In November 2019, Kyoto University’s Program for the Development of Next-generation Leading Scientists with Global Insight (L-INSIGHT) was adopted as a Strategic Professional Development Program for Young Researchers, a Project for the Development of Human Resources in Science and Technology FY2019 under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.
In order to operate the L-INSIGHT program, the Strategic Development Hub for Early Career Researchers was established in the Center for Enhancing Next-generation Research (E-NER), the Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research (C-PIER), Kyoto University.
Early career researchers (ECRs) currently face inherent difficulties in acquiring the practical training and experience across disciplinary, geographical, and industry-academia boundaries needed to become next-generation leading scientists. Short-term exposure to different disciplines and experiences of cultural exchanges rarely facilitates practical accomplishments in interdisciplinary or frontier research. L-INSIGHT was therefore created to overcome these inadequacies in researcher training programs.
L-INSIGHT aims to develop and implement programs to train scientists with Global Insight who can become world-class researchers by 2030 and beyond, and to create and spread integrated and systematized training programs through continued improvements.
Here, Global Insight refers to the ability to span various boundaries – such as time, geography, academic disciplines, sectors, and cultural spheres – with broad overviews, astute perceptions, and foresight.
Against the backdrop of ever-increasing globalization, international competition in the academic and industrial landscapes is escalating and changing.
More than ever, there is a need for Japan to develop world-class ECRs with Global Insight who can play leading roles in next-generation research. These scientists will be entrusted by society with the role and mission of advancing Japan’s academic research in the future and raising its international standing.
We anticipate that the achievements of ECRs supported by L-INSIGHT will increase the presence of academia and industries, and subsequently aid the rich cultural development and sustainability of future societies.
L-INSIGHT is operated in collaboration with educators, researchers and graduate schools possessing extensive experience in international human resource development. The program will investigate best practice examples of ECR training programs from Japan and overseas, and apply existing initiatives from Kyoto University.
By incorporating these efforts, L-INSIGHT will systematically develop programs that traverse international and industry-academia borders.
Furthermore, core ECRs supported by L-INSIGHT (referred to as “L-INSIGHT Fellows”) will be provided with opportunities to clearly identify their own goals and to connect with researchers in partnering industry and overseas institutes, through which L-INSIGHT Fellows will be able to foster, enhance, and expand the skill sets and mindsets needed to achieve their goals.
For this, L-INSIGHT will establish Global Insight competencies, build a method to validate the program, and promote active participation of ECRs from Kyoto University, other education/research institutes, as well as industries/companies.
The knowledge gained in this program will then be used for its expansion in the Kansai region and Western Japan, and ultimately throughout the nation.
In L-INSIGHT, we will work to develop and enhance the skill sets as well as to foster and expand mindsets of L-INSIGHT Fellows crucial to the development of research capabilities that form the foundation of competitiveness and excellence.
For example, we will provide opportunities for Fellows to interact with researchers from overseas partner institutes and business enterprises to encourage the initiation of joint research. To allow Fellows to make the most of these opportunities, the program will support the development and enhancement of skill sets such as academic writing skills, abilities to communicate results, management skills, leadership qualities, and the ability to acquire external funding. In addition, we will aid the fostering and expansion of mindsets such as a co-creation mentality, future-focused thinking, challenging spirit, and internationality.
Domains of Global Insight
Global Insight comprises three domains
Each domain is, in turn, composed of several Global Insight Competencies
While the program enrollment duration differs depending on each Fellow, we anticipate that it will take approximately three years to achieve his/her targets. During the L-INSIGHT Fellows’ participation in the Core Program and Practical Program, they will assess their own attainment of the targeted skill sets and mindsets central to the three domains of Global Insight competencies and record their self-assessment results by themselves. We expect that the Fellows’ own careful record-keeping through these programs will enhance their abilities with improvements.
In order to develop each Fellow’s individual characteristics and facilitate the setting of long-term research targets, we will apply the following two approaches in the Practical Program: “International Collaborations” and “Industry-Academia Collaborations”. Each Fellow will choose to dedicate themselves to one approach or to work on both based on his/her personal goals.
We envisage that those who complete the L-INSIGHT program will continue to interact with other Fellows and remain active members of the L-INSIGHT community. We also anticipate that a large number of L-INSIGHT alumni/alumnae will serve as mentors to advise and guide current Fellows.