Fangshan district, 60 km southwest of Beijing. http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k85184

“Low-cost Water Purification Systems for Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water in Rural China” ($99,000) In collaboration with colleagues at Tianjin University, Peter Girguis (FAS-Organismic & Evolutionary Biology) will spend 1.5 years conducting “open source” research to develop a small-scale system that uses energy derived from biomass to remove arsenic from drinking water at a high rate and low cost.

“Humanities Education for Non-Humanities Undergraduates” ($88,100) Jay Harris (FAS-Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations) and Billy So (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology) have been awarded 2 years of funding to organize workshops and a forum to examine and reflect on humanities general education at the two universities and other sample cases, with the goal of engaging in the broader discourse on humanities education for non-humanities majors in a global age.

“Harvard Medical School Medical Mandarin” ($9,450) Over the next 1.5 years, Qin Shan (HMS-Children’s Hospital) will assist HMS/HSDM/HSPH students in developing basic language skills to communicate effectively with Mandarin-speaking patients. Students will be taught common medical Mandarin terms and expressions and gain a thorough understanding of traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese culture through language study. http://medcatalog.harvard.edu/coursedetails.aspx?cl=preclinicall&id=17067

“Embodied Cosmology: or Cognitive Archeology of Early Chinese Tombs” ($45,000) Together with colleagues at Sichuan University, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the Institute of Han Pictorial Art at Beida, Eugene Wang (FAS-History of Art and Architecture) will spend 2.5 years studying Han cliff tombs to align materiality-driven disciplines (archeology and art history) with concept-driven disciplines (religion, intellectual history) in the study of the technology of the body and cosmic consciousness in ancient China. Ultimately, Professor Wang will develop a new course and produce a manuscript based on his findings.

FY08 Awards    FY09 Awards    FY10 Awards    FY11 Awards    FY12 Awards    FY13 Awards

The second annual symposium addressed the theme "The Current Situation of Health in China," and yielded 26 proposals for FY13. In its 6th year, the faculty grant program gave out three awards (HSPH x2, HMS).

“Advance Implementation Science for Rural Health System Reforms in China” ($50K) Over the next 1.5 years, William Hsiao (HSPH) will conduct a study with faculty and students from the Tongji Medical School of Huazhong University of Science & Technology to analyze and compare current implementations of health system reforms in rural areas of western China. His team will investigate how local governments interpret national policy and how they issue directives to and govern township health centers (THCs).

Patient-Physician Trust and Mistrust in China: A Qualitative Study ($120K) Arthur Kleinman (FAS/HMS) and Eric Campbell (HMS),  together with collaborators Joseph Tucker (Univ. of North Carolina), Nie Jing-Bao (Univ. of Otago, New Zealand), and Wei Zhu (Fudan Univ.), will spend the next three years conducting a study to investigate patient-physician trust in China using a biosocial approach that integrates anthropological, sociological, normative ethical, cross-country comparative and social policy analyses. Their findings will ultimately establish a set of recommendations for health systems interventions, communication strategies, and medical training reform in order to rebuild patient-physician trust throughout China.

Improving Public Health Through Strengthening Health Information System in Urban and Rural China: An Evaluation and Demonstration Project ($100K) Together with colleagues from the Minhang District of Shanghai and Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province,  Yuanli Liu and Ashih Jha (HSPH) will spend the next year analyzing the implementation and effective use of Health Information Technology (HIT) in urban and rural settings. Using Minhang District as a model, they will determine the impact of HIT adoption on quality of care, especially on the effectiveness of chronic diseases management, and assess which lessons from Minhang can be applied to areas of Western China, such as Wenchuan County.