Soochow - Western 2+2 Ph.D. ProgramWestern Science


About 2+2

What is “2+2”?

2+2 is a joint PhD program established between Soochow University in China and the University of Western Ontario (Western) in Canada. Students admitted to this program will spend two years at Soochow and two years at Western. They are jointly supervised by professors from each university and are expected to complete a research project related to Synchrotron Radiation. Once all program requirements are successfully achieved, students can expect to receive a PhD degree from Western.

Is the 2+2 Ph.D. program a new degree program at Western?

It is a new avenue for admission into a Western PhD program. The PhD program to which you are admitted depends on the participating department to which you apply at Western. You must fulfil the program and departmental degree requirements. Your degree will be conferred by your home department at Western.

What are the most distinctive advantages of the 2+2 program?

Students expertise will be cultivated in a highly interdisciplinary and multi-cultural research environment, involving China, Canada and other countries. Students will benefit from hands-on training with multiple world-leading scientists and develop complementary skills and expertise through access to unique synchrotron radiation facilities and tools.

What is the “Soochow University – Western University Centre for Synchrotron Radiation Research”?

The Soochow University-Western University Centre for Synchrotron Radiation Research (or the Centre) was officially established in November 2012 at Soochow University and is operating as a research centre both at Soochow and Western University. The Centre Director is Professor of Chemistry T.K. Sham of Western University. Currently, the Centre membership includes 17 Western faculty and 7 Soochow faculty. The mandate of the Centre is to promote exchange and collaboration in both research and training in the area of synchrotron radiation research.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is determined by the department to which you will apply. Click here for more details.

Do I have to have a Master’s degree be eligible for the 2+2 program?

See the detailed admission requirements of participating departments here.

Do I have to contact a potential supervisor before I apply for the 2+2 program?

Since this 2+2 program requires joint supervision from both universities, it is highly recommended that you contact a professor who is a member of the Centre and whose research area is of your primary interest, either at Western or at Soochow. You will not need to find the joint supervisor yourself; your primary supervisor will do that for you.

Are there admission requirements from Soochow University to be met?

Although the 2+2 program involves the collaboration of both universities, the only admission requirements you are obliged to meet are those specified by Western University.

What is the English language proficiency requirement for the 2+2 program?

If your first language is not English, you must meet the English proficiency requirements as specified by the School of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies and the home department to which you intend to apply.

What is the language requirement for studying at Soochow University during the 2+2 program?

Although Chinese is the native language used for daily life in China, English is sufficient for academic purposes and is used extensively at Soochow University.

Is this 2+2 program exclusively for students of Soochow University or students from China?

No. The program is open for all eligible students from all over the world, including China, Canada and other countries.

I’m interested in pursuing a PhD with a professor at Western who is not a member of the Centre. Will I still be eligible to participate in the 2+2 program?

The 2+2 joint PhD program requires that synchrotron radiation (SR) be the essential component of your research project. As such, only Centre faculty members are eligible supervisors for 2+2 program applicants.

Fees and Finance

Other Information

Do I have to spend exact two years at each University, and which one first?

Your residency pattern and determination of which site will be chosen to host you first are dependent on the requirements of your home department at Western and those of your supervisors. You will need to officially register at each university for a cumulative period of two academic years. The number of days that you are physically present at each university is not specified.

Do I have to pay the travel expenses for trips between China and Canada, as required by my residency?

All program-related travels, when determined necessary for research purpose and approved by your supervisor(s), including trips to synchrotron facilities, will be covered by the supervisors. This excludes your initial voyage to and final trip from Western, i.e., joining and leaving the university.

I don’t speak Chinese at all. Will it be a problem when I study at Soochow?

Although Chinese is the native language used for daily life in China, English is sufficient for academic purposes.