JSPS-International Training Program (ITP) Step-up Educational Program for Young Bio-Material Scientists On an International Training Network

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Plan

Project Objectives

Biomaterials Science is an essential academic field. It deals with the development of substances and materials central to biotechnological development. It also helps to explain the role of molecular substances in diverse life phenomena. Biomaterials Science is also an interdisciplinary and integrated academic field that seeks to create a new and pioneering academic discipline, able to present practical solutions to many of the issues currently being tackled by life ciences-related disciplines. These solutions are based on the seeds of knowledge already sown in cutting-edge fields in materials science, including chemistry, semiconductor devices, nanotechnology and environmental sciences.

We want NAIST students and researchers in the field of Biomaterials Sciences to excel. In order to do so, they need sound knowledge in those fundamental academic disciplines which are the very essence of life phenomena, such as biology, biochemistry and molecular science. Creativity and conceptual ability, both of which must be strongly rooted in cutting-edge materials science, are also essential. Equally crucial is the ability to convert original ideas into detailed and practical research plans.

Researches also need to be able to collaborate and cooperate with researchers and engineers from differing disciplines; the ability to deftly handle discussions that overlap discrete fields is vital. Researchers also need to equip themselves with the‘globality’that is essential to success in an increasingly competitive international research environment.

The Biomaterials Sciences are a core academic field that will play a crucial role in supporting the development of bio-related science and technology in the near future. The importance of nurturing young researchers, able to adapt to and interact in a truly global environment is also coming into focus. The NAIST program looks to maximize the diverse possibilities of Biomaterials Sciences. It aims to establish a collaborative education network that is both interdisciplinary and international. The network incorporates various overseas institutions and creates a sustainable and systematic international training network program.

This program will be based upon four core institutions in three countries. NAIST has a strong relationship with these institutions, and will form an integrated education and research network with these four core institutions through sustainable, systematic development. A number of programs will be put in place: NAIST postgraduate students will participate in placements to overseas research hubs, research supervisors will be invited from overseas, English-language training placements overseas will be incorporated into research programs in order to enhance linguistic ability and foster international perspectives, overseas residential research programs will be implemented, and exchange programs with researchers from overseas. A credit transfer system will form the backbone of this our internationalized program.

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Program Plan

1. Overseas Training (First year PhD students)

First year doctoral students visit UC Davis, University of California, to take part in the English language training program for science students. This program allows students to improve their English abilities in the context of their status as scientific researchers. They are also encouraged to develop an international outlook as researchers. The training period is around 4 weeks. Overseas training programs include English-language training programs and courses tailored to individual doctoral student needs.

2. Student Exchange

2-1. Overseas Research Lab Placements (First & second year PhD students)
Placements are designed to encourage an international outlook and give researchers the opportunity to become involved in research themes other than those they study at NAIST. Students can become familiarized with other research, fundamental knowledge and essential technologies from differing but related fields. Placements involve residential stays of 2-3 months in laboratories at partner institutions.

2-2. Exchange Programs with Students at Overseas Partner Universities
Teaching staff and graduate students are invited from overseas partnership institutions and take part in residential programs in our Graduate School. Throughout their stay, students and staff take part in exchange activities, thus encouraging an international perspective and communicative skills amongst students.

3. Research Meetings with Invited International Supervisors (First & second year PhD students)

Doctoral students participate in a mid-degree review meeting, and this two-night, three-day research meeting is scheduled for the same time. A number of international supervisors are invited from overseas. Participants in the research meetings are required to give presentations in English and present poster sessions; strengthening students’ ability to hold discussions in English with international researchers is as much an objective of the meetings as enhancing their capacity to make presentations in English.

4. Dispatch of NAIST Staff to Overseas Partner Universities

Teaching and administrative staff will travel overseas to discuss and promote the program to overseas institutions.

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