Outreach

Supporting our community through the Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Tech Fund

In this era of accelerated technological change and disruption, Tokyo Tech is committed to dialogue with society and the discovery of hidden possibilities in science and technology. With strategic innovations in the Institute's education, research and governance, Tokyo Tech is steadily gaining recognition as one of the world's leading universities in science and technology.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund (Tokyo Tech Fund) was established on the Institute's 130th anniversary to reinforce the financial base of the university for the years ahead. Supported by generous contributions from alumni and supporters of Tokyo Tech's mission, today the Tokyo Tech Fund sustains a wide range of activities and initiatives.

Four major pillars supported by the Tokyo Tech Fund

The Tokyo Tech Fund supports four major pillars of the Institute's operations: education, research, public engagement and outreach, and international engagement. It provides funding for student scholarships and faculty research activities, advances research-related community outreach to promote science education at the elementary, junior high and high school levels, and offers financial support for Tokyo Tech students who participate in short-term study and research abroad.

This article introduces researchers and students whose activities have been supported by the Tokyo Tech Fund.

Education Global Outreach Research

Tokyo Tech Fund Initiatives – Contributing to society through education and research

Tomoya Bekki: 1st year undergrad in the 1st Academic Group

Education


Scholarship

Yoshinori Ohsumi Scholarship

Tomoya Bekki, 1st-year, 1st Academic Group

Having been interested in physics and math as a high school student in Shimane Prefecture, Tokyo Tech's international activities through specialized science and technology programs were very impressive to me. It feels like a dream to have received the Yoshinori Ohsumi Scholarship for study here. My classes at the Institute explore topics that continue to engage my interest, and exchanging ideas through group work and discussions with other students helps me deepen my understanding. It's an intellectually stimulating environment that supercharges our knowledge. Everyone is outgoing, friendly, and always willing to help. Of course the coursework is challenging, but that's the meaning of a Tokyo Tech education.

Yoshinori Ohsumi FundAfter Honorary Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2016, the Yoshinori Ohsumi Fund was established to provide support for students and young researchers who demonstrate the potential to lead Japan's future. The Yoshinori Ohsumi Scholarship supports students from rural areas who have financial need, and the Yoshinori Ohsumi Basic Research Support provides assistance to young researchers in pure research disciplines where a long-term perspective is needed.

Associate Professor Kazuhiko Maeda (Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Department of Chemistry)

Research


Support for Young Researchers

STAR (Support for Tokyo Tech Advanced Researchers) Grants

Associate Professor Kazuhiko Maeda, School of Science

Being selected as a Tokyo Tech Fund-supported STAR (Support for Tokyo Tech Advanced Researchers) Grant recipient has given me the reassurance I need to follow my research where it leads. Because the grant does not attach conditions like those of other competitive grant funds, I can explore an inspiration or idea wherever it leads me. This freedom is an extremely generous benefit for any researcher and prompts me to drive my research even further.

Fascinated by photocatalysts and electrolysis, I have now spent over 15 years seeking photocatalysts that can effectively exploit visible light, the spectrum that accounts for the major part of natural sunlight. My research particularly focuses on the synthesis of previously unknown compounds for use as photocatalysts and the architecture of new photocatalytic systems, such as fused materials of solids and molecules.

Photocatalysts are now an area of interdisciplinary research, but we really lacked any interaction with other fields until about 10 years ago. Steady interdisciplinary integration as of late has helped tremendously to advance photocatalyst research. I have been able to make great progress in my research through cooperation with researchers of chemical complexes and solid-state physics. The overlap between different fields is where the action is – where new ideas take shape.

Researcher Profile | Tokyo Tech STAR Search – Kazuhiko Maedaouter

STAR (Support for Tokyo Tech Advanced Researchers) GrantsThe STAR grant program provides large research grants to young researchers who are pursuing research with the potential to grow to national project status or who are producing significant results in fundamental research domains. Through the STAR grant, Tokyo Tech seeks to support 'shining stars' in the next generation of researchers.

FY2016 STAR grant recipients selected

Nodoka Chiba: 3rd year undergrad in the School of Life Science and Technology, Department of Life Science and Technology

Public Engagement and Outreach


Outreach to Promote Science Education

Japan Consortium for Human Microbiome (JCHM)

Nodoka Chiba, 3rd-year, Life Science and Technology

I learned about research and activities related to the intestinal environment as a 1st-year student in the School of Life Science and Technology. I decided to participate in the science outreach programs of JCHM, where students lead outreach activities to increase public knowledge of human enterobacteria. I enjoy communicating the excitement of science to people in the community.

