Yupeng Yao is Director of the Bureau of Policy at the National Natural Science Foundation of China and a research professor in geology. He obtained BA (1988) and MS (1991) degrees with majors in mineralogy and petrology from Nanjing University, and a PhD (1999) in the field of petrology and tectonics from the Chinese Academy of Science in collaboration with Stanford University. He has four years of experience in the Chinese Geological Survey as an assistant research fellow working on Antarctic geology. Since then he has been working in the department of Earth Science at the National Natural Science Foundation of China for more than 20 years, as programme director of geology, division director of strategic planning, and deputy director of the department, successively. He is a Council member of the Chinese Association for Quaternary Research (CHIQUA) and petrology committee member of Chinese Society of Geology. He has initiated and coordinated bilateral/multilateral collaborations with other funding agencies in France, Germany, UK and USA, and others, in the fields of geoscience. He has published more than 80 papers covering geological research, funding strategy and scientific policy.