May 16, 2011

Yeung Center for Collaborative China Studies announces first grants

The growing number of undergraduates with an interest in China may soon be able to visit the source to hone their language skills and delve into China-centric subjects. A study abroad program in collaboration with Nanjing University’s Institute for International Students is one of the first proposals receiving funding from the Benjamin and Rhea Yeung Center for Collaborative China Studies.

Other projects in the pipeline range from a feasibility study for a collaborative museum studies program (with Nanjing Museum) to a partnership to enhance pediatric injury prevention (with Nanjing University) to the creation of a center for engineering a synthetic genome (with Nanjing University of Technology).

The Yeung Center, which falls under the auspices of the Provost’s Office, will be formally launched in July to promote innovative new approaches to the study of China. The center was founded with a $10 million gift to Johns Hopkins from Benjamin Yeung, a Chinese-American entrepreneur, and his wife, Rhea.

The center has three co-directors: Kellee Tsai, a professor of political science and vice dean for humanities, social sciences and graduate programs in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; David Lampton, director of the China Studies Program and dean of faculty at the School of Advanced International Studies; and Jason Patent, American co-director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

Proposals selected for the first year fall within the five priority initiative areas: expansion of academic partnerships with Nanjing University, building research capacity at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, creating new degree and course offerings on China, enhancing study and research project opportunities for students in China and annual conferences on China.

“The Yeung Center grants not only have offered a chance for the realization of new projects across the Hopkins campuses but have given rise to some unprecedented collaborations between Hopkins faculty and students and counterparts in China in a range of disciplines,” said Carla Freeman, who is currently the interim director of SAIS’ China Studies Program and also served as interim co-director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and of the Yeung Center before Patent assumed his post on May 1. “The projects will both deepen and widen cooperation between Hopkins’ long-standing institutional partner in China, Nanjing University, by involving not only the Hopkins-Nanjing Center but other divisions and departments at Nanjing University.”

The projects, Freeman said, also promise to open doors to new institutional relationships in China, among them the Nanjing Museum and the Nanjing University of Technology. “The Yeung grants engage Hopkins with China in innovative ways from which we can expect some exciting outcomes and, I believe, new opportunities for even more collaborative work in China across the university,” she said.

Kellee Tsai said that the inaugural request for proposals brought in more than two dozen submissions from all divisions of the university.

“We were most impressed by the excitement and internal collaboration that this funding opportunity inspired among our faculty, students and administrative leaders,” Tsai said. “The lively exchanges brought forth by this first competition revealed a diverse array of research and programmatic interests.”

The titles of the initiatives (with the names of their principal investigators) that have been funded for the 2011–2012 academic year are as follows:

• “The Johns Hopkins–Nanjing Center for Synthetic Genomics”: Jef Boeke, School of Medicine, and Yilu Chen, Nanjing University of Technology.

• “Education and Research Partnership in Environmental Engineering, Science and Management”: Edward Bouwer, Whiting School of Engineering, and Jun Bi, Nanjing University.

• “Feasibility Study for Collaboration on Entrepreneurship Programs with Nanjing University School of Business”: Oksana Carlson, Carey Business School, and Shuming Zhao, Nanjing University School of Business.

• “Collaborative Program Between the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University”: Chia-Ling Chien, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Mu Wang, Nanjing University.

• “An Academic Partnership to Enhance Pediatric Injury Prevention”: Andrea C. Gielen, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Qian Gao, Nanjing University.

• “Feasibility Study for Collaboration Between Johns Hopkins MA in Museum Studies and the Nanjing Museum”: Phyllis Hecht, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Tao Shui, Nanjing University.

• “Johns Hopkins–Nanjing Exchange Program in Statistical and Data Sciences”: Hongkai Ji, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Liwei Zhang, Nanjing University.

• “Hopkins Scholars at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center”: Amir Pasic, SAIS, and center leadership of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

• “Hopkins-Nanjing Center Minorities Studies Program”: Thomas Simon, Hopkins-Nanjing Center, and Fan Ke, Nanjing University.

• “The Hopkins-Nanjing Center Law Studies Initiative”: Tomas Simon, Hopkins-Nanjing Center, and Feng Chuan, Nanjing University.

• “Hopkins-in-Nanjing Undergraduate Study Abroad Program”: Kellee Tsai, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Aimin Cheng, Nanjing University.

The request for proposals for the 2012–2013 academic year is expected to be issued in late December or January.