On Friday, August 27, 2010, the summer concluded with a poster session and awards reception for 11 undergraduate student researchers from China. Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, partnered with the University Graduate School (UGS) to bring the Chinese college students to IU Bloomington for an eight-week summer research experience beginning in early July.
“The goal,” said Associate Dean David Daleke, “is to make a connection with them and show them what IU is like for graduate school.”
Most of the visiting students were rising seniors and in this initial year, all the students were placed in labs in chemistry, biochemistry or medical sciences.
“The summer was great,” Tsinghua student Lan Wang said. “I enjoyed my stay in the lab, everyone was friendly and the project was amazing.”
The seed money to kick-start the program came from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Daleke said, who provided $10,000 to offset the cost of the summer program, which is equivalent to approximately $2,500 per student.
“The Graduate School provided some of the funding and the rest—approximately $800 per student—was paid by the departments. In some cases, faculty were asked to pay for the students out of grant money, and in other cases the department kicked in the money.
“What this indicates to me is a tremendous commitment by the faculty to bring these students here. Without that partnership, they wouldn’t be here,” Dr. Daleke said. “We’ve also been tremendously lucky to recruit current IU biochemistry graduate student, Xiaohui Gao, a Tsinghua graduate, as student liaison for the program.”
Gao is a second-year research assistant working with Professor Charles Dann of the Department of Chemistry.
For future summers, UGS intends to explore the possibility of a collaboration with Zhejiang, Nanjing, and Peking Universities to develop similar programs, perhaps with similar joint funding and cost sharing.
“We want to bring some of the best students from these universities to IU. And if they like what they see, we hope that they’ll apply and be accepted to our programs.”