Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Program Overview

Over recent years, global competition in recruiting the best and the brightest researchers has intensified, thus the phenomenon of global brain circulation is enhancing. Seventeen research centers are tackling great challenges in order to establish “Highly visible research centers” ,which attract top-notch researchers from all over the world and further improve the quality of Science and Technology.

New WPI Missions

Given changes in the trajectory of Japan’s science and technology policy and based on discussion advanced among the members of the Program Committee and other stakeholders, in December 2020 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) formulated new WPI missions. Titled “Values for the Future,” the new mission seeks to further elevate the WPI’s four existing missions while fostering excellent young researchers in coordination with higher education and ensuring the sustainability of the WPI centers after grant funding has ended.

New Missions, Perspectives, and Evaluation Criteria

Missions Perspectives Evaluation Criteria (Examples)
World-Leading Scientific Excellence and Recognition • The Highest Level of Research Impact
• Expanding Knowledge Frontiers through Interdisciplinarity and Diversity
• Research Impact; Comparison with benchmark institutes; Impact Factors, Citations (Top 1%/10%)
• Metrics derived from research fronts (highly-cited papers clusters)
• Diversity of center personnel (in terms of internationality and gender)
• [Narratives regarding scientific achievements]
Global Research Environment and System Reform • Harnessing Talent and Potential through Global Brain Circulation
• Interdisciplinary and Inter-organizational Capacity Building
• Effective, Proactive and Agile Management
• International collaborations; Top researchers/Postdocs exchanges; World-class research meetings; Presence of foreign researchers
• Disciplinary diversity of research environments and outputs (teams, articles, journals)
• Host institutions’ efforts for making system reforms
• [Narratives regarding practices]
Values for the Future • Societal Value of Basic Research
• Human Resource Building: Higher Education and Career Development
• Self-sufficient and Sustainable Center Development
• Societal impact of social sciences and natural sciences
• Rolling out the best practices; Contributions to higher education reform
• Branding strategy for the WPI program and host institutions; Outcomes of outreach activities
• [Narratives regarding practices]