goes to China

In recent years the American Institute of Physics (AIP) has made increasing the global reach of its programs, products, and services one of its main strategic goals. Graduate Programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Related Fields, along with its companion web site (GSS) is an AIP product that has been serving the physics community for over four decades.  GSS is also seeking its way to increase its global impact. At the end of 2011, I joined the GradSchoolShopper team as the Global Product and Market Development Project Manager, to work on the global initiatives for the products.


Over the past few years, China has been emerging as a strong force in physics education and research. Submissions from China to AIP’s top journals have been keeping the first place for several years in a row. China is sending more students to physics-related graduate programs in the U.S. than any other non-U.S. country. With its government-mandated strategic goals for international outreach, many Chinese universities and research institutes are ready to be engaged in the global educational and research community at all levels, from undergraduate and graduate students, to postdoctoral candidates and senior researchers. It thus makes sense for GradSchoolShopper to consider China as the first major target for global expansion.

With this strategy in mind, I used the 2012 APS March Meeting in Boston as the first opportunity to approach leaders of Chinese physics departments. I met with chairs and directors of several leading physics graduate programs from China, and all of them expressed strong interest to participate. They were well aware of the reputation of AIP and were happy to use as a platform to promote their programs to the world. The Institute of Physics, a leading research institute in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as departments of physics from Tsinghua University and Fudan University, two top universities in the country, became the first three departments to officially join the 2013 edition of Graduate Programs In Physics, Astronomy, and Related Fields and

Encouraged by this breakthrough, AIP decided to send GradSchoolShopper to China, to further its relations with the Chinese community on multiple levels: 1) to promote the branding of GradSchoolShopper in China and to make it known and widely used by students, researchers and science leaders in a wide range of educational institutions; 2) to invite more physics-related graduate programs to participate in; 3) to set up moFudan Universityre Society of Physics Students (SPS)chapters in Chinese universities; and 4) to understand the needs of Chinese physics departments and find out what AIP can do to help them integrate more effectively into the global physics education and research community. Although the AIP journals are very well known and respected in the Chinese physics community, many other services provided by AIP, especially those provided by the AIP Physics Resources Center, like SPS / Sigma Pi Sigma (the Physics Honor Society), the AIP Statistical Research Center, and the Physics Today Career Network, are less known in China and could benefit from more promotion.

Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesI am very excited about the opportunity to visit my home country and raise the awareness of GSS and these many other AIP programs, products, and services. I will be attending the Chinese Physical Society 2012 Fall Conference, where I will meet several hundred physics researchers and students from all over China. Then I will take a five-city 12-university campus tour, where I will meet more students, faulty, researchers and department leaders, to promote as well as the other AIP physics resources.


By Julie Zhu, Ph.D, Global Product and Market Development Project Manager,

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Physics can be hard, and you spend a lot of time doing homework, preparing for the GRE, etc. But do some activities that remind you why you love it, and keep you enthusiastic about what you’re studying. — Kendra Redmond, Program Coordinator and Assistant Editor, Society of Physics Students, Podcast Episode #1

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