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Young Elite Scientist Sponsorship Program By CAST

In October 2015, the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) formally launched the "Young Elite Scientist Sponsorship Program By CAST" (hereinafter referred to as “YESS”), for the purpose of guiding and supporting all the societies affiliated with CAST to explore the mechanism of selecting and training young innovative scientific and technological talents, optimizing the environment for their growth, and building reserves of high-caliber talent in scientific and technological innovation for China. Every year, YESS selects and authorizes a batch of national scientific societies, through which a group of young scientific and technological workers at about 32 years of age (hereinafter referred to as “the supported”) are selected and given support and training for 3 consecutive years.

During the implementation of YESS, emphasis is given to the advantages of the national societies in resources, talents, areas of research and collaboration and to the principle of selection by peer experts. The national societies organize peer experts to make a comprehensive evaluation of the candidates, and each candidate shall be evaluated and given approval of recommendation by at least 3 peer experts, of whom at least 2 experts must be engaged in the same area of the study as the candidate.During the training, conditions should be created for the growth and success of the Supported, by making full use of the academic communication platforms, scientific and technological innovation platforms, international cooperation platforms, professional development platforms and follow-up service platforms of CAST and national societies. The project mainly provides support foryoung scientific and technological workers that just start working at the grassroots level. National societies are encouraged to design distinctive and diversified plans for the selection and training of young scientific and technological professionals according to the characteristics of talent in different areas of study, and innovate in the standards and systems for the evaluation of talents, so as to explore the path and provide experience for the national talent system reform.

By February 2017, nearly 1,000 experts in various fields and more than 100 nationalsocieties affiliated to CAST had participatedin the implementation of YESS, and had selected 388 scientific and technological workers, covering major specialized areas of study and emerging strategic industries. Next, YESS will expand the range of support, to increase the number of the supportedto300-400 per year.

Since implemented, YESShas attracted attention and won praise in all aspects. The experts participating in the work of YESS think that the project fully reflects the reform spirit and innovative measures of CAST which takes the initiative to serve scientific and technological workers, has clear goals and tasks, and focuses on the current weak links in building a contingency of scientific and technological talents; the design idea of the project is new and feasible, conforming to the development law of scientific and technological talents; the organization and implementation of the project are stable, orderly and accurately oriented, giving full play to the supportive function and intellectual superiority of CAST, which will surely become a brand project and have far-reaching influences if it can be continued persistently. YESS has received activeresponses from national societies and the broad masses of young scientific and technological workers.

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