Academia Sinica
The Academia Sinica headquartered in the Nangang District of Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, is the national academy
National academy
A national academy is an organizational body, usually operating with state financial support and approval, that co-ordinates scholarly research activities and standards for academic disciplines, most frequently in the sciences but also the humanities. Typically the country's learned societies in...

 of Taiwan. It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, and to humanities and social sciences.

Academia Sinica has made great progress in recent years, according to Taiwanese scholar Chang Jui-te. An increasing number of research papers written by its faculty members, which numbered 1,150 in 2001, are appearing in international journals. Some journals, published by Academia Sinica itself, such as Zoological Studies and Statistical Sinica, have received international recognition. Academia Sinica plays a major role in the field of Chinese studies. For example, the archaeological findings by researchers at the Institute of History and Philology have, in combination with written documents, led to a virtual rewriting of ancient Chinese history, pushing back the span of Chinese history by many centuries.

History and mission

The Academia Sinica was founded in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 in 1928 by the Guomindang Nationalist Government, its first meeting being held at Shanghai's famous East Asia Restaurant. Its first president was Cai Yuanpei
Cai Yuanpei
Cai Yuanpei was a Chinese educator and the president of Peking University. He was known for his critical evaluation of the Chinese culture that led to the influential May Fourth Movement...

, succeeded by Zhu Jiahua in 1940. It shares the same root and the same Latin name with current Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences , formerly known as Academia Sinica, is the national academy for the natural sciences of the People's Republic of China. It is an institution of the State Council of China. It is headquartered in Beijing, with institutes all over the People's Republic of China...

 in Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. After Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

, Academia Sinica was re-established in Taipei following relocation of the ROC government from Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

 to Taipei. Unlike the mainland Chinese counterpart, which is exclusively composed of institutes in the natural sciences, Taiwan's Academia Sinica covers three major academic divisions:
  • Mathematics
    Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

     and Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
    Life sciences
    The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, like plants, animals, and human beings. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of...

  • Humanities
    The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

     and Social Sciences
    Social sciences
    Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...


The academy was envisioned as an organization that would oversee and coordinate scientific, social science, and humanistic research in all of the Republic of China's state-sponsored research institutes and universities. Unlike other government-sponsored research institutes which are responsible to relevant Executive Yuan
Executive Yuan
The Executive Yuan is the executive branch of the government of the Republic of China , commonly known as "Taiwan".-Organization and structure:...

 ministries, Academia Sinica, as the nation's premier research institution, is directly responsible to the President of the Republic of China
President of the Republic of China
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China . The Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, to govern all of China...

. Thus Academia Sinica enjoys autonomy in formulating its own research objectives. In addition to academic research on various subjects in the sciences and humanities, Academia Sinica's major tasks also include providing guidelines, channels of coordination, and incentives with a view to raising academic standards in the country.

At the time of Academia Sinica's founding there were already a number of other, smaller institutes in several Chinese cities. Academia Sinica incorporated a number of these into its organization, and rapidly built nine institutes: meteorology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, engineering, psychology, history and philology, and sociology, most of which were located in the new capital city of Nanjing.

Research institutions

Currently, Academia Sinica portfolio consists of 24 Research Institutes and seven Research Centers.

Division of Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Division of Life Sciences

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

In each institute and research center, tenure-tracked Research Fellows
Research fellow
The title of research fellow is used to denote a research position at a university or similar institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator...

(equivalent to the tenure-tracked professors of the university) form research groups and carry out their studies supported by the intramural funds as well as external grants. In addition students from other countries are frequently hosted as summer interns.

Graduate and other education programs

In general Academia Sinica is a non-teaching institution, but it has very close collaboration with the top research universities in Taiwan, such as National Chiao Tung University
National Chiao Tung University
National Chiao Tung University is a public university located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious and selective universities in Taiwan and is renowned for its research and teaching excellence in electrical engineering, computer science, engineering, management, and...

, National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University is a national co-educational university located in Taipei, Republic of China . In Taiwan, it is colloquially known as "Táidà" . Its main campus is set upon 1,086,167 square meters in Taipei's Da'an District. In addition, the university has 6 other campuses in Taiwan,...

, National Tsing Hua University
National Tsing Hua University
National Tsing Hua University is one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan. The university has a strong reputation in the studies of science and engineering. Times Higher Education - World University Rankings is107in the world. Engineering and Science are the best in Taiwan...

, and National Yang-Ming University. Many research fellows from Academia Sinica have a second appointment or joint professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

ship at these universities. In addition, Academia Sinica established a joint Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 program in biological science with Taiwan's National Defense University. Through these mechanisms, the faculty at the Academia Sinica give lecture courses and supervise graduate students.

Since 2004, Academia Sinica set up the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP), open to local and international students for Ph.D. programs. All courses at TIGP are conducted in English. Students can choose their advisor among a faculty selected for the program out of outstanding researcher and professors appointed at Academia Sinica or at one of the partner universities (or both). Currently, admittance to the programme guarantees a monthly stipend
A stipend is a form of salary, such as for an internship or apprenticeship. It is often distinct from a wage or a salary because it does not necessarily represent payment for work performed, instead it represents a payment that enables somebody to be exempt partly or wholly from waged or salaried...

 of 32.000 NTD
New Taiwan dollar
The New Taiwan dollar , or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China since 1949, when it replaced the Old Taiwan dollar...

, roughly 1.000 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 or 715 Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

s. Applications can normally be sent starting in December and the submission deadline is usually set on the 31st of March, for enrolment in September of the same year. Lectures start around the middle of September and end around the middle of June, with slight variations mostly depending on the partner university academic calendar.

