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Standing on the shoulders of giants

Thanks to significant investment and support of the city government, ShanghaiTech University has accelerated the growth of its global research network and elite talent pool.

Credit: ShanghaiTech University

Investing in people has been ShanghaiTech University’s top priority since its recent founding in 2013. This push explains why among its world-class faculty of around 1,000 professors, there are four Nobel laureates, ten National Academy of Sciences (US) members and three Royal Society (UK) fellows, in addition to 32 Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) members and three Chinese Academy of Engineering members.

Established by the Shanghai Municipal Government and CAS, ShanghaiTech University is a young and dynamic higher education institution committed to carrying out research in line with China’s national development strategies, and nurturing the next generation of innovative scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs.

With an academic focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics), the university has gathered brilliant researchers in five schools — the School of Physical Science and Technology, the School of Life Science and Technology, the School of Information Science and Technology, the School of Entrepreneurship and Management, and the School of Creativity and Art. It seeks cutting-edge solutions to global challenges, with a focus on the fields of energy, materials, environment, human health, and artificial intelligence.

Faculty members are attracted to ShanghaiTech for its diverse research networks. An integral part of the Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center, ShanghaiTech is already leading several frontier research projects and the construction of some large-scale facilities. Its three research institutes— the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS), the iHuman Institute, and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, are dedicated to interdisciplinary research that promotes partnerships with industries and other external parties. They are joined by a newly established Institute of Humanities.

Extensive academic and professional networks of ShanghaiTech are also geographically grounded within Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, boasting convenient access to various research bases and industrial R&D centres. Internationally, there have also been extensive collaborations with leading universities including Yale, Harvard, MIT and many others.

Credit: ShanghaiTech University

Following the international standard, ShanghaiTech adopts the tenure-track system, which helps to draw talented and experienced faculty members from around the world. Currently, more than 90% of ShanghaiTech’s faculty members have overseas research experience. The university also has 75 full-time foreign faculty and staff, who are well supported by university services, including assistance with settling in the city, and with carrying out teaching and research work.

The university’s commitment to investing in people is also demonstrated in its educational programmes, to which students’ integrity, academic capabilities and innovative spirit remain central. As a dynamic, free-thinking academic hub, ShanghaiTech encourages its bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students to investigate the world’s challenges, explore innovative research and implement their entrepreneurial ideas in an open learning environment for all.

doi: 10.1038/d42473-019-00334-x