The Changjiang (Yangtze River) Scholar award (Chinese: ; pinyin: ), is the highest academic award issued to an individual in higher education by the Ministry of Education (?) of the People's Republic of China. The award is also known as the "Cheung Kong Scholar" award and is referred to in English both internationally and by official Chinese government publications as the "Yangtze River" Scholar award.
The initial funding for this program was provided by the Li Ka Shing Foundation (), with the goal of elevating research at Chinese universities to the highest levels internationally. The program began in August 1998. It was named after Li's Cheung Kong Holdings.
The award goes to China's top scholars, who receive the title of Changjiang Distinguished Professor at their university and are provided with financial resources sufficient to enhance that university's research profile and international visibility. Although the award is rarely granted to foreign scientists, a few renowned international recipients are chosen each year. These international recipients typically receive a visiting appointment at a major university in China, along with the title of Changjiang Chaired Professor, and are additionally charged with enhancing that university's international exchange.