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Funded by the US. State Department, the goal of the Mekong - U.S. Partnership Young Scientist Program is to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and the creation of a network of young scientists in the Mekong - U.S. Partnership countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
As implementing partners of this program, Arizona State University (ASU) will leverage its decades of experience in sponsored project implementation in Southeast Asia through the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP); the Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) and the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
The program supports youth and young professionals by creating opportunities for collaboration. Joint research, workshops and symposiums encourage the sharing of scientific knowledge, ideas and experience, including authorship of peer-reviewed research papers. The program has two objectives: to foster and promote scientific collaboration within the region, and to promote knowledge sharing on science and technology best practices and research ideas.
The program will support the goals of creating a scientific research community of young scholars in the Mekong - U.S. Partnership member countries with the following activities:
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 program has been redesigned as a virtual experience. Participants selected for the 2021 Agritech Incubator program will attend virtual sessions delivered by Arizona State University faculty to explore and identify opportunities in the agricultural value chain to find scalable and repeatable business models. The program will conclude with a virtual Demo Day-style competition in which teams will present an investor pitch for a chance to win up to $15,000 USD in seed funding.
4-Week Thematic Placement Program
ASU will host the 4-week program during the summer of each year, at a partner institution in a different Mekong - U.S. Partnership country. The program will deliver skill-building workshops, allowing participants to apply skills learned toward research initiatives and new technology development. The Mekong - U.S. Partnership Young Scientist Program is the first step in the Mekong - U.S. Partnership Young Scientist journey.
Annual Scientific Symposium
During the third quarter of each year, the Mekong - U.S. Partnership young scientists will be invited to participate in a two-day symposium that will include guest speakers and networking opportunities. A poster session will be held, allowing the country teams to showcase their projects and collect additional feedback from guests of academia, industry, government and non-profit organizations; research policy recommendations will be developed from this input. Each year the symposium will be hosted in a different Mekong - U.S. Partnership country.
Competition for Seed Funds
During the fourth quarter, the program will organize an annual competition where participants will be invited to submit their project proposals before a reviewing committee for a chance to receive up to $15,000 in seed funding to implement their projects. Proposals will be selected for funding based on feasibility, innovation, impact and replicability.
Who is eligible to apply?
The program will focus on recruiting current students and recent graduates from master’s and Ph.D. programs in the five countries, with backgrounds in:
The program will also welcome those already working in the agri-tech industries who are seeking to develop technical, enterprise, and entrepreneurship skills. Therefore, applicants without a graduate degree in the specified fields, but with relevant professional qualifications and/or more extensive work experience, may also be considered.