The International Affairs Office (IAO) was first established as a task force based on the Academic Exchange Section of Academic Affairs Office (AAO) in 2007. After the Revised Organization By-Laws of Academia Sinica were passed in 2014, the IAO was reorganized as the Department of International Affairs (DIA) to accommodate Academia Sinica’s active participation in international organizations and rapid development of international academic cooperation and international graduate program.
The Academia Sinica Department of International Affairs is responsible for promotion of higher education, international academic exchange, international organization affairs, organization of the Academia Sinica Lecture series, international faculty services, and arranging the visits of international VIPs to Academia Sinica.
1. Higher Education: One of the three main missions of Academia Sinica is to conduct and encourage academic studies. Academia Sinica, with the aim of exploiting its world-class resources and faculty to help promote higher education in Taiwan, implements this important task by collaborating with a consortium of key national research universities to provide interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs. Academia Sinica hosts two graduate programs: the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP), which is designed to create an unique educational environment serving both international and local students; and the Degree Program (DP), which provides a more advanced higher education environment for domestic students. Both programs are conducted in close collaboration with the local universities. Currently, the TIGP offers 9 interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs and the DP offers 5 interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs.
2. International Academic Exchange: The Academic Exchange and Cooperation Committee develops closer academic collaboration between prominent foreign research institutions and leading local universities. The Committee oversees various academic cooperation agreements and promotes scholarly exchange and cooperative research projects. This section is also in charge of organizing Academies related international conferences, which can promote cooperation among Academies on important subjects such as the role of the Academies in creating a better world.
3. International Organization Affairs: Academia Sinica participates in several international scientific organizations, such as the International Council for Science (ICSU), the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). In addition the Academy sponsors domestic academic societies to join international scientific associations in order to promote domestic participation in the international scientific community.
4. Academia Sinica Lectures: As part of our effort to establish Academia Sinica as one of the best innovative research institutions in the world, in 2009 President Wong inaugurated the “Academia Sinica Lecture Series.” The Series invites the most eminent scholars from around the world to give talks on issues pertaining to their chosen field. Invitation to speak as an Academia Sinica Lecturer is the highest honor of Academia Sinica. The honor is bestowed on Nobel Laureates and scholars of similar caliber from across the world. The initial lectures are in the fields of Mathematics and Physical Science and Life Science. Later the focus of the lectures will be expanded to cover the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. The past Academia Sinica Lecturers include Prof. Roger Y. Tsien and Prof. Roger D. Kornberg.
5. International Faculty Services: Academia Sinica provides various services to foreigners working at Academia Sinica. Services include: visa/ARC processing, off-campus housing rental, babysitter introduction, free Chinese classes, arrangements for the primary education of foreigners’ children, and publication of the handbook for foreigners.
6. Arrangement of the Visits of International VIPs to Academia Sinica:This section arranges visits to Academia Sinica of honorary academicians, foreign institution/academy presidents and other international VIPs including visiting lecturers and visitors for other academic activities.