Vitalization and development of research activities, social reduction of the research results is the mission of the university. The university has to establish the key study domain which should promote as a university, develop various studies drastically, support and promote it strongly. Looking ahead to its sesquicentennial in the year 2030, Waseda University established “Waseda Vision 150”, a strategic plan to solidify Waseda’s reputation as a leading university. Based on this vision, we have introduced priority research initiatives to reinforce our university’s forte and convert any weaknesses into strengths. This interdisciplinary approach anticipates for making a university-wide synergistic collaboration among scholars beyond boundaries between faculties and aims to address social issues from a global perspective.
The Organization for University Research Initiatives integrates and controls university-wide priority research initiatives. To date, 22 initiatives have been admitted and 35 projects are underway. The goals of the Organization for Research Initiatives are ; 1) development of human resources, 2) acquisition of external research funding and support, 3) the formation of an independent and sustainable research framework through collaborating and networking with external/internal organizations. Furthermore, we look forward to fostering highly qualitative researchers supporting whose research will make great contributions to a society by interdisciplinary work and well-orchestrated research development.
Based on “the spirit of practical science” that is the basic idea of Waseda University, we disseminate our research results to a society and provide leadership in the resolution for global issues in the 21st century.
As Chairperson of the Organization for University Research Initiatives, I committed to dedicating my efforts to establish Waseda University as one of the leading international research universities in the world.
Research activities at Waseda University have been carried out in line with respect for the distinct character and independence of each individual researcher, undergraduate school, graduate school, and research institute. However, against the background of intensifying international competition amongst universities in recent years, as well as increasing societal demand for research results and the development of human resources, the University faces a growing need to build up systems for the formulation, promotion, and implementation of strategic and organizational research strategies, including strategic resource allocation. The strengthening and maintenance of University-wide research systems corresponding with these trends is also an issue of pressing concern.
The transformation of Waseda University into an international research university is raised as a key item in the ” Fundamental Ideas of the Executive Board on ‘Waseda Next125’ ” document. In order to fulfill this aim, there is a need to significantly enhance the research capabilities of the University. This can be achieved by encouraging the fusion of theory and practice, expanding research boundaries to include applied research even as we continue to place significant emphasis on fundamental research, as well as utilizing our strengths as a university while taking up the challenge of creating new and unique academic fields.
With a view to responding to these issues in concrete ways, the first step taken by the University has been to set up the Research Congress, Research Council, and the Center for Research Planning. Based on the organic linkages between these research bodies, the University has established 8 fields as key research initiatives to be developed in a strategic and organized manner. Through open recruitment exercises conducted within the University, applications were accepted for research themes within each of the 4 fields for fiscal 2009 and 2010. After selection of the final research themes, the University began providing support for the strategic research initiatives.
The representatives for the selected strategic research initiatives will set up new project research institutes and commence research activities in their roles as the Directors of the institutes. The project research institutes that come under the umbrella of this organization are expected to develop into large-scale research projects by obtaining significant amounts of external funding, and to become the mainstays of research at Waseda University.
The Organization for University Research Initiatives was inaugurated in April 2009 to provide various forms of support during the support period (maximum of 3 years) for the strategic research initiatives and the establishment period (maximum of 5 years) for the project research institutes, in order to facilitate the smooth implementation of research activities by the project research institutes.
Strategic research initiatives for FY 2009
- International network for Japanology and Japanese culture studies
- System under globalization: laws, corporations, and markets
- Science and technology for a green energy society
- Design for innovative health and medical care
Strategic research initiatives for FY 2010
- Asian co-existence within the global system
- Policies, industries, and journalism for sustainability
- Creation of diverse infrastructure for recycling-oriented living
- Science for the future, centered on the basic sciences such as mathematics and physics