Chinese Internet giant Tencent previously announced that it will invest 10 billion yuan over the next 10 years to support a select group of scientists who devote themselves to basic research for a long time, helping to achieve the original innovation from “0 to 1”.
On July 5, Tencent started the application process for the “New Cornerstone Investigator Program”(hereinafter referred to as “the Program”) from July 1 to September 30, 2022. This is a new basic research funding program led by scientists, funded and independently operated by Tencent, under the guidance of the China Association for Science and Technology.
The Program plans to support 60 scientists in 2022 with up to 5 million yuan per year for the experimental category and 3 million yuan for the theoretical category.
The Program sets up two fields: Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Biology and Biomedical Sciences, and encourages interdisciplinary research.
The most distinctive feature of the Program, unlike other task-driven and project-based research, is that it does not set clear research goals for those who are funded. Nor will the Program assess the number of papers published or produced nor give a deadline for results. The Program aims simply to provide those interested and devoted to their work with long-term and flexible funding, and hopes to help create a stable research environment for them to focus on their research.
The Program is open for anybody to apply, including institutional and independent researchers. Applicants for both types must meet the following requirements: be under the age of 55 at the time of application; have been a doctoral supervisor for at least 5 years; have worked full-time in Mainland China or Hong Kong and Macau (regardless of nationality); devote at least 9 months to research each year; have experience in basic research and still be in the front line of research, and have not previously applied for The Explorer Prize 2022.
In order to strictly follow the principle of being “scientist-led”, the Program has set up a scientific committee as the decision-making body in talent selection, with Shi Yigong, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of Westlake University, as the chairman of the committee.