Research Development Section
Greetings from the Executive
Overview of the Research Development Section
Welcome to the Hokkaido University Research Development Section website. The Research Development Section is an organization of research and administration management experts responsible for planning and implementing strategies to strengthen Hokkaido University’s research capabilities.
The Research Development Section coordinates with organizations within and outside of the university through university research administrators (URA). These URA possess advanced expertise and conduct a wide range of activities toward strengthening Hokkaido University’s research capabilities, including developing management strategies and system reforms relating to research infrastructure, planning and promoting major research projects, and implementing human resources management strategies.
To mark the university’s 150th anniversary, Hokkaido University published a Future Strategy 150 vision: “A Hokkaido University that Contributes to the Resolution of Global Issues.” Specifically, the university set three 10-year goals: to become “a leading university that provides and implements innovative solutions to social issues,” “a university that attracts top researchers from around the world,” and “a model university that boasts excellent research governance.” Under the president’s leadership, the university is utilizing its unique characteristics to reform university governance and strengthen its research capabilities.
The Hokkaido University Research Development Section was established under the president’s direct administration. It is responsible for planning the university’s management strategy and implementing reforms to realize these objectives. Since becoming a national university corporation, Hokkaido University requires an independent management strategy and, in this situation, must have organizational capabilities and staff different from conventional administration, research, and education positions.
To accomplish this, Hokkaido University has introduced URA staff who are positioned as advanced administrative and management personnel. Under the leadership of the president and research executive, they promote the university’s research strategy while straddling different departments and administrative organizations. They are responsible for carrying out important work relating to the university’s management, and realizing the formation of “Independent Hokkaido University” as a national university corporation.
The Research Development Section serves as the hub for all of stakeholders in the university’s research and management strategy. Under the president’s governance, it conducts a wide range of activities together with the research executive, administrative organization, each research faculty and bureau, researchers, and domestic and international research organizations.
The role of the URA and three strategies to strengthen the university’s research capabilities
Hokkaido University has implemented three strategies to strengthen its research capabilities: “diversify human resources,” “create cutting-edge research and disseminating results to the world,” and “enhance societal cooperation to solve global problems.” The Research Development Section plays a central role in implementing these reforms.
(1) Promoting the diversification of staff
The Research Development Section promotes the diversity of research staff and implements university-wide measures that go beyond the faculties and bureaus in order to secure excellent personnel.
(Some) recent achievements
- Developing young faculty members and building a new tenure track system for international and female staff
- Establishing GI-CORE, an international collaborative teaching organization that aims to promote and support international collaboration of research and education among staff
(2) Creating cutting-edge research and disseminating its results
To this end, the Research Development Section is planning and promoting projects to create an international landmark research center and to strengthen the research infrastructure system.
(Some) recent achievements
- Implementing the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) and establishing the Arctic Research Center
- Developing a system to share equipment through the Global Facility Center (GFC)
(3) Enhancing societal cooperation to solve global problems
The Industry Creation Laboratories was established to allow Hokkaido University and other companies to effectively share resources through industry-academia collaboration. Today, it is involved in the construction of a framework to implement “collaborative research as one unified organization”
URA career paths
Hokkaido University has designed a tenure-track system specifically for the URA to allow them to acquire tenure after a five-year appointment period. This system further advances the specialization of URAs and clarifies their career path, allowing them to become versatile university administrative and management personnel.
In addition to using external consulting companies and developing an ability-evaluation menu, a hierarchy has been established that enables URA with high-level management skills to be promoted to Chief URA and Senior URA. The university is also considering a framework to promote the increased mobilization of URAs and staff with related positions and to establish a path that will make it possible to transfer to the URA position from other positions.
Five Future Research Development Section Projects
The Hokkaido University Research Development Section is implementing the following five projects. Each project is managed by several URAs and under the direction of the leading URA. In collaboration with other organizations, the university as a whole is facilitating each project.
- Planning and implementing system reforms to strengthen research capabilities
- Implementing university administration and management to utilize university IR (Institutional Research)
- Constructing a top-down landmark research center
- Constructing a system to improve the entire university’s fundamental research stage
- Coordinating the university’s administrative and management specialists