Innovation in science and technologies that have continuously become more advanced and complex requires new talents for solving problems and communicating. These talents require highly specialized knowledge, but also require a wide-ranging vision.
In other countries, many of the leaders creating innovation in business, as well as in academics, hold a PhD. In contrast, in Japan, most PhD holders restrict their activities to academic research. In Japan, there is a commonly held perception that a PhD holder’s focus on their specialty may interfere, or make it more difficult for them to adapt to a business environment.
The goal of our program is to educate doctoral students to successfully conduct research, while developing skills to become the next generation of innovative leaders. These students will develop abilities required for business, working flexibly with diverse groups, and possessing advanced global communication skills. At the core of our curriculum, we have introduced Project Based Team Study (PBTS), modeled on applied research projects in industry. We also have a global internship program for students, where they work at companies, research institutes, and universities overseas, so that they gain a truly international experience in business and research.
Our program is conducted beyond the usual boundaries of the university, and includes diverse human resources from domestic and overseas companies and research institutions. We are fostering doctoral candidates who can actively and directly contribute to creating innovation in a wide range of industries, academic disciplines, and in government. At the same time, we are also promoting the career development of PhD holders, and fostering their contributions to society.
Project Based Team Study (PBTS)
In Project Based Team Study, projects are created and proposed by the students, themselves. The students form their own teams, composed of members studying a wide variety of fields of research in their major courses (forming cross-functional teams). Students are responsible for the execution of these projects, including their ongoing planning and management. Through PBTS activities, students gain practical experience in creating and managing projects on their own, which are relevant to important problems and issues facing society. In PBTS, all communication is conducted in English.
A Study Commons, composed of foreign faculty members, has been established as a base of activity for PBTS, providing guidance for students in their research projects. There are also faculty mentors from within the university in various specialized fields, and experts from outside the university working in industry, research institutes, and other universities. Project teams carry out their research in a competitive atmosphere. Their research activities are not limited to within the university, but have expanded to include joint research and development with companies, research institutes, and with other universities.
Currently, we have 10 project teams in PBTS that are conducting diverse research projects, with some teams collaborating with students from other universities.
Current PBTS activities (as of October 1, 2017)
|Anti-Aging Team (1st class)|
|In order to lengthen the healthy life span and spread the traditional tea drinking habit in our society, the team’s goal is to develop a new tea product with high anti-aging property.|
|Education Team (1st class)|
|We designed a course on programming for high school students, aiming at improving their understanding of mathematical induction, which is a difficult topic in high school math. In our course, the students make a simple game using a technique similar to mathematical induction.|
|Synchronization Team (1st class)|
|In order to unveil the mechanism of interaction between cultured skin cells and collagen, we investigate the collective patterns that cultured skin fibroblasts form on collagen-coated dishes.|
|Water Treatment Team (1st class)|
|Our study is aimed at improving an existing wastewater treatment system using enzymes for wastewater from food factories to remove oil that is a big environmental burden.|
|Green Filtering Team (2nd class)|
|Development of a biomimic-green filter for air pollutants.|
|Health Care Team (3rd class)|
|Our project goal is to develop a recipe recommendation application in order to solve diet-related health problems and promote people’s awareness of environmental issues.|
|Science Education Team (3rd class)|
|In order to respond to the social problem of gender diversity among specialists in pure sciences we seek to promote female role models for students at women high schools. The aim is to increase interest in science education.|
|Fly Trap Team (4th class)|
|In order to control fly laying eggs in fruit and contribute to the cultivation of organic fruit in Japan, we explore new fly-repellent substances.|
|Traffic Jam Team (4th class)|
|In the future, autonomous cars will be put to practical use. Traffic will be mixed with normal and autonomous cars. We aim at finding a new method of easing jam in the mixed traffic by computer simulations.|
|Water Recycling Team (4th class)|
|We aim to make effective use of greywater resources for irrigation by reusing household waste water from washing machine. In the initial step, we propose to develop a feasible system for removing surfactant in water.|
Our long-term internship program is designed to help students widen their vision and recognize how to effectively address social needs through practical experience and research. Students participate in multiple internships with the cooperation of over 30 organizations, including domestic and international companies, research institutes, and universities.
Our internship program includes Global Internship I (3 months to 6 months), taken during the student’s master’s program, and Global Internship Ⅱ (6 months to 12 months), taken during their doctoral program. Students find their internship opportunities themselves, with the assistance of program staff, considering the promotion of their PBTS research and the research conducted in their major program.
Internship Destinations (up to Octover 12, 2017)
Domestic – 14 places (8 companies, 3 institutes, 2 universities, 1 government office)
Overseas – 17 places (1 company, 4 institutes, 10 universities, 2 others)
|FUJITSU LIMITED, Tokyo Engineering Consultants Co. Ltd., Toray Industries Inc., Weathernews Inc., Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Ricoh Company Ltd., Rhelixa Inc., NISSAN MOTOR CO. LTD., LANXESS GmbH (Germany)|
|National Institute of Health and Nutrition, RIKEN, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Spain), Institute of Mathematics Polish Academy of Sciences, Banach Center (Poland), Laboratory of Subatomic Physics & Cosmology, Grenoble (France), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) (Netherlands)|
|Tokyo University, Shimane University, Ewha Womans University (Korea), University of Oxford (UK), New York University (USA), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (USA), University of Technology Sydney (Australia), Strasbourg University (France), Northeastern University (USA), University of California Davis (USA), Technical University of Dresden (Germany), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden)|
|Government Office and Others|
|MEXT, Pirapo Himawari-kai (PARAGUAY), Japan America Society of Southern California (USA)|
We hold various events, including career and product development workshops, in cooperation with companies and research institutions.
Requests to Companies and Institutions
As mentioned above, we are promoting this program with the cooperation of companies and research institutions, collaborating with industry, academia, and the government. If your company or research institution is interested in working with our program, please contact us by email. We especially hope to promote exchanges with companies and research institutions in following cases:
– research internships
– hiring female PhDs
– interest in PBTS research projects
Contact: Ochanomizu University
Leading Graduate School Promotion Center