page top

Go to body text

body text

Location of this page


The UEC Tenure Track Program for Associate Professors

Since FY2007, UEC has been implementing The Global Human Resource Development Program for Young Researchers in Frontier Science, a new personnel system centered around the tenure track program (professor hiring ended in FY2010), which was adopted as a program supported by the FY2007 Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). This UEC Tenure Track Program for Associate Professors is the permanent personnel system that will be introduced in FY2011 to ensure that the young researcher development functions established under the Human Resource Development Program remain in place at UEC. UEC plans to hire one or two tenure track associate professors each year under this program. By offering the hired professors a special education and research environment and the incentive of access to tenure status, UEC aims to improve the ability of researchers to engage in advanced education and research, and to equip these future leaders with the leadership and management skills they will need toward this end.
Candidates who pass a review conducted at the end of the tenure track program will be granted the status of tenured professor.

Program Description

Affiliation of Those Hired

All tenure track associate professors belong to the Academic Institute as do all UEC professors and are positioned within the Center for Frontier Science and Engineering, which has been established as an organization that focuses on independent research. They may also be jointly assigned to a department in the faculty, a department in the graduate schools, or center that is cooperating with their research or educational activities. After achieving tenure status, professors will be assigned to the department in the faculty or the graduate schools most relevant to their specialized field of study.

The Mentoring System

Tenure track associate professors fundamentally conduct research independently, but under this system, a mentor professor who has a wealth of experience and expertise is assigned to each of the associate professors. The mentor professor facilitates the associate professor's progress, actively providing guidance and advice to help them achieve tenure, to contribute to their growth as an outstanding educator and researcher, and to help them acquire the leadership and management skills they will need toward this end. To ensure the effectiveness of the guidance and advice they receive, tenure track associate professors are asked to submit an annual self-evaluation report regarding their research and educational activities, along with their research outcomes.

Education and Research Environment

  • UEC provides research space and will support the establishment of an independent research lab.
  • In addition to covering the research expenses of associate professors, UEC provides a special research grant totaling 15 million yen for the first three years after hiring.
  • Associate professors may teach classes or advise students in the faculties or graduate schools in which they are jointly assigned.
  • They are exempt from administrative tasks, such as participation in internal committees.

Tenure Track Period

The tenure track period refers to the period from the time an individual is hired as a tenure track associate professor to the time that individual attains tenure status. At UEC, this period is five years.

Tenure Interim Evaluation

The tenure interim evaluation is conducted in the third year after hiring. This evaluation is conducted by the Tenure Interim Evaluation Committee, which includes prominent individuals from outside of UEC. The evaluation covers the candidate's research planning and direction at UEC, their progress achieved, education and research performance, quality as a future leader, etc. Feedback and advice is given to the candidate based on their evaluation results. If a tenure track candidate does not do well on their evaluation, the committee may conduct a broader investigation into alternative career paths that may be better suited to the candidate's skills, including potential transfers to other institutions.

Tenure Review

The tenure review is an examination of credentials conducted to determine whether a tenure candidate should be granted the status of tenured professor by UEC based on a rigorous evaluation of the candidate's education and research activities and performance at UEC. This review is conducted in the final (fifth) year of the tenure track period and is conducted by the Tenure Review Committee, which includes prominent individuals from outside of UEC. The review shall be based on whether the candidate's research activities are extremely well regarded from an international perspective; whether the candidate's educational activities are deemed to constitute a high quality contribution to the education offered by UEC; whether the candidate is deemed to be sufficiently equipped with the leadership and management skills required of a future leader; and on these basis, whether the candidate is suitably equipped to undergo the same level of personnel evaluation that they would be subject to if they were being hired as a professor through the open recruitment process.

Safety Net for Those Who Do Not Attain Tenure

A candidate who does not pass the tenure review may be allowed to renew his/her employment contract for up to two years if his/her application to continue working at UEC beyond the end of the tenure track period for preparations to move out, etc., is approved.