JSPS Newsletter

N0. 29 September 1999



TOPICS




Applications Selected for International Programs

For the purpose of selecting applications submitted by Japanese researchers under its international programs, JSPS operates a number of committees: namely, the Bilateral Program Committee, the Selection Committee for Postdoctoral and Other Fellowships, and other program committees.
In July, these committees held their respective meetings and selected applications submitted by Japanese researchers as of May this year.


JOINT RESEARCH PROJECTS AND SEMINARS

Applications were selected for bilateral programs with DFG (Germany) and NCI (USA).

Deutsche Forshungsgemeinshaft (DFG), Germany; FY 1999-2000 Program
For the October period of FY 1999 (October 1, 1999-September 30, 2000), JSPS received 19 applications for joint research projects and four for joint seminars. From among them, four joint research projects and three seminars were selected, along with one substitute. Final approval, however, will be made through consultations between JSPS and DFG, which reviews the counterpart proposals prepared by German researchers in prior consultation with Japanese colleagues.

National Cancer Institute (NCI), U.S. : FY 1999 Program
Three proposals for joint seminars and 12 for short-term visits of Japanese researchers to the U.S., all of which had been arranged beforehand between the respective program coordinators of Japan and U.S., were endorsed by the JSPS's Committee on Japan-U.S. Cooperative Cancer Program.


RESEARCHER EXCHANGES

Visits of Japanese Scientists Overseas: FY 2000 Program
Out of 317 applications, 169 candidates were selected. The table in page 2 shows the number of Japanese candidates selected in both the short- and long-term categories (selections are subject to approval by the counterpart authorities).

Researcher Exchange with NIS Countries (Former USSR): FY 1999 and FY 2000 Recruitment
a) Invitation of Russian researchers to Japan
There were nine short-term awardees out of 45 applications for FY 1999 and another nine awardees from among 12 applicants for FY 2000. Five long-term awardees out of 38 applicants were selected for FY 1999, and five more out of 23 applicants for FY 2000.

b) Visit of Japanese researchers to NIS countries
Four short-term awardees were chosen out of nine applications for FY 1999 and five out of 19 applicants for FY 2000. One long-term applicant was selected as the awardee for FY 1999, and two applicants out of eight were selected for FY 2000.

Japanese Candidates Selected Under Exchange Program
Country
Term
Number
Country
Term
Number
Argentina
short
2
India
short
3
Australia
short
7
long
1
long
2
Indonesia
short
12
Austria
short
5
Israel
short
4
long
2
long
0
Bangladesh
short
2
Italy
short
5
Belgium
short
2
long
1
long
2
Italy
(Napoli Station)
short
0
Brazil:

long
0

ABC
short
3
Korea
short
3
CNPq
short
3
long
0
long
1
Malaysia
short
1
Bulgaria
short
1
Mexico
short
3
long
0
long
0
Canada
short
4
Netherlands
short
3
long
4
long
1
Chile
short
3
Philippines
short
7
long
0
Poland
short
3
China

long
0

CAS
short
1
Rumania
short
2
long
0
long
1
CASS
short
1
Singapore
short
2
long
0
long
0
MOE
short
0
Slovakia
short
0
long
3
long
0
Czech Rep.
short
2
Slovenia
short
0
long
1
long
1
Denmark
short
0
Sweden
short
0
long
2
long
2
Finland
short
2
Switzerland
short
3
long A
2
long
3
long B
2
Thailand
short
12
France (CNRS)
short
4
U.K. (RS)
short
5
long
2
long
8
Germany (DAAD)
short
8
U.K. (BA)
short
2
Hungary
short
4
long
1
long
1
Vietnam
short
2


FELLOWSHIPS FOR RESEARCH IN JAPAN

Short-term Fellowships: FY 1999 Second Recruitment
From among 368 applications, 160 awardees were selected. The number of awardees and applicants (in parentheses) by country were as follows: U.S. 28 (47), Germany 14 (23), China 13 (49), U.K. 12 (19), Russia 9 (24), Poland 8 (18), India 7 (22), Israel 7 (10), and 62 (156) from 35 (50) other countries.
As 150 awardees had already been selected in the first recruitment conducted in December (see JSPS Newsletter No.25), this selection brought the total number of awardees for FY 1999 short-term invitation fellowships up to 310.

