EDUCATION

TiGP Background

TiGP is a graduate education platform established in 2002 by Academia Sinica in association with Taiwan’s key national research universities. With the support of research institutes in Academia Sinica, TiGP currently has 12 interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs offering postgraduate education as well as advanced scientific training. Since its launch, TiGP@Academia Sinica has expanded extensively and currently has approximately 600 TiGP students from 48 countries.

MST Program

The Molecular Science and Technology (MST) program was one of the first Ph.D. programs founded in 2002 under TiGP@Academia Sinica, and IAMS has been the main host institute for this program. Currently, we have 49 MST students from 12 countries. MST students can choose from a broad selection of research areas for their thesis work, including atomic physics and optics science, chemical reaction dynamics, advanced materials and surface science and biophysics and biotechnology.

Message From the MST Program Coordinator

Dear friends of the TiGP-MST program,

I am honored to introduce the column for the TiGP-MST program in the first issue of the IAMS Newsletter. Over the last two years, several exciting developments have occurred in the TiGP-MST program. In 2018, the Molecular Science and Technology Program of National Taiwan University (NTU-MST) joined the TiGP-MST family and will soon confer Ph.D. degrees in engineering. In the 2019 admissions period, we had the most applicants ever to TiGP and the MST program; of those, we admitted nine new students. The 2019 Student Poster Contest for the MST, Nano Science and Technology (NST), and Sustainable Chemical Science and Technology (SCST) programs was held at IAMS, and three MST students won the first and third prizes. MST Travel Awards were also given to three MST students.

To cultivate young talent and offer the best education and mentorship to our students, we are also making new implementations to better serve students and the needs of the community. New merit-based scholarships—the Academia Sinica Research Award and the Presidential Award of Academia Sinica—will soon be introduced to recognize current TiGP students with excellent research performance while working toward graduation.

At MST, we feel that balancing work and life as well as social networking are essential. Cultural exchange among the international students is a natural means of networking, and the MST lunch parties to sample international foods have been organized by MST students. In the subsequent sections, you will read about their recent activities. You will also find more MST program highlights, including messages from MST students. For complete information, please visit our website at http://tigp.iams.sinica.edu.tw/#home.

Sincerely,

Ming-Shien Chang,
MST Program Coordinator

October 7, 2019

MST Overview

The MST program currently has 49 students from 12 countries: Taiwan (17), India (10), The Philippines (5), Vietnam (5), Pakistan (4), Ethiopia (2), Indonesia (1), Malaysia (1), Nepal (1), Bangladesh (1), Germany (1), and Egypt (1).

The MST program has had 47 Ph.D. students graduate since 2007, and all our alumni have succeeded in establishing professional careers either in research institutes, universities, or industries related to microelectronics and photonic device fabrication, nanomaterials, biotechnology, and advanced instrumentation.

Student Activities

At MST, we hold a poster presentation contest to help students practice presenting their research and learn about each other’s research. A poster contest was held on May 7, 2019 at IAMS, and the first student-organized MST oral presentation workshop will be held on Dec. 20, 2019.

In addition to presentations, we hold lunch parties to experience food from different countries. We had regional cuisines from India on October 24, 2018, and Vietnam on December 25, 2018. We are about to hold another Filipino-style lunch party on November 1, 2019. In addition, international students have experienced Taiwanese events, such as Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, so the students can also taste traditional Taiwanese food!

Students discussing in front of their poster
Students learning to make Indian dishes

Graduated Students

This fall, five students graduated from the MST program. Ms. Be-Ming Chang tells us about her experience in Prof. Huan-Cheng Chang’s lab as a TiGP-MST student:

Looking back, the Ph.D. was a journey to empower my knowledge, practice thinking like a scientist, and learn to find solutions. TiGP-MST has created a multinational atmosphere for students to study their research topics and pursue their academic careers. The program also offers the greatest support from Academia Sinica. In such a cultivated academic arena, I was fortunate to learn from and work with people in different fields, such as physics, optics, and biology, during my Ph.D. life. With interdisciplinary connections, my chemistry background allows me to develop and create multifunctional nanomaterials for practical applications, such as a bioimaging agent for protein targeting and labeling, a dual-modality agent for MRI and histological studies, a bactericidal agent for clinical and public health, and a nanodiamond-incorporated thin film polymer sensor for both optical and electrical systems. In return, during constructive discussions between chemistry and other fields, I understand how powerful thinking beyond the boundaries can be.

