Scientists looking for new experiences in research should explore options in the Asia-Pacific region as funding floods in.
For anyone considering a career in science, the Asia-Pacific region might offer some interesting careers. Opportunities for scientific jobseekers in Asia-Pacific abound, especially as research and development (R&D) spending as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) has risen in all six countries since 2000. But moving overseas is a big decision. This first Naturejobs Career Guide provides practical advice, first-hand accounts and useful facts and figures for those considering a change.
China‘s rise as a global powerhouse in science and technology is reason enough to think about a move to Asia. For example, the government has committed large sums to high-profile projects such as thorium-based nuclear power plants, as well as basic research spending, which has historically received less funding than in other developed countries. It has also launched a series of major R&D-based projects such as a space station and the China brain project, dedicated to research into artificial intelligence and neurological diseases.
A little to the east, South Korea is second only to Israel in the proportion of its GDP it spends on R&D, and Japan is not far behind. The country is focussed on recruiting overseas researchers and encouraging basic science, and is using research to drive development.
Singapore has built up its research and innovation capacities rapidly since the turn of the century by luring foreign talent with offers of large salaries. Between 2011 and 2015, 16.1 billion Singapore dollars (US $12billion) was invested in science and research by the island city-state, a 20% increase on the previous five-year period. A majority of this funding is ear-marked for collaborative projects between academic institutions and industry, hoping to drive innovation and translational science.
Australia and New Zealand are playing to their strengths by focusing limited resources on the fields in which they excel. New Zealand is renowned for its Earth science and agricultural research. It has a multi-cultural environment and is proud of its collaborativeness. The Australian government, on the other hand, is focussing it’s spending efforts on large physics and astronomy projects, as well as medical research.
For each of the six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Naturejobs has collected first hand accounts of what it’s like to move, live and work there are a researcher.