Global On-Site Training Program for Young Researchers on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Art Work

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Program Outline

Project Outline

"Global On - Site Training Program for Young Researchers on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Art Work" is an International Training Program adopted by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The program aims at fostering researchers to be capable and conduct their research from an international perspective. It provides young researchers with opportunities to engage in research and educational activities abroad for a certain period of time so that they could research, network with foreign researchers, as well as present their research outcomes in foreign language.At Ritsumeikan University, the Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage (Rits-DMUCH) and the Art Research Center (ARC) are both very active in international research and educational activities, collaborating with more than a few overseas institutions with which the University concluded partnerships for training their researchers. These Centers are training their researchers to be able to work on Kyoto-based, international preservation of cultural heritages and artworks, with well-rounded knowledge of the humanities and science.

In the past, protection of cultural properties, preservation of artworks, and urban disaster mitigation had never been treated as an integrated research field. Yet, that is what Kyoto needs, facing a challenge “of protecting cultural heritages and artworks in the historical city”--a concern to be shared worldwide. Moreover, research on cultural properties and artworks, a focus shared by both Centers, demands refined and meticulous analytical techniques and sophisticated understanding of cultural issues. What we believe is necessary for the next generation of researchers to acquire such skills, therefore, includes active exchanges with researchers abroad and hand-on research experiences in the field. The ITP offers such opportunities to collaborate with research institutions overseas with on-site research projects, allowing them to gain more experiences both in and out of Japan. By doing so, the program aims at producing a new generation of world-class researchers with not only in-depth knowledge and understanding of cultural properties and artworks but also actual problem-solving experiences.

These two Centers send their young researchers, including doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants, researchers and assistant professors abroad for periods of two months to one year to conduct research at foreign institutions with which formal partnership agreements have been concluded. These researchers are expected to set specific, practical research objectives and to actively engage in on-site research activities, developing an international sense.

Overseas Partner Institutions (as of October 2009)

  • School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (London, UK)
  • Faculty of Architecture, University of Sassari (Sardinia, Italy)
  • Faculty of Architecture, Thammasat University (Bangkok, Thailand)
  • Centre for Well-being in Public Policy, University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK)
  • Department of Geography, University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK)
  • Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Donald Keene Center for Japanese Culture, Columbia University (New York, USA)
  • Honolulu Museum of Art (Hawaii, USA)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Massachusetts, USA)
  • UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Asia & Pacific (Bangkok, Thailand)
  • United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (Paris, France)
  • International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) (Rome, Italy)
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) (Paris, France)
  • National Yunlin University of Science & Technology (Yunlin, Taiwan)