Minori Suzuki: 2nd year undergrad in the School of Life Science and Technology, Department of Life Science and Technology

Public Engagement and Outreach


Outreach to Promote Science Education

Japan Consortium for Human Microbiome (JCHM)

Minori Suzuki, 2nd-year, Life Science and Technology

I have been involved in outreach activities for elementary school pupils with fellow student members in JCHM. We use a fun board game, developed by Tokyo Tech students, called Bactero IGO to teach kids about enterobacteria. We also participate in Science Square, a summer program hosted by the National Museum of Nature and Science, to teach kids the importance of enterobacteria through unique games and songs. Our output varies: other JCHM students have developed app-based games, while my love of reading has led me to writing stories and scripts for plays about enterobacteria.

Japanese Consortium for Human Microbiome (JCHM)The Japanese Consortium for Human Microbiome (JCHM) is supported by the Tokyo Tech Fund. Established as an alliance of industry, academia and government to conduct full investigation into the intestinal environment and industrial applications of such research, JCHM is led by the School of Life Science and Technology at Tokyo Tech. Since 2013, it has been constructing Japan's first full-scale enterobacteria database, leading symposia and workshops, and sponsoring outreach activities by student members to increase public knowledge about enterobacteria.

Science Cafe 2018: Embracing the twists and turns of intestinal bacteria

Liu Yimeng: 2nd year master's student in the School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Department of Chemical Science and Engineering

International Engagement


Short-term Study Abroad

Global Scientists and Engineers Course (GSEC)

Liu Yimeng, 2nd-year master's student, Chemical Science and Engineering

I received a scholarship from the Tokyo Tech Fund to participate in a short-term study abroad program offered through the Global Scientists and Engineers Course (GSEC). Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to conduct research at Oxford University as a first-year master's student. It was an extremely valuable experience that helped me improve my English and learn about other cultures.

Mio Kamasaka: 4th year undergrad in the School of Engineering, Department of Polymer Chemistry

International Engagement


Short-term Study Abroad

Global Scientists and Engineers Course (GSEC)

Mio Kamasaka, 4th-year, Polymer Chemistry

As a third-year undergraduate participating in the Global Scientists and Engineers Course, I received financial support from the Tokyo Tech Fund that enabled me to participate in a five-week research program at Rice University in the United States, where I experienced both the excitement and challenge of research. I met people from the private sector and from government agencies, thereby gaining exposure to the various ways one can engage in science and technology outside the research lab. This experience opened my eyes to a multitude of pathways to be useful in society.

Global Scientists and Engineers Course (GSEC)The Tokyo Tech Fund provides financial support for students participating in short-term study abroad programs, including those of GSEC, an educational program that enables bachelor's and master's degree students to develop the necessary competencies to excel in the global arena. The course provides students with opportunities to participate in study or research abroad programs that put their knowledge and experience into practice.

Short-term study abroad program in the Philippines

*
The content of this article was accurate at the time of the interview in March 2019.

Tokyo Tech Fund strengthens the Institute's education and research environment

The Tokyo Tech Fund supports a range of activities to enhance the Institute's education and research environment.

Allocations from the Fund were used to build the Institute's first on-campus dormitory, Midorigaoka House, which houses both Japanese and international students. Residents of the dormitory enjoy not only the convenience of walking-distance access to their Ookayama Campus laboratories but also the personally valuable experience of group living in a culturally and linguistically diverse environment.

In response to the need for childcare among Tokyo Tech community members, the Fund also supported the establishment of an on-campus nursery for very young children of faculty, staff and students at the Institute and for local children from Ota City. The nursery plays an important role in contributing to the local community as well as welcoming people to the Institute from all over the world.

Tech Tech, Tokyo Tech's on-campus nursery
Tech Tech, Tokyo Tech's on-campus nursery

Midorigaoka House, an on-campus dormitory for Japanese and international students
Midorigaoka House, an on-campus dormitory for Japanese
and international students

Register with the Tokyo Tech Online Community for alumni!

Tokyo Tech graduates around the world: play an active part in the Tokyo Tech Online Community!

Register with the Tokyo Tech Online Community and keep in contact with other alumni and faculty members either privately or via the bulletin board, where you can share news, events and other information with community members. A strong alumni community makes a stronger Tokyo Tech.

Published: April 2019