Office for Promotion of Equality and DiversityWaseda University

Support for Female Researchers

Female Researchers Mentoring System


From September 2020 the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity has adjusted the Mentoring Program so that the first required face-to-face meeting, as well as subsequent meetings, can be conducted online via Zoom.

About Mentoring

  • Method: As a general rule, meetings will be conducted via Zoom.

However, correspondences may still be conducted by e-mail, telephone, and Skype when necessary. If you wish to meet in person rather than online, please inform us when you apply.

※As a general rule, post-application preliminary meetings with the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity will be conducted via Zoom.

  • Number and duration of meetings: Up to two meetings per month; approximately 30 minutes per meeting (this remains unchanged).


Waseda University has launched a Mentoring Program for Female Researchers as a way to support female who are already pursuing a research track as well as female graduate students who are aiming to become or considering becoming researchers.

The program allows participants to hear directly from senior researchers about their experiences. It is our hope that learning how senior researchers resolved various issues in their lives will give you some hints as to how to overcome your own struggles—including finding balance between academic/research work and your personal life or questions about how to shape your future career.

What you share with your mentors will almost always remain confidential, and there will very likely be questions that you feel free to ask because your mentor comes from a different research discipline. We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to discuss and ask things that may be difficult to bring up with those in your immediate circle.


Senior researchers (mentors) at Waseda have a wealth of knowledge and work experience that they can use to support junior researchers just starting out their research careers (mentees). This program provides mentoring opportunities where the two can come together to discuss and resolve career issues, struggles in research settings, and other problems.


  • To enable women researchers at the start of their research career to talk with senior female researchers about the issues female researchers face so that the former can develop problem-solving strategies and skills based on the experiences and insights of the latter.
  • To enable female researchers, who are faced with issues that may prevent the continuation of their research, to talk with male researchers in leadership positions and hear about their leadership experiences (particularly their experience regarding women researchers). The women researchers will be able to glean information of possible approaches and solutions through applying the male researchers’ experiences to their own situations.

Eligible Mentees

1. Researchers in the early stages of their career (Assistant Professors, Assistant Professors (without tenure), Junior Researchers, Research Associates)

2. Current Doctoral Program enrollees and those currently enrolled in a Master’s Program who wish to go on to a Doctoral Program.

Mentor profiles

Toru Asahi graduated from Department of Applied Physics,
School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University in 1986.
He got PhD degree, Graduate School of Science and Engineering,
Waseda University in 1992 and MBA, Business School, Waseda University in 2007.

He is Professor of Department of Life Science and Medical Bioscience,
Department of Advanced Science and Engineering, and Department of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering,
Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

He is a Deputy Director of the Research Organization for Nano & Life Innovation,
Director of the Global Consolidated Research Institute for Science Wisdom, and Associate Dean of the School of
Advanced Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

He is the Deputy Project Manager and a Principal Investigator of
“Insect-Based Sustainable Food Production Systems toward Global Food Security and Human Space Exploration Project”,
Moonshot Research and Development Program, Cabinet Office, Japan and also a Program Manager of “
Yamauchi Materials Tectonics Project”, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan.

His current research interests are as follows; Chiral Science, Photo-responsive Materials, Ferroelectrics, Magnetic Materials,
Materials-informatics and Bio-informatics, High-temperature Superconductor, Symmetry Breaking, Sustainable Food Production Systems,
Thalidomide, Alzheimer Disease, Biosensor, Amino Acids, and Protein.

・PhD (Education) from the Graduate School of Education and Faculty of Education, Kyoto University
・Project Researcher, 21st Century Centers of Excellence (COE) Program at the University of Tokyo
・Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
・Overseas Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
・Assistant Professor, Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (promoted to current position in 2015)

<Publications> Differences in Memory and Psychological Mechanisms

<Specialties> Cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, daily memory psychology, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy

・PhD (Engineering), School of Engineering, University of Toky
・Associate Dean, School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University
・Dean, Waseda University Gender Equality Promotion Committee and Dean, Diversity Promotion Committee
・Specially-appointed professor, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo (concurrent)
・Member, Division III, Science Council of Japan

<Publications> PHREEQC Reaction Analysis for Beginners, Powder Refining and Wet Processes: Fundamentals and Applications

<Specialties> Resource circulation engineering, environmental cleanup engineering

・The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Area Studies
・Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science(PD)
・Kansai University Faculty of Letters, General Department of Humanities Department of Cross-Cultural Studies/
Kansai University Faculty of Letters (promoted to current position in 2015)


