Attracting and Retaining Top TalentAs a top internationally recognized institution, CAAS attracts some of the top scientists from within China and around the globe. There are currently 5,306 technical professionals at CAAS, 2,319 of whom are at a senior level. Currently, two CAAS scientists serve as academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and nine serve as academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering; five CAAS scientists had been granted as members of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy of Sciences, the Belgian Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Indian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.
Viewing CAAS from a governmental perspective, there are 24 state-level Young and Middle-aged Experts designated for their outstanding contribution to China’s agricultural development, as well as 947 experts who have been granted Special Governmental Allowances of State Council. Further, 43 researchers have been selected for the prestigious New Century Talents Project, one has received the Science Fund for Creative Research Groups award from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 14 were presented with the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars award from NSFC, and two were given the Excellent Young Scientist Fund award from NSFC. The “Shennong Program” of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has seen fit to honor 25 CAAS scientists, while 40 CAAS research teams have been recognized for their research by the MOA. The National Outstanding Agricultural Talents Prize has been awarded to seven scientists, 12 have received the Chinese Youth Science & Technology Prize, and 11 have been presented with the Scientific and Technological Progress Award from the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation.
CAAS has a strong academic foundation in terms of postgraduate education and postdoctoral research. Up to date, CAAS has nine postdoctoral research centers and increasing annual postgraduate enrollment (112 students were enrolled in 2012, with the total number of postdoctoral students exceeding 300 for the first time). The CAAS Graduate School boasts 4,268 postgraduates, 1,144 Master’s student advisors, and 462 Ph.D. student advisors.
The mission of CAAS is to become a “world-class agricultural research institution” taking a leading role in advancing the science and technology of agriculture in China. To fulfill this goal, the development of outstanding talent, together with excellent training and team building, is of vital importance. In view of this, a series of “talent programs” will be initiated, including an Elite Youth Program (see the inside back cover of this publication), an Overseas Intelligence Recruitment Program, and a Postdoctoral Promotion Program, which will provide a means for CAAS to increase its personnel capacity building through the recruitment and training of exceptional scientists both from China and abroad. There will be four main areas of focus for talent training and development: scientific research, technical support, technology development and transfer, and management.
To ensure the success of the above-mentioned programs, significant effort is being made to provide an attractive work environment for talent training and development, together with an enticing compensation package. The employment and evaluation system for CAAS employees is currently being reformed, providing the basis for developing newly structured talent programs. CAAS intends to build an engaged, vital, and modern workforce that will sustain its research goals into the future.
The 12th Five-year Plan for Talent Team Development at CAAS states that, by 2015, the number of researchers in science and technology must increase to 7,000, or 80% of the total academy staff. To achieve this, there will be an increase of over 2,000 professionals and inter-disciplinary researchers in various under-staffed research areas (including basic research, new technologies, and emerging disciplines). Additionally, CAAS plans to recruit thought leaders under a number of different state level talent acquisition programs, including ten researchers within the Recruitment Program of Global Experts (Thousand Talent Program), a further ten under the Recruitment Program of Foreign Experts (Thousand Foreign Experts Program), 20 under the Thousand Youth Program, as well as 100 researchers under the CAAS Elite Youth Program.
Research teams tackling high level science and technology problems are a key element in the success of research at CAAS. With this in mind, plans are in place to create an additional 300 “innovation teams” at CAAS made up of three levels of personnel: one or two chief scientists, ten to fifteen topic experts, and eight to ten supporting research assistants.
The Elite Youth Program will be launched first, running from 2013 to 2020. Recipients of this title will join CAAS for a year, after which they may be invited to stay on as full-time employees—following a strict evaluation—receiving start-up fund of no less than 1 million Yuan (approximately US$161,000). Support provided includes research funds, monies for apparatus and equipment, and housing allowances (for more information, see the inside back cover of this publication).
CAAS will also revamp the way that the internal hierarchy is structured to create a more modern and equitable system, particularly with respect to professional titles, research discipline breakdown, and regional distribution of scientific personnel.
Elite Youth Program
Elite Youth Program is a recruitment program for outstanding young, creative academic leaders, with a focus on foreign talent. Participants must be under 40 years of age, have an international perspective, and be able to meet future demands for scientific research in China. CAAS will provide dedicated research funding, high quality office and laboratory space, and competitive financial compensation and subsidies. The specific requirements are as follows.
1. To bring a clear understanding of athe discipline to the position, and develop basic strategies and forward-looking research projects that meet the major national and international strategic needs of CAAS
2. To lead a research team to produce innovative results and make notable scientific progress at an international level, and to publish peer-reviewed articles in international journals as the team leader (first author)
3. To nurture early career scientists in the team, organize international academic exchanges, and develop fruitful scientific collaborations with relevant agencies in China and abroad.
The candidate for this full time position should:
1. Have a passion for agricultural research, impeccable scientific ethics and style of research, and bring a spirit of integrity and cooperation
2. Be familiar with cutting-edge developments in the field, have a solid foundation in the techniques and technologies associated with the discipline, independently oversee or directly participate in the entire research process, and be capable of being a leading researcher in the field and achieving scientifically significant outcomes
3. Be under 40 years of age and in good health
4. Present two letters of recommendation from experts in the field, one of which must be from outside China
5. Have three or more consecutive years of international work experience following their doctoral degree, or have conducted work that yielded influential journal papers in high quality publications in the field (published as first or corresponding author), or have developed inventions that have generated patents and or key technologies. Two years of international work experience will be accepted for those willing to work in the western regions or in remote areas of China on their return.
Funding and Remuneration
1. A start-up research fund of no less than 1 million yuan (US$161,000) will be provided by the relevant CAAS- affiliated institute
2. Additional research activation fee of 2 million RMB and equipment expenses of 1 million RMB for program award winners. Additional research activation fee of 3 million RMB and equipment expenses of 3 million RMB for National Outstanding Youth. Additional research activation fee of 1 million RMB and equipment expenses of 2 million RMB in addition to the support provided by the state for talents of the “1,000-Youth Elite Program”.
3. A resettlement subsidy to purchase or rent accommodation based on a standard 100 m2 house, up to a maximum of 1 million yuan (US$161,000), or priority if purchasing affordable housing built by CAAS
4. An annual subsidy of 100,000 yuan (US$16,100), or 200,000 yuan (US$32,200) for National Outstanding Youth scholars, for the first four years in addition to the remuneration, benefits, and medical treatment enjoyed by official employees.
For contact information for the relevant institutes, please visit the official CAAS website, www.caas.cn/caasnew/, and click “CAAS Science and Technology Innovation Program.”