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●Young reaercher Training

Objectives:

Equally as important as doing world-class research and presenting research findings, one of the important missions of this COE program is to train our young researchers to lead the next generation in fields related to commerce and management. At Hitotsubashi University, home to successive, eminent researchers in this very field, there is a strong tradition of rigorous education and thorough guidance provided to a small number of students in a very at-home seminar environment. With the initiation of this COE program, it has become possible to reinforce this traditional system of training young researchers. In order to educate and train future researchers that can work at the forefront of their fields in the world, and in addition to our traditional, unique and attentive educational program, we have the generous resource support of the COE program and intend to use those resources to support young, ambitious scholars in their insatiable pursuit along their chosen path of research.

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Training Program Features:

Our program to train young researchers has the following notable features, whereby young researchers go into the field, observe phenomena, and then reflect on their observations. Using the so-called empirical method of research, our researchers do the legwork of going to sites where actual business activities are taking place, carefully examine the phenomena occurring at those sites, and then take those observations through a verification process. This approach is extremely important for training genuine commerce and business and management specialists. Observing phenomena in a thorough manner is important grounding for anyone participating in the social science field, and we believe this type of developmental education easily facilitates the training of superior researchers.

That is not to say, of course, that we do not value theory. It is the very tradition of this university to commence the creation of theory while both confronting said, real-world problems in the field and simultaneously understanding the substantive nature behind those problems. Accordingly, both the reading of classic works in the social sciences and thinking deeply about social science theories are also important. In recent years, however, the cost of conducting empirical verification has exceeded the cost of acquiring classical publications in the field. Therefore, in order to support researchers whose established departure point is actual, site-specific observation of real-world phenomena, we will fund, as much as possible, practical research related to the COE program’s hereafter-explained funding objectives for young researchers.

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Faculty- Young Researcher Collaboration:

As much as possible, we have young researchers work collaboratively with seasoned faculty members. One effective method for training young scholars with limited research experience is to have them actually participate in the process of conducting superior research. In this manner, following the problem-awareness, ways of understanding phenomena, analytical techniques, and thinking styles of experienced, eminent scholars, young researchers can learn to put into practice a variety of approaches for their own research. By offering rich research opportunities and chances to participate proactively in projects, it is possible for young researchers to accelerate their own process of self-growth. For these reasons our COE program encourages graduate students to participate in faculty-sponsored projects.

Provisional Environment for Concentrated Research

Together with realizing, maintaining, and improving the abovementioned researcher education program, we will be carrying out a number of multifaceted research support activities so that young scholars can concentrate on their work.

Financial Support for Research Activities:

For the 2003 and 2004 academic years, we provided a total of over 20 million yen in research aid to 51 doctoral students. Let us say that, through this financial support, the research environment for young scholars has improved remarkably, facilitating studies and surveys once difficult to do under previous funding constraints. Yet, in order to obtain the funding for this support program, doctoral students need to pass a rigorous screening examination, which scrutinizes not only research topics and techniques but rigorously examines both the level and standard of research as well. Moreover, young scholars who have received financial support are required to submit the results of their research.

Provisions for Database Use:

We manage a database lab, complete with “Compustat”, “Nikkei NEEDS Financial Quest”, “Abstract” and other databases, and our personal computers, with software such as SPSS (statistical processing software), MATLAB (software for analyzing data) and other programs, are always available for use. Whereas the possibility for arranging database access was problematic for individuals in the past, these current provisions are further enhancing the quality of present research activities.

Participation in Collaborative Research:

As part of our education, we have young scholars in various ongoing research projects participate actively within this core program and encourage a mode of training that emphasizes hands-on research.

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