VISHC PhD Scholarship and Postdoc Fellowship Program


One of the key missions of the VinUni-Illinois Smart Health Center is to train the next-generation workforce, help build the VinUni-Illinois collaboration, and advance the field of Smart Health. With a funding of $13.5 million by Vingroup over ten years, the Center aims to train 50 Masters students, 50 Ph.D. students (25 with degrees granted by VinUni and 25 with degrees granted by Illinois), and 10 Postdoctoral Scholars from Vietnam to study and conduct research at both VinUni and Illinois. This program is designed to foster a long-term academic and research collaboration between VinUni and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Each VISHC-funded project runs for up to 10 years, supporting up to 5 Ph.D. Students and 1 Postdoc. During the first 5 years of the project, the research team can recruit and enroll Ph.D. students. These students are expected to finish within 10 years of funding from VISHC, by 2032.


According to the VinUni-Illinois Smart Health Center agreement, below we outline the terms of the Ph.D. and Postdoc scholarship to support PIs in their recruiting. Please note the following:

  • Each VISHC PhD student will have co-advisors from both institutions. Typically, each PhD student will be admitted and spend the first 2 years at the degree-granting (home) institution, then the next 2 years at the other (host) institution, and then the final year back at the home institution to defend their thesis.
  • Students will be from Vietnam and may receive their degree from either VinUniversity or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In each funded project, 3 students are expected to receive their Ph.D. degree from one institution, and 2 from the other. The distribution between the two institutions is left to the project’s PIs.
  • Ph.D. students will need to complete the Ph.D. degree requirements of the home institution, which typically includes a qualifying exam, a preliminary exam, and a final defense.
  • Each VISHC Ph.D. student will directly receive a $10k/year stipend during their PhD study at VinUni and a $25k/year stipend during their PhD study at UIUC. Their faculty advisors and schools may provide supplemental funding (in terms of Research Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship) to bring them up to the level of stipend similar to other Ph.D. students at the studying university. VISHC Ph.D. students will receive graduate tuition remission to cover tuition costs under the VISHC agreement between VinUni and UIUC.
  • In addition to the full scholarships and stipends provided to each student, $20k will be made available when each Ph.D. student enrolls at the home institution, and then another $20k when the student visits the other institution. These funds may be used by the faculty advisors to support the research of the Ph.D. student and the project, as well as seed funding for obtaining external funding.
  • The VISHC Postdoc Fellow will be from Vietnam and is expected to spend one year at UIUC and one year at VinUni, in any order.
  • Each VISHC Postdoc Fellow will receive a total salary of $90,000 for two years, of which $30,000 will be for conducting research at VinUni and $60,000 at UIUC.

The VinUni-Illinois Smart Health Center looks forward to working with research teams in growing their efforts, training the next-generation workforce, building the VinUni-Illinois collaboration, and advancing the field of Smart Health. For questions or feedback, please reach out to Minh Do ( and Hieu Pham (