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Promotion Program for Young Scientists

As the Promotion Program for Young Scientists, we funded research based on proposal submissions. This program is aimed at a deeper insight into the most important issues of the 21st century in fields such as environmental, materials, energy, life, and information sciences from an "isotopes" standpoint, and train young researchers that can work to solve these problems. The program is targeted at graduate students and young researchers, and is a proposal-based research funding system that started in the first year. The goal of this program is to make young researchers actively participate in interdisciplinary and cutting-edge research activities, and also to maintain an environment where researchers can concentrate on research such as providing opportunities for international experience. There is also an important educational aspect of making the objectives clear in daily research, and explaining the research to researchers in other fields and obtaining their understanding. Proposals are accepted in the five fields comprising the isotope science virtual laboratory, namely (1) Isotope Separation/production, (2) Isotope measurement, (3) Isotope Materials, (4) Environmental/life science, and (5) Cultural information. Participants are to apply for research funds based on the objective, plans, and expected results of the project. Distribution of funds is determined based on an evaluation of the written proposals.

One important objective of this Program was to ask for a wide variety of isotope-related research, and grow sprouting research, as shown in Table 1. Although there was some difference on evaluation, we tried to accept, as much as possible, a diversity of research projects, and encouraged presentations at various research meetings and symposiums. The resulting information exchange and collaboration led to the formation of new research groups by young researchers (units for integrated research by young researchers) in fiscal year 2006. In this regard, the significance of this Program is very large, and is highly evaluated by reviewers. Submitting research proposals is a significant opportunity for young researchers and graduate students to objectively think about their research and think about of research plans. Graduate students are using this funding to make presentations at international conferences, making them more active in their participation in their research. This proves that this system is highly contributing to the training of researchers.

Table1 Accepted proposals by research field

Fiscal year (1)
life science
2003 4 7 7 6 0 24
2004 5 7 9 6 1 28
2005 4 6 7 4 1 22
2006 5 9 2 5 1 22
Total 18 29 25 21 3 96

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