The advantage of this program is that we can have various experiences outside of Japan, such as making presentations at international conferences, discussing with foreign researchers, and undertaking training in foreign companies. Once, I made an oral presentation at an international conference in the United States of America. During the question-and-answer session, I needed to understand the meaning of questions quickly and answer them concisely. I think this experience helped to improve my English skill in listening and speaking impromptu. Another benefit of this program is that we can acquire techniques to explain our research to ordinary people. I am interested in science communication and I would like to convey to youth not only in Japan, but also all over the world, that science is interesting.
I am participating in this program for my own growth through various experiences not only in research, but also through interaction with diverse students