<Specialties> American Studies, Gender History

・PhD (Education), Waseda University Graduate School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (withdrew after completing all degree credits)
・Associate Dean of Teacher Education Program, Waseda University School of Education
・Dean, Waseda University Graduate School of Education
・Dean, Waseda University Gender Equality Promotion Committee and Dean, Diversity Promotion Committee (through 2018)
・Chairman, Nakano City Diversity Promotion Planning Committee
・Member, Teacher Education Committee and other committees, Federation of Japanese Private Colleges and Universities Associations

<Publications> Leadership Groups for Girls: An Early History of the Girl Scouts in Japan, Social Education and Elections

<Specialties> Lifelong education, social education

[Born in Australia]
・Graduate of the Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University
・Master’s Program, Division of Japanese Literature, Japanese Women’s University
・PhD (Japanese Literature) Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge
・Professor, Waseda University Faculty of Law since 2001

<Specialties> Japanese literature, particularly the reception of The Tale of Genji and associated women’s history

How to use and apply

Eligible mentees should understand the key content and details of the system before applying. Please review the following information about what the mentoring system is like, how mentoring is performed and what the application procedure is like for this mentoring system.

How to use

1.  What is the mentoring system like?

The mentoring system revolves around a mentor talking with a mentee to provide advice to the mentee regarding educational and research activities, career paths, etc. Career path challenges and concerns are the responsibility of the mentee himself or herself to address; the role of the mentor is to offer support. It is important that the mentor and mentee build up a relationship of trust.

The way the mentoring program is set up sometimes makes it difficult to provide ongoing support for long periods of time or to find mentors that match mentee needs. Please review the informational packet (list of support organizations) provided during your initial session (preliminary consultation with the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity). If you are unsure of which organization is right for you, please reach out directly and we will do our best to provide further explanation and guidance.

2. How is mentoring performed?

Method Mentoring is done via face-to-face consultation using Zoom.

However, e-mails, telephone conversations, Skype chats and other means of communication can be used as needed. *1

Location  To be decided via discussion between the mentor and the mentee
Period Three months per application *2
Frequency and
Twice per month; approx. 30 min. per session
Format To be decided between the mentor and the mentee.

Prior to commencing mentoring, please make sure to read
the Female ResearchersMentoring System Guidelines provided separately.

*1  (1) Regardless of any preference for mentoring via email or telephone, at least one mentoring session must be conducted face-to-face.

(2) Mentoring should be undertaken with the consent of both the mentor and the mentee.

(3) As a rule, email correspondence between mentors and mentees should be conducted using their university email accounts.

*2  Mentoring which extends beyond the designated period is permitted if the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity confirms that this is the wish of both parties.

3. Application Process

(1) Application

Submit your application via the My Waseda Application Form

(2) Preliminary Interview

Three person interview involving the candidate and two members of the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity

(3) Matching

A request be sent to the mentor by the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity; the contact details of the mentor be provided to the mentee.

(4) Mentoring

The mentee contacts the mentor.

(5) Completion

Feedback about the system be provided.

* If during the preliminary interview or mentoring process the aims or support sought by the mentee are deemed not to be in line with the system, the mentee may be directed to other consultation resources on or off campus.

How to apply

Fill in the required information into the application form and apply.

Participant feedback

  • There are very few female in my major, so I joined the program thinking it would be helpful in mapping out a career plan from a female researcher perspective. Being able to discuss things that I am unable to bring up in other settings was tremendously useful and helpful for my future (Master’s program)
  • Being able to get advice directly from a professor working in a different field/environment expanded my horizons. Relationships and other things end up getting constrained if you just stay within your own research office, so I definitely recommend that anyone who is stressed or concerned about their research or future path try the program out. (PhD program)
  • There aren’t many opportunities to have detailed discussions about your career or get advice, so this was a valuable experience. (Assistant professor)
  • It was really encouraging to get support from the professor who mentored me. (Research associate)


1. The advice you get through the mentoring program is primarily based on the experience of university professors. If you’d also like to consult with those who have entered the private sector, you may find it easier to make your decision if you take advantage of the Doctoral Student Career Center (the center also offers consultations for the humanities as well).

4. The mentoring program is primarily based on the personal experiences of mentors. If you need advice or information on scientific research offices based on industry needs, you should make use of the Doctoral Student Career Center as well.

5. You should visit the Doctoral Student Career Center for consultations regarding continuing your scientific research. If you are running into personal or other problems and need specific strategies for dealing with the other person, consider reaching out to the Harassment Prevention Committee Office as well.


Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity
[email protected]

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