大阪大学 経営企画オフィス 研究支援部門




Voices from OU's International Partners

2016年3月 発行


  1. Osaka University's Innovative Program for Promoting Cutting-edge Global Level Joint Research
  2. Osaka-Amsterdam: A Pilot to Promote Strategic International Collaboration between Universities and Their Research Support Offices
  3. 大阪大学の研究成果を英語で発信する新しいシリーズ記事、"Research Highlights"が公開されました。
  4. 大阪大学大型教育研究プロジェクト支援室からのお知らせ
  5. 大阪大学ホットトピック
    ○大阪大学が「研究大学強化促進事業」の平成27年度フォローアップにおいて、最高評価を獲得 ―世界屈指の研究型総合大学に向けた取組が順調に進展―
  6. 次号のお知らせ

【1】Osaka University's Innovative Program for Promoting Cutting-edge Global Level Joint Research

By Paul Midford

Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Director, NTNU Japan Program

I am very grateful to be a part of Osaka University's innovative program, the International Joint Research Promotion Program, which invites professors and researchers from all over the globe to come to Osaka University to work as visiting research professors or specially appointed research professors. In my case, I am privileged to be participating in a project devised by Professor Yoneyuki Sugita, Professor in the Graduate School of Language and Culture, and entitled "Peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region: Multilayered Analysis toward Formation of an International Code of Conduct and Norms." I am participating as an American who works as a professor in Trondheim, Norway. Other researchers and professors who have been appointed come from Northwestern University in the US, the European Institute of Japanese Studies, the Finish Institute of International Relations, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

Within the project I am in charge of regional security cooperation, and am leading a book project looking at Japan's shift from only having the US as a security partner during the Cold War to the current situation where Japan is building security partnerships with a variety of countries. The Joint Research Promotion Program has not only paid for me to be employed as a research professor at Osaka University one month a year over the course of three years, it is also funding two international symposia where scholars from all over the globe and other universities in Japan have gathered to conduct this edited book project, which will be published with a global-level publisher. The project has other sections as well, including another book project on aid and development where I am participating as a chapter author.

The Joint Research Promotion Program, by bringing researchers and professors from around the globe together at Osaka University to collaborate on research here is an innovative program that is almost unparalleled. In my experience it has been very productive in promoting research collaboration, and the project I am participating in is likely to produce several edited volumes and special issues of journals that have global circulation and impact. Another innovative part of this project is that it allows some scope for bringing in promising PhD candidates from overseas to work as research assistants. One of my PhD candidates was able to participate in this program and join the security book project I am heading. This has been a fantastic opportunity for him to get to know how Japanese universities work and to build deeper contacts with Japanese academics and researchers that should benefit his research throughout his career, and which will hopefully contribute to the further globalization of Japanese academia and research. Another innovative feature of this project is that it has provided funding for symposia to be held not only at Osaka University, but in one case, in the aid and development project, in Sweden. Sponsoring symposia overseas as part of research seminars helps to build Osaka University's global reputation as a university conducting cutting-edge research.

On the other hand, the Joint Research Promotion Program also suffers from some problems that unfortunately limit its potential effectiveness. The leading problem is that the administrative procedures are too cumbersome and not always very rational. As a former employee of Japanese national university, Kanazawa University, and a private university, Kwansei Gakuin University, I was honestly surprised at how much burdensome the administrative procedures are at Osaka University. For example, I have been to submit a new resume every year I am employed, and I have been asked to confirm the day I received my Master's Degree and whether I actually graduated from elementary school. Another significant problem is that researchers invited to write chapters for the edited volume I am leading face overly restrictive rules on how long they can stay in Japan before and after the symposia Osaka University is sponsoring. Unlike specially appointed professors such as myself, these researchers are not paid anything for their contribution. They should either be paid for their contribution or given a bit more flexibility in terms of their travel schedule, since Japan experts from outside Japan always value the opportunity to spend some extra time conducting research when they visit Japan, including research related to the projects sponsored by Osaka University. A final problem is that budget cuts in the project in the second and especially third years are starting to negatively impact the quality of the project. For example, there is no longer funding available for holding a symposium overseas. I would estimate that if the burdensome administrative procedures were to be reduced to a more reasonable level consistent with globally accepted practice this would free up enough financial resources to continue funding this at other projects at their initial funding levels.

