Frontier Institute of Science and Technology
The Frontier Institute of Science and Technology (FIST) of Xi'an Jiaotong University was founded in 2010. It is one of the earliest "special academic zones" in our country, which focuses on multidisciplinary research and innovative talent training, and strives to break down disciplinary barriers. FIST takes leading basic research, cultivating first-class talents, and serving the national strategy as its own responsibilities. Through the reform of administrative system , FIST continuously explores the modes of organizing scientific research and talent training and evaluation, strengthens multi-disciplinary basic research, and cultivates high-level innovative talents. Giving full play to its role of the "catalyst" of multi-disciplinary integration, FIST endeavors to build a new high ground for basic research under the new situation.
Reforming the mechanism and system, Supporting the growth of the faculties. Since its establishment, FIST has formed a cutting-edge basic research team and has obtained a batch of high-level achievements by bringing together international talents with different disciplinary backgrounds and establishing a large-scale scientific research platform with interdisciplinary characteristics. These achievements have significantly improved the university's basic research level and innovation ability, and made great contributions to the development of a world-class university. FIST actively explores the faculty management system and the talent evaluation system, implements an internationally-recognized independent-PI system, a "four-aspects" goal-oriented research team system, and a pioneering adjunct faculty system within the university. These reforms endow the faculties with ample space and freedom for their academic development, stimulating their initiatives and creativities. At present, the institute has 12 inductees of national major talent projects, 3 highly cited scientists and 5 inductees of provincial and ministerial talent projects. With national and provincial talents account for 43% of the total faculty number, FIST is gradually becoming a high ground for the growth of multidisciplinary talents and a reservoir of incoming talents.
Building a first-class platform, empowering the achievement output. To meet the needs of interdisciplinary research, FIST has invested a total of over 200 million yuan of discipline construction funds to build a multidisciplinary scientific research platform for chemistry, materials, computing, biology, physics, engineering and other fields, and has established a complete university-level and institution-level large-scale equipment sharing management system. Through collaborating with other university-level platforms such as the analysis and testing center, the micro-nano manufacturing center, and the medical research center, the FIST research platform is fully capable of satisfying the need of interdisciplinary research. In recent years, FIST faculties have presided over a number of key and major projects such as the National 973 Project, the National Key R&D Project, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and published more than 2,000 high-impact papers in top international journals. A batch of technologies involving green hydrogen energy, flexible sensor, thermoelectric energy material, high-performance biomaterial and computational material in the fields of smart material, information material, medical technology, and new energy have received support from industrial incubation seed funds. The flow energy storage innovation center cofounded by FIST and enterprise has received an industry-university-research cooperation fund of 30 million yuan. The project of “new physical effect of ferrous smart materials based on crystal defect regulation” has won the second prize of the National Natural Science Award. Many faculties have won academic awards from international academic institutions.
Focusing on the innovation ability, deeply cultivating talents. FIST adheres to the fundamental task of sculpting the morality of students, and endeavors to cultivate family and country feelings and international visions in next generations. The institute takes full advantages of the internationalized faculty team to actively explores the multi-disciplinary innovative talent training mode, which has achieved remarkable results. In recent years, the institute has nurtured a group of outstanding graduate students with broad vision and strong innovation ability, of which 15 students have their dissertations awarded “provincial or university outstanding dissertation”, 5 students have won the honorary title of “model graduate students”, 7 students have won international conference awards, and 11 teams have won the "Shaanxi Province Graduate Student Innovation Achievement Award". In 2021, doctoral student He Tianou and Zhang Tianlong published papers as the first authors inNatureandSciencejournals respectively. Graduates of FIST are well received by all walks of life, and the proportion of graduates who pursued further education, joined large state-owned enterprises or the world's top 500 enterprises, or joined major domestic research institutes are among the highest in domestic universities. Benefiting from the interdisciplinary training mode, FIST graduates of different academic background have gained strong independent innovation ability and broad international vision, and have become leaders and young backbones in all walks of life.
As one of the pioneers of interdisciplinary research and reform exploration in domestic universities, FIST has been awarded the honorary title of "National Advanced Collective of Professional and Technical Talents" by the Ministry ofOrganization, the Ministry of Publicity, theMinistry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the Ministry of Science and Technology. In the future, FIST will firmly adhere to the concept that major original innovations sprout from deep basic research and arise from the interdisciplines, focusing on cutting-edge research directions including "the interdisciplines of materials, physics, mechanics and engineering", "the interdiscipline of energy and chemistry", "frontier interdiscipline of medicine and engineering" and "basic innovative interdisciplinary research fields". FIST will continue to build interdicipline incubation systems under the new situation, create a high ground for innovative talent training and future technology development, lead the development of disciplines, and strive to become a core carrier for interdisciplines, an incubator for emerging disciplines, a reservoir for talent introduction, and an experimental field for administrative reform, making contributions to the construction of a world-class university.