Questions and Answers on the Program for Leading Graduate Schools

▼1. What is the joint leading program?
▼2. Qualifying examination | ▼3. About the SiMS system
▼4. Curriculums of the course | ▼5. Grants | ▼6. Others

1. What is the joint leading program by Osaka Prefecture University and Osaka City University?
Q1:What are the aims of SiMS? What characteristics does SiMS have?
A:This course aims at nurturing leaders who can make innovation happen in the industrial world and “system-inspired” leaders who can create koto, or systems, from an integrated viewpoint of material science and systems engineering. Osaka Prefecture University and Osaka City University jointly submitted their plan for SiMS focusing on material science, in which both universities assert their leading positions in research activities, and SiMS was adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In this field, only six universities—Osaka Prefecture University, the University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Kyushu University, Hokkaido University and Tohoku University—were approved.
Q2:Which graduate schools/departments should students be enrolled in to be eligible for SiMS?
A:To join SiMS, students must be admitted to the Graduate School of Engineering (except for the Department of Quantum and Radiation Engineering), the Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences (Department of Applied Life Science) or the Graduate School of Science (except for the Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences) at Osaka Prefecture University or the Graduate School of Engineering (except for the Department of Urban Engineering) at Osaka City University and pass the qualifying examination for this course.
Q3:During the five-year program, will students undergo an interim evaluation?
A:Students will undergo an interim evaluation (QE examination) on completion of the second year of the course, and only students who passed the examination to go on to the subsequent doctoral course can continue to attend the course.
Q4:What degree will students be awarded?
A:Each student will be awarded a degree in their major at the graduate school. The fact that the relevant graduate student completed the Graduate Course for System-inspired Leaders in Material Science is also recorded on the certificate.
Q5:What is the difference between students who obtained a doctorate on this course and traditional graduate students in terms of a career path?
A:Students on this course can expand their range of studies by conducting studies leading to industrial innovation by internship and other collaboration with companies and by laboratory rotation, etc. By the time students complete this course, they will have acquired the knowledge required to be global leaders, whichever career path they choose, working for a company or going on to an academic career.
2. Qualifying examination
Q1:Please explain the qualifying examination in more detail.
A:The application period is February 17 to 19 and the examination dates are February 27 and 28. For more details, please refer to the application guideline. The examination subjects are a short essay, an oral test and an interview.
Q2:Is my English ability considered in the qualifying examination? Will I be provided with opportunities to develop my English skills after I am admitted to SiMS?
A:English ability is not especially considered in the qualifying examination. However, this course aims to nurture global leaders and thus students have to have high English skills when they complete SiMS. Furthermore, there are some lectures and practices that require the attendants to have a command of English. For this reason, if students want to, various opportunities are provided to improve their English skills.
Q3:I am in the first year of the graduate course now. To join this course, do I have to withdraw and re-enter the graduate school?
A:As a special measure of the course, about four students who are in the first year at the graduate school can take the qualifying examination for this course.
3. About the SiMS system
Q1:I am worried that I will find less time for my specialty field and research if I join the program. It would seem hard to study fields other than my specialty in addition to the field that I want to concentrate on.
A:Just 18 credits are required to complete this course (including mandatory courses): 12 (including mandatory courses) in the first and second years and six (including mandatory courses) in the third to fifth years. We believe that these will not put too heavy a burden on students.
Q2:After the laboratory rotation, do students no longer belong to their own laboratory? Please explain the laboratory rotation in detail.
A:Students will still belong to their laboratory. Laboratory rotation is implemented so that students can expand and further hone their studies by exchanging opinions with TEC (Technology-based Entrepreneurship Course) instructors and mentors from the industrial world and by utilizing their experience in other laboratories.
Q3:What are the roles of the teaching staff group?
A:Research guidance is provided mainly by R&D advisers. TEC instructors, who are all company members, or present or former corporate executives, play a role in human resources development through academic-industrial cooperation and act as mentors. L instructors nurture students so that they can acquire a holistic perspective and comprehensive strengths to be system-inspired leaders in material science.
Q4:Please explain the individual mentor system.
A:The individual mentor system is a system where TEC instructors serve as mentors to students. They provide students with a wide variety of support from research activities to career path design. Mentors are advisers to individual students admitted to this course. Through the five-year educational program from the first year to the end, the mentors consistently provide students with advice and specific support so that students can conduct their studies smoothly, attend classes and maintain their livelihood. They also facilitate collaboration with companies.
Q5:What specific advantages do Osaka Prefecture University students have regarding the support for company internships and career support provided by the Industry-University Cooperative Center of Advanced Education compared to other universities?
A:During the preceding “Program for Innovative Researchers (Academic year 2008 to 2012),” Osaka Prefecture University built up many company internship records. As a result, the University has established connections and built up trust with many companies. It also has a large store of career support expertise.
4. Curriculums of the course
Q1:To complete this course, how many credits does each student need to earn?
A:A total of 18 credits over five years: 12 credits are required in the first to second years and six credits in the third to fifth years.
Q2:Please explain details of the complementary classes in basic material science and basic systems engineering.
A:In the first year, an introductory class in systems engineering is prepared for students who majored in material science and an introductory class in material science is prepared for students who majored in systems engineering. Students are encouraged to attend an introductory class in the field that they did not major in. Students then have to take two basic classes in fields that they did not major in before the end of the second year. This enables students to acquire basic multidisciplinary research skills and the basic capabilities for innovation, giving student an overview of multiple fields ranging from materials to systems.
