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Today, more than ever, the world needs scientists who are both enthusiastic about international scientific cooperation and are eager to promote scientific communication across borders. These men and women are the “diplomats” of science who possess altruism and exude goodwill from their core. These individuals blur international boundaries while opening up the frontiers of science and simultaneously promoting and sharing the progress of scientific research.

Back to the year of 1979, Dr. Tsung-Dao Lee initiated a program known as the China-U.S. Physics Examination and Application (CUSPEA), to send qualified Chinese students to study at the graduate programs in the United States. Dr. Lee’s SINO-American initiative has steadily flourished and is now a global network of 915 scholars, of which 400 are scientists at many higher education institutions worldwide, including twelve members of several National Academies and a couple hundred fellows of various academic societies. The other CUSPEA scholars are working in many industrial sectors around the world.

The CUSPEA program initiated by Dr. Lee has not only achieved enduring success in the cultivation of talent, but has also accorded the CUSPEA community with the maxim that "science belongs to all humankind". In this spirit, the CUSPEA community has established the CUSPEA Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Technology which is dedicated to promoting international scientific exchange and cooperation.

In October 2020, the CUSPEA Foundation decided to launch the annual CUSPEA PRIZE to honor outstanding young scientists and educators who have demonstrated international scientific cooperation as well as a proven record of the exchange and dissemination of scientific ideas and research across borders and nations. Each year, the CUSPEA PRIZE will honor up to three outstanding young scientists from anywhere in the world, thus paying tribute to Dr. Tsung-Dao Lee, along with the intangible efforts of scientists worldwide who have promoted international scientific exchange and cooperation. 

The prize amount each year: 1 million RMB (approximately USD $150,000).

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