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27 May 2010 Pre-Departure Seminar and Alumni Evening 


On 27th May 2010 a Pre-Departure Seminar for 3 categories of JSPS Awardees; JSPS Summer Programme awardees, Postdoctoral Fellowship Short Term and Postdoctoral Fellowship Standard Term awardees was held in the lecture hall of the JSPS London office building.

The seminar started with welcoming remarks from the Director of JSPS London, Professor Kozo Hiramatsu, who had arrived just a few weeks before to take up this position. This was followed by a short self introduction by each participant so similar areas of research and institutions being visited in Japan could be linked. The seminar was presided over by Ms. Polly Watson, International Programme Coordinator of JSPS London who at first explained the purpose of the event and about the different presentations that were to follow.

The first segment of the seminar consisted of two presentations by JSPS London staff. The first presentation by Mr. Takeshi Sekiguchi, Deputy Director gave an essential introduction to JSPS and general information about the JSPS Post Doctoral Fellowship, both Short Term and Standard Award. The second presentation was given by Ms. Kaori Yoshikawa, International Programme Associate, with practical information about the structure of the JSPS Summer Programme including pre departure preparations and what would be expected of the awardees during their structured two month stay in Japan.

The next segment of the seminar consisted of two presentations about past research experiences as JSPS fellows. The first of these presentations was given by Mr. Antonio Caraballo-Ortiz of Cranfield University who took part in the JSPS Summer Programme of 2009. The second presentation was given by Dr. Mark Tame, currently a research associate at Imperial College London and also Regional Manager of the UK-JSPS Alumni Association for Northern Ireland. Both presentations were excellent and very thoughtful, giving current and valuable information about daily life and working practices in research environments in Japan.

In the final part of the programme, JSPS London was very pleased to have two guest speakers from other distinguished funding organizations present to speak about further funding opportunities to do research in Japan. They were Dr. Hans Hagen, Senior Manager of International Grants at the Royal Society and Mr. Stephen McEnally, Director of The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

The seminar ended with a question and answer session giving participants the chance to raise questions and concerns about JSPS programmes. Areas covered included obtaining Certificates of Eligibility and visas, traveling around Japan, accommodation options and payment of allowances.

A link to each presentation given during the seminar can be found in the programme for the event below:

15:30-18:00 Pre-Departure Seminar


Opening Remarks

Professor Hiramatsu, Director, JSPS London Office

2. Self-introduction from each participant

Introduction to JSPS and Information about the JSPS Post Doctoral Fellowship

Mr. Sekiguchi, Deputy Director of JSPS London


Practical Information for JSPS Summer Programme Fellows

Ms. Kaori Yoshikawa, International Programme Associate, JSPS London


Research Experience in Japan

Mr. Antonio Caraballo Ortiz, JSPS Summer Programme Fellow, 2009


Research Environment in Japanese and UK Institutions

Dr. Mark Tame, Regional Manager for Norther Ireland, UK-JSPS Alumni Association



The Royal Society's Exchanges and Collaborations with Japan

Dr. Hans Hagen, Senior Manager, International Grants


The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation's Science Programmes in Japan

Mr. Stephen McEnally, Director


Questions and Discussion

18:30-20:30 UK-JSPS Alumni Association Evening


Opening Speech and Introduction to the Alumni Association

Dr. Martyn Kingsbury, UK-JSPS Alumni Association Chair.

20:30 Depart

Mr. Antonio Caraballo-Oritz

Presentation by Mr. Antonio Caraballo-Ortiz

Presentation by Dr. Mark Tame

After the pre-departure seminar, the UK-JSPS Alumni Association held an alumni evening for networking among members and new JSPS fellows in a relaxed atmosphere. Dr. Martyn Kingsbury, the Chair of the UK-JSPS Alumni Association made an opening speech in which he talked about the work of the UK-JSPS Alumni Association. He mentioned in particular the progress of the two alumni re-visitation support schemes in building and sustaining networks with the academic community in Japan. He also talked about the new alumni symposium scheme and the great impact it was expected to have in creating high quality collaboration in cutting edge/ internationally competitive research areas between institutions in the UK and Japan. Members were then invited to enjoy the rest of the evening in a toast from Professor Hugo Dobson, Vice-Chair of the UK-JSPS Alumni Association.

The UK-JSPS Alumni Association / Dr Martyn Kingsbury

Finally, JSPS London would like to wish all of our new Fellows a successful research trip to Japan and we hope they will join the UK-JSPS Alumni Association on their return to the UK.

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