Dissemination Program of the Tenure Track System

What We Do

Program Outline and Implementation Framework

Following the adoption of the Program to Disseminate Tenure Track System under the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in FY2013, Waseda University is working to establish a tenure track system in order to promote the improvement of the research environment. This initiative will help enable young researchers to conduct research independently. The Program to Disseminate Tenure Track System promotes the tenure track system through the united efforts of the University's Head Office, the implementing faculties, and the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS). A Tenure Track System and Review Verification Committee was established at the Head Office with the function to oversee the overall academic aspects of the tenure track system and verify review procedures. The implementing faculties will establish separate faculty tenure track committees, and take initiative in the execution of tenure track activities. WIAS will provide each faculty with opportunities for training and the nurturing of human resources. WIAS is also in charge of evaluating tenure track faculty recruited before FY2012, during the transition period, and until the completion of the tenure track program.

Program Objectives

This program aims to train and nurture human resources on a global level that meet the following requirements representing the goals of the tenure track system implemented by Waseda University: "academic staff capable of pursuing creative cutting-edge research,""academic staff capable of contributing in an adequate manner to the social needs," and "academic staff capable of fostering globally active human resources." In order to achieve this objective the university recruits outstanding young researchers under a highly transparent personnel system, encourages exchanges among various academic fields, and provides appropriate guidance in an independent research and educational environment. The program also aims to establish educational activities and research guidance as an important function of academic staff, and nurture and train personnel with excellent qualities in the fields of both research and education.

Highly transparent personnel system

Numerous outside experts and academic personnel from faculties other than the Faculty of Science and Engineering participate in the process of recruitment screening, mid-term evaluation, and tenure review of tenure track faculty. Furthermore, a Tenure Track System and Review Verification Committee, established as a comprehensive academic structure, examines whether the Faculty of Science and Engineering employs fair procedures for evaluation and review. Improvements to the personnel recruitment and evaluation methods are made based upon feedback from examination results, thus laying the groundwork for development of a fairer and more transparent tenure track system.

Stipulation of tenure review criteria

specific tenure track period agenda is individually formulated for each researcher at the time of their recruitment as tenure track faculty members, and completion of the agenda in a sufficient manner is established as a necessary condition for their employment as tenured (full-time) academic staff. The program aims to eliminate the risk of failing to qualify for tenured employment due to ambiguous evaluation, and thus achieve a tenured employment rate of approximately 80%.

Evaluation Standards for Tenured FacultyPDF document

Promotion of exchanges among various academic fields (utilization of the WIAS systems for training and nurturing of young researchers)

In order to foster tenure track faculty with a broad and diverse vision, the program will promote exchanges among young researchers from different academic fields using the resources of WIAS. The institute implements colloquiums such as monthly research meetings attended by personnel of institutes that span the full spectrum of research fields, as well as seminars and symposiums for interdisciplinary research projects. Attendance of such colloquiums is mandatory for tenure track faculty in this program. Furthermore, as a venue for practical application of outreach activities, the program includes mandatory implementation of open seminars with the participation of lecturers from various academic fields, in which tenure track faculty members serve as coordinators.

Improvements in the research environment enabling faculty to pursue research independently and in a focused manner

The working space for independent research and educational activities, in addition to the start-up research funds, will be provided to tenure track faculty.

Adoption of a training and nurturing-type system

Mentors will be appointed under the supervision of the Tenure Track Committee and will provide, in cooperation with committee members, guidance to tenure track faculty. The mentors will provide guidance to tenure track faculty as needed. They will attend classes and graduate student guidance sessions which the tenure track faculty provides, and will give advice in an appropriate manner. The Faculty Tenure Track Committee will conduct hearings once a year to assess the situation of tenure track faculty and the appropriateness of the guidance provided by mentors. Also, symposiums by tenure track faculty will be held once a year. These symposiums are envisioned as a venue for faculty academic staff to engage, from a leadership standpoint, in discussions that transcend the boundaries among their departments.

Mid-term evaluation and tenure review

Mid-term evaluation is implemented in the third year of the program. Under the tenure track system of Waseda University, when a researcher has achieved outstanding academic results at the time of the mid-term evaluation implemented in the third year, it is possible to transfer the researcher to a tenured post earlier. That is why, in principle, the mid-term evaluation and the tenure review are implemented using the same evaluation methods and systems. In cases when the mid-term evaluation results indicate that the researcher is unlikely to meet the review criteria required for future tenured employment, the tenure track faculty is notified of this evaluation and given encouragement to explore other versatile career opportunities in the remaining two years of the program.

Tenure review is implemented early in the fifth year of the program. Tenure track faculty who fail to secure a tenured post are given an opportunity to launch appeal procedures before the Tenure Track System and Review Verification Committee, by presenting the requirements set at the time of their recruitment together with objective data verifying that they have sufficiently met those requirements.

Present and former tutors and mentors of the tenure track faculty are excluded from all phases of the evaluation and review process..

The future tenure position for the successful tenure track faculty is full-time Associate Professor or Professor (without a fixed term of employment). As full-time Associate Professors or Professors, the tenured faculty will be provided with a research environment suitable for independent principal investigators (PI).