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Student's Idea Factory: Japanese Association for the Advancement of Science (JAAS) has launched a project inviting research ideas from undergraduate students


JAAS, a non‐profit organization for the promotion of Japanese science, launched a project named Student's Idea Factory this fiscal year. This project aims to identify undergraduate students who dream science, demonstrate creative thinking, and develop original research concepts and turn their visions into reality. Research ideas from a variety of fields are welcome.

The Student's Idea Factory is like a festival of student research ideas. This is a project to discover dreams for science, out‐of‐the‐box approaches and original research ideas developed by undergraduates and bring them to fruition. The project solicits original research proposals from undergraduates with an interest in science, allows selected proposals to mature, helps formulate them as concrete research plans and provides opportunities for students to present their ideas to the public. This is an initiative to assist eligible students with their research to contribute toward 'revitalizing Japanese science.'

The following students are eligible to apply for the project: Those in the first to third year of a university (first and second years if the institution is a junior college), fourth and fifth years of a regular course and first and second years of an advanced course in the National Institute of Technology, i.e., KOSEN (a unique engineering educational institution for young students in Japan) and first and second years of a major course in a junior college. The Research proposals to be submitted must be based on students' own creative thinking, and the research ideas must be formulated independently, not in the ordinary course of research conducted in university laboratories under the guidance of faculty members. All fields are covered, regardless of discipline (natural sciences, humanities and social sciences).

Approximately 30 successful applicants will be selected through a review of submitted proposals. The review will focus on the research idea's novelty, attractiveness and its contribution to 'revitalizing Japanese science.' The 30 selected undergraduate students will participate in a summer camp at a training facility in Miyagi Prefecture on July 1‐2, 2023.

There, they will shape and embody their ideas through presentations and workshops. In addition, coaching sessions and seminars organized by the sponsor companies will enhance participants' research skills and relevant knowledge. The camp will further provide opportunities to communicate with young administrators. One session will be held during the JAAS Annual Assembly (on October 7‐9) for the final presentation of the research ideas, plans, results available at the time point, prospects, etc. During this session, about eight summer camp participants will be honored with an opportunity to make an oral presentation, and other students will be allowed a poster session.

Students who perform exceptionally well in the final presentation will be awarded a prize by JAAS, certificates of honor by government agencies and multiple prizes by the sponsor companies. For example, the JAAS award will comprise a certificate of honor, a trophy and prize money of 300,000 yen. Corporate prizes ranging from 50,000 to 200,000 yen will also be awarded.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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