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China - Summer Research Program

Program Highlights
The Summer Research program at China's Southwest University (SWU) is part of an exchange program that provides science majors at both institutions a unique opportunity for research/experiential learning and travel abroad. CSB/SJU students travel to the campus of Southwest University, located in the Beibei district of China's western municipal-province of Chongqing. There, they participate in a research project led by an SWU faculty member.
Southwest University is one of China's premier research universities. SWU boasts 97 bachelor programs, 2,650 full-time professors, and 9 post-doctoral research centers and a student population of nearly 50,000. SWU has been a CSBSJU partner school for 30 years. Recent research projects that CSBSJU Research Interns have participated in include: Isolation and Characterization of Phages, Asymmetric Organocatalysis, and the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir Project Research. 2013 Intern Krystal Heinin (Natural Science/Pre-Pharmacy, 2014) worked with Dr. He isolating organocatalysts. Her slideshow illustrates not only her work in the lab, but also her personal experiences as an intern abroad.

For the most part, I feel that I am acclimating well to the new surroundings. I love the food, am sleeping well, feel comfortable with my peers, and enjoy the different culture that Chongqing offers.
-Megan Levis

For Summer 2016, SWU faculty in biology, biochemistry, chemistry and environmental studies will participate in the program and accept CSB/SJU students as participants on their research project teams. CSB/SJU sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic standing are eligible to apply; preference is given to those who will be returning to campus as full-time students in Fall 2016. Ideally, successful candidates would possess at minimum a basic knowledge of the country's history and current socio-economic environment. There is no language requirement for the program and English is spoken by many students and all science faculty. The level of English, however, may vary, especially in non-academic settings. Some knowledge of Cantonese or Mandarin may therefore be useful and participants are encouraged to learn some basic phrases in advance of their program.

Research Projects
Project 1: Isolation and characterization of phages (Dr. Jianping Xie). 2-3 students with majors in Biology or Biochemistry will have the opportunity to work with Dr. Jianping Xie, whose lab isolated and characterized of the first mycobacterium phage from China (published in the Journal of Virology). 

Project 2: Asymmetric Organicatalysis (Dr. Yanhong He). One Chemistry or Biochemistry student will have the opportunity to work with Dr. Yanhong He on a project for asymmetric organocatalysis. Specifically, her work centers on the synthesis and application of novel amino acid derivatives as catalysts for asymmetric reactions.

Project 3: Three Gorges Reservoir Region projects (Dr. Changxiao Li). Dr Li will invite 2-3 students with majors in Biology or Environmental Sciences to work with him in his lab this summer. These students will have the opportunity to participate in research projects studying: 1) the ecological rehabilitation and restoration of the water-level fluctuation belt of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, and 2) the dynamic changes on plant secondary metabolites and soil nutrition in the water-level fluctuation belt of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region.


Some students are able to use this internship to fulfill the experiential learning requirement of the core curriculum or to earn independent learning program credit. Check with your major department and/or the Internship Office to determine eligibility and obtain registration information. Check with student accounts for information on the cost of summer internship credits. At least two must be academic references from CSB/SJU faculty members, one of them from your Department Adviser, who will also serve as the your Internship Adviser, should you be selected.

Accommodations & Meals

Research students live in the modern SWU International Student Dormitory. Students may buy and prepare their own food in the dormitory or visit the many cafes and restaurants around the University and in Beibei.

My accommodations exceed my expectations. Having a single room with air conditioning, a bathroom and fridge in China is fantastic.
-Patrick Deal

Program Dates
Approximately mid May through July (exact dates TBD). All participants are required to attend a background orientation program in late March and a pre-departure orientation at CSB/SJU in mid April.

Financial Considerations
Accommodations are provided by SWU at no charge. The basic cost for participation in the program is approximately $1800-2000 (round-trip airfare to Beibei China) minus any fellowship awarded. Other expenses, including those for passport application (if necessary); visa application/processing; tuition credit; ISIC Card for international travel; phone costs, and optional travel within the country are also the responsibility of the participant.

Application & Selection Information
The application deadline is Sunday, February 7, 2016, at 11:59pm. All application materials, including letters of reference should be received by CGE by the application deadline to be considered complete and on time. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all materials have been submitted and received by CGE.

Please request your references at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline to provide adequate lead time.
Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis, but will be ineligible for fellowship funding.

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Requirements of Candidates Selected for Program Participation

  • Passport: By March 1, 2016 Program participants must submit or show proof of passport that is valid through January 31, 2017.
  • Terms and Conditions Document (signed)
  • Health and Emergency Contact Form (completed)
  • Short Term, Off-Campus Program Waiver and Release Form (signed)
  • ISIC insurance card through the Center for Global Education($25 for basic coverage).