Postdoctoral Fellowships: FY 1999 Second Recruitment
From among 854 applications, 200 awardees were selected. The number of awardees and applications (in parentheses) by country were as follows: China 74 (277), Korea 42 (220),* India 18 (99), Bangladesh 9 (48), Russia 8(19), Egypt 5 (22), France 4 (9), Nepal 4 (8), Germany 3 (7), Rumania 3 (7), Spain 2 (3), Greece 2 (3), Hungary 2 (3), Indonesia 2 (10), Iran 2 (8), Malaysia 2 (3), Nigeria 2 (7), Poland 2 (9), Ukraine 2 (6), U.S. 2 (5), and 10 (81) from other countries.

Remarks: The 138 applications submitted through KOSEF and the 24 awardees selected from among them are included in these figures.

As the same number of awardees had already been selected in the first recruitment held in December, this brought the total number of awardees to 400 for FY 1999 Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers.

In addition to applications submitted by host researchers in Japan, JSPS also accepts nominations for postdoctoral fellowships from its counterpart nominating authorities in the applicants' home countries. Under this system, the application deadlines in each country are set by the respective nominating authorities.


<INFORMATION>
The Royal Society's Japan-U.K. Fellowship Package
The new 2+2 Japan/U.K. fellowship programme consists of a four-year package comprising two years' research in Japan followed by two years' research back in the U.K. The programme is open to U.K. postdoctoral researchers in the natural and applied sciences and is run in association with JSPS. There are two annual closing dates for receipt of applications: 20 March and 20 September. Funding in Japan allows for a monthly stipend, settling-in allowance, family allowance, housing subsidy, domestic research travel allowance, language training, accident and sickness insurance, and research expenses. The Society pays salaries back in the U.K. on the Research Scale lA/Il, which will rise incrementally each year. A startup grant and an annual research expenses grant will also be paid.
For further details and application forms, please contact the International Exchanges Section at the Royal Society by e-mail (Japan@royalsoc.ac.uk) or telephone (0171 451 2557), or see the Society's webpage (http://www.rityaksicmac.uk/les/les.htm).

Postdoctoral Fellowships (Short-term) for U.S. Researchers; FY 1999 Second Recruitment
This program is aimed at providing opportunities for U.S. researchers to conduct cooperative research with leading research groups in Japansese universities and Monbusho-affiliated research institutions. All four of the applications submitted were selected.


INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS IN JAPAN: FY 2000 PROGRAM

Out of the 64 applications received, 11 were selected.



JSPS President Yoshikawa Awarded an Honorary Degree of Engineering from the University of Birmingham

President Hiroyuki Yoshikawa was awarded the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, from the University of Birmingham, where he spent one year as a Senior Visiting Fellow in the mid 1960s, for his overall outstanding achievements in the field of engineering, covering robotics, general design theory, intelligent CAD, and theory of reliability and maintenance.
In addition to celebrating Professor Yoshikawa's academic achievements at the July 13th conferment ceremony, Professor I. R. Scott, Public Orator, also introduced examples of academic collaboration between Japan and Britain : a 1996 London symposium on science and society organized by JSPS (of which Professor Yoshikawa currently serves as president), and research collaboration encouraged by Professor Yoshikawa between the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo and the School of Metallurgy and Materials, the University of Birmingham.

President Yoshikawa is
presented a Doctor
of Engineering, honoris
causa, by the Chancellor.




<SCIENCE POLICIES>
The Science Council Issues a Report on Comprehensive Promotion of Academic Research in Japan

On January 14, 1998, the then Education Minister Nobutaka Machimura asked the Science Council, an advisory committee to the Minister, to deliberate and draft a proposal on the subject of promoting academic research aimed at making Japan a nation richly endowed in scientific and technological creativity.
On March 24, 1998, to tackle this challenge, the Science Council, chaired by Dr. Hiroshi Inose, Director of the National Center for Science Information Systems, set up two committees under its Special Committee on Scientific Research Systems. One was the Subcommittee on Basic Issues (chaired by Dr. Hiroo Imura, a member of the Council for Science and Technology, Prime Minister's Office), and the other, the Subcommittee on Research Bases (chaired by Dr. Akinori Suzuki, President of Akita Prefectural University).
Reflecting the intensive deliberations at these committees' meetings, held approximately 50 times over a nine-month period, an interim report was compiled, which was endorsed at the Science Council's general meeting held on June 29, 1999, and submitted by Committee Chairman Hiroshi Inose to Minister Akito Arima on the same day.
The 160-page report of a comprehensive proposal for promoting academic research aimed at making Japan a nation richly endowed in scientific and technological creativity-a nation capable of making original and profound contributions to fostering intellectual affluence within global society, comprises two chapters: "The Significance of Academic Research and its Desired Directions" and "Concrete Measures for Advancing Academic Research in Desired Directions," along with appendices including statistics on the current state of scientific research in Japan.
The report points out that our present-day civilization is underpinned by a 20th century model of science and technology (S&T), having among its salient characteristics mass production, mass consumption, and mass waste.
People are coming to the realization that this kind of S&T is overly taxing of the earth's fragile environment and finite resources, which in many cases cannot be replenished once depleted, and that development which can be accomplished using this model is approaching its final stage. The numerous minus sides that this form of S&T has exhibited over the course of the century have induced a sense of distrust in many people with regard to S&T and its merits, particularly vis-a-vis its perceived demerits.
To rectify this globally accelerating trend, a new kind of civilization, underpinned by a 21st century model of S&T, needs to be cultivated. As the earth does not have sufficient capacity to satisfy all of man's material desires, this civilization must engender a "new affluence"-one that places higher value on spiritual fulfillment while fostering greater harmony and coexistence between humans and their natural environment.
The Science Council's report lays out a course for Japan's contribution to achieving such new affluence by identifying the directions that university research in the sciences and humanities should take in the coming century and by recommending concrete measures for attaining those ends.
A. Desired Directions of University Research (three objectives)

