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China Will Give Female Scientists Priority in Recruitment and Research Funding


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lab researcher at Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences

The National Natural Science Foundation of China increased the age limit for women applying to its Young Scientist Fund from 35 to 40 in 2011.

Credit: Xinhua

Female researchers will be given priority for talent recruitment and research funding grants, provided they are on par with their male counterparts, according to a recent policy statement by China's Ministry of Science and Technology (MST).

When the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), the country's two top science institutions, recruit new academicians, "more females should be nominated" and "approved first if they are as excellent as their male counterparts," according to the document.

Top-level science jobs in China tend to be dominated by men. In 2019, 49 percent of all college degree holders were women, but female representation among academicians at CAS and CAE was only 6 and 5.3 percent respectively, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and MST.

"To some extent, people [in China] still see women as an accessory to their male colleagues no matter how outstanding they might be in their own profession," said Heng Ji, a professor at the computer science department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

From South China Morning Post
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