Tue, Mar 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

CHINA’S 31 INCENTIVES: Some academics to be barred from going to China

By Hsiao Yu-hsin, Rachel Lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

In contrast, Taiwan’s academic environment is improving, institutions that protect the interests of academics and researchers are more complete and the nation’s efforts to develop international academic ties are also proceeding apace, he said.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has taken steps to increase funding for research projects, he said, adding that grants for heading major research projects have been raised from NT$30,000 to NT$60,000 per month, while grants for other projects have been increased to NT$5,000, he said.

The Chinese incentive package is not likely to have a strong pull on established academics, Academia Sinica Institute of Biological Chemistry research fellow Lin Chun-hung (林俊宏) said.

“Many people have put down career roots and have a settled into family life. They would not just pack up and leave all that behind,” he said.

“Research opportunities are pretty good in Taiwan,” he added.

However, the Chinese package could be attractive to young academics, who have recently graduated from doctoral programs or returned from abroad, because academic wages have stagnated in Taiwan, Lin said.

“The quality of research opportunities that Taiwan offers is on par, but the issue of wages is an obstacle to keeping young academics in the nation,” he said. “Dealing with stagnant wages should be the government’s focus, otherwise there is no point in trying to keep talented people in Taiwan or to recruit them internationally.”

Chung Yuan Christian University professor Chao Hsuan-fu (趙軒甫) said employment opportunities are limited in Taiwan’s higher-education field and although there have been efforts to improve pay, such benefits remain out of reach for people working in entry-level academic jobs.

Chao said he knew several research programs that are run by one or two researchers, without assistants or other staff, due to inadequate funding and a lack of available doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers.

“The lack of money and staff is a major reason why ranking researchers might look for greener pastures,” he said.

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