The Royal Society of Chemistry is pleased to collaborate with the Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology based in London (CSCST-UK)  to sponsor two young scientists* based in the UK to go back to China to seek collaboration or get further experience and skills to enhance their research project in the UK. These travel grants are given annually and the prize certificates are presented at the annual Joint Annual Conference of CSCST-SCI.  

* Scientists have to be based in the UK and a full member of the Royal Society of Chemistry or the CSCST-UK

Diary Of Dr Shan Jiang Visting Jilin And Harbin

Dr Shan Jiang is an early career researcher from the University of Liverpool. She was the 2014 recipient of the RSC-CSCST-UK Emerging Talent bursary, whereby she was given a travel grant to go to China in 2015 to seek further research collaboration. She was able to meet her desired collaborator and other peers from other universities in China.

Dr Jiang recorded a trip diary during her travels to Jilin and Harbin. 

It has been a greatly beneficial experience to visit Prof. Teng Ben’s research group at Zhuhai campus of Jilin University in August 2015. I am very grateful for the RSC-CSCSTUK travel grant to support this academic visit. 

I met Prof. Ben the first time at the EuCheMS conference 2012. He presented microporous polyphenylene frameworks, PAFs with exceptionally high surface areas at the conference. These materials have received considerable attention over the last few years due to their interesting pore structures, chemical diversity and potential applications in various fields, such as gas storage, separation and catalysis. Following that Prof. Ben visited University of Liverpool in 2013, during which we had a good discussion on the research field of porous molecular materials, which is also my main research interest.
One of the most important aims of my visit this time is to set up potential collaborations to combine the expertise of Prof. Ben in the field of porous extended networks with my skills in design, synthesis and simulation of porous molecular materials. The collaborations would hope to achieve a step change in functional porous molecular materials, which can give a great opportunity to broaden my research areas. More importantly, research proposal will be discussed to apply for the recruitment program of global youth experts in 2016 with Jilin University, which will enable me to develop an independent research career in China.
China Trip diary: 

10th-12th August, Jilin University, Zhuhai campus

I arrived in Zhuhai on 10th August from London via Shanghai, and was picked up by Prof. Qianrong Fang. Prof. Fang introduced the detailed schedule for my visit. The research seminar had been organized on the following day. Prof. Ben also invited Prof. Shijie Ren from the Sichuan University and Prof Bo Liu from the University of Science & Technology of China for this seminar. This seminar covers a wide range of topics.
Prof. Fang also kindly showed me around their campus. I spent most of day in the hotel to prepare my presentation. 

The seminar started at 9:00 am on 11th August and it was chaired by the Prof. Ben. The first talk was from Prof Shijie Ren. He presented us the conjugated microporous polymers (CMPs) for the photo-catalysis applications. This was followed by discussions on how to tune the band gap of CMPs to improve water splitting performance. Following the presentation by Prof Bo Liu, he talked about liquid-phase epitaxy of metal organic framework thin films. After that I gave a talk with a tile of ‘porous organic cages’. This was followed by a Q&A session. At the end of the seminar, Prof. Ben gave a good overview of research projects in his group. We have had an effective discussion session and shared our thoughts on the preparation and design of new microporous materials. Discussions of general interest and potential collaborations continued until that evening. The talks were in a great extent relevant to my work and I found this experience very enjoyable and productive. It has also provided me a good understanding of how the area of porous materials is advancing and where the main research is heading.

On 12th August I also had a meeting with Prof. Ben, we discussed the prospect of establishing a project to design, synthesize and rationalize the first generation of Porous networks with a covalently prefabricated porous organic cage linker. Following this, I had a meeting with Prof. Qianrong Fang. He shared his experience in applying for the recruitment program of global youth experts in China. I also talked to people in the seminar to seek advices on job opportunities in China. It is to my delight that I have had many positive responses. After that session I was given a tour of the laboratory. I was very impressed with the excellent research environment, as well as the advanced and innovative technologies in Jilin University. 

We had a dinner together in the evening, which was very enjoyable and it provided a good platform to further strengthen our friendship. Overall I have had an unforgettable trip. Zhuhai is a lovely city with lots of stunning architecture and scenery! It would be an ideal place to live and carry on one’s research career.

From Left to right:Prof Shijie Ren, Sichuan University; Prof Bo Liu, University of Science and Technology of China; Prof Teng Ben, Jilin University; Dr Shan Jiang, University of Liverpool; Prof Qianrong, Fang, Jilin University

13th-16th August, Heilongjiang University

We went back to my hometown, Harbin on 13th August, on the purpose of visiting Heilongjiang University, where I had my undergraduate study. I had several meetings with the research staffs in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science on the 14th to learn about their research works. I also met the Dean of the school Prof. Honggang Fu and the vice Dean Prof. Liqiang Jing. I introduced to them my research background and my study experience abroad. They have given me valuable advices for job seeking in China and how to build my international research profile.

Dr Shan Jiang before her lecture in Harbin

On the 15th August, I delivered a presentation of my research area in porous molecular materials to the research staffs and students in Heilongjiang University. It generated great interest among them and there were many interesting discussions around my work in the Q&A session. I also shared my experience and gave advice to students who plan to study abroad. It was a very productive and fun event.

Heilongjiang University 

Overall, my trip was very successful and it has certainly served the expected purpose. I have travelled to several cities in China across the very south to the very north. During the visit, I have given two main research seminars. I also have met many excellent scientists and potential collaborators from different Universities. This experience has been extremely beneficial to me especially in enhancing and broadening my scientific knowledge in porous materials. The planned future collaborations would help me build on my international research profile and impact, communication skills, as well as the academic leadership ability, which would enable me to develop an independent research career. I was also able to take the opportunity to spend some time with my family in China. This has definitely been a fantastic trip for me. Once again I appreciate very much the travel grant as the financial support for this trip.

Posted by Kathleen Too on Sep 10, 2015 10:22 AM Europe/London

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