I was appointed as director of the Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences (FRIS) in April 2018 as the successor to the former director Dr. Masaaki Sato. I hope to contribute to promote interdisciplinary sciences in this unique institution.
FRIS was established in 2013 through the integration of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR) and the Institute for Synergistic Interdisciplinary Research, and started its mission: “FRIS pioneers and promotes interdisciplinary studies in various academic fields. Under the auspices of partnerships with all university faculty and research institutions, including the Division for Interdisciplinary Advanced Research and Education of the Institute for Promoting Graduate Degree Programs , we are advancing knowledge and creating new values by supporting young researchers, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the enrichment of human society.”
FRIS is composed of the managing & planning section, the advanced interdisciplinary research division, and the creative interdisciplinary research division. The managing & planning section and the advanced interdisciplinary research division are staffed with full-time faculty members (four professors, four associate professors, and one university research administrator). The creative interdisciplinary research division is staffed with fixed-term young researchers (two associate professors and 46 assistant professors, as of April 2018). All FRIS researchers belong to either of six research fields which are established by organizing all of Tohoku University’s areas of study from an interdisciplinary point of view: Materials and Energy, Life and Environments, Information and Systems, Devices and Technology, Humans and Society”, and Advanced Basic Science”.
FRIS focuses on the activities (1) to promote cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, (2) to explore intra-university interdisciplinary research, and (3) to foster young researchers of interdisciplinary sciences worldwide. To promote these activities FRIS carries out the following programs: Program to Promote Interdisciplinary Research, Program to Support Interdisciplinary Research Activities, Fostering Young Researchers Program (Shoushi Program), Program to Support Establishment of International Research Center, Program to Support International Collaboration, and Program to Support for Presentation in International Conferences . Assistant professors of the creative interdisciplinary research division carry out their own research subjects under a mentor selected from Tohoku University faculty members. Furthermore, young researchers have mutually close links with students of doctorate and master’s courses in the Division for Interdisciplinary Advanced Research and Education of the Institute for Promoting Graduate Degree Programs through research and education.
In order to promote frontier research in interdisciplinary sciences, your understanding, support, and encouragement are deeply appreciated.