From textbooks to tablets, physical classrooms to online video lectures, teacher-centered lectures to student-centered collaborative learning: technology development has driven an educational paradigm shift over the past few decades. Likewise, learning experiences have become more attuned to the needs of individual learners with easier access to study materials and references on the internet, and more globalized with lower boundaries across time zones, geographies, and languages.
What lies at the core of these approaches is that frontline researchers should commit themselves to offer quality and mind-blowing learning environments to foster the next generations of talented researchers. In response to the global call for high-quality and interdisciplinary education, ACBI offers a variety of study and hands-on research training programs exclusively for undergraduate and postgraduate students from Asian countries.
Chemical biology is yet an underrepresented field in emerging Asian countries; thus, local students have rarely been exposed to chemical biology studies at school. On the occasion of the ACBI Meeting series held in emerging Asian countries, ACBI professors give a short and fun-to-audit tutorial lecture of chemical biology research to the local’s top talents, showcasing basics and applications of their expertise. Examples of topics covered are the introduction of chemical biology, target identification, small molecule bioimaging, protein bioimaging, peptides, nucleic acids, epigenetics, computational chemical biology, and more.
For those students who look for study-abroad opportunities, what would be the most challenging and daunting task is to hunt for a host researcher out of millions of possibilities.
On the occasion of the ACBI Meeting series held in emerging Asian countries, ACBI professors from the member countries meet and interview with local students who aspire to study chemical biology abroad to earn an advanced degree. Student candidates are pre-screened by a submission of CVs, and only shortlisted candidates are invited to the events. The interview takes place in a speed interview format: ACBI professors are stationed at tables, and students will rotate and talk with 6-8 professors to whom they are assigned according to the preferences and research areas of each student candidate. The student candidates are also given the privilege of enjoying complimentary dinner with the ACBI professors at a local restaurant.
So far, many student candidates have been successfully matched up with their prospective host professors after the interview events, and managed to receive a scholarship to study chemical biology in their host laboratories in ACBI-member countries. Voices of the students who have seized the opportunity to study in ACBI-member countries can be heard through the following page (https://www.asianchembio.com/05-student-interview).
Awards, certificates, honors…. There is a myriad of such titles that highlight your strengths and accomplishments. ACBI also acknowledges top-performing students at the occasion of the ACBI Tutorial and Interview events, by making an honorable mention of the top-performers with ACBI Merit Student Award. Awardees are recognized for their scientific curiosity and keen intellect exhibited through their CV and their performance during the events.
What stands Awardees out from other student candidates? One possible answer is the ability to formulate quality questions, as being able to ask good questions is a sign that the person interprets what s/he is observing and articulates his or her response clearly. That’s one of the essential skills for successful scientists.
ACBI MERIT STUDENT AWARD
An intensive chemical biology class jointly taught by 2-3 ACBI professors, offered at top universities in Asian countries on an irregular basis. The class takes place in the “flipped classroom” format where students watch internet-based lectures outside of the classroom and do in-class discussions and exercises with the instructor. As the emerging teaching approach has gain momentum all over the world, the ACBI-Sponsored Class series invites not only local students but also faculty members as auditors to demonstrate how to incorporate the flipped classroom approach to their own classes.
Education and research in university often combine multiple subjects, and new ideas tend to come out from such multidisciplinary fields. The goal of this lecture is to develop idea-generation skills through the analysis of pioneering studies at the interface between chemistry and biology and through interactive activities.
After successful completion of the ACBI-Sponsored Class, registered students will receive a “Certificate of Completion” and top-performing students will be given an “Award of Excellence” as a token of their superior achievements and excellence in class. Awardees will be entitled to a week-long travel award to undertake a research training at an ACBI-member laboratory of their preference (upon availability).
One of the challenges that ACBI professors face today is fostering the next generation of chemical biologists with limited time and resources. In this regard, the ACBI initiated ACBI Co-Mentorship Program from 2019 that invites Direct Mentors and their Mentees (graduate students) to team up with international Co-Mentors to form trilateral co-mentor partnerships across ACBI member countries.
Mentees receive occasional advice, feedback, ideas and commentary on his/her unpublished/on-going work from their Co-Mentors. Mentees’ international exposure and cross-cultural training enriches their learning experience and promises a world of career opportunities after graduation.