Seeds of Innovation: Expanding Horizons in China - NCP Study Tour 2024

The 2024 Seeds of Innovation: Expanding Horizons in China study tour is a unique opportunity for eligible students to gain experience in scientific innovation and entrepreneurship.

Supported by The New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Project, this is a 2 week group study tour, in November to December 2024, to Sichuan Agricultural University, a prominent Chinese university contributing to research and innovation in sustainable agriculture and biotechnology.

This NCP Mobility Project will cultivate employability by immersing Faculty of Science students in dynamic academic lectures, hands-on workshops, site visits, and industry networking. By offering cutting-edge insights into agriculture, biotechnology, and sustainability, as well as cross-cultural competency through language courses and cultural activities, the study tour will empower students to thrive in a globalised workforce.

The theme for this year’s projects is Seeds of Innovation. Students will be asked to identify a challenge or opportunity for development relevant to their field of study and upon completion of the study tour, will propose a solution that leverages the local strengths of both the Chinese and Australian industries, and ties between the two.

Students will enrol in SCIE3050 or AGRC2031 alongside the study tour.

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to promote knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. NCP funding will support 13 students enrolled in relevant programs in the Faculty of Science to participate in a 2 week program based at Sichuan Agricultural University in China through a $3,000 AUD per student mobility grant.

The grant will cover study tour fees, including flights, the program fee, and living expenses. Please see more information in the Costs section below. Please also check the Eligibility section below before applying.

Program details


  • Pre-Departure Activities: Monday 18 to Friday 22 November 2024
  • China Study Tour: Saturday 23 November to Saturday 7 December 2024
  • Post-Return Activities: Wednesday 11 to Thursday 12 December 2024

Contact hours: Total program contact hours – 120 hours

Mode: In-person, International

Eligibility: Australian undergraduate students eligible for NCP, enrolled in eligible programs, and pre-approved by the Faculty of Science to enrol in AGRC2031 or SCIE3050 in Summer Semester 2024-25. Students must be Australian citizens.

Discipline areas: Agribusiness, Agricultural Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Ecology and Conservation Biology, Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Food Science and Nutrition, Food Technology, Genetics, Microbiology, Plant Science, Wildlife Science, Zoology.

Activities: Laboratory and site visits; presentations, lectures and workshops; networking events; Mandarin language classes; cultural activities and historical site tours

Passport and visa requirements: Participants are responsible for ensuring they have a valid Australian passport (with more than 6 months remaining from date of arrival in China) in a timely manner. Please note that you should allow a minimum of 6 weeks to get a new passport without paying for an urgent application, and you are required to have a valid passport by the end of August 2024.

For relevant travel advice, see the Smart Traveller website for China. 

This information is correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

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Important dates

  • Applications open: Wednesday 5 June 2024
  • Online application Q&A session: Wednesday 24 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm
  • Applications close: Sunday 11 August 2024 at 11:59pm AEST
  • Applicants will be advised of the outcome within 2 weeks of the application closing date
  • Program dates:
    • Pre-Departure Activities: Monday 18 to Friday 22 November 2024
    • China Study Tour: Saturday 23 November to Saturday 7 December 2024
    • Post-Return Activities: Wednesday 11 to Thursday 12 December 2024

Due to the tight turnaround time, if you are interested in partaking in this tour but do not have an Australian passport valid for 6 months from the date you will enter China, we strongly recommend applying for a passport when applying to the program. Waiting until you get accepted into the program could prevent you receiving a Chinese visa on time. If you don't have a valid passport when you receive an offer, you would need to apply for priority processing (additional $100-$290 fee) to have a chance of attending. 

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Information session

Register to attend the online application Q&A session to find out more about the program, funding and fees, eligibility, and how to apply.

Wednesday 24 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm Brisbane time (AEST)


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To be eligible to participate in this mobility program, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • be aged 18-28
    • Note: provisions are in place for a percentage of students over the age of 28 to participate
  • be an undergraduate student that is:
    • currently enrolled, and will be enrolled in Summer Semester 2024, in the following programs:
      • Bachelor of Agribusiness
      • Bachelor of Agricultural Science
      • Bachelor of Biotechnology
      • Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours)
      • Bachelor of Environmental Science
      • Bachelor of Wildlife Science
      • Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)
      • a dual degree program with one of the above programs/majors
      • students enrolled in other programs (including non-science programs) may be considered if they can enrol in AGRC2031 or SCIE3050 towards their program
    • completed at least 12 units of study by the end of Semester 2 2024
    • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.00
      • students who have a progression alert or intervention or have been required to submit a progression improvement plan in their most recent 12 units of enrolment at UQ may not be approved for overseas opportunities, even when their GPA is 4.00 or above
    • have 2 units elective space remaining in your program to complete the NCP-funded study tour towards AGRC2031 or SCIE3050 enrolment in Summer Semester 2024-25
  • be able to attend all activities including pre- and post-departure activities, and travel to China from late November to early December 2024, in Summer Semester 2024-25
  • hold (or be eligible for) a valid Australian passport with more than 6 months validity from the date of arrival in China

You will need to declare whether you have received a New Colombo Plan short-term mobility grant previously, as this may make you ineligible for this program (we will double-check this if you apply).  No knowledge of the Chinese language is required. 

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The $3,000 AUD mobility grant will be paid to successful applicants directly to cover costs associated with the study tour including:

  • approximately $1,600 for flights & visa
  • approximately $2,000 for program, accommodation & incidentals (includes single room with private bathroom)

The final program costs are subject to change. Any expenses additional to the $3,000 grant are to be paid by student participants (expected out-of-pocket expenses $300 to $600 AUD).

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How to apply and selection process

Apply now

Applications must be submitted through the online application form by Sunday 11 August 2024 at 11:59pm AEST. Late applications will not be accepted.

The following details will be requested in the online nomination form:

  • Name
  • Student ID number
  • UQ email address
  • Contact mobile phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Degree and plan in which the applicant is enrolled
  • Current year of study
  • Current cumulative grade point average
  • Equity/diversity groups e.g.
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
    • Low-socio-economic status background
    • From a regional or remote area
    • First in your immediate family to attend university
    • Non-English-speaking background
  • Citizenship or residency status
  • Previous NCP grant recipient status
  • Personal Statement, outlining why you would like to participate in this opportunity (250 words or less).

A selection panel consisting of representatives from the Faculty of Science will consider all applications and students will be selected based on academic merit and responses to application criteria. Students will be required to enrol in SCIE3050 or AGRC2031 at UQ. Preference may be given to applicants whose inclusion will promote diversity across equity groups and genders.

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Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the program, please get in touch.

Science International Team