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

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Dr Michael Shaver,  Chancellor's Fellow and Head of the Graduate School for the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, was one of the recipients of the 2016 RSC-SAFEA visiting researchers travel grants. Dr Shaver travelled from Edinburgh to Hangzhou to visit Professor Qi Wang at Zhejiang University. "I was impressed by the grand size and excellent science at Zhejiang University, the majesty of Hangzhou and West Lake but most of all by the graciousness of my hosts.... We’ve already started a small collaboration at the interface between our two research programs!", said Dr Shaver. 

Below is a detailed account of his trip diary in China. 

A screen capture of Michael Shaver and Qi Wang as part of a modern alumni engagement system

Posted by Kathleen Too on May 24, 2016 8:27 AM BST
Dr Gonçalo Bernardes who is based at the University of Cambridge travelled to China for the first time. He is a 2016 recipient of the SAFEA-RSC Visiting Researchers travel grant and took this opportunity to visit Tianjin University and Peking University. In Tianjin, he was hosted by Professor Nathaniel Finney and Professor Jay Siegel, Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology (SPST) of Tianjin University, and in Beijing, he was hosted by Professor Peng Chen at Peking University (PKU). "This is one of the few Chemical Biology Departments in the world where some fantastic research is being done..."said Dr Bernardes. Dr Gonçalo Bernardes is also the recipient of the 2016 Chem Soc Rev Emerging Investigator Lectureship and his visit to China was part of his 2016 lecture tour. 

Read more about his trip diary in China here

Gonçalo Bernardes at the west gate of Peking University

Posted by Kathleen Too on May 4, 2016 5:11 PM BST
Dr Paul Topham is a recipient of the 2016 SAFEA-RSC visiting researchers programme to China. In January 2016, he travelled to China to meet potential new collaborators at South China University of Technology and he took the opportunity to catch up with existing contacts in Guangdong University of Technology and Tongji University. He shared his passion for smart polymers with the Chinese scientists and learnt about Chinese culture and good Chinese sayings such as: Learn extensively, inquire thoroughly, ponder prudently, distinguish clearly and practice devotedly”.

"Although my visit to China was only one week, I feel that it was very productive and will begin a number of very strong collaborations between my group and those met this week.", said Dr Paul Topham, Reader in polymer chemistry at Aston University in the UK. 

Posted by Kathleen Too on Feb 1, 2016 11:32 AM GMT
Dr William Bloss is Reader on Armospheric Sciences and Deputy Head of School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Dr Bloss was one of the 2015 recipients of the travel grants to visit China, sponsored by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He gives a detailed account of his visit to Nankai (Tianjin) and Beijing last November.

"Overall the visit was very interesting for me - both scientifically, and to gain a greater understanding of the career process and expectations - especially with regard to international engagement - of academic staff in China.  There is amazing potential in terms of talent, and increasingly resources, to perform top-level collaborative science." says Dr Bloss. 

Posted by Kathleen Too on Jan 11, 2016 3:43 PM GMT