In 2009, the Royal Society of Chemistry signed a cooperation agreement with the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), a division of the Chinese Government. As part of a wider governmental initiative to enhance the global impact of Chinese science and China’s higher education institutions, the RSC and SAFEA provide funding for a Visiting Researchers Programme. This encourages academics from the UK to visit Chinese universities to share best practice, advise Chinese researchers on presenting their research to an international audience and to stimulate collaboration between UK and Chinese institutions.
This blog provides a space for participants to share their experiences and for the RSC to highlight the opportunities that stem from the SAFEA programme.

*The map is reproduced from the United Nations Statistics Division

Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy China Diary (31 March – 5 April 2014)

I spent 1 week in China, funded through the joint Royal Society of Chemistry - State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (RSC-SAFEA) travel grant programme. My trip included visits to Beijing (University and Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences) and then to Shanghai (Shanghai University).  I gave research seminars at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing), Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) and Shanghai University (Shanghai) and also delivered a 3 hours training session on “How to write a paper” for postgraduate students of Shanghai University. I also had excellent discussions of potential research collaboration with several academics at both institutions.

31 March
I arrived to Beijing international airport in the morning on Monday 31st March and was met by Ms Saina Yang, a PhD student from Dr Xiaozhong Qu group, and then was taken to my hotel. After a few hours rest my good friend and collaborator Xiaozhong picked me up from the hotel and took me to a lunch and then to the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Near the poster advertising my talk at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

At 3pm, I gave my first lecture entitled ‘Advances in hydrogen-bonded polymer complexes: nanoparticles, multilayers and capsules’ to the faculty members and students of this University. Following the lecture I had meetings and very interesting discussions with Dr Xiaozhong Qu, Prof Jijun Huang, Prof Zhongbo Hu and Prof Xiangfeng Liu, which continued during the dinner at the University restaurant, where I also had a pleasure to enjoy Chinese cuisine. 

Enjoying the dinner with faculty members of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

1 April
This day I enjoyed a trip to the Great Wall of China with Dr Xiaozhong Qu. In addition to discussion of Chinese history we also talked about potential collaboration.
Trip to the Great Wall of China

2 April
In the morning I had another sightseeing trip accompanied by Ms Saina Yang to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing. 

In the Forbidden City

After a lunch with Saina in a historical restaurant I visited the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After a brief tour and introduction to research activities of the Institute I gave a lecture entitled ‘Pharmaceutical materials for ocular, oral and intravesical delivery’. Following this lecture we had several interesting scientific meetings and discussions with Dr Xiaozhong Qu, Prof Dong Qiu and Dr Fuxin Liang. We established a common interest in Janus silica nanoparticles and agreed to collaborate on their synthesis, diffusion in liquids, physicochemical and biological characterisation. 

Discussing research results with Dr Xiaozhong Qu

3 April
I arrived to Shanghai International airport in the morning and was picked up by a postdoctoral researcher Dr Kunxi Zhang and postgraduate student Wujie from Prof Jingbo Yin group. They took me to my hotel and then to Shanghai University. I had a very interesting discussion with postgraduate students of Prof Jingbo Yin and provided them some advice on their current projects, which they presented to me. 

Discussion of research projects with postgraduate students

Then I had a meeting with Prof Jingbo Yin and she showed me her laboratories and we discussed potential for our collaboration. 

Prof Jingbo Yin and Dr Kunxi Zhang demonstrate their laboratories to me

4 April
In the morning I gave a 3 hours training session on “How to write a paper” to postgraduate students and faculty members of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University. This session was very well attended and received good level of interest. 

Next to the poster advertising my lecture programme at Shanghai University

In the afternoon I delivered a lecture based on my research, which was entitled “Polymeric hydrogels: super-absorbent and mucosa-mimetic materials”. Prof Jingbo Yin’s group is actively researching in the area of materials for tissue engineering and the topic of hydrogels attracted a great deal of interest. We agreed on several collaborative projects, in particular, in the area of synthesis of novel hydrogels and their biological characterisation. 

Photo with Prof Jingbo Yin’s group

5 April
The final day of my visit I enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Shanghai University beautiful campus and later old Shanghai city. 

At the main entrance to Shanghai University campus

In the beautiful garden of old Shanghai

Finally, I would like to thank the RSC-SAFEA programme for funding my travel to China with special thanks to Dr Kathleen Too (RSC).  I am also grateful to my hosts Dr Xiaozhong Qu (Beijing) and Prof Jingbo Yin (Shanghai), their colleagues and students, who have made my visit so enjoyable and interesting.   
Posted by Kathleen Too on Jun 12, 2014 11:11 AM Europe/London

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