Message from the Executive Director

The Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development (FOHRED) was established in April 2009. It initially started its activities with two departments:“the Superior Skill Station (S-cubic)”set up to promote the career development of young researchers and “the Support Office for Female Researcher (FresHU)” established to support research activities by female researchers. Subsequently, in 2011, we consolidated “the Office of Promotion and Standardization of the Tenure-Track System (Tenure-Track)” that handled projects to foster young researchers. In 2014, we set up “the Hokudai International Human Resource Development Program (I-HoP)” that has a mission to support the career development of foreign researchers and “the Consortium Office for Fostering of Researchers in Future Generations (COFRe)” that aims to build up an environment to nurture young doctoral researchers through the formation of a consortium with Tohoku University and Nagoya University, with which we share the same philosophy of fostering them.

In this way, FOHRED has continued to this day through the step-by-step integration of action committees for human resource development projects under the aegis of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which were initiated individually, and through a serious of reorganization to meet the needs of the university and correspond to the environments surrounding it. The present FOHRED comprises five departments: “the Promotion office of Research environment for Diversity (Ree-D)/formerly known as FresHU,” “the Office for Developing Future Research Leaders (L-Station)/formerly known as Tenue-Track,” “S-cubic,” “I-HoP,” and “COFRe.” From a larger perspective, Ree-D and L-Station contribute to the enhancement of the research capability of the university through the planning and operation of the programs to nurture and support young university researchers. S-cubi and I-HoP each play a part in the improvement of the academic ability of the university through the planning and operation of career support programs for Japanese and foreign DC&PD, respectively. COFRe has been working on the planning and operation of human resource development programs targeting DC&PD and young researchers (associate professors) through cooperation with the universities.

As seen above, there are two purposes for integrating the planning and operating functions concerning human resource development. One is to “offer programs to develop human resources and support all young researchers belonging to the university.” The other is to “plan and operate human resource development programs efficiently in a difficult management environment of the university.” Besides, many departments, such as URA Station, Center for Teaching and Learning, and Career Center, are involved in the human resource development and career support for our university’s students and doctoral researchers. Therefore, each department of FOHRED is working toward the development and support of projects for doctoral researchers at Hokkaido University while putting importance on cooperation and collaboration at operational levels. We believe that this kind of platform-like role will become more and more important in the future.

It is essential that human resource development should be addressed on a sustainable basis from a medium- to long-term perspective. Meanwhile, it is also indispensable that operations should be carried out flexibly while adapting to a rapidly changing world. To that end, I would like to ask for honest opinions on our human resource development projects from those who are playing an active role in various fields, whether at universities, research institutions, or industries, to further enhance our human resource development projects. Your continued guidance and encouragement will be greatly appreciated.

Junji Yamaguchi
The Executive Vice President of Hokkaido University
The Executive Director of the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development