1. Promote the advancement of university research at the world's highest levels. For this purpose,
-build centers of excellence (COEs) in as many research fields as possible
-make selective investment/provision of research funds and research environments.

2. Create new academic disciplines oriented to the 21st century. To this end,
-create new academic domains by integrating currently compartmentalized disciplines
-mass together wide bodies of knowledge and wisdom that incorporate the humanities and social sciences.

3. Pursue a kind of S&T that contributes to society. In so doing,
-respond proactively to society's expectations
-enhance linkage and cooperation among universities, national research institutes, and industries
-pursue the active development of university-industry cooperation based on clearly defined rules.
B. Concrete Measures for Achieving these Objectives (eight recommendations)

1. Train and recruit highly qualified researchers
(Securing researchers with broad perspectives and rich creativity)

2. Create a highly mobile framework of research institutions and systems
(Ensuring flexibility and responsiveness within the academic sector)

3. Heighten competitiveness within the research community
(Fostering a vibrant research environment)

4. Raise the infrastructure for university research activities to the world's highest level
(Improving research facilities, equipment, and support systems)

5. Promote research in the humanities and social sciences, and S&T combined research that encompasses these disciplines
(Advancing research that integrates the knowledge and wisdom of various disciplines)

6. Promote international scientific exchanges
(Conducting research of a caliber that attracts world interest and participation)

7. Strengthen linkage and cooperation between the S&T community and society
(Opening up university research to society and its needs)

8. Secure harmony between academic policy and S&T research
(Reflecting the views of researchers in science administration policies)


Award Ceremony Held for RONPAKU Fellows in Thailand

Since its inauguration in 1978, the RONPAKU (Dissertation Ph.D.) Program has supported a total of 468 fellows: 281 of whom had obtained doctorates by the end of March 1999. Among them were 107 Thai scientists.
An award ceremony was held at a hotel in Bangkok on July 9 to congratulate Thai researchers who succeeded in earning their doctorates from Japanese universities. Eight of these Ph.Ds attended the ceremony. At it, congratulatory remarks were delivered by representatives of both JSPS and NRCT, and a memorial medal was presented by Prof. Hitoshi Yamada, Director of JSPS Bangkok Liaison Office, to the fellows, who each offered a short speech in response.
At the reception following the ceremony, all the participants enjoyed conversation, strengthened friendship ties, and renewed their resolve to promote scientific cooperation between Thailand and Japan.

Eight Awardees and NRCT Science Research Adviser.




Asian Science Seminar on Biodiversity Held

An Asian Science Seminar titled "Biodiversity: Message on Biodiversity" was organized jointly by JSPS and the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, and was held at the Institute's facility in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, during the period of July 26 to August 6.
The organizing committee, chaired by Professor Osamu Takenaka of the Institute, prepared the seminar agenda and selected the 32 young participating researchers from 11 Asian countries, including China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The seminar was conducted in a "summer school" style, as in the previous Asian Science Seminars.
Four foreign professors were invited from the U.K. and the U.S. to give lectures along with 21 Japanese professors from Kyoto University. Their lectures on biodiversity, covered a wide range of scientific fields including molecular biology, ecology, morphology, neurophysiology, and endocrinology. It was Chairman Takenaka's hope that examining recent achievements in the study primates from the vantage point of biodiversity might give the participants new perspectives in their research activities at home-ones that could lead to new vistas in their respective scientific fields.
In addition to the lecture sessions, visits were made to a natural park and Mt. Hiei in Kyoto to observe the ecology surrounding wild Nihon monkeys. The participants were able to get to know each other better through these and other activities such as the morning breakfast "scrambles," and an excursion to the Open Air Museum for Ethnology.


