The Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), is one of world’s premiere paleontological institutions. IVPP researchers study the institute’s namesake disciplines, vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology, and their related areas of geological and biological sciences as well as Paleolithic archaeology.
The institute employs 159 staff members, including four members of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and about 86 researchers holding high-ranking professional posts. In addition, a skilled technical team supports the research enterprise, preparing, casting and molding, and drawing and photographing fossils. IVPP is equipped with state-of-the-art lab equipment, including 3D micro-CT, an electron microscope, precision cutting machines, grinding machines, polarized light microscopes, and laser-scanning confocal microscopes, etc. It also enjoys financial support from various grant agencies due to its excellent research output.
Three scholarly organizations are affiliated with IVPP: the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, a branch of the Palaeontological Society of China, and the Quaternary Research Association of China's Paleoanthropology-Paleolithic Sub-Committee and Stratigraphy Sub-Committee. The institute's origin can be traced back to the Cenozoic Research Laboratory, which was established in 1929 as a subordinate branch of the Geological Survey of China. During the early days of the People’s Republic of China, the Cenozoic Research Laboratory was affiliated to the National Planning and Steering Commission for Geological Works, and in 1953 it became an independent Research Laboratory of Vertebrate Paleontology of CAS. Its name was changed to the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1957, and it attained its present name in 1960.
IVPP staff members have done fieldwork in all corners of China and made numerous newsworthy findings, including a number of scientifically significant and far-reaching discoveries which were honored as the Top 100 Science Stories by Discover magazine (in 1995, 2004, 2010 and 2013), the Top 10 Scientific Discoveries in the world by the New York Times magazine (in 2007), the Top 10 Science and Space Stories by CNN News (in 2013), China's Top Ten Science Achievements (in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2010) and Top 10 News Stories in Basic Research in China (in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2009).