About URA

Masato Wakayama (Academic Administrator/Vice President of Kyushu University)

URA Project of Kyushu University

Kyushu University has been developing world class level of research, education and medical services as a flagship university, covering a wide range of fields in humanities, social sciences, science and technology, life sciences, agricaultural science, and design. The University Research Administration(URA) Office serves to enhance and reinforce the research promotion system and functions. Utilizing the subsidy from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the URA project of Kyushu University✽ aims at establishing current activities, and to further development and vitalization of research activities. We continuously promote activities for the development of the URA, spread its philosophy and contribute to its nation-wide establishment. We promise to make every effort to develop the research activities of the university, as well as to contribute to the improvement of research capacity for the whole country.

Executive/Vice President of Kyushu University
Masato Wakayama

✽ In 2011, Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) initiated the University Research Administrator Development Project (URA Project) to enhance university research activities. Kyushu University was selected as one of the universities to implement the URA Project in 2012 and started the URA Project by establishing the University Research Administration Office (URA Office) under the direction of the President and by hiring 10 URAs. The URA Office assists the university by developing research strategy plans, developing research projects, supporting grant applications, coordinating government and industry collaboration research projects, managing and utilizing intellectual properties, supporting venture startups, and supporting other research related administration for the advancement of academic research.

Kyushu University has been providing world class research, education and medical services as one of Japan’s flagship universities. Kyushu University covers a wide range of research fields, including humanities, social sciences, science and technology, life sciences, agricultural science, and design. Through the URA Project, Kyushu University has accelerated on-going projects, and will further develop and vitalize new research activities.

Purpose of URA Activities

Purpose of The URA Office

Figure 2. Purpose of URA Project

  • URAs support researchers. This includes communication and coordination within the university, and negotiation with external organizations.
  • URAs also support faculty members (regardless of their rank and field) to obtain research funds.
  • URA Office circulates various information on funding and government initiatives through seminars and websites to promote research activities.

Career Path Program of The University Research Administrator (URA)

The university has created a third (new) type of position within the university apart from the positions of researcher and office personnel and appointed highly specialized professionals as URAs in this position.

URA Administration Diagram

Figure 3. Career Path Program

A new career path program has been applied for URAs. There are three ranks for the URA position, namely "Research Manager", "Senior Research Advisor" and "Research Advisor". For instance, a newly employed URA is assigned to a certain task for a fixed period as a Research Advisor. If his/her achievement reaches a certain level, he/she will be promoted to an upper position, and eventually reaches an executive level.

Position and Administration of URA among Research Development Projects

URA Scope of Activities

Figure 4. URA Scope of Activities

URAs are specialists, who work with researchers to obtain funding, create suitable research environment for researchers, and strengthen the research development strategy and management for the university. Their main operations are as follows:

  1. Improve academic research planning and proposal developments, through the following activities:
    • - collect critical research related information and conduct analytical evaluation, and circulate these for academic research promotion
    • - build university-wide service for research project planning and proposal development
    • - promote cross-subject research, multidisciplinary projects, university-wide research initiatives and develop new research fields
  2. Provide support for obtaining external research funds, including:
    • - scientific research funds
    • - competitive research funds
    • - sponsored research funds
    • - joint research funds
  3. Promote research cooperation with partners, including companies and local government, through:
    • - planning, coordination and management of research projects
    • - implementation of strategic collaboration and holding management level collaboration meetings
    • - protection, management and utilization of intellectual property