Presentation at the poster session.

Participants have practical
training on Nihon monkeys.



<JSPS Overseas Liaison Offices>

Report from Washington, D.C.

JSPS Washington Liaison Office, CSIS Building

Established in 1990 as JSPS's first overseas office in an advanced country, the Washington Liaison Office serves as a base for carrying out academic exchange and cooperation between Japan and the U.S. The office is centrally located at 18th and K Street NW in the CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies) Building near the Farragut West Metro Station in Washington, D.C. When the JSPS Washington Liaison Office was founded, one of the main reasons for selecting this location was its close proximity to the National Science Foundation (NSF), JSPS's longtime counterpart in the U.S. NSF was at the time situated at 18th and G Street NW. Despite its having moved to Arlington, Virginia in 1993, NSF is still within a convenient Metro ride from the office to its new location near the Ballston Metro station. Another of JSPS's counterpart agencies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is also conveniently located near the Medical Center Metro station in Bethesda, Maryland. Moreover, our office is close to the National Academy of Science (NAS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and many U.S. federal government agencies.
Presently, the JSPS Washington Liaison Office is headed by Dr. Kasuke Takahashi (high-energy physicist, former Deputy Director and Professor Emeritus of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)). At the time of the office's opening, Dr. Takahashi was its first director. Other members of the office's staff include Mr. Y. Mitsukuri, Mr. N. Osaku, Mrs. A. Takesue, and Ms. Sigrun M. Robinson.
JSPS Washington Liaison Office has many functions that it carries out in promoting academic exchanges between Japan and the U.S. (1) The office is actively engaged in gathering information, materials and resources on Japanese universities and research communities and in disseminating them to U.S. researchers and other interested persons. (2) It conducts liaison related to JSPS's bilateral programs with counterpart agencies in the U.S., i.e., NSF in Arlington, Virginia; NIH in Bethesda, Maryland; and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in New York. (3) It provides assistance to visiting Japanese researchers. And (4), it offers information and assistance to researchers interested in JSPS's activities, to researchers wishing to apply for joint research projects, and to JSPS fellowship awardees wanting to know more about JSPS's fellowship procedures, research and life in Japan, and so on.
Another of the office's efforts is to take advantage of its location in the center of Washington D.C., the world's leading capital in international affairs, to provide high-quality services to not only U.S. scientists but also to scientists from the world over. It also endeavors to do this by disseminating information over the office's website (http://www.jspsusa.org) and by answering e-mail inquires. Our website offers links to many useful external websites related to the Japanese and U.S. academic and scientific communities. Our web site is continually being enhanced to make it more user-friendly.
One of the main activities of the JSPS Washington Liaison Office is its series of "Science in Japan" fora, which are held annually to provide current, first-hand information on science in Japan. These fora are cosponsored by NSF, NIH, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and AAAS. Four have been held to date in February 1996, March 1997, March 1998, and June 1999. Eminent researchers from Japan and the U.S. have addressed these fora, each attended by about 150 persons deeply involved in scientific activities, including the members of science-related committees of the U.S. House and Senate, government officials, universities and research institution heads, distinguished scholars, ambassadors, science attaches, and media representatives.
Two of the biggest challenges of the JSPS Washington Liaison Office are how to promote the exchange of researchers between Japan and the U.S. and to stimulate U.S. researchers' interest in going to Japan to conduct collaborative work with Japanese colleagues. This is because trends in the number of young postdoc researchers going to Japan augur the future of scientific collaboration between the two countries. We go about this task of promoting expanded collaboration between the two countries by conducting U.S. visiting programs, lectures on the activities of JSPS, and exchanges of ideas on ways to improve the office's support and services to counterpart agencies. Along these lines, the office is giving consideration to the idea of fostering networks of JSPS fellow alumni.
In sum, the JSPS Washington Liaison Office intends to become a more powerful actor in the scientific community spanning the two countries while also playing a more active role in the further promotion of international and global scientific collaboration.

The fourth "Science
in Japan" Forum
on June 17, 1999.




Communication concerning the Newsletter should be directed to JSPS Fellows Plaza, Tokyo or JSPS Overseas Liaison Offices.




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