Hideaki Miyajima, Director Waseda Institute for Advanced Study
The Waseda Institute for Advanced Study was established in September 2006 for the purpose of achieving the following goals: rejuvenate Waseda University’s system for nurturing talent, and upgrade its research capabilities. Training young researchers to become pioneers on the frontiers of research and promoting active exchanges with foreign researchers will be important strategies for achieving these goals. WIAS is distinguished by two important features: it is independent from the other departments and institutes of Waseda University, and it emphasizes interdisciplinary research through dialogue between the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Since its establishment, WIAS has hired around 10 young researchers annually on term-limited contacts. From 2007, WIAS has received science and technology promotion grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) and has implemented a Tenure-Track Program for researchers in the natural sciences, which has opened a pathway for WIAS researchers to become tenured members of Waseda University’s faculty after passing mid-stage and final evaluations. WIAS invites researchers from abroad who work on the cutting edge of their fields as Senior Research Fellows, and grants joint appointments to outstanding researchers within Waseda University.
My mission as director of WIAS is to further develop the tradition of free, lively, international, and interdisciplinary research that has been built up by my predecessor as director, Kuniaki Tatsuta, and other WIAS officials. Above all, I will seek to provide an environment that will allow young researchers to dedicate themselves to their research activities, enabling us to turn out researchers who will lead the next generation. For the research projects led by WIAS researchers, I am attempting to promote interdisciplinary research on modern Japanese society and in the life sciences, and other advanced research projects within the university, and would particularly like to encourage international exchanges among researchers. I am also pursuing plans to promote active personnel and academic exchanges with institutes from around the world that share WIAS’s goals and ambitions.
In the international community of the 21st century, universities will assume even greater roles and responsibilities. Waseda University aims to further improve the quality of its research and education, and to become a university that is able to train excellent researchers while attracting outstanding talent from around the world. As a core component of Waseda University’s research enterprise, WIAS will strive to make a major contribution to this effort.