The Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), founded in 2003, aims to address frontiers in earth system sciences and key needs of socio-economic development.
ITP consists of three campuses in Beijing, Lhasa and Kunming. There are 307 staff members as of 2019, including 188 research scientists, 90 technical and 29 administrative staff. 312 graduate students are enrolled, including 76 international students.
There are four research centers at ITP, i.e., 1) The Research Center for Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, 2) The Research Center for Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, 3) The Research Center for Alpine Ecology and Human Adaptation, and 4) The Research Center for Three-Pole Observation and Big Data, supported by three CAS Key Laboratories, the Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes (TEL), the Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift (LCPU) and the Laboratory of Alpine Ecology (LAE).
ITP has constructed seven field stations across the Tibetan Plateau, which are located at Nam Co, Mt. Qomolangma, Ngari, Muztagh Ata, Medog, Nagqu, and Nyingchi (P. 18), which are key components for the High-Cold Region Observation and Research Network (HORN).
ITP has successively acquired research funds, up to 1.35 billion RMB since 2003, from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and CAS. More than 2,300 scientific papers have been published including more than 30 papers in Nature, Science and PNAS etc. Three national S&T prizes have been conferred to ITP scientists. Prof. YAO Tandong has been awarded the Vega Medal by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG) in 2017.
The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition Program (STEP) was launched in 2017 focusing on water, ecosystem and human activities for the sustainable development of the Tibetan Plateau.
To enhance international collaborations, ITP has set up research centers in South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Europe, and the North America. The Institute also hosts the Secretariat of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO).