03 scientists awarded 2018 Ta Quang Buu Prize

Ta Quang Buu Prize is an event associated with the ceremony of Vietnam Science and Technology Day on 18th of May – a ceremony to celebrate all Vietnamese scientists, science managers, as well as innovation-oriented enterprises; an annual place for scientific community in Vietnam to hold meaningful and practical events to celebrate and honor efforts and achievements in the field of science & technology that contribute new knowledge and support the socio-economic development, at the same time to have a forum for discussion on research orientation to achieve short-term and long-term provision of S&T field in particular and of the country in general.

Overview of the ceremony

The Miniter of Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh, spoke at the 2018 Ta Quang Buu Prize Ceremony in the morning, 18th of May. This is one important, practical event to celebrate the Vietnam Science and Technology Day (18th of May) and also the birthday of former President Ho Chi Minh (19th of May).

Participating the ceremony are Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Member of the Party Central Executive Committee, Deputy Prime Minister; Heads of departments in the National Assembly, the Government, the Ministries and other state agencies.

From the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), there are Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh, Member of the Party Central Executive Committee, Minister of MOST; and other current and former Heads of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The ceremony was also attended by representatives of Prof. Ta Quang Buu’s family; scientists, representatives of science and technology organizations, members of the Prize Committee and other scientists who had been awarded the Prize, students from universities and the press. More especially, attending the Award Ceremony there was also Prof. Dr. Pierre Darriulat, who has been accompanying Ta Quang Buu Prize for the past 05 years.

Minister Chu Ngoc Anh spoke at the Award Ceremony

According to the Minister Chu Ngoc Anh, developing science and technology, together with education and training, has been stated in many documents of the Party and the Government as top national policy, being the core motivation to quick and sustainab development of the country. Implementing the Party’s policy and the Government’s laws, in recent years, MOST has actively worked with other ministries, agencies, central and local organizations to execute many key tasks in order to create favorable environment for research and development activities. At the same time, the organization of science and and technology awards has also encouraged scientists to enthusiastically research and dedicate for the country and the community.

In the past time, science and technology has seen many positive developments, focusing on accompany, commitment and direct contribution to the improvement of quality of growth and competitiveness of the economy; creation of favorable environment for businesses in the process of technology transfer and innovation; support for start-ups and innovative start-ups investment; strong shift from the management of imported goods quality to post-inspection mechanism; direct participation in the production-business chain;… in order to effectively contribute to the national socio-economic development.

Parallel to the above issues, basic research still receives significant attention and investment from the Government. The promotion of the National Key Program on Mathematics Development till 2020; Program on Physics till 2020; Program on Development for Basic Research in Chemistry, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Marine Sciences in the 2017-2025 period; as well as the implementation of 02 International Centers on Mathematics and Physics approved by the UNESCO are the important goals of science and technology. These will be the core base, together with other S&T programs of other ministries, research institutes and universities to encourage the training of high-quality human resources, aiming at significant achievements at international level as the Ta Quang Buu Prize awarded research.

“Ta Quang Buu Prize is an annual prize of the Ministry of Science and Technology to honor scientists with significant achievement in basic research in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. Over the past 05 years, the Prize has received positive recognition from the scientific community as a prestigious prize. It has encouraged scientists and S&T organizations to conduct high-quality research in Vietnam; promoted the development of an academic and creative environment and of excellent research groups that are strong enough to conduct research at international level”, the Minister emphasized.

Prof. Nguyen Duc Chien – Member of the Prize Committee spoke at the Ta Quang Buu Prize Ceremony 2018

Prof. Nguyen Duc Chien, Vice President of 2018 Ta Quang Buu Prize Committee said that: In 2018, the Organization Committee received 54 applications for the Prize. The Scientific Committees then evaluated and nominated 09 applications for the selection at the Prize Committee. The 2018 Prize Committee considered all applications this year have good quality and were published on prestigious journals, some of them even have high potential for applying into real-life.

On 10 May 2018, Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology signed Decision No. 1226/QD/BKHCN, awarding 2018 Ta Quang Buu Prize to 03 scientists nominated by the Prize Committee, including:

Author of excellent scientific work: D.Sc. Tran Dinh Phong, University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology), the main author of a research in Physics: “Coordination polymer structure and revisited hydrogen evolution catalytic mechanism for amorphous molybdenum sulfide”. The research was published on Nature Materials, the world’s leading scientific journal in Material Science.

Assoc. Dr. Pham Van Hung, International University, National University in Hochiminh City is the main author of a research in Agricultural Biology: “In vitro digestibility and in vivo glucose response of native and physically modified rice starches varying amylose contents”. The research was published on Food Chemistry, the world’s leading scientific journal in Agriculture and Biology.

Young excellent scientist: Dr. Do Quoc Tuan, University of Science, Vietnam National University is the main author of the scientific work in Physics: “Higher dimensional nonlinear massive gravity”. The research was published on Physical Review D, the world’s leading journal in Physics.

