Since its founding in 1897, Kyoto University has respected free and creative research, fashioned new intellectual values, and opened the world of creative learning in the spirit of “Self-Reliance and Self-Respect”. To date, the university has produced many world-leading researchers including nine Nobel Prize laureates and three Fields Medalists. The university has also begun its new journey since 2017 when it was granted Designated National University status.
Kyoto University strives to contribute to society by taking on the challenge of solving numerous issues facing the modern society and humankind in a sincere and daring manner. At the same time, we ensure that the university’s 120-plus years of powerful progress will continue into the future. In order to achieve this dual goal, it is our vital mission to maintain an environment where researchers can maximize their abilities, explore the essence of learning, and promote world-leading, original and creative research. We also need to provide opportunities where they can exchange different abilities and ideas and form cooperative relationships across diverse academic fields.
It was in this context when the Kyoto University Research Administration Office (KURA) was established directly under the Executive-Vice President for Research in 2012. Research administrators (URAs) are assigned to strategically promote the university’s reform, strengthen research capabilities, and accelerate its internationalization. Their roles include enhancing the headquarters’ functions, promoting collaborations across different departments and organizations within the university, and improving the research environment. KURA also manages a range of funding programs to develop interdisciplinary research that takes advantage of the university’s academic diversity or to promote international research that ensures the university’s global competitivity. KURA is now becoming an indispensable body for the university to maintain its global perspective, create new intellectual values, and develop well-rounded academics. We hope that KURA will eventually become the “model” of research administration in Japan by continuing and increasing its systematic efforts in promoting and strengthening research capabilities.
The 27th President
Kyoto University Research Administration Office (KURA) initially opened with eight Research Administrators (URAs) for the “Program for Training and Securing Research Administrators” by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology (MEXT) in fiscal year (FY) 2011. The office then augmented its URAs under MEXT Research University Enhancement Project in FY 2013, and its staff members tripled by FY 2014. With the reinforced staff, KURA has committed itself to diverse activities leading to research enhancement at Kyoto University in cooperation with university-wide research support and administrative organizations. These activities encompass supporting acquisition of competitive funds, internationalizing research activities, enhancing the research information database, assisting industry-government-academia collaboration, and promoting interdisciplinary research.
In the meantime, regional URA offices were created in eight campus sections for research support within each faculty in FY 2014. These URA offices launched numerous support activities within their own sections while establishing face-to-face relationships with faculty members and researchers.
Although their roles and scope of activities slightly differ, KURA and regional URA offices had collaborated through Kyoto University URA Network toward the common goal of research enhancement. To further enhance the quality of research support, the new KURA was launched in April 2016 by integrating these URA offices and bringing together 39 research support professionals at the Research Administration Building.
To contribute to harmonious coexistence in the global community, Kyoto University has promoted cutting-edge academic research with world-leading quality. The University also has fulfilled its duty to develop various studies and to return the benefits to society as the world’s shared assets, and has been highly recognized in the international community. To further bolster the university’s mission “to create distinguished knowledge and wisdom,” the new and scaled-up KURA dedicates its efforts to meet diverse needs by promoting flexible and active collaborations and deploying best qualified specialists. In addition, we tackle a goal of developing and implementing our unique research support plans to enhance research environments and to upgrade our research promotion support activities. We will inform you of any progress on this website and other means.
We look forward to your continued understanding and support for our activities.
Kyoto University Research Administration Office (KURA)