CAS-KNAW Joint PhD Training Program

Summary
 
The CAS-KNAW Joint PhD Training programme was a pilot initiated in 2004 aimed at fostering the engagement of junior researchers in Sino-Dutch bilateral research collaboration by offering the possibility of PhD training to excellent PhD-students of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) within the context of proven successful joint research projects between Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institutes /universities and Netherlands universities/research institutes.

The CAS-KNAW Joint PhD Training Programme has contributed to producing a new generation of young Chinese scientists trained both in the Netherlands and in China. The joint training of PhD candidates fosters closer ties and cooperation between Dutch and Chinese research groups and researchers, creating conditions conducive to developing sustainable research networks.

After five selection rounds, the programme is currently closed for new applications. Altogether 29 UCAS students have been awarded financial support to conduct research in the Netherlands and a dozen Dutch students paid a short visit to CAS institutes. The last PhD project, selected in the final round - of 2009, is expected to be concluded in 2013.
 
Budget
 
The total budget of the programme for the duration from 2004-2012 amounts to €1,584,000 (OCW/KNAW/CAS/UCAS). The total amount of funding available per year is €198,000. Chinese PhD candidates staying in the Netherlands received a fixed stipend of €13,200 per annum (€1,100 per month) in the first three rounds. From the fourth round onwards the stipend has been raised to €16,800,- per annum (€1,400 per month).
 
Programme management
 
The management of the CAS-KNAW Joint PhD Training Programme is organized by UCAS and KNAW separately. UCAS is the contact point for the Chinese supervisor and is responsible for the finances on the Chinese side. KNAW has the same responsibilities on the Dutch side.

Selected PhD Projects

Round 1

05-PhD-01. Baculovirus genes affecting ecological traits: insect behaviour and virus survival   
Starting date: 1 December 2005
PhD student: Ms Fang Xu
Supervisors: Dr. M.M. van Oers, Prof. J.M. Vlak, Prof. Z.H. Hu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: The Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China
 
05-PhD-02. In search of the molecular basis for heterosis in Chinese super-hybrid rice
Starting date: 8 February 2006
PhD student: Ms Yu Zhang
Supervisors: Dr. P.B.F. Ouwerkerk, Dr. Mei Wang, Prof. Zhen Zhu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Institute of Biology, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
 
05-PhD-04. Molecular basis of phenotypic plasticity of taste in insects
Starting date: 1 October 2005
PhD student: Mr Dong-sheng Zhou
Supervisors: Dr. ir. J.J.A. van Loon, Prof. Chen-zhu Wang
Involved Netherlands Institute: Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
 
05-PhD-06. Near real-time ground motion hazard monitoring using Envisat and ALOS satellite radar interferometry
Starting date: 1 January 2006
PhD student: Mr Liu Guang
Supervisors: Dr. R.F. Hanssen, Prof. Huadong Guo
Involved Netherlands Institute: Delft Institute for Earth Observation and Space Systems, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Remote Sensing Applications (IRSA), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
 
05-PhD-07. Traditional Chinese Medicine for Treatment of Cancer: Systems Biology Approach for Evaluating Synergistic Effects in Combination Therapy
Starting date: 3 May 2006
PhD student: Ms Hu Chunxiu
Supervisors: Prof. Th. Hankemeier, Prof. J. van der Greef, Dr. R. van der Heijden, Dr. Mei Wang, Prof. Guowang Xu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Division of Analytical Biosciences, Leiden Amsterdam Drug Research Center (LADCR), Leiden University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: National Chromatographic R & A Center, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
 

05-PhD-10. River activity as a function of climate and tectonic movement in north-central China   
Starting date: 1 August 2005
PhD student: Mr Wang Xianyan
Supervisors: Prof. J. Vandenberghe, Dr. C. Kasse, Prof. Lu Huayu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Department of Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology, Institute of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Earth Environment, Xi'an, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Round 2

1.06-PhD-01  Large woody plants in dry mobile sands– life history traits and population dynamics
Starting date: 1 January 2007
PhD student: Ms Shouli Li
Supervisors: Prof. M.J.A. Werger, Prof. Ming Dong
Involved Netherlands Institute: Institute of Plant Ecology, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

2.06-PhD-03 Playing with the spin in single films and hybrids of manganite oxides
Starting date: 1 September 2006
PhD student: Ms Xin He
Supervisors: Prof. J. Aarts, Prof. Zhi-dong Zhang
Involved Netherlands Institute: Leiden Institute for Physics research (LION), Leiden University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Metal Research, Shenyang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

3.06-PhD-04 Bridging the gap 2: how the medial temporal lobe associates discontiguous events in memory
Starting date: 1 October 2006
PhD student: Ms Xiao Liu
Supervisors: Prof. G. Fernández, Prof. Jing Luo
Involved Netherlands Institute: F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

