NTU and UMich Launch Cooperative Educational Program in Pharmacy
NTU’s School of Pharmacy (NTUSP) held the Research Day and International Conference on June 1-2. In the last session of the conference, the school and the University of Michigan (UMich)’s College of Pharmacy (UMCOP) jointly announced the launch of the International Cooperative Educational “Sandwich” Program for developing teaching and research professionals. NTUSP Chair Li-Jiuan Shen (沈麗娟) and UMCOP Dean James Dalton illustrated the content and purpose of this program in the session, during which a donation ceremony was held as well. The donor Dr. Larry Hsu (許中強), a distinguished alumnus of NTUSP and the winner of UMCOP’s 2015 Alumni Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, was invited to take the stage to introduce the ideas behind his support for this program. Faculties and students from both institutions attended the ceremony to witness the initiation of the program.
In recent years, NTUSP has been actively seeking teaching and research collaborations with renowned pharmacy institutions around the world to boost its research capacity and to develop, attract, and retain talents. A world-famous institute devoted to pharmaceutical studies, UMCOP has produced doctoral graduates who have made tremendous contributions to pharmaceutical research, education, and industrial development. Over the years, several UMCOP’s doctoral graduates have joined NTUSP, including Profs. Ji-Wang Chern (陳基旺), Chun-Jung Lin (林君榮), Fan-Lu Kung (孔繁璐), and Shu-Wen Lin (林淑文).
Both NTUSP and UMCOP emphasize providing students with high-quality international education experiences and developing their ability to engage in international cooperation. Sharing the same goals, the two institutions began discussing potential collaboration last June and finally signed a five-year cooperation agreement on April 1, 2018. NTUSP and UMCOP jointly planned this Cooperative Educational “Sandwich” Program according to the agreement, which aims to encourage NTUSP students to pursue a doctoral degree at UMCOP while facilitating faculty exchange activities. The program features a “sandwich” design that allows students to (1) pursue a master’s degree in pharmacy at NTU; (2) earn a doctoral degree in clinical pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, or pharmaceutical sciences at UMich; and finally (3) return to NTUSP to conduct post-doctoral research.
To facilitate this talent development program, Dr. Larry Hsu and Dr. Ann Hsu (吳芳華), NTUSP graduates who are a famous pharmaceutical entrepreneur couple based in the US, considered this collaboration meaningful and are willing to assist their alma mater to develop outstanding pharmaceutical professionals for Taiwan. The couple has generously agreed to fund six students for completing this program (which amounts to a donation of over NT$40 million) in order to stimulate NTU students’ passion for pharmaceutical research and build a sustainable model for pharmaceutical education and talent development.
At the ceremony, Prof. Shen noted that one of her greatest responsibilities as Chair of NTUSP is to develop and recruit pharmaceutical researchers and faculty for Taiwan. While expressing deep gratitude for the efforts of NTUSP faculty, Chair Shen thanked UMCOP’s Dean Dalton and faculty members for traveling all the way to Taiwan to witness the launch of the program, and appreciated Dr. Hsu for his generous support. Chair Shen also emphasized that the Sandwich Program will be a continuing project that sees no limit, and that more similar programs will be facilitated to achieve NTUSP’s mission of sustainable talent development.