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
In academic research, important discoveries are often made by delving deeper into the particular research field but also by engaging with fields that are different from your own. You have probably heard a lecture by a speaker from a completely different disciplinary field, been impressed by such a way of thinking, and wondered if you could apply it to your own research. However, as busy researchers, you may not be able to attend a variety of interdisciplinary seminars, so you may be missing the chance to take such a leap forward in your research.
URAs (University Research Administrators), each of whom has a track record of research in academia or industry and a disciplinary specialization (many have PhDs) are particularly keen to connect and link researchers from different disciplines and steer academic conversations towards joint and multidisciplinary research projects. The URAs are also part of efforts to strategize for the future research planning at Kyoto University. In particular, we aim to influence and help design the overall academic ambitions for the university (IR, institutional research) and assemble institutional pathways by which Kyoto University can acquire a commanding international position. In sum, the mission of the URA is to contribute to strategically strengthening the university’s research capacities.
KURA was established in 2012 as Kyoto University Research Administration Office. In 2016, the university’s URAs became part of a single organization working in the same facility (Research Administration Building) to further expand the network of URAs. In October 2022, we will further enhance URA activities and become Kyoto University Research Administration Center (abbreviations remain unchanged as KURA) and will contribute to the research development of Kyoto University. At present, more than 40 URAs are enthusiastically pursuing the research missions in a wide range of fields, from the humanities and social sciences to science, engineering, life science, medicine and agricultural sciences, and are highly regarded. We ask for your understanding and cooperation with KURA, and if you require any support, please contact your URA.
Kyoto University Research Administration Center (KURA)