4.06-PhD-05 Governmental environmental auditing on ecological programs in China
Starting date: 1 October 2006
PhD student: Mr Dan Liang
Supervisors: Prof. A.P.J. Mol, Prof. Yonglong Lu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Environmental Policy Group, Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
 
5.06-PhD-09  Stereocontrolled polymerization of meso-lactide and β-butyrolactone
Starting date: 1 February 2007 (agreed new starting date)
PhD student: Mr Hongzhi Du
Supervisors: Prof. J. Feijen, Prof. Xuesi Chen
Involved Netherlands Institute: Institute for BioMedical Technology, University of Twente, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

6.06-PhD-12 Rhizobium-Rice Symbiosis
Starting date: 1 October 2006
PhD student: Mr Wei Liu
Supervisors: Prof. T. Bisseling, Dr. R. Geurts, Prof. Wei-Cai Yang
Involved Netherlands Institute: Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Plant Science, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Involved China Institute: Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Round 3

1.07-PhD-01 Surface modification of bioactive nanoparticles studied by luminescence rare earth ions - a sensitive luminescent probe
Starting date: 1 August 2007
PhD student: Mr Yu Wang
Supervisors: Prof X G Kong
Involved Netherlands Institute: Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, Amsterdam
Involved China Institute: Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics Key Laboratory of Excited State Processes, Changchun, Jilin
 
2.07-PhD-02 The influence of accentuation and information status on spoken discourse comprehension and retention
Starting date: 1 January 2008
PhD student: Mrs Lin Wang
Supervisors: Prof P Hagoort, Prof Yufang Yang
Involved Netherlands Institute: F C Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen
Involved China Institute: Institute of Psychology
 
3.07-PhD-03 Exploring the 3-dimensional nanostucture of high-performance polymer solar cells
Starting date: 1 January 2008
PhD student: Mr Sijun Li
Supervisors: Dr J Loos, Prof Xiaoniu Yang
Involved Netherlands Institute: Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of TechnologyInvolved China Institute: Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry/State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry
 
4.07-PhD-05 The role of baculovirus genes involved in oral infectivity of insects: a combined genetic and ultra structural approach
Starting date: 15 January 2008
PhD student: Mr Ke Peng
Supervisors: Prof J M Vlak, Prof Zhihong Hu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University
Involved China Institute: Wuhan Institute of Virology
 
5.07-PhD-10 Ultra-Long-Wavelength Astronomy: toward a new look at the Universe
Starting date: 1 January 2008
PhD student: Mr Linjie Chen
Supervisors: Dr L I Gurvits1 & Prof R G Strom2, Prof Hong Xiaoyu'
Involved Netherlands Institute: 1Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, 2 ASTRON and University of Amsterdam
Involved China Institute: Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

6.07-PhD-11 Tissue responses to radiotherapy and development of immunotherapy for successful radioimmunotherapy of human melanoma
Starting date: 15 November 2007
PhD student: Mrs Qiao Xiaohang
Supervisors: Prof J Neefjes, Prof Jie Tang
Involved Netherlands Institute: The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Amsterdam
Involved China Institute: Center for Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics

Round 4

1.08-PhD-01  Adaptive response of woody plants to grazing, burial and denudation stress in dry mobile sands in Inner Mongolia
Starting date: 1 September 2008
PhD student: Liang Xu
Supervisors: Prof M J A Werger, Prof Ming Dong
Involved Netherlands Institute: Department Biology, Plant Ecology & Biodiversity, Utrecht University
Involved China Institute: Institute of Botany, Beijing

2.08-PhD-03 The role of the exocyst in targeting exocytosis during cell plate formation
Starting date: 1 October 2008
Supervisors: Dr T Ketelaar & Prof A M Emons, Prof Chun Ming Liu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Laboratory of Plant Cell Biology, Wageningen University
Involved China Institute: Center for Signal Transduction and Metabolomics (C-STM), Institute of Botany, Beijing
 
3.08-PhD-06  Biological behaviour of optically addressable nanoparticles and the possibility to use them for sensitive and highly specific detection of bacteria and malaria in blood
Starting date: 1 December 2008
PhD student: Mr Kai Liu
Supervisors: Dr H Zhang1 Dr W J Buma1 & Dr A M Brouwer1 & Dr M C G Aalders2, Prof Xianggui Kong
Involved Netherlands Institute: 1Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam & 2 Faculty of Medicine, Dept of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam
Involved China Institute: Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics/Key Laboratory of Excited State Processes