Q3:What does quasi-mandatory mean?
A:Quasi-mandatory classes are “Introduction to Systems Engineering” and “Introduction to Material Systems,” which are introductory classes in Q1. Although it is not mandatory to pass “QE,” students are strongly encouraged to take these classes. This is because students who do not take these classes seem to have difficulty in taking basic classes in systems engineering or material science that are removed from their specialty field.
Q4:I worry about studies that are different from my major. Will I receive special support?
A:To lower the hurdle, students are strongly encouraged to take “Introduction to Systems Engineering” or “Introduction to Material Systems” (quasi-mandatory). R&D advisors and instructors for individual classes provide students with support for individual classes, and TEC instructors mainly provide students with comprehensive support regarding selection of classes.
Q5:Please explain the objectives of the SiMS special study and its supporting structure.
A:In the SiMS special study, students also conduct research in other laboratories that have knowledge and methods necessary to complete their research. TEC instructors and other mentors provide students with support on how to proceed with their research and select laboratories. Conducting research in other laboratories enables students to work on interdisciplinary studies and joint research with other researchers with different areas of expertise and enables students to easily understand descriptions of other researchers’ studies.
Q6:Which class does the company internship correspond to? Is this class directly connected to finding a company?
A:“Technology-based Entrepreneurship Course- III” for students in the third to fifth years corresponds to the company internship. The internship period is basically three months. The internship does not assume employment by the company, but if both the company and the student are in agreement, the student eventually joins the company in many cases.
Q7:In which class do students go abroad for joint research or internships? When will students go abroad? Can students decide when to go abroad to fit in with their studies or can they go abroad several times?
A:The class is “Global Leader Training,” which is for students in the third to fifth years. The period required to obtain credits is three months or more. Where, when and how long students go abroad and other details are decided after consultation with R&D advisors, TEC instructors and other instructors who provide lectures and instruction. Whether they will be able to go several times is also decided through consultation.
Q8:SiMS focuses on nurturing global leaders, doesn’t it? Which specific classes should I take as the first step?
A:You are recommended to take “Global Leader Workshop” and “The Ideation and Globalization Workshop” for students in the third to fifth years. “Special Seminar for Strategic Reasoning and Thinking,” “Technology-based Entrepreneurship Course-II (TEC-II)” and “Technology-based Entrepreneurship Course-IV (TEC-IV)” are important classes in nurturing leaders and “Studies on International Environmental Issues” and “Special Seminar for Global Communication” are important in imparting a global viewpoint.
Q9:What is the timetable for the classes being offered? When do I get to know details of the classes?
A:For the timetable for the classes being offered, please refer to the “Student Application Guidance” and the “Course Registration Guidance.” For details of the classes, refer to the syllabus in these documents. This information will be posted on the website in the near future.
Q10:Will I have the opportunity to develop my English skills after I am admitted to SiMS?
A:SiMS aims to nurture global leaders and thus students need to have very good English skills when they complete this course. Some lectures and practices require attendants to have a good command of English. For this reason, various opportunities are provided for students to improve their English skills.
5. Grants
Q1:Please explain details of the grants.
A:The plan is for each of the students in the first and second years to be granted about 1,200,000 yen annually, and each of the students in the third to fifth years to be granted 1,800,000 to 2,400,000 yen annually according to their program. For the rules and the documents that need to be submitted, please contact the Leading Program Support Office (SiMS Secretariat).
Q2:If I receive grants, do I need to apply for a final income tax return?
A:Since the grants are regarded as other income, grantees need to apply for a final income tax return.
Q3:If I receive grants, do I cease to be eligible as a dependent for the health insurance system?
A:Eligibility for the social insurance system is decided by the company or other organization that your supporter works for. If you decide to accept grants, please ask your supporter to confirm your eligibility as soon as possible.
Q4:If I cease to be eligible as a dependent for the health insurance system, how do I deal with health insurance?
A:You need to enroll in the National Insurance scheme to avoid a blank period in your health insurance.
Q5:Are there any precautions in applying for grants?
A:We will send guidance information for the grants in academic year 2014 together with an acceptance letter. Students who already receive a student loan from the Japan Student Services Organization, another university scholarship or other pecuniary assistance have to select either of the scholarship from SiMS or the assistance that you already receive, based on the judgment as to which is beneficial to you.
6. Others
Q1:When job hunting, from the viewpoint of a company, what is the difference between students who receive a doctorate through SiMS and those receive a doctorate through another course?
A:From the company’s viewpoint, students who received a doctorate through SiMS are regarded as having both expertise in material science and a systems engineering viewpoint and thus able to make global industrial innovation happen. Since students can receive consistent support from their mentors for five years through the mentor system, which is one of the features of the course, and can collaborate with companies and design their career path from the first year according to the plan, they are regarded by companies as potential work-ready human resources.
Q2:I want to pursue an academic career. Can I apply for this course?
A:Yes you can. It is a good idea to consider your career path while studying on this course. Although this course aims at nurturing innovators in industrial fields, it is certainly beneficial for students who will select their study field and subjects and pursue them in the academic field.
Q3:If I cannot get the necessary credits by the QE, can I repeat a year of the course?
A:You are not permitted to repeat a year. If you are not qualified for the QE at the end of the second year or do not pass the QE, you cannot continue with the course. Students who are concerned about getting credits or have other concerns can receive support from and discuss their studies with the TEC instructors and R&D advisers.