Dragon Gate Programme – Taiwan (MOST)

Objective?

In order to keep on stimulating (especially young) Taiwanese researchers to spend part of their research career with partners abroad and to establish new partnerships with first-rate research institutions, the Taiwanese Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST, former National Science Council of Taiwan) launched the Dragon Gate Programme in 2012, officially entitled the “New Partnership Program for the Connection to the Top Labs in the World”. Interested research laboratories from Flanders can also participate in the programme.

Remark: This programme is not an initiative from FWO. Therefore, FWO will not supply any funding and no documents have to be submitted to FWO. All financial means are provided by MOST (Taiwan).

Features?

  • Duration of the projects: 1 year (can be extended for max. 1 additional year if specifically requested for in the initial project proposal).
  • Funding from MOST: max. 4 million New Taiwan dollars (approx. € 110,000) per project per year, including:
    • for Principal Investigator (PI) and co-PI (optional): travel expenses between Taiwan and Belgium (round-trip), living allowance and insurance;
    • one-time funding to PI for research expenses (such as laboratory or infrastructural expenses requested by the Flemish host institution – see * under Procedure);
    • scholarship (including insurance) for Ph.D. student or postdoctoral researcher:
      • max. 900,000 New Taiwan dollars per year (approx. € 25,000) for Ph.D. students;
      • max. 1,300,000 New Taiwan dollars per year (approx. € 37,000) for postdoctoral researchers.
  • Call by MOST for Taiwanese research teams: yearly opened (see MOST webpage, only available in Chinese).

Profile and conditions?

  • The Taiwanese research team that wants to stay at a Flemish host institution, consists of min. 2 up to max. 5 team members, of which:
    • 1 Principal Investigator (PI);
    • 1 co-PI (optional);
    • and min. 1 up to max. 3 Ph.D. student(s) or postdoctoral researcher(s).
  • Duration of the stay abroad:
    • Ph.D. students or postdoctoral researchers: each at least 10 months per year;
    • PI: more than 2 months (60 days) in total per year;
      • If it is decided to divide the stay abroad between PI and co-PI: each more than 1 month (30 days) per year.

Procedure?

  • Every year MOST publishes a list of all the World Leading Labs (WLL) ready to receive researchers from Taiwan: current overview of WLL.
    • Flemish institutions that wish to become host institution for Taiwanese research teams, can apply as candidate every year before the end of May by sending an obligatory Letter of Interest as well as relevant details introducing their leading, pioneer research work to:

Science & Technology Division
Taipei Representative Office in the EU & Belgium
Square de Meeus, 27
1000 Brussels, Belgium

  • This letter will be officially transferred to MOST for further evaluation and final decision. After a positive evaluation, the Flemish institution will be added to the overview of WLL.
  • By applying as candidate for a position as WLL, the Flemish institutions commit themselves to grant access to their laboratories and provide office space for the Taiwanese researchers during the entire project duration. For this purpose, a WLL is allowed to request an annual laboratory access fee or infrastructural expenses under this project. These expenses should also be explicitly listed by the Taiwanese PI within the project proposal. (see *)
  • A rigorous academic review will be conducted by MOST. However, only upon receiving an endorsement from the corresponding WLL, MOST will be able to select well-qualified Taiwanese research teams in the final stage, taking into account:
  • In addition, MOST provides each year an overview with key areas (see current overview). Funding will only be accorded to these yearly announced key areas.
  • Based on the above-mentioned list of WLL and the overview of key areas, the Taiwanese PI is responsible to produce a comprehensive proposal that includes the outlines of research activities, assembling of young talented scientists, budgets management, etc.
    • Pre-discussion between the Taiwanese PI and the WLL is highly recommended before drafting the proposal. Through this pre-discussion, research activities can be planned and agreed upon on by both sides. In addition, a suitable supervisor at the WLL can be identified and also infrastructural costs can be pre-estimated.
  • The Taiwanese PI submits the project proposal to MOST and to the WLL.
    • The supervisor at the WLL, as a referee, needs to assist to review the proposal and provides MOST with feedback.
    • A rigorous academic review will be conducted by MOST. However, only upon receiving an endorsement from the corresponding WLL, MOST will be able to select well-qualified Taiwanese research teams in the final stage, taking into account:
      • the research performance of the PI during the past years;
      • the content and the compatibility of the proposed research and the Flemish host institution;
      • the added value of the collaboration.
  • After final approval of the Flemish host institution, the Taiwanese research team can start the project the year after.

Regulations and downloads

Please note that any updates concerning the Dragon Gate Programme will be provided to the FWO by MOST. In case of any questions, please contact Taipei Representative Office in the EU & Belgium (Ms. Lingring Tsai | +32 (0)2 287 28 23 | tsailr@most.gov.tw).