BEIJING - While China is attempting to lure more overseas scientists to work here, many Chinese talents who got their diplomas overseas are showing interest in returning.
"Four years of PhD study in France was not enough to broaden my research, and I plan to return to a research institute after a brief period of gaining working experience in an electronics company in France," Guo Wei, a 29-year-old Chinese doctoral student at the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France, told China Daily on Friday in Beijing.
"I quit the job last week and flew back China to hunt for new opportunities, and I haven't decided yet whether I'll stay," he said.
Guo is one of 31 self-supporting scientific talents abroad who got a national scholarship and financial support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to fly back and talk with the institutes they are interested in.
Their average age is only 29, and some haven't finished their post-doctoral study abroad.
"I heard some complaints about the academic atmosphere and tight research budgets in China, so I wanted to have a look for myself," he said.
"But I've formed a different impression now, and I'm confident about the possible work opportunities," he said.
"I just got back from an activity in England and many Chinese there asked me how to go about returning," Li Hefeng, the director of the personnel and education bureau under the CAS, said on Friday in Beijing.
"We aim to bridge the way for their return with domestic research institutes and flexible policies," he said.
This initiative is one of the government's latest efforts to attract leading overseas scientists and researchers who work at prominent international institutions or enterprises through the Thousand Talents Program that China started in 2008. More than 800 people have signed up.
"I made the right decision to come back, and I've never regretted it," Shu Yousheng, a researcher at Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences under the CAS, said on Friday.
He worked at Yale University from 1999 to 2006 and then returned China to continue neuroscience research with the CAS.
Shu is one of 10 young scientific talents who received awards from the CAS on Friday, and each of them will get 100,000 yuan ($15,460) in funding.
He said the country's investment in R&D and people has kept increasing in recent years.
"My Chinese mentor could only get less than 100,000 yuan a year for research from 1994 to 1999, but I got 2 million yuan for my research the first year when I returned to work for CAS in 2006," he recalled.
Under the National Outline for Medium- and Long-Term Talent Development (2010-2020), released in June, China plans to increase its talent pool from 114 million to 180 million by 2020, when it will spend 15 percent of its GDP on human resources.