4.08-PhD-07  Super-THz receiver based on a quantum cascade laser and a HEB mixer for atmospheric space research
Starting date: 1 October 2008
PhD student: Mr Yuan Ren
Supervisors: Prof T M Klapwijk & Dr Jian-Rong Gao, Prof Sheng-Cai Shi
Involved Netherlands Institute: SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research Kavli Institute of Nano Science, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology
Involved China Institute: Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO), National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC)
 
5.08-PhD-08 UHP metamorphism of eclogites and subsequent retrograde metamorphism, magmatic and hydrothermal activities in western Dabieshan and Qinling: investigations by 40Ar/39Ar stepwise crushing, laser microprobe and laser stepwise heating techniques
Starting date: 1 April 2009
PhD student: to be selected
Supervisors: Dr J R Wijbrans & Dr F M Brouwer, Prof Hua-Ning Qiu
Involved Netherlands Institute: Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences Institute of Earth Sciences, Vrije University Amsterdam
Involved China Institute: Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry

6.08-PhD-11 Isolation and Characterization of Fusarium Mutants altered in virulence
Starting date: 1 January 2009
PhD student: Zhao Chunzhao
Supervisors: Dr C Waalwijk & Dr Th A J van der Lee, Prof Bin Wang
Involved Netherlands Institute: Plant Research International B.V, Wageningen
Involved China Institute: Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing

Round 5

1.09-PhD-01 The impact of water levels, and forage quality and quantity on Anatidae distribution
Start date: 1 Jan. 2009
PhD student: Mr. Yong ZHANG
Supervisors: Prof. Lei CAO & H.H.T. Prins, Prof. W.F. de Boer
Involved Netherlands University: Wageningen University
Involved China University: University of Science and Technology of China

2.09-PhD-02 Nitrate dependent ammonium and methane oxidation in Chinese Fresh Water Wetlands
Start date: 1 Sep. 2009
PhD student: Mr. Baoli Zhu
Supervisors: Prof. Xiuzhu Dong,Guibing Zhu & Prof. M.S.M. Jetten
Involved Netherlands Institute: Nijmegen
Involved China Institute: Institute of Microbiology, CAS
 
3.09-PhD-03 Strain reduced transport properties in superconductors for fusion
Start date: 1 Aug. 2009
PhD student: Mr. Chao Zhou
Supervisors: Prof. Wu Yu & Dr. A. Nijhuis, Prof.H.H.J. ten Kate
Involved Netherlands Institute: UT
Involved China Institute: Institute of Plasma Physics, CAS               
 
4.09-PhD-04  Effects of Changing Redox Conditions on the Biovailability of Heavy Metals in Paddy Soils
Start date: 1 Jul. 2010
PhD student: Mr. Yunyu Pan
Supervisors: Prof. Y.M. Luo & Prof. L.T.C. Bonten
Involved Netherlands Institute: WUR
Involved China Institute: Institute of Soil Science, CAS
 
5.09-PhD-07 Determination of land surface heat fluxes and water vapor over the Tibetan Plateau
Start date: 1 Sep. 2009
PhD student: Mr. Xuelong Chen
Supervisors: Prof. Yaoming Ma & Dr. Z. Su
Involved Netherlands Institute: Enschede
Involved China Institute: Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS
 
Conclusions:
 
Overall, the CAS-KNAW Joint PhD Training Programme has been successful in achieving its main objectives. This programme has contributed to producing a new generation of young Chinese scientists trained both in the Netherlands and in China as was the objective. They are getting first-hand knowledge of the institutions and systems in both countries. They are benefitting from the expertise of the best scientists in their field in both China and the Netherlands. The joint training of PhD candidates fosters closer ties and cooperation between Dutch and Chinese research groups and researchers, creating conditions conducive to developing sustainable research networks.
From the CAS-KNAW Joint PhD Training Programme the positive lessons about joint PhD training have been learnt as follows:
A.High success rate
The success rate of the selected projects in terms of progress made is very high. There was hardly any drop-out: only two out of 29 projects ended prematurely, while the rest of the projects are running smoothly. High quality projects have been awarded and the right PhD candidates have been selected for the projects.
 
B.Programme management
The respondents are very positive about the programme management. The programme management was available for questions, assistance was provide when necessary and the procedures were clear and agreeable.
 
C.Selection procedure
The selection procedure of the programme was undertaken in parallel by KNAW and UCAS with a joint selection meetingfor the final selection. The outcome of the selection procedure is positive as the success rate confirms.
 
D.Sandwich Construction
From the programme, it is learned that sandwich constructions are considered to be fruitful and practical. . The students are getting first-hand knowledge of the institutions and systems in both countries. They are benefitting from the expertise of the best scientists in their field in both China and the Netherlands.