Recently, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) announced the results of applications made in its concentrated period of 2021, and both the total amount of UNNC grants awarded and that of Young Scientist Fund marked a historical high. Ten projects submitted by UNNC were approved, with a success rate of 20.4 %, higher than the average success rate of NSFC in 2021. The approved projects cover a wide range of research areas and involve all three faculties of UNNC.
With the intent of using global wisdom to solve local problems, the University continuously strengthened its scientific capabilities with a view to expand scientific research. The Nottingham Ningbo China Beacons of Excellence Research and Innovation Institute was established in Ningbo National High-tech Industrial Development Zone in May this year. Centering on the “246” industrial cluster of Ningbo, the Institute focuses on intelligent manufacturing, green chemicals and energy, and life science and healthcare, introducing the scientific and technological innovation resources and talents of the University of Nottingham to build high-standard laboratories.
The University now has two provincial key laboratories and three municipal key laboratories. Its materials sciences and engineering and chemical engineering and technology are recognised as the first-class disciplines of Zhejiang Province, with multiple other courses awarded as key disciplines of Ningbo City.
UNNC also promotes the discipline restructure, talent cultivation and platform construction in the field of humanities and social sciences. By now, UNNC has been approved to establish three social science research bases, including Ningbo Social Science Research Base on Dual Circulation and Economic Development, Ningbo Social Science Research Base on Internationalizing Ningbo’s Screen Industries, and Ningbo Social Science Research Base on International Talent Development.
High quality international education is at the core of UNNC. This year, the social sciences and engineering disciplines have risen to be ranked in the top 1% and 0.5% of Essential Science Indicators (ESI) global rankings respectively. A further three disciplines are listed as the 2021 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects according to Shanghai Ranking, being the highest among Sino-foreign universities, along with 23 modules that have been newly recognised as Provincial Level “First Class” UG Modules.
To further enhance the research capabilities of the University, a series of university-level Research Excellence Funding Schemes were launched in early 2021 to support researchers to carry out various research activities, such as Matching Grant for Successful External Individual/Team Research, Seed Funding for Individual Research Project, and Funding for Conference Organising and visiting scholars. These funding programmes not only improve the sustainability and the output of academic staff, but also promote their competitiveness for external research funding opportunities.