On May 18th, a joint seminar was held in cooperation with the Estonian Research Council (ETAG), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Stockholm Office, and the Embassy of Japan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of academic cooperation.
The JSPS fellowship program for postdoctoral researchers to conduct research in Japan has been ongoing for 20 years, and this long-standing collaboration has been strong and successful. Estonian scientists from natural and technical sciences, as well as social and humanities sciences, have shown great interest in the fellowship. Over the years, 17 Estonian candidates from various fields have conducted research at 13 Japanese universities through the JSPS program. In addition to Tokyo, JSPS has 11 offices worldwide.
At the seminar held at Tallinn University, Prof. Osamu Shimmi, a developmental biology professor from the University of Tartu, gave an overview of developmental biology research in Estonia and elsewhere, introducing the contributions of Baltic German scientists (Heinz Christian Pander, Henrich Rathke, and Karl Ernst von Baer). These scientists who once worked at the University of Tartu contributed significantly to the field of developmental biology.
The joint seminar was opened by the director of the Estonian Research Council, Prof. Anu Noorma, and the Ambassador of Japan to Estonia, H.E Mr. Yukihiko Matsumura, who emphasized the importance of Estonian-Japanese scientific cooperation and the need to continue its development.
Prof. Kazuyuki Kuroda, the director of the JSPS Stockholm Office, presented the activities of JSPS and the opportunities for applying for postdoctoral fellowships. JSPS encouraged Estonian researchers present at the seminar to apply for various fellowships to promote collaboration. Katrin Saar, a consultant from the Estonian Research Council, provided an overview of the fellowship conditions and application procedures.
Prospective applicants had the opportunity to listen to inspiring and diverse research experiences in Japan from previous fellowship recipients, Prof. Jaak Aaviksoo, Prof. Erkki Karo (TTÜ), and Uku Tooming (UT). According to the grant recipients, the JSPS fellowship program is a valuable program for young researchers' career paths, as it has advanced their research, created new opportunities for scientific collaboration, and provided opportunities for personal development.
As a guest from Japan, Prof. Hiromi Komori from Waseda University (Tokyo) presented her research on Estonian history.
A new call is opened in September-October 2023. Each year, the Estonian Research Council can nominate one scientist for the JSPS postdoctoral fellowship. Researchers from the fields of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are welcome to apply. The duration of the fellowship is 12 to 24 months. For more detailed information about the JSPS postdoctoral fellowship, please visit their website.
Currently, the JSPS postdoctoral fellowship only provides funding for visits of Estonian researchers to conduct research in Japan, but in the future, efforts will be made to create better opportunities for joint research with Japan.
All seminar presentations can be found on the Estonian Research Council's website.
This article is based on a news article published on the Estonian Research Council's website.
Photo gallery of Osamu Shimmi's presentation: