Frontier Institute of Science and Technology
An international and multi-disciplinary research environment

Nature 528 (17 December 2015)
Published online 16 December 2015

Frontier Institute of Science and Technology (FIST) was established by Xi’an Jiaotong University in an effort to create a world-class, multi-disciplinary research institute. FIST is the first "special academic zone" at the university. It has introduced an international, scientific research management system that seeks to reform scientific research in China.

Since its establishment, FIST has set up 11 multi-disciplinary research centres, which cover physics, chemistry, biology (including the life sciences and basic medicine), materials science, mathematics, computational science, engineering and other subjects.

FIST aims to drive rapid innovation by becoming a hub for talented researchers from all over the world. So far, 44 scholars have joined FIST, over 40 per cent of whom are either academicians or have been awarded national titles. Over the past five years, FIST has grown into a nationally and internationally renowned research institute that has made significant scientific contributions.

That’s why I chose FIST!

Yanzhen Zheng

(1000 Young Talent program scholar; principal investigator at the Center for Applied Chemical Research)

After completing a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2011, I decided to return to China. FIST immediately drew my attention because, despite being in its infancy, it offered a unique international and inter-disciplinary environment. I believe that this is an ideal model for modern universities and research institutes. Thanks to the great support from Xi’an Jiaotong University over the last four years, both FIST and my research group have grown rapidly. As the first explorers of a new system, we are very proud of the great success of the inter-disciplinary research advocated by FIST. Based in the historical city of Xi’an — the first stop on the former Silk Road — FIST is expected to take a leading role in bringing a new wave of creativity and innovation to China.

Xiaojie Lou

(1000 Young Talent program scholar; Principal investigator at the Multidisciplinary Materials Research Center)

The 21st century has witnessed China’s rapid economic and social growth. As one of only a few inter-disciplinary research institutes in China, FIST provides me with a better environment and more opportunities for doing cutting-edge research than other universities. I enjoy the freedom to pursue my areas of interest and the open-minded atmosphere at FIST.

Guanghao Lu

(1000 Young Talent program scholar; principal investigator at the Multidisciplinary Materials Research Center)

FIST is a paradise for academic research. I chose to join FIST because I believe that inter-disciplinary collaboration makes research easier. At FIST, we get to interact with researchers from different disciplines, with different research experience and backgrounds. The laboratories at FIST are well equipped for studying materials science, chemistry, physics and biology.

Well known as the eastern terminal of the former Silk Road, the city of Xi’an is located in the Weihe River valley in the heart of China. Xi’an was the capital of China for more than 1,000 years and is home for many famous historical sites, such as the Terracotta Army, City Wall and Wild Goose Pagoda. The beautiful Qinling mountains are only 15 kilometres away.

Pengfei Li

(principal investigator at Center for Organic Chemistry)

FIST provides me with the freedom to conduct research in whatever subjects I am interested in. It offers very good working conditions, as well as an excellent atmosphere for inter-disciplinary collaboration. The relatively simplified bureaucratic procedures and the support services provided by the administrative staff allowed me to rapidly build my labs and now releases me from the burden of paperwork so that I can spend more time on my research. Furthermore, the unparalleled historical and cultural richness and rapid modernization of Xi’an city makes a very good mix for enriching my life here.


Xi’an Jiaotong University

Tel/Fax: +86 29 83395131
Address: 1 West Building, 99 Yanxiang Road, Yanta District, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, P. R. China, 710054

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