• Policy Recommendation


    University Industry and University Society Partnership Research Unit

Policies for Research Administrators at Japanese Universities

Based on empirical research showing that universities can improve their organizational performance by providing an optimal work environment for research support personnel, we have compiled a set of four recommendations for the state of research support personnel (URA) at Japanese universities.

1. Enhancement of knowledge sharing environment for URAs Universities should formulate a university policy to establish URA organizations that can effectively perform research support functions through collaboration between faculty and staff, and to enhance university management practices that emphasize supportive supervision, thereby strengthening these functions and enhancing the knowledge-sharing environment that will lead to university competitiveness. At the same time, the government should implement measures to encourage such university initiatives.

2. Further development of URA functions
Universities should maximize the use of the URA function as an extended part of the university’s functions, such as “large-scale inter-organizational collaboration between industry and academia” and “becoming the core of industrial creation in the region,” by raising the URA function to the realm of research planning and implementation by backcasts facing future industry and local society.

3. Develop the URA community
The URA community should enhance its function as a hub for domestic practitioners and stakeholders involved in university research and consolidate their views, as well as deepen ties with overseas organizations to ensure internationalization and diversity in order to take on the internationalization of research, which will become increasingly important. Through these efforts, it is hoped that a “culture of the Japanese URA community” will be fostered, which will serve as a foundation for the future development of URA organizations.

4. Evaluation and Fostering of URA Organizations With regard to the evaluation and nurturing of the URA organization, it should have a viewpoint to evaluate and nurture fundamental contributions that are valuable to researchers, such as networking among researchers across disciplines, based on the keystone researchers’ status as agents. At the same time, evaluation and fostering should be conducted based on the strategy of each university in terms of visible performance, such as the amount of research funds obtained, the construction of human research infrastructure, which is important for university management, and the promotion of backcast strategic research, as mentioned above, which will contribute to university management through these activities. In this
regard, universities that assign URAs should fully utilize the quality assurance system, as it is expected that a well-balanced skill base will be developed for URAs as a whole through the quality assurance system for URAs.

The full report can be downloaded below.