The TIGP offers Ph.D. programs only in selected disciplines agreed upon by Academia Sinica and its national research universities partners. The program offers doctoral degrees in highly interdisciplinary areas in the physical sciences, applied sciences, engineering, biological and agricultural sciences, health and medical sciences, humanities and social sciences. Currently, Academia Sinica administers nine such programs with degrees issued from partner universities. These include:

Students enrolled in the TIGP program engage in activities other than academic ones regularly and are federated in the Graduate Students Association (GSA). The GSA council includes 18 elected representatives (two for each program) and one president (elected by the council).


The Convocation of the Academia Sinica consists of 241 Academician
The title Academician denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific academy.In many countries, it is an honorary title. There also exists a lower-rank title, variously translated Corresponding Member or Associate Member, .-Eastern Europe and China:"Academician" may also be a functional...

s, including 83 domestic and 158 overseas appointed scientist. Seven Academicians of Academia Sinica are Nobel
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 laureates. Academician membership is an honorary lifetime privilege without remuneration. They do not necessarily perform research or reside at the Academia Sinica campus. According to their own expertise, academicians are grouped into three divisions: Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences and Humanities. A maximum number of ten new members is allocated to each of the three divisions during the biennial Convocation. The eligibility of the academicians is not restricted to the residents of Taiwan or ROC citizens, although the academicians all have Chinese heritage. More than half of the academicians are overseas scholars and scientists.

At the Convocation, the academicians elect new academicians and honorary academicians, and elect members to the Council of Academia Sinica. The Convocation can also recommend policies to the government on academic research. The academicians also have responsibilities to carry out research at the government's request, although the government has never requested any task.

Notable Academicians

  • Nobel Laureate Steven Chu
    Steven Chu
    Steven Chu is an American physicist and the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. Chu is known for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, along with his scientific colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and...

  • Nobel Laureate Tsung-Dao Lee
    Tsung-Dao Lee
    Tsung-Dao Lee is a Chinese born-American physicist, well known for his work on parity violation, the Lee Model, particle physics, relativistic heavy ion physics, nontopological solitons and soliton stars....

  • Nobel Laureate Chen Ning Yang
  • Nobel Laureate Samuel C. C. Ting
    Samuel C. C. Ting
    Samuel Chao Chung Ting is an American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1976, with Burton Richter, for discovering the subatomic J/ψ particle...

  • Nobel Laureate Lee Yuan-Tseh
    Yuan T. Lee
    Yuan Tseh Lee, Ph.D. is a chemist. He was the first Taiwanese Nobel Prize laureate, who, along with the Hungarian-Canadian John C. Polanyi and American Dudley R. Herschbach won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 "for their contributions to the dynamics of chemical elementary processes"...

  • Nobel Laureate Daniel Chee Tsui
    Daniel C. Tsui
    Daniel Chee Tsui is a Chinese-born American physicist whose areas of research included electrical properties of thin films and microstructures of semiconductors and solid-state physics...

    , a physicist
    A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

    . He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
    Nobel Prize in Physics
    The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

     for his contributions to the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect.
  • Nobel Laureate Charles K. Kao
    Charles K. Kao
    The Honorable Sir Charles Kuen Kao, GBM, KBE, FRS, FREng is a pioneer in the development and use of fiber optics in telecommunications...

  • Alice S. Huang
    Alice S. Huang
    Alice S. Huang is an American biologist specialized in microbiology and virology. She is Senior Faculty Associate in Biology at the California Institute of Technology, and current President of AAAS.-Early years:Huang was born in Nanchang, the capital city of Jiangxi Province, in 1939...

    , a biologist
    A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of life. Typically biologists study organisms and their relationship to their environment. Biologists involved in basic research attempt to discover underlying mechanisms that govern how organisms work...

     specialized in microbiology
    Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

     and virology
    Virology is the study of viruses and virus-like agents: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect and exploit cells for virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy...



The president of the Academia Sinica is appointed by the President of ROC from three candidates recommended by the Council Meeting. The president of the Academia must be an Academician. After the appointment, the president serves a five-year term and can serve up to two consecutive terms.

Academia Sinica's current President is Dr. Chi-Huey Wong
Chi-Huey Wong
Chi-Huey Wong is a Taiwanese-born biochemist and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. His expertise is bioorganic chemistry, especially in carbohydrate biochemistry and chemical proteomics...

, a biochemist, who replaced Dr. Yuan Tseh Lee, a physical chemist and Nobel
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature,...

 Laureate in Chemistry, as the 9th president on October 19, 2006. The list of past Presidents also includes Hu Shih
Hu Shih
Hu Shih , born Hu Hung-hsing , was a Chinese philosopher, essayist and diplomat. His courtesy name was Shih-chih . Hu is widely recognized today as a key contributor to Chinese liberalism and language reform in his advocacy for the use of written vernacular Chinese...

 in 1957. A philosopher and essayist, he was a key contributor to Chinese liberalism
Chinese liberalism
Liberalism in China or 'Chinese liberalism' resulted from the introduction of classical liberalism into China during the period of Western domination towards the end of the Qing Dynasty...

 and language reform
Language reform
Language reform is a type of language planning by massive change to a language. The usual tools of language reform are simplification and purification. Simplification makes the language easier to use by regularizing vocabulary and grammar...

 in his advocacy for the use of vernacular Chinese
Vernacular Chinese
Written Vernacular Chinese refers to forms of written Chinese based on the vernacular language, in contrast to Classical Chinese, the written standard used from the Spring and Autumn Period to the early twentieth century...

, as well as an influential redology
Redology is the study of the novel Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the Four Classics of China. There are many researchers in this field, most can be divided into four general groups. The first group is the commentators, such as Zhou Chun, Xu Fengyi, Chen Yupi, and others. The second group is...

 scholar and holder of the Jiaxu manuscript until his death.

External links

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