Academia Sinica is the National Academy of Taiwan and has its headquarters in the Nangang District in Taipei. Ideally, Academia Sinica is loosely translated to Central Research Academy or the Chinese Academy in Latin. It was founded in the Republic of China in the year 1928 by the Chinese Nationalist Government. It was not until after the Revolution, in the year 1949, that it was relocated to Taiwan from its initial location in Shanghai. Before its formation there were some smaller, research institutions. Most of them were incorporated into Academia Sinica.
Academia Sinica’s growth was, however, not entirely without challenges, for it experienced instability, due to political tensions and limited budgets, through the transition period. Primarily, it was established to offer and promote research in science and the humanities. Unlike the majority of other government sponsored institutions working in research, Academia Sinica is directly responsible to the office of the president of the Republic of China. Presently, the head of the Institution is Dr. Chi-Huey Wong, who is an academic in the biochemistry field.
Notably, Academia Sinica has continued to record outstanding ranking both in Taiwan and on the world stage. For instance, it ranks position 26 among the world’s research centers. It is noteworthy to record that this rank pitted it first among the research centers in Taiwan. When it comes to regional ranking in South East Asia, Academia Sinica ranked position 12 in the same period.
The research center has roughly an estimated population of 2,150 students, who are actively engaged in the institution. Of these, roughly 775 are post-doctoral students who work at the institution as well. The facilities at Academia Sinica consist of 24 research institutes with an additional seven research centers. The Institute boasts a considerable number of international students, who are involved in various engagements at undergraduate and post-doctoral levels. From the year 2004, Academia Sinica set up what is known as the TIGP (Taiwan International Graduate Program) which is open to both local and international students for some selected Ph.D. Programs. Markedly, all course instructions are carried out in English. There is also an arrangement in place where students may choose from the faculty their preferred advisor. Academia Sinica comprises of 241 academics; 158 from overseas and the remaining 83 drawn from the domestic pool.
There is a total of three major academic divisions covered at Academia Sinica. These are Mathematics & the Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and the Humanities & Social Sciences. The subjects available under the division of Mathematics and Physical Studies are Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Information Science, Statistical Science, Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysics, as well as Research Centers for Applied Sciences, Environmental Changes, and Information Technology Innovation. On the other hand, the division of Life Sciences has the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Cellular and Organismic Biology, Biological Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, as well as research centers for Agricultural Biotechnology, Genomics, and Biodiversity. Finally, the division of Humanities and Social Sciences encompasses the subjects of Modern History, Economics, Ethnology, History & Philology, Chinese Literature & Philosophy, European & American Studies, Taiwan History, Sociology, Linguistics, Jurisprudence Political Sciences as well as the Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences.
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Goals and Objectives
In its continued effort to fulfill its goals, Academia Sinica has continually developed mechanisms that have aided the promotion and integration from within of key research activities. In essence, this is primarily targeted to improve the planning and the subsequent implementation of goals and objectives. Additionally, it has led to the enhancement of its academic reputation through strategic evaluation of long-term projects, which fundamentally impacts any research activities undertaken. Further, Academia Sinica’s key focus is to enhance the research results both for the application of and the transfer of technology. Importantly, the institute’s academic mission is to cultivate an intellectual environment that is conducive to the nurturing of young scholars, the recognition of outstanding scholarship in Taiwan and to promote international co-operation and scholarly exchanges that will accelerate the overall development of academic research in Academia Sinica and the Republic of China.
Primarily, Academia Sinica is a research institute and thus major emphasis is put on matters associated with research. In the year 2015, the institute documented more than 4,100 research based scientific publications. For example, the division of mathematics and physical sciences published a Journal of Clinical Oncology 2015 where key research was carried out on the effect of Germline Risk Allele in regard to Lung Cancer. Similarly, the division of humanities and social sciences published works on the sentiments and expressions in changing rural China. In the history of Academia Sinica, seven of its academics have been Nobel laureates.
There is a lot of opportunities for international students who join the Academia Sinica fraternity for, apart from being members of a world class research institute, they get the opportunity to experience diverse cultures and traditions. Additionally, there are a lot of extracurricular activities including various sports, music and science trade fairs. The opportunity of interacting with people from other parts of the world also features prominently in the benefits of attending Academia Sinica. Employment opportunities are a very common occurrence, as well as internships and volunteering services. Finally, the wide range of programs available guarantees that students only focus on what they most enjoy and in line with their career goals. This is entirely dependent on an individual’s abilities and preferences.