Introduction

Academia Sinica has established the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP) in collaboration with a consortium of the key national research universities in Taiwan. The purpose of the program is to develop the talent pool in those modern multidisciplinary fields that are important in the future economical and social development of Taiwan and to enhance the innovative potential and academic standards of research in these and related fields.

TIGP will offer Ph.D. programs only in selected disciplines agreed upon between Academia Sinica and the national research universities. It is the intent of the Program to offer Ph.D. degree programs only in inter-disciplinary areas in physical sciences, applied sciences, engineering, biological and agricultural sciences, health and medical sciences, and humanities and social sciences.

Academia Sinica will assume principal oversight of the academic options of the Program. It will provide the intellectual leadership, the physical facilities, and the research resources. Qualified and interested faculty members of the participating national research universities are invited to join the Program as affiliated faculty, and participate in teaching, supervision of research, and mentoring of the international graduate students.

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TIGP on Biodiversity

The global industrialization and the explosive growth of human population over the past two centuries have greatly accelerated the species extinction rate on Earth. This rapid decline of biological diversity is a great threat to the continuing survival of extant species, including humans, due to the disturbance to the balance of ecosystems. Furthermore, because of the reliance on natural products in biomedical and agricultural science, successful exploration and management of biodiversity is directly linked to human welfare. For these reasons, a great number of government agencies and non-governmental organizations are devoted to raise public awareness and to improve policy making regarding biodiversity-related issues. As a result, increasing the supply of well-trained scientists in relevant fields is a pressing need of the society.

The TIGP Biodiversity Program offers a unique opportunity for aspiring young scientists to receive multidisciplinary training. The diverse ecosystems and the large number of endemic species in Taiwan are invaluable resources for the study of biodiversity. In addition, the strong research teams in Academia Sinica and National Taiwan Normal University provide students with a broad range of expertise such as ecology, evolution, genetics, statistics, and socio-economics. We expect our graduates to contribute to basic research that improves our understanding of biological diversity in Taiwan and the surrounding areas, and ultimately, to influence public policies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources.