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Liu Xiaobo Fellowships

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) is offering paid Fellowships to graduates of accredited Bachelor’s, Master’s, and J.D. Programs, or current graduate-level students. CECC Fellowship positions are filled twice a year. The Spring term (Part-Time, 15-20 hours per week) begins approximately in early February and ends in mid-May. The Summer term (Full-Time, 32-40 hours per week) begins approximately in mid-May and ends in August/September. The Commission may recruit additional fellows during the year based on internal needs. The precise start and end dates are determined based on the Commission’s schedule, and the end dates can be negotiated based on Fellows’ needs.  

The CECC’s Liu Xiaobo Fellowship was created in honor of renowned Chinese Nobel Prize laureate and prominent political prisoner Liu Xiaobo, who died in state custody in July 2017, just weeks after officials reported that he was battling late-stage liver cancer. A writer, former literature professor, and human rights advocate, Liu Xiaobo was among the chief authors of Charter 08, an open statement calling for political reform and greater protection of human rights in China. Charter 08 was released on December 10, 2008, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Human Rights Day. Liu was detained on December 8, 2008 and later arrested on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power” in connection with his work on Charter 08 and several political essays he wrote. At the time of his death, he had served nearly 8 years of an 11-year prison sentence. 

The Liu Xiaobo Fellowship provides significant professional experience for individuals possessing a background in Chinese politics, law, and society, in addition to strong Chinese language skills. Fellows work closely with the Commission and its staff on the full array of issues concerning human rights, the rule of law, and governance in China (including criminal justice, institutions of democratic governance, environmental issues, religious freedom, freedom of expression, ethnic minority rights, women’s rights, etc.).

Fellows perform important research support tasks (often in Chinese), attend China-related events, meet human rights advocates and other professionals whose work is focused on China, and assist staff in the drafting of Commission analyses, in addition to other tasks. Click here for CECC analysis of recent developments in the rule of law and human rights in China. Fellows may also perform research for the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database, which has been accessible to the public since its launch in November 2004 (click here to begin a search).

CECC Fellows will be paid $15/hour. Fellows are not eligible for any additional federal benefits. Further details are available on the Commission’s website at http://www.cecc.gov/about/employment-opportunities.   


  • Fellows must be U.S. citizens.  
  • Fellows must be a graduate of an accredited Bachelor’s, Master’s, or J.D. program, or a current graduate-level student.
  • Fellows should have completed at least some China-related coursework. It is also desirable that they have some background in one or more of the specific human rights and rule of law issues in the CECC legislative mandate.
  • Chinese language skills: fellows should be able to read Chinese well enough to assist with research in newspapers, journals, and government documents. More advanced Chinese language capability would be a plus. A successful candidate for a fellowship will often have lived or studied in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.


Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume/CV, writing sample, and the names and contact information of two references (assemble application materials in one PDF file, if possible) to the CECC via e-mail to Judy Wright, Director of Administration, at judy.wright@mail.house.gov. NO phone calls, please.

Application Deadlines:

  • Spring Term: Applications must be received by our office no later than 11:59 P.M. (EST) on November 5.
  • Summer Term: Applications must be received by our office no later than 11:59 P.M. (EST) on February 15.

Cover Letter:

  • Please discuss in your cover letter how your professional goals, interests, and background relate to the Commission’s legislative mandate regarding human rights and the rule of law in China.
  • Please include a brief statement addressing how your research skills, knowledge, and experience make you a suitable candidate for the CECC Liu Xiaobo Fellowship.
  • Please indicate in your cover letter whether you are able to read Mandarin Chinese for research purposes. Please indicate your level of fluency, i.e. beginner, intermediate, advanced, or native fluency. If you have taken a Chinese language proficiency exam, such as the HSK or ILR, please indicate the highest score you have obtained.
  • Please indicate how you learned about this fellowship position.


  • Please include relevant work history, coursework, educational achievements, honors/awards received, translation experience, and anything else that you feel will help us in our evaluation of your application.

Writing sample:

  • Please provide a writing sample (in English) of no more than two pages and no more than 500 words (double spaced). Your submission must be your own work, and can be an excerpt of a longer piece.


  • Please include their names, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses. Recommendation letters are not required.


The Congressional-Executive Commission on China was created by Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President.