HIRAKU-Global Retreat FY2023 – Report

Retreat FY2023

【Date held】 September 28 - 29, 2023

【Venue】  Hiroshima University
   Phoenix International Center MIRAI CREA
      (Higashi-Hiroshima campus)

From September 28 to 29, 2023, the HIRAKU-Global Program held the Retreat for FY2023 at Hiroshima University's Phoenix International Center MIRAI CREA (Higashi-Hiroshima campus). This year, thanks to the efforts of the HIRAKU-Global Researchers (HGRs), fellows from the other implementing organizations of MEXT's "Strategic Professional Development Program for Young Researchers" project were also able to participate in the Retreat, which in turn presented everyone involved with a valuable opportunity to interact with researchers from other institutions and fields of research.
The HIRAKU-Global Retreat, which has been held since last year, aims to provide researchers with the opportunity to meet in-person in a relaxed environment, in order to help to deepen the bonds between them and promote research exchanges.

【Day 1 / September 28 (Thu)】

14:00- Opening
Opening Remarks: Dr. YASUURA Hiroto (Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University)
14:20- Career/Experience
Dr. TANAKA Junko (Executive Vice President, Hiroshima University)
15:30- Discussion 1 
"Research career development programs as perceived by each fellow: What are the advantages and disadvantages?"
16:30- Discussion 2 
"Based on the findings from Discussion 1, what is mostly needed to implement in each development program?"
17:15- Discussion summary
18:00- Fieldwork presented by a HIRAKU-Global Researcher 1
Dr. INAMI Hanae (Assistant Professor, Hiroshima University)
"Higashi-Hiroshima Observatory Tour"
・Observatory Tour, 4D Universe Theatre 
・Night sky viewing 
20:00- Social gathering

【Day 2 / September 29 (Fri)】

9:00- Fieldwork presented by a HIRAKU-Global Researcher 2
Dr. HASUIKE Rina (Assistant Professor, Yamaguchi University)
"Safety of bridges"
・Talk and descriptions of the experiment
・Bridge inspection on campus 

10:10- Fieldwork presented by a HIRAKU-Global Researcher 3
Dr. SATO Yu (Assistant Professor, Yamaguchi University)
"Microorganisms and sake" 
・Talk and descriptions of the trip 
・Brewery tour 

12:00 Closing
Closing Remarks: Dr. Jorge TENDEIRO (HIRAKU-Global Program Manager/Professor, Hiroshima Uni.)
12:30 Lunch

On Day 1 of the event, Dr. TANAKA Junko (Executive Vice President, Hiroshima University) presented her lecture titled "Run Through!". Within her lecture, she talked about her career to date, provided vital advice such as "to make sure you have someone you can rely on when you face difficulties", and also gave several messages of encouragement to the young researchers in attendance. At the conclusion of the lecture, several questions were asked by the on-site and online participants, which led to a lively discussion being taken place.

Following on from the lecture, all the participants were divided into six randomly organized groups and were asked to have discussions in relation to two specific questions, "What do the fellows at each site feel are the advantages and disadvantages of the career development programs?" and "What kind of career development programs are most needed at this time?". The subsequent discussions were lively and were enthusiastically continued even during breaks. For the final discussions, participants were divided into groups according to their affiliated program (HGRs were grouped according to their Cohort), and the discussions were summarized accordingly.

Thereafter, the event moved to the Higashi-Hiroshima Observatory, where Dr. INAMI Hanae (Assistant Professor, Hiroshima University) gave an in-depth explanation of the Higashi-Hiroshima Observatory and the Universe. Within the 4D Universe Theatre, participants were able to enjoy three-dimensional space images by wearing special glasses. Furthermore, thanks to the good weather conditions, Saturn and the Moon were able to be observed through the Observatory's huge astronomical telescope.

Day 2 of the event began with Dr. HASUIKE Rina's (Assistant Professor, Yamaguchi University) lecture on "Safety of bridges". After the lecture, all the participants walked to a nearby bridge within campus grounds, and used measuring equipment to measure the strength of the concrete, reinforcing bars, and other such materials used within the bridge.
Thereafter, Dr. SATO Yu (Assistant Professor, Yamaguchi University) gave a lecture on "Microorganisms and sake". After the lecture, the event moved to Saijo's Sake Brewery Street, where the chief brewer of Kamoizumi Sake Brewery explained the fermentation method of alcohol, the types of rice used to make sake, and other such topics. The huge tanks that are used for brewing the sake were also able to be seen first-hand.

Finally, the HIRAKU-Global Program Manager, Prof. TENDEIRO expressed his gratitude to the HGRs who were involved in the planning and running of the Retreat, and stated that both the preparation and the content of the event were excellent, and that he believed that it was a meaningful event for all the participants. He concluded his remarks by expressing his hope that next year's Retreat will also be similarly beneficial to all those involved.

The feedback we received at the conclusion of the Retreat can be viewed below (partial extracts).

  • 日常では、異分野かつ他機関の研究者と出会いお話する機会がほとんどないので、とても貴重な機会となりました。
  • 田中先生のキャリアとご経験についての貴重なお話を伺うことができ、有り難く思います。新しい挑戦や難しい挑戦にも躊躇わず飛び込むことの大切さを認識できるお話で、勇気付けられるものでした。
  • 人生で初めて天体観測が出来て、大変面白く貴重な経験でした。他分野の研究での着眼点や、研究にかける時間感覚、使用する機器など、勉強になりました.
  • 身近なのに知らなかった橋についての知識や点検技術を学ぶことができ、大変勉強になりました。今後橋を見る目が変わりそうです。
  • 佐藤先生による微生物の全体的なご説明があった上で,酒造でのご説明を伺えたので、より深く質問することが出来て良かったです。また、酒づくりと理学系の研究の結びつきについても意識できるようになり、身近に感じる良いきっかけになりました.
  • やはり、同志が集まるといろんな意見、価値観があり、互いに切磋琢磨できる素晴らしい機会・環境であると感じました。
  • 各プログラムで支援内容やメンバー間の交流の仕方が大きく異なることが初めて分かった。良い点を今後、自身のプログラムに取り入れられるようにしたい。
Inquiries/Contact Details

HIRAKU-Global Office
Office of Research and Academia-Government-Community Collaboration, Hiroshima University
E-mail: hiraku-global*office.hiroshima-u.ac.jp  (replace * with @)