1. Wide-Open Recruitment (International Open Calls, Two-Stage Examinations)
Hokkaido University actively posts advertisements for its tenure-track system to promote the recruitment of skilled researchers from both Japan and abroad. The procedures necessary for these international open calls are handled by L-Station en bloc. The examination of tenure-track researchers is conducted in two stages. In the first stage, a personnel-selection committee consisting of representatives from each participating department selects candidates on the basis of their application documents and interviews; this selection is based mainly on the candidate’s research capabilities. In the second stage, the LDPC or steering committee takes over the procedure and investigates the leadership skills of the candidate (except in the case of employment under the LEADER initiative).
2. Personnel System (Midterm Appraisal/Final Tenure Review)
In the Hokudai tenure-track system, all tenure-track members are subjected to a midterm evaluation and tenure review during their tenure term. These examinations are conducted in two stages, the first, by the faculty committee of the participating department, and the second by the LDPC. Tenure-track researchers are promoted to tenured positions in the relevant participating departments after passing their tenure reviews. In our tenure-track system, tenure-track positions (tenure-track assistant professors with fixed terms) are fully secure. In those cases where the tenure-track researcher delivers superior achievements, the tenure review can be expedited after the midterm evaluation.
Tenure track period and timing of tenure review
In our system, the tenure-track term is usually five years. A midterm performance evaluation is held in the third fiscal year of the tenure period, and a tenure review is conducted before the end of the fifth fiscal year.
In addition, a tenure track with a ten-year term was operated in FY2015 and FY2016. In this case, a midterm performance evaluation will be held in the fifth fiscal year of the tenure period, and a tenure review will be conducted before the end of the tenth fiscal year; however, the tenure review can be moved forward to the third fiscal year in cases where the tenure-track researcher delivers superior achievements. That means that the five-year system and the ten-year system are essentially equivalent to one another up to fifth fiscal year.
The tenured position will differ according to the post after FY2016. Please refer to the application guidelines for each open call.
3. Leader Development Program
Tenure-track researchers will need to nurture their management skills as leaders, as well as their research skills and teaching skills. On-the-job training programs are available for fostering these skills; these include training on producing proposals to the President, organizing symposiums, and securing overseas training. Furthermore, the LDSEC provides ethics education at milestone events such as employment orientation and midterm appraisal; this is in addition to the e-learning ethics program available to all researchers at this institution.
Furthermore, the faculty-development programs of the Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education, a manuscript-writing seminar, and a KAKENHI (grants-in-aid for scientific research) seminar, provided by URA station are available to all researchers. Tenure-track researchers can use these programs to brush up their skills.
Together, these programs are known as the ‘Leader Development Program’, and they permit tenure-track researchers to improve their overall skill set, in terms of organizational skills, promotional skills, analytical skills, planning skills, and internationality.
An ‘Exercises for Leader Development Program’ is included in ‘Criteria for Tenure Reviews’ for midterm appraisals and tenure reviews in our tenure-track system.
4. Research Environment and Research Support
A research adviser will be promptly appointed for each new tenure-track researcher after her/his adoption has been confirmed. The adviser will provide consultations about such issues as research, teaching, and management activities. An appointed mentor assigned to L-Station will also offer consultation.
After taking up a tenure-track position, each researcher will receive a startup research grant and research space. Global Facility Center sharing system of advanced equipment and its facility are also available.
The researchers can also utilize various support measures from the Leader Development Program, for example, in organizing symposiums and overseas training.