One of the objectives of Waseda University is to establish its position as a world-level research university, and the university is carrying out reforms of its systems for research and graduate education in order to further strengthen its research and education. As part of this effort, the university founded the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS) in September 2006 to enhance the cohort of young researchers. The purpose of WIAS is to provide an organization within which young researchers can devote themselves to their research in an independent environment that is not attached to any other institution.
WIAS members recruited worldwide from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, without restrictions on field, conduct advanced research that identifies issues for the future and carves out new fields of study. WIAS researchers are all hired with fixed-term appointments that extend as a rule for three years (or in some cases up to a maximum of five years), after which they are expected to engage in front-line research either as full-fledged international researchers or as business people and experts who are knowledgeable in their research field. Plans call for upgrading institute functionality, for example by bringing in senior fellows from both inside and outside Japan, and instituting dual appointments with other units within Waseda, in order to make WIAS the engine for advanced research at the university.
Starting in FY2007, Waseda became the first private university selected to receive Science and Technology Promotion Adjustment Expenses for “Programs to Promote Environmental Improvement for Independence of Young Researchers” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Science and Technology, and WIAS has instituted the Tenure Track Program for researchers in science and engineering fields. This program is meant to foster young researchers and develop advanced fields of research. It is also viewed as a way to promote reform in the system for development of human research resource and contribute to the mobility of human resources. At present, Waseda University is implementing this program primarily in the science and engineering fields in order to foster key personnel who will bear the future burden of research at this institution. In the future, we hope to open the program broadly for the use of university personnel throughout Waseda.
WIAS is the acronym for the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study. The sharply delineated letters of the logo are meant to convey progressivity, and the navy blue color is meant to express intellectual depth.
The logo designer intentionally chose to use the lower-case letter “i” to signify originality and informality, the two key characteristics of WIAS, which was established as an institute independent from the other faculties of Waseda University in order to promote innovation and take on new challenges.
The theme of independence is reinforced by the dot of the “i”, which was designed to suggest an unfurled flag, that is in turn accentuated by the dark red, which happens to be the school color of Waseda, a university founded to promote the “enterprising spirit.”