Minister Chu Ngoc Anh gives the main prizes to D.Sc. Tran Dinh Phong and Assoc. Dr. Pham Van Hung

Minister Chu Ngoc Anh gives the young prize to Dr. Do Quoc Tuan

According to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Chien, the number of applications this year is quite high, partly showing that research results of Vietnamese scientists are having better and better quality, scientific papers are also published on international of higher ranking. On the other hand, it also means that the scientists, especially young scientist, are paying lots of attention toward Ta Quang Buu Prize. The publications by Vietnamese scientists on the leading international journals also significantly heighten the position of Vietnam’s science in the world, contributing to the knowledge storage of mankind.

“NAFOSTED plays an important role in attracting young Vietnamese scientists who have been trained oversea to come back Vietnam for working, especially for teaching and doing research in universities, being a key factor in the improvement of education quality in universities in Vietnam”, Prof. Nguyen Duc Chien emphasized.

Ta Quang Buu Prize is the prize of the Ministry of Science and Technology, with NAFOSTED being the Organizing Agency, and is held annually to encourage and honor scientists with outstanding achievement in basic research in natural sciences and engineering. The prize contributes to encourage the development of basic research in particular and of science and technology in Vietnam in general. Scientists who are awarded must have key contribution in the research process in Vietnam in have publication published on prestigious international journals.

Vice Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and Minister Chu Ngoc Anh took photo with the awarded scientists.

The prize is given for scientists in natural sciences and engineering, including: Natural Sciences (Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Information; Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Environment, Biology, and other natural sciences), Mechanics and Engineering, Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, and Agricultural Sciences.

The Ta Quang Buu Prize includes: from one (01) to three (03) main prize and one (01) prize for young scientist (under 35 years old).

The awarded scientists will receive Prize Certificate by the Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology and 200 million vietnamdong (for the main prize) or 50 million vietnamdong (for the prize for young scientist).

A.Prof. Pham Van Hung, International University, National University in Hochiminh City, is the main author of the scientific work in Agricultural Biology: “In vitro digestibility and in vivo glucose response of native and physically modified rice starches varying amylose contents” spoke at the Ta Quang Buu Prize 2018

After 5 years of organization, Ta Quang Buu Prize received 227 applications with 14 scientists awarded, including 11 authors of excellent scientific works in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Sciences and Information, Earth Sciences and Environment, Biology – Agriculture and 03 young scientists in Mathematics and Physics.

Accompanying with 2018 Prize are: PHENIKAA JSC, Thanh Tay University, Vietnam National University, National University in Hochiminh City, Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) and Center for Innovative Materials and Architectures – Vietnam National University in Hochiminh City (INOMAR).


Dr. Do Quoc Tuan, the young scientist who are author of an excellent scientific work said that: today, it seems that I had the small happiness of a scientist at the beginning of research career. On 18th May, the day that the Government chose to honor scientists with silent but very important research and training work. With the establishment of a prize named after an outstanding scientist, minister, Ta Quang Buu, to honor excellent basic research work done by local scientists, the Ministry of Science and Technology has shown a strong attention to the development of the national basic sciences. This is a very timely and proper step, especially in the context that basic sciences seem to be underestimated when compared applied sciences.

Assoc. Dr. Pham Van Hung: Being a scientist, I realize that every scientific work, either basic or applied, in order to achieve excellent result, all has to come from love and passion. Beside that, scientists also need to have autonomy in research to be freely creative.

Recently, the establishment and implementation of research funding mechanism by NAFOSTED, an agency of Ministry of Science and Technology, with significant objectivity and clarity in the selection, evaluation and liquidation of projects has been highly appraised by the scientists. Young and excellent scientists no longer need to worry about how to have budget for their research. Thank to that, number of Vietnam’s scientific publication on ISI journals has also significantly increased.

We hope that the Government and the Ministry of Science and Technology continue to renew mechanism and policies to develop strong domestic research group and to improve autonomy in research in order to create more scientific products with practicality and more excellent scientific publications; we also hope that there will be more favorable condition for the businesses to closely cooperate with scientists to bring the ideas and research results into practical products in reality.

D.Sc. Tran Dinh Phong: I want to say that, the researchers, even though having a huge and perfect applying orientation, understand that the way to it is not predictable most of the time, and we all prepare for ourselves the mind of an unsuccessful person. However, on that way, there is high possibility that we will come up with other findings that are surprising and valuable.

Even though there is no such outstanding technological findings, there will still be a firm value that a serious research will bring: training for human, those with critical and creative mind in finding and solving problems.

I hope that there will be understanding and trust between the scientist and scientific managers. With trust, scientists will have only one task, that is to do best with their research without being concerned about other problems, either there is or not, when their project has not had any funding. With trust, scientific managers will be able to simplify administrative procedures, so that scientists will need to pay lesser time for non-science works. I believe when that happens, the effectiveness of investment for science and technology will be much higher.

Source: Vietnam Center for Science and Technology Communication