These problems notwithstanding, I want to emphasize how innovative and productive the Joint Research Promotion Program is. It is helping to turn Osaka University into a global hub for cutting-edge research. If the problems mentioned above could be addressed I can see this program catapulting Osaka University into one of the very top research universities globally.


【2】Osaka-Amsterdam: A Pilot to Promote Strategic International Collaboration between Universities and Their Research Support Offices


By Olga Gritsai PhD Advisor Research Funding and Bea Krenn PhD Senior Advisor Research Funding
Grant Support UvA-HvA, University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Olga.JPG Bea.JPG

Participating in a joint workshop with Osaka University in February 2016 has been a very interesting experience for us. First, we found a group of very enthusiastic colleagues, working in the office similar to ours, and we felt very welcome and were speaking the same professional language. Second, we came to Osaka with an expectation to find a different system of support operation in a different academic and cultural environment, but instead we found a lot of features in common in the organisation of research support in Osaka and Amsterdam. We also recognised a number of similar problems which we also had to handle a few years ago and seem to have managed to resolve. From this perspective, our UvA Grant Support experiences can be useful for Osaka URA as an example of a successful practice. Exchanging opinions about the good practices used in both universities was a very useful initiative also to better understand each other and to promote more collaboration between our researchers. Eight visits to different faculties and graduate schools helped us a lot to understand the international profile of the Osaka University and figure out its strong points.

Presentation by administrative staff from OU, Discussion in a session

Mutual interest in different kinds of collaboration between Osaka and Amsterdam was a very positive finding. In our view Osaka University has a number of excellent research groups and internationally known researchers, but the contrast in international exposure within the university are quite noticeable. One of the key points is the limited number of activities and courses in English at some faculties, which could attract more students and visiting researchers, promote joint publications in international academic journals and provide more possibilities for overseas funding. The already existing "islands of know-how" researchers already collaborating with Netherlands/Europe which we encountered at Graduate Schools of Letters, Human Sciences and Engineering may serve as ambassadors for extending this practice to other fields. Here the role of research administrators from both UvA and OU can be crucial: they can jointly provide an optimal "matching" and help interested research groups to find each other; they can also jointly look for the available and most suitable funding for joint research. Of course, the approach differs per discipline and depends upon the stage of collaboration, but the pilot experiment we organised together to initiate joint research projects seems to appear very inspiring and promising.

Operationally, the role of the research support office in Osaka in enhancing the international profile of the university can be in our view increased in two ways: 1) making the office more visible for the researchers, and 2) expanding its functions. At the UvA the problem of visibility was mostly resolved by making our grant advisors being "embedded" within faculties and research institutes and stay regularly in touch with their research leaders and managing directors. This also makes them part of academic communities, creates trust and inspires mutual learning. At the same time the Grant Support preserves its integrity as a group, working together at the same location at least twice a week. Another important step is strengthening positions within the central university administration, becoming part of the high-level university networks and being well-informed. Strengthening contacts with research support offices in other universities (nationally and internationally) could also contribute to more visibility, especially through accommodating good practices. The UvA is member of a number of Regional and Dutch national networks as well as member of some important international networks like League of the European Research Universities (LERU) and Universitas 21 (U21). UvA Grant Support officers represent the university in a number of these university wide networks as well as in the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) and in various European and national advice groups.

The expansion of the functions of the URA office could include 1) transfer from occasional feed-back on proposals to a more systematic coaching system, 2) extended networking with other Japanese and Asian universities and JSPS to create more funding possibilities for the OU researchers, 3) dissemination of knowledge and knowledge transfer, enabling activities in English (courses, summer schools) and make them internationally known.

On the whole, we are very inspired by our recent visit and we hope that this is only a beginning of our future collaboration. Our first joint endeavour can be considered a real practical case-study for strengthening links between European and Japanese universities.

Bea, Olga, and OU members


"Research Highlights"が公開されました。


Research Highlights











大阪大学が「研究大学強化促進事業」の平成27年度フォローアップにおいて、最高評価を獲得 ―世界屈指の研究型総合大学に向けた取組が順調に進展―










大阪大学経営企画オフィスURA部門(旧 大型教育研究プロジェクト支援室) 川人・岩崎



〒565-0871 大阪府吹田市山田丘2-1 大阪大学産連本部B棟(2階)

2018年3月24日(土) 更新