Home Management Promoting Research Excellence : New Approaches to Funding.
Selection of centres
Screening for grants is carried out by the GCOE Programme Committee, which was established by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), an independent administrative institution under MEXT. The committee sets up a working group to discuss screening policy, and screening/evaluation subcommittees in each field then review the documents submitted and select eligible centres. Candidate centres are then chosen during the subcommittee’s hearings. When necessary, the chairs of each subcommittee convene a general meeting to discuss results before reporting to the GCOE Programme Committee. Finally, the centres are selected.
The criteria used to screen the centres include:5
• The proposal should embody a concept for developing the university that reflects its specific institutional character and should include means of creating a high- level education and research centre to be managed by the university president.
There are two overall points of concern:
An interim evaluation of selected programmes is conducted after two years and a final evaluation is conducted after the programme is completed. Follow-up hearings and site investigations may also be conducted if deemed appropriate. Evaluations involve document and panel reviews by the subcommittee of each field.
The interim evaluation is conducted by researchers with expertise and experience in the relevant field(s). It ascertains the progress made in the project and advises on how to improve operational effectiveness and achieve the objective of establishing a centre of excellence. It also assesses the project’s potential to become an internationally excellent education and research centre. The results of the evaluation are used to determine the allocation of subsequent funding.
The ex-post evaluation considers the degree to which the objectives of the institution’s implementation plan have been achieved. It also considers the appropriateness of the measures taken in response to the results of the interim evaluation. It serves as an opportunity to offer advice to the institution on the sustainable advancement of their education and research programmes after GCOE funding ends and on ways to improve the programme’s quality further. Furthermore, by defining the achievements of each core institution and disseminating this information to society, the evaluation serves to increase public understanding of the institution’s education and research activities and therefore to gain greater public support for them.
172 - 7. JAPANESE EXPERIENCE WITH CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE
Both interim and ex post evaluations address: i) project implementation (vision for university’s future, organisational support, overall development in terms of human resources and research activities, and appropriate and effective use of grant); ii) measures to deal with points of concern; iii) future prospects; and iv) other: what impact will creation of an internationally top-level education and research centre have on the university both internally and externally?
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