SHANGHAI: Local authorities are offering lucrative packages to lure leading academics to the city under a new scheme to help boost its competitiveness.
The special appointment professor program (also known as the Eastern Scholar Program), jointly proposed by the CPC Shanghai science & education committee and the Shanghai education committee over the weekend, is designed to help Shanghai achieve its economic and social development goals.
The program will focus mainly on supporting college and university departments involved in research for hi-tech sectors of industry.
The program will implement an appointment system, which includes appraisals by an expert panel team.
After assessment, qualified academics will be asked to sign a three-year contract with a university or college.
The program hopes to employ 50 special appointment professors annually.
Qualified academics can receive lucrative benefits.
As well as up to 600,000 yuan ($81,000) for operational funds, each qualified candidate will receive a personal allowance of 100,000 yuan a year.
In addition, universities and colleges will provide them with wages, insurance, welfare and a housing allowance.
Qualified professors must ensure they work full time for the duration of their three-year term.
Applicants should have a doctorate degree and be currently working in the teaching or research fields, according to a circular issued recently by the local municipal education bureau. They should also be highly acclaimed in scientific research and have made "important achievements" both at home and abroad.
Those lesser qualified will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for areas where the need is more urgent, the circular said.
Candidates can log on to the education bureau's website at www.shmec.gov.cn for further details.