Established in 2009, the purpose of the Research Council is to stimulate interaction among researchers beyond the confines of faculties, to provide support needed for each kind of research, and to plan and manage the priority research to be carried out strategically by Waseda University, with the aim of improving the overall research level of Waseda University.
At the time of its establishment, the Research Council was positioned as a research platform and was a virtual organization. From September 2010, however, it came to be repositioned as a university organization, and it now includes all the permanent/fixed research organizations.
The Research Council will conduct the following businesses:
- Promoting new research development beyond the framework of existing organizations, such as interaction/cooperation among researchers, as a result of setting research fields based on the activities of researchers and research groups in Waseda University’s research organizations;
- Setting specific research themes, research groups, and research systems, and providing research support in the University Research Initiatives (research themes and fields to be promoted by Waseda University) that were formulated by the Research Congress under its leadership;
- Planning measures to effectively reflect research results in education programs, and proposing such measures to Waseda University; and
- Any other matters necessary to achieve the purposes of the Research Council.
In the future, the Research Council will realize interaction and mobilization among researchers beyond the confines of faculties, with the aim of further improving Waseda University’s research abilities.
Making Waseda an International Research University
Tetsuo Kato, Senior Dean and Professor, Faculty of Law
Waseda University has drawn up “Waseda Vision 150,” our mid- to long-term strategy for securing a firm position as a leading Asian university ahead of 2032, the 150th anniversary of our foundation. One of the key elements of this is “promoting unique research that innovates the future,” and we are engaged in establishing a research support system to bring out the research abilities of individual researchers, constructing a strategic research organization that will be able to deal with new academic fields and research systems, and so on.
Incidentally, Waseda University’s Research Council and Center for Research Strategy were established in April 2009 based on our mid- to long-term strategy “Waseda Next 125.” At Waseda University, we have positioned the Research Council as a research platform for stimulating interaction between researchers of different faculties, creating and implementing support systems required for research, and planning and operating priority research in a strategic fashion. Since 2009, the Research Council has, in collaboration with the Center for Research Strategy, and bearing in mind Waseda University’s diverse research activities, identified the social challenges faced by Japan and the rest of the world from a global perspective and reviewed and set certain areas of research to be focused on. To date, it has established and promoted 14 such research areas (or key research areas). It is the Research Council that mainly determines and evaluates the research carried out in key research areas (key research initiatives) and research done as a research organization, managing it so that we produce good results. In AY 2017, we started using a new system of setting areas of key research initiatives and selecting challenges. In these new key research areas, we are assembling top class researchers from all over Waseda who, with their accumulated expertise and newly generated synergy, will cross the boundaries between faculties and fields of study in order to clarify Waseda University’s united position on problems faced not only by our university but also by society. The Research Council is also earnestly reviewing the future direction of our research system and support for providing an environment in which researchers can devote themselves to their work, and ways of evaluating key research initiatives and research centered on each research organization, as well as those research results. In this way, the Research Council is expanding the discussion on how best to organize and manage its support of individual research organizations and key research initiatives so that they produce results that will make a significant contribution to the academic world and society as a whole.
The Research Council will endeavor to set up and develop an environment and system for Waseda University to come together and implement strategic research, so that we can progress into an international research university worthy of the Waseda name and make a social contribution on a global level.
What are University Research Initiatives?
Waseda University publicly invites research projects to be supported with priority within the university. After these projects go through a certain review process, Waseda University then provides support for them as University Research Initiatives. These research initiatives are performed as project research institutes with budget granted by Waseda University.
The research period is five years. An interim assessment and a final assessment will be carried out in the third year and fifth years, respectively.
Priority assessment (overview)
The review/assessment working group , established under Research Council Steering Committee, carries out a prior assessment of the University Research Initiatives at the time of adoption, as well as an interim assessment in the third year, and a final assessment in the fifth year (or the final year of establishment).
Therefore, even if a research initiative is planned to be implemented (a project research institute is planned to be established) over a period of four years or more, the review/assessment working group may reach the decision to terminate it before such planned period ends, depending on the results of the interim assessment.
Organization assessment (overview)
Research organizations will be established for a period of five years in principle, and may be reestablished for an additional period of up to five years. (A second reestablishment will not be permitted.)
Under this rule, a prior assessment is carried out at the time of establishment, and a final assessment is carried out in the final year (or the fifth year after establishment ). In addition, a prior assessment is carried out at the time of reestablishment, and a final assessment is carried out in the final year (or the fifth year after reestablishment) . If the necessity arises (such as if an issue is recognized), an interim assessment will be carried out.