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The research attachment claim was one of the major contributing factors for
joining CNYang for many of us, as it allows us to pursue research with many
options and it acts as a means of financial support for some. Taking away the
research claim may take away many options for research, as many of the
materials used will incur high cost for the lab and supervisors may be more
reluctant to take students in. In addition, without the research claim, some
students who have planned to continue with research may have to source for
other means of financial support during the term break, thus discontinuing with
research. While taking away the research claim aims to reduce any "ambiguity"
in rewarding students and to adopt an "output driven" approach, if students are
unable to pursue research there will be no "output" to speak of at all. Taking
away the research claim is likely to discourage research pursuits rather than
encouraging it, which is not in the spirit of the CNYang programme.

In addition, in the marketing of the CNYang programme and for outreach events,
the research attachment claim is one of the major selling points. In fact, it is not
only mentioned in the CNYang brochure for incoming freshmen for our batch, but
it is explicitly stated in the brochure for the incoming batch in 2015 that scholars
can receive $8/hr up to 600 hours. For the open house and various talks given by
current students to incoming batches, the research attachment claim was
repeatedly mentioned as one of the main highlights of the programme as a way
to encourage research pursuits, It would be unethical to attract hopeful incoming
freshmen by stating various benefits/guarantees that they will have, only to void
it when they actually join the programme. The image of the CNYang programme
will also be affected if it does not uphold the promises/guarantees claimed prior
to acceptance as future batches might question the reliability of the claims in the
offer letter/brochures and be more reluctant to apply for it.
While it is important to be "output driven" and to achieve results, we were taught
that research is a process of experimentation and discovery, driven by passion
and curiousity. It is an intellectual pursuit that encourages us to question current
knowledge and explore new areas in our field of interest. As such, if research
becomes too result-driven, we will be more cautious and only embark on
research pursuits that have previously proven to be able to show results, rather
that follow our passions and interests or explore previously untouched fields. As
such, I would like to see a new system that focuses on rewarding the effort put
into research pursuits and encouraging scholars to explore different/new fields,
whether or not results are shown. Perhaps there could be a short assessment to
ensure that we are truly learning from research.