Background

Hokkaido University has adopted the following four basic principles pertaining to education and research: a Frontier Spirit, Global Perspectives, All-Round Education, and Practical Learning. Based on these principles, we have formulated the Future Strategy for the 150th Anniversary of Hokkaido University with a view to celebrating this anniversary in 2026. Central to this plan, as outlined in the strategy, is the University’s mission “to foster and support early-career researchers who will play a leading role in the next generation” in endeavoring “to actively employ talented early-career researchers and female researchers,” and “to expand tenure-track systems in each field to facilitate the early development of early-career researchers.”

In line with our strategy, the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development (FOHRED) has launched several projects related to the development and support of early-career researchers, engaging in systems creation, planning, and management. Positioning tenure-track as the foundation of projects to train and support early-career researchers, the University has engaged in the promotion and establishment of a university-wide tenure-track system while receiving support from the Hokkaido University Basic and Interdisciplinary Sciences Leader Development System (a project supporting the creation of independent research environments for early-career researchers) (2007–2011) and the Hokkaido University Tenure-Track Promotion Program (a program to promote and establish tenure-track systems) (2011–2019). In addition, in partnership with Tohoku University and Nagoya University, we are working on the Formulation of a Comprehensive Cooperative System for Fostering Researchers with Doctoral Degrees (a project creating a consortium for science and technology personnel development) (2014–2021). These projects will continue to be funded by the University’s own budget even after the subsidy period expires.

A long-term and stable base for the promotion of activities will be indispensable for promoting personnel development at the university-wide level. To that end, the FOHRED Office for Developing Future Research Leaders (L-Station) is working to train and support early-career researchers as leading actors in these projects.