Globalisation of research and Education is a major concern for Japanese Universities and requires a full strategy implementation. Promoting the participation of research teams into large scale international consortiums is a promising perspective as it demonstrates the international capability of the University. As research teams quality is high, if a proper promotion organisation is settled, then Japanese research teams can be enrolled in large scale prominent research projects. The yield in terms of co-authored papers in prestigious journals, in terms of faculty, staff and students mobilities and organisation of international conferences or workshops will be subsequently high.
This is one of the main strategy axis implemented at Okayama University by the URA division. As strong request in terms of excellence of the consortium research and partnership is promoted, the research institutions selected for collaboration are preferably steadily ranked among the 250 world-best.
In that frame, a 2 day first session of a School to train researchers from very fields of research, to participate and be central players in international research consortiums was held on August 5th and 6th at Okayama University. 12 researchers were selected on their strong wish to participate in the International development of their activities. Their high potential in terms of creativity was also a criterion for selection. At the session trainees worked individually or in small groups.
During the School session, trainees had to present the main features of their research activities and show the basics of their international projects, putting emphasis on the originality and interdisciplinarity of their ideas. In the case of proposals addressed to the European Commission, trainees had to deeply consider the contacts with a possible Project coordinator located in Europe. They also had to foresee the way their worktasks at Okayama University could be inserted and articulated in a global project. The international partnerships of the consortiums were also discussed. Initially the trainees had 5 projects embryons. At the end of the School session, 2 of them appeared as suitable for submission at a next call from the European Commission (RISE-type projects) and 1 was designed for a Human Frontier Science application. More preparatory work was required for 2 other projects. Confidentiality concerns prevents to give more detailed project description here.
To help trainees in checking the originality of their ideas, they were also encouraged to search the CORDIS data base — The Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) is the European Commission’s primary source of results from the projects funded by the EU’s framework programs for research and innovation (Horizon 2020) –. Trainees were also provided with a range of useful documents for a proposal preparation including for instance a few European evaluation reports where they could learn about international experts comments.
The school also served as an excellent platform of exchanges between the trainees. A few new contacts occurred and are expected to give rise to further innovative research ideas. Further School sessions will be organised as a function of the emergence of new research ideas suitable to reach the International level. This means about twice a year.