Of course, pursuing a Ph.D. can be tough; you may face struggles, frustrations, critics, and fears. Doing research means that sometimes things do not occur according to plan. When this happens, you must understand this is your challenge and perhaps one of the most crucial lessons in your Ph.D. journey. For me, having “passionate curiosity” and staying positive during the entire graduate training are the keys to facing challenges. Experienced scientists are here for you to talk to and learn from, especially your supervisor. Having discussions with your supervisor will always light up your research path when you feel lost! Enjoy your Ph.D.! I believe it will be filled with more wonderful experiences than you can imagine.

New Students

This year we admitted nine new students, with five from Taiwan, two from The Philippines, one from Indonesia, and one from India. The following is a photo from the welcome party:

From left to right: Dr. Ming-Shien Chang (Coordinator of MST Program), Ms. Jenny Lin (Secretary@NTU-MST), Chieh-I Chen, Muhammad Yusuf Fakhri, Armida Villas Gillado, Rona Felisilda Barbarona, Tulsiram Moodala Beed Prasannakumar (1st year MST students), Rapti Ghosh (2nd year MST student & MST Representative), Ms. Bonnie Lin (Secretary@TiGP-MST), and Dr. Jer-Lai Juo (Graduate Dean of TiGP)

Award Winner

Congratulations to Ms. Monika Kataria, who won first prize in the 2019 TiGP Student Poster Contest!

I, Monika Kataria (MST-TiGP Ph.D. student), had the opportunity to participate in the 2019 MST/NST/SCST Joint Poster Contest held at IAMS, Academia Sinica on the afternoon of May 7, 2019. I was fortunate enough to have received the first prize in the poster contest. I was delighted and surprised to have convinced the jury of the day to adjudge me worthy of the award. The title of my poster presentation was “Visible Blind, Wearable, and Omnidirectional Near-Infrared Photodetector: A Filterless Approach.” Concerning the preparation process for the poster, I made sure that my work touches the lives of people. Thus, finding instances from the situations and problems around us and providing solutions to them through my work attracted audiences more toward understanding the importance of my work. I want to acknowledge Dr. Wei-Hua Wang and Dr. Yang-Fang Chen, without whose guidance and support this presentation would not have been possible. I owe my success in this contest to them and feel blessed to have them as my mentors. Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my TiGP-MST family for having me and providing me with a platform I always aspired for in my ongoing Ph.D. journey. The MST program has always been flexible and student friendly. The best part about the MST program is that it helped me hone my skills of presentation and public speaking. The MST program allows its student members to organize and host MST events every year. This helped me in building confidence and learning the art of expressing in larger gatherings. Overall, winning the first prize in the poster contest was not a one-day event. It was the efforts, guidance, and support of each member of the MST family who has played their role in my improvisation every passing day of my Ph.D. journey in Taiwan. I hope to receive more accolades for the MST-TiGP program and IAMS, Academia Sinica, in the near future and continue to learn and grow.

Other TiGP Programs

In addition to MST, many IAMS faculty members are affiliated with the SCST, NST, and Chemical Biology and Molecular Biophysics programs under TiGP@Academia Sinica.

Information for Perspective Students

TiGP offers admissions for the fall semester only. Detailed admission requirements and application materials are available on the TiGP@AS website (http://tigp.sinica.edu.tw).

TiGP-MST will ally with the TiGP-NST and TiGP-SCST programs to conduct joint admissions in 2020, and the application for TiGP 2020 admissions will open on November 1, 2019 and close on February 1, 2020. This schedule is shifted forward compared with those of previous years to attract and offer early admissions to outstanding applicants.