Sebastian Schaubach, the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry
Around 4 years ago I decided that after completing my PhD I would like to go to China in order to do my postdoctoral work here since I strongly believed then, and after staying here now for two years am convinced, that China will become a leading country in many fields.
I was always curious to find the source of this rapid development in the last couple of years and learn how to make the best use of this knowledge to enhance collaboration between China and Germany in the future.
Apart from being highly interested in all kinds of cultural and social aspects, I was also very eager to have first-hand experience of the excellent scientific institutions in China such as SIOC (the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry), which is one of the best institutes in the world for organic chemistry. Taking all these interests and goals together, I joined Prof. Yong Tang′s group as a postdoctoral researcher to study polymer chemistry under his excellent guidance.
I have worked now for two years as a postdoctoral fellow at SIOC, and have learned a lot about polymer chemistry and the education system in China. I can describe my time in Professor Tang′s group as a highly positive experience and I am highly grateful to Prof. Tang, all the group members and the staff at SIOC for their support. The collaboration and friendship made my stay highly educative and happy.
My work here was generously supported by the PIFI fellowship initiative of the Chinese government. I also had the chance to visit several conferences giving me the unique opportunity to meet scientists from all over the country and to share their impressions and thoughts. SIOC does a great job in teaching young scientists and the research environment is definitely excellent.
In contrast to my previous experiences in Germany, I highly appreciate the fact that SIOC provides dormitories and canteens serving food during the main three eating times of the day, making it highly convenient to focus on work.
Another point I very much admired during my stay at SIOC that I would like to highlight is that there is a much longer-lasting relation between the students and the group that continues to be strong even after studies at SIOC are finished. In this context I met several former students of the group who came back to seek advice and assistance from Professor Tang and Professor Sun. I feel that the work group can be seen as an extended family, which I highly appreciate. SIOC is also doing an excellent job in scientific exchange and it was amazing to see that chemists from all around the world were visiting the institute in high frequency to meet and deliver talks.
After my return to Germany, I will strongly recommend people to keep China in mind when looking for potential postdoctoral positions since both from a scientific as well as a cultural point of view I consider my time here extremely well spent. Apart from my work at the institute I had the chance to learn the Chinese language and visit various places all around China showing me the country’s high diversity. I am sure that I will be able to use the skills and knowledge I acquired here for my work in the future and I will be back to China again soon. For the future, I wish for the people of China that their development continues in a positive way and they will be able to share the benefits that arise from it. I want to thank all the people at SIOC and my friends in China who made this stay a highly pleasant and fruitful time.