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The Academia Sinica ( ; "Chinese Academy" in Latin), headquartered in the Nangang District of Taipeimarker, is the national academy of the Republic of Chinamarker (Taiwan). It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, and to humanities and social sciences.

History and mission

The Academia Sinica was originally founded in mainland China in 1928 by the educator Cai Yuanpei. It shares the same root and the same Latin name with current Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. After Chinese Civil War, Academia Sinica was re-established in Taipei following relocation of the ROC government from Nanjingmarker to Taipei. Unlike the mainland Chinese counterpart, which is exclusively composed of institutes in the natural sciences, Taiwan's Academia Sinica covers three major academic divisions: 1) mathematics and physical sciences; 2) life sciences; and 3) humanities and social sciences.

Unlike other government-sponsored research institutes which are responsible to relevant Executive Yuanmarker ministries, Academia Sinica, as the nation's premier research institution, is directly responsible to the President of the Republic of China. Thus Academia Sinica enjoys autonomy in formulating its own research objectives. In addition to academic research on various subjects in the sciences and humanities, Academia Sinica's major tasks also include providing guidelines, channels of coordination, and incentives with a view to raising academic standards in the country.

Research institutions

Currently, the Academia Sinica's research affiliation contains 25 institutes (including preparatory offices) and six research centers.

In each institute and research center, tenure-tracked research fellows (equivalent to the tenure-tracked professors of the university) form research groups and carry out their studies supported by the intramural funds as well as external grants. In addition students from other countries are frequently hosted as summer interns.

Education programs

In general Academia Sinica is a non-teaching institution, but it has very close collaboration with the top research universities in Taiwan, such as National Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan Universitymarker, National Tsing Hua Universitymarker, and National Yang-Ming Universitymarker. Many research fellows from Academia Sinica have a second appointment or joint professorship at these universities. In addition, Academia Sinica established a joint Ph.D. program in biological science with Taiwan's National Defense University. Through these mechanisms, the faculty at the Academia Sinica give lecture courses and supervise graduate students.

Since 2004, Academia Sinica set up the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP), open to local and international students for Ph.D. programs. All courses at TIPG are conducted in English. Currently admittance to the programme guarantees a scholarship. TIGP offers Ph.D. programs only in selected disciplines agreed upon by Academia Sinica and its national research universities partners. The program offers Ph.D. degree programs in inter-disciplinary areas in the physical sciences, applied sciences, engineering, biological and agricultural sciences, health and medical sciences, humanities and social sciences. Currently Academia Sinica administers 8 such programs with degrees issued from partner universities.

Convocation

The Convocation of the Academia Sinica consists of more than 1000 academicians, including 6 Nobel laureates. Academician membership is an honorary lifetime privilege without remuneration. They do not necessarily perform research or reside at the Academia Sinica campus. According to their own expertise, academicians are grouped into three divisions: mathematics and physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences and humanities. A maximum number of 10 new members is allocated to each of the three divisions during the biennial Convocation. The eligibility of the academicians is not restricted to the residents of Taiwan or ROC citizens, although the academicians all have Chinese heritage. More than half of the academicians are overseas scholars and scientists.

At the Convocation, the academicians elect new academicians and honorary academicians, and elect members to the Council of Academia Sinica. The Convocation can also recommend policies to the government on academic research. The academicians also have responsibilities to carry out research at the government's request, although the government has never requested any task.

Leadership

The president of the Academia Sinica is appointed by the President of ROC from three candidates recommended by the Council Meeting. The president of the Academia must be an academician. After the appointment, the president serves a five-year term and can serve up to two consecutive terms.

Academia Sinica's current President is Dr. Chi-Huey Wong, a biochemist, who replaced Dr. Yuan Tseh Lee, a physical chemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, as the 9th president on October 19, 2006.

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