Chinese Couple to Fund up to 400 Brain Science PhDs Each Year in California

Qian Tongxin:

A California-based non-profit institute co-founded by famous Chinese entrepreneur Chen Tianqiao will establish a global postdoctoral program to support research into the human brain.

One of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute’s priorities this year is to launch the global postdoctoral program and it will be the first project directly operated by the organization, Tianqiao Chen, the chief executive of Shanda Investment Group, told Yicai Global. The lab was founded in 2016 after the couple donated USD115 million to the California Institute of Technology.

The TCCI has bought over 13 hectares of land in Silicon Valley to build a center for the program which will fund of 300 to 400 young scientists each year, the founder of the private investment group said, without disclosing the total funding.

The program is certainly a good thing for the development of brain science, one young researcher told Yicai Global, adding that many eligible scientists will sign up.

China and the US have many labs for PhDs in the medical field, including the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation in the US, which gives awards worth up to USD200,000 per year for each postdoc student.

The global average of how much money it takes to cultivate a PhD researcher in brain science is CNY300,000 (USD44,700) each year, according to ShanghaiTech University. This would mean that the TCCI needs to spend at least CNY200 million (USD29.8 million) to fund up to 400 people for a two-year curriculum.