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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Shiu-Ying Hu Student/Postdoctoral Exchange Award

Dr. Shiu-ying Hu examines a silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) during a field class, ca. 1985. Archives of the Arnold Arboretum.
Dr. Shiu-ying Hu examines a silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) during a field class.

The Shiu-Ying Hu Student/Postdoctoral Exchange Award supports American-Chinese exchanges for graduate students, advanced undergraduate students, and/or postdoctoral researchers studying the comparative biology of woody plants, including developmental biology, physiology, genetics, reproductive biology, or ecology.

Awards of up to $10,000 are granted to support awardee travel, research and/or living expenses. Awards are not intended to serve as a salary stipend. Awardee(s) chosen from the People’s Republic of China will receive funds to conduct studies involving the living collections at the Arnold Arboretum. Awardee(s) from Harvard University will receive funds to conduct studies in the field or at a botanical institution in China.

Professor Shiu-Ying Hu (1910-2012) made innumerable and important contributions to botanical science through her vast knowledge, collecting activities and research, writings and publications, and tireless personal devotion to the plant kingdom. In a career that spanned more than seven decades, she made her mark in the field of plant taxonomy as Emeritus Senior Research Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Honorary Professor of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. An internationally-recognized authority on Ilex (hollies), Hemerocaulis (daylilies), Paulownia, Compositae (daisies), and Orchidaceae (orchids), Professor Hu collected and identified as many as 185,000 plant specimens and published more than 160 papers over the course of her lifetime.

Professor Hu’s work as a researcher and teacher inspired multiple generations of botanical students around the world, particularly those interested in the flora of her native China and its disjunct companion species in North America. As the steward of one of the world’s premiere collections of Chinese plants (held outside of Asia), the Arnold Arboretum served as a focal training ground for Shiu-Ying Hu after she became the first Chinese woman to earn a doctorate in botany from Harvard University. Her critical contributions to the beginnings of the Flora of China Project under the guidance of Arboretum Director Richard Howard not only inaugurated her career but produced the first volume in a project that today engages more than 600 scientists from around the world in preparing individual treatments. The recipient of numerous awards and honors during her lifetime, Professor Shiu-Ying Hu will be honored as a scientist and teacher in perpetuity by the Arnold Arboretum through an endowed fund to award emerging scientists who wish to follow her example of diligence and scholarship.

Application Information

Awards are granted through a competitive review process. Selection of recipient(s) will be based on the educational background of the student and their readiness to conduct the proposed research; the quality of the proposed research; and the relevance of the proposed research to the living collections of the Arnold Arboretum.

To be considered for an award, online applications should include the following:

  • Cover letter.
  • Research statement. The statement should be 1 to 2-pages and describes your research project and how additional funding via the Hu Award would further your research aims. Applicants from the Republic of China should include how the living collection of the Arnold Arboretum will be utilized and the names of other collaborators (in addition to your advisor). Applicants from Harvard University should indicate where in China the research will be conducted and the names of other collaborators (in addition to your advisor). References should be included but do not count as part of the page limit.
  • Research budget. Applicants should submit a simple, 1-page budget that itemizes the research and travel costs associated with the proposed project.
  • Project time-line. Applicants should submit a time-line of the project and anticipated start and end dates.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation. As part of the online submission, you must send a request to the two referees to submit a letter of recommendation (via the request section). The referee will be automatically sent an email with a link to an online submission form where they will upload a letter of recommendation. It is highly recommended that you contact your referee prior to sending the request. Please inform the referee to expect an email from with instructions for submitting a recommendation letter. Each referee must upload his/her letter of recommendation via the link by February 1.

Special Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be students or post-doctoral researchers from either the People’s Republic of China OR from Harvard University.

Additional Information

For questions about the award, Arboretum resources, research proposal or submission process, contact the selection committee (Email).

The Shiu-Ying Hu Student/Postdoctoral Exchange Award is made possible by the generosity  of family, friends, colleagues, and admirers of eminent Chinese botanist and taxonomist Professor Shiu-Ying Hu (1910-2012).