In recent years, the increasing demand on academia to respond to societal needs, the increasing sophistication of education and research, and increasingly intense international competition have led to a growth in the amount of administrative work related to academic research. In addition, the rise in competitive funding means that research management tasks, such as grant writing and administration of research funds, are becoming an excessive burden on researchers’ time.
In response, Japanese universities began to employ specialists in research administration with the aim of creating an environment in which researchers could focus on their research, and which would in turn stimulate and increase the quality of the research carried out at the institution. Research administrators in Japan are known as URAs, short for University Research Administrators. As research development professionals, they support all stages of the academic research process.
This website introduces the University of Tokyo’s URA system, as well as the individual URAs certified by the University of Tokyo (hereafter, UTokyo URAs), who are active in a wide range of areas of research development.