The Needham Research Institute (NRI): ISF-NRI Scholars’ Retreat


The Needham Research Institute (NRI): ISF-NRI Scholars’ Retreat

Every summer, a selected group of The ISF Academy students participate in an intensive research program at the Needham Research Institute, located at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The facility, named after the famous Sinologist Dr. Joseph Needham, is dedicated to the research and documentation of the history of science and civilization in China. The NRI houses the East-Asian History of Science Library and is responsible for the publication of the 7-volume, 27-part Science and Civilization in China.

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Participating Senior Secondary students receive a Foundation-funded research bursary to undertake research on a topic of their choosing at one of the world’s premier research locations. Students spend their days doing research at the NRI, assisted and mentored by the accompanying staff and the resident postdoctoral fellow from The ISF Academy. Students are expected to complete a substantial research paper, with the possibility of later publication in The ISF Academy’s research journal, Bauhinia. This research could also potentially be used as part of the G10 Personal Project or the G12 Extended Essay.

Students immerse themselves in Cambridge life, with visits to various chapels, colleges and museums, and regular bicycle tours in and around Cambridge. Students are also encouraged to live independently like university students, taking care of their own budget, meals, laundry and sightseeing options. The trip also includes day trips to places of interest, such as Stonehenge and Ely Cathedral. Several days are also spent in London, where students can visit various landmarks and world-class museums. This program is open to students who are strong in Chinese, science, and humanities. Selection is based on academic merit and the intended research focus and topic.

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