By Xingfeng Si

As today’s science is a team effort, it is essential to promote the collaboration skills for young scientists in their early careers (McNutt, 2015). In China, the China-educated young scientists (tubie in Chinese, or ‘land turtles’), meet more challenges than foreign-educated intellectuals (haigui in Chinese, or ‘sea turtles’) when hunting a job or other achievements (Fan, 2008). The major reason is that universities in China prefer to recruit young scientists with overseas background. Tubie thus have fewer choices, even they have equivalent academic records as haigui.

A reasonable solution of tubie’s dilemma is to enhance collaboration with leading experts by ‘bring in’ and ‘going out’ strategies (People’s Daily Online, 2015). Domestic labs should foster the collaboration with field leaders for young scientists’ benefit (i.e. The Thousand Talents Plan). In the meantime, young scientists should be encouraged to apply scholarships (e.g. China Scholarship Council) for their overseas study and research, the way to be a haigui.


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Xingfeng Si



Published: 1 Aug, 2015

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