Research students expand footprint in Vienna through Eurasia-Pacific Uninet Scholarships
Md. Abu Sayem from Bangladesh and YANG Zhiqiang Gyatso from mainland China both share intellectual curiosity in research that has led them to set foot in Hong Kong for their doctoral studies at CUHK. Awarded with the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet (EPU) Ernst Mach Grant, they have undertaken 9-month research visits at the University of Vienna (Vienna), Austria.
Sayem is a PhD student from the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies whose research interest lies in ecological sustainability and environmental ethics from the religious perspectives. During his research attachment, apart from exchanging research ideas with faculty members on faith traditions and environmental issues, he also actively engaged in academic activities including giving a presentation in a research workshop, and attending a workshop on occultism in South Asia and a lecture about Vietnamese Buddhism.
Sayem spends nine months at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna.
Gyatso from the Centre for China Studies is another PhD student who found the visit to Vienna fruitful and rewarding. The visit enabled him to know more about the work of the European explorers and missionaries who visited the eastern Tibetan Plateau from 1880s to 1940s. He also benefitted from the intensive German courses offered by Vienna to better understand the primary sources and archives in German.
The research visit in Vienna has enabled Gyatso to establish connection with the international academic community.
Gyatso sees that it is important to have a research experience abroad, particularly a European one. ‘Such opportunities do not only allow us to experience new research and cultural environments, but also provide the connection with the international academic community.’ Sayem also encourages his fellow students to acquire research experience from other institutions. ‘The participants of the mobility programmes serve as a bridge between their home and host universities, and thus, facilitating cross-cultural academic exchange between the two places.’
Gyatso visits the museums in Vienna to learn about the European history.
CUHK is a member of EPU, an international network which promotes exchanges and scientific partnerships between Austrian universities and member institutions in Asia and the Pacific region. Applications to the EPU Ernst Mach Grant are invited twice every year. PhD students and post-docs are encouraged to explore this funding opportunity on OAL’s webpage.