Directions Governing Ministry of Education Subsidies for Short Term Research Awards (STRA)
The Ministry of Education (abbreviated below to ‘MOE’) has formulated these directions to encourage international scholars (with the exception of those from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao) to undertake short term research in the Republic of China (Taiwan), in order to provide them with opportunities to increase their understanding of Taiwan’s culture and society, and to promote mutual understanding and interaction between Taiwan and the international community.
a. An international scholar who is a Ph.D. student or a postdoctoral research fellow, with the exception of anyone currently holding an R.O.C. passport, is eligible to apply for a Short Term Research Award (abbreviated below to ‘STRA award’).
b. ‘Ph.D. student’ refers to a student who is currently undertaking a doctorate program at an overseas government approved and registered public or private university or college; a ‘postdoctoral research fellow’ refers to a scholar who has been awarded a Ph.D. by any government (ROC or overseas) approved and registered public or private university or college, and is now undertaking a research project at such an overseas university, college, or institute of higher education. Priority will be given to specific research proposals by scholars who have completed a dissertation, book/s, and/or other publication/s.
c. Please note that anyone in any of the following circumstances is not eligible to apply:
1. Anyone who at the time they apply is visiting, residing, studying (including undertaking an internship), teaching, or undertaking research activity in Taiwan;
2. Anyone who has received an STRA award within the last 5 years;
3. Anyone who is currently receiving some form of financial assistance from a government agency or an educational institution in Taiwan to undertake a research project;
4. Anyone who would be an exchange student under some formal academic co-operation agreement signed between a university or tertiary college in Taiwan and an overseas university or college during the period undertaking the proposed research in Taiwan.
Short-Term Research Period
a. The short term research period must be for a duration of between 2 and 6 months.
b. The short term research period is aligned with each fiscal year, and in principle, the research is to be undertaken between March 1 and December 31.
Approximately 20 STRA awards are available each year; the actual number depends on the annual budget for the particular fiscal year.
Research Topic Area
The research topic area to be investigated in Taiwan must be related to Taiwanese humanities disciplines, social sciences, culture and/or arts, and/or related comparative research.
a. A Ph.D. student will receive a monthly research subsidy of NTD $25,000; a postdoctoral fellow will receive NTD $40,000.
b. Recipients will also be reimbursed for an economy class round trip airfare for the most direct route between their place of residence and Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, or Matsu. The maximum airfare subsidy available for traveling to and from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, or Oceania respectively will be determined in accordance with Ministry of Education regulations. Applicants are responsible for any expenses exceeding the set maximum.
Applicants Must Submit the Following Documents:
a. 3 copies of the Application Form (see appendix 1)
b. A postdoctoral fellow must provide a photocopy of their Ph.D.; a Ph.D. student must provide certification of their current enrollment and transcripts and documentary evidence of the academic programs they have completed.
c. At least two letters of recommendation: one from a senior official of the institution, university, or college where the applicant is currently working or studying (for example: the president or vice-chancellor of a university, the director of an institute, dean of a college, head of a department, or head of a research institute, or a senior official from another institution or organization); another from a teaching scholar or expert in the applicant’s field. If the applicant is a Ph.D. student, a certification of their current enrollment must also be submitted.
Application Procedure & Timeline
a. Applications to undertake a research project in Taiwan in the following year must be submitted to the university, college, or research organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education—such as the Center for Chinese Studies, or the National Academy for Educational Research—in Taiwan at which the applicant would like to undertake research (abbreviated below to ‘host institution’). All the application material stipulated immediately above must arrive at the host institution no later than September 30 (date of receipt) each year.
b. The host institution will undertake the initial review of the application and if it supports the proposal, it will assist the applicant to prepare a brief summary of their research proposal in Chinese on a single A4 sheet, and submit that and all other required documents to the MOE by November 15 the same year for further assessment and approval.
c. The MOE will notify the host institutions of the final STRA award decisions, and the host institutions will then notify the applicants. The MOE will also send a copy of the decision to the Republic of China embassy or diplomatic mission in each successful applicant’s home country or place of residence by January 31 of the next year.
Ministry of Education Selection Procedure
The applications approved by the host institutions’ undertaking the initial reviews and submitted to the MOE will be collated, and the MOE will then convene a selection panel of three to five people, comprising MOE officials and scholars and/or experts in the applicants' fields of research, to select the STRA award recipients. Only applicants who receive at least 70 points (out of a possible 100) from each person on the selection panel may be selected to receive an STRA award.
Selection is based on consideration of:
a. the applicant's potential; outstanding personal performance; and ability to carry out their proposal (30%);
b. the applicant's language ability, and the academic reputation of the research institution within the applicant’s research field and its appropriateness for the proposal (30%);
c. the overall quality and comprehensiveness of the research proposal (including the topic, structure, research methodology, and analysis of the issue/s), its feasibility, and the importance of the project to future development of the applicant’s home country and Taiwan (40%).
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