(Yicai Global) April 1 -- A California-based non-profit institute co-founded by famous Chinese entrepreneur Chen Tianqiao will establish a global postdoctoral program to support research into the human brain.
One of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute's priorities this year is to launch the global postdoctoral program and it will be the first project directly operated by the organization, Tianqiao Chen, the chief executive of Shanda Investment Group, told Yicai Global. The lab was founded in 2016 after the couple donated USD115 million to the California Institute of Technology.
The TCCI has bought over 13 hectares of land in Silicon Valley to build a center for the program which will fund of 300 to 400 young scientists each year, the founder of the private investment group said, without disclosing the total funding.
The program is certainly a good thing for the development of brain science, one young researcher told Yicai Global, adding that many eligible scientists will sign up.
China and the US have many labs for PhDs in the medical field, including the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation in the US, which gives awards worth up to USD200,000 per year for each postdoc student.
The global average of how much money it takes to cultivate a PhD researcher in brain science is CNY300,000 (USD44,700) each year, according to ShanghaiTech University. This would mean that the TCCI needs to spend at least CNY200 million (USD29.8 million) to fund up to 400 people for a two-year curriculum.
The TCCI has talked with 23 top universities worldwide and 20 renowned professors over the past year regarding the project, Chen said, adding that the NGO is now compiling a white paper that aims to address the issues that young scientists encounter during their early careers. Finding funding is one of them.
Governments and charities often prioritize famous scientists so young talent may be neglected in the selection of grants, Chen said. The upcoming program will be differently structured from any existing postdoctoral programs, and the institute is confident that it will bring unique value to emerging scientists, according to Chen.
Breakthroughs in cognitive science will be the foundation of the next generation of industrial revolution, and scientists are key to promoting global development, Chen said. Participants in the program will be future Nobel Prize winners, university presidents, as well as founders and chief executives of high-end tech companies, he projected.
The Chens ranked 448th on the Hurun Global Rich List 2019 with a fortune of CNY32 billion (USD4.8 billion).
Editor: Emmi Laine