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Representative to States touts Taiwan Fellowship in DC

WASHINGTON -- Taiwan's Representative to the U.S., Shen Lyu-shun, encouraged academics Thursday to apply for the Taiwan Fellowship Program, which he said has helped boost Taiwan's academic standing in the world.

The program was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2010 to award foreign experts and scholars interested in conducting advanced research at academic institutions in Taiwan for studies relating to Taiwan, cross strait relations, China, the Asia-Pacific region and Sinology, according to Shen.

The fellowship includes monthly stipends of NT$50,000 (US$1,660) to NT$60,000 for professors, associate professors, assistant professors, post-doctoral researchers and doctoral candidates, along with a round-trip, economy-class airplane ticket. The term ranges from three to 12 months.

Shen encouraged anyone interested in applying to visit the foreign ministry's website or official Facebook page for an online application, or to visit Taiwan's representative offices abroad to file paper applications.

The program has attracted 346 scholars over the past three years, most of whom came from the United States, Japan and South Korwea, and Germany, he said.

The visiting scholars have covered a wide range of topics. Shen listed Japanese researchers studying China's Warring States period (5th-3rd centuries B.C.); South Korean researchers investigating the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and implications of cross-strait exchanges on North-South Korea relations; and British researches examining Taiwan's diplomatic policy and soft power, particularly in the humanities and social science.

In addition to creating a good research environment, scholarships like the Taiwan Fellowship, the U.S. Fulbright Program and Oxford's Rhodes Scholarships can expand each country's or institution's academic influence and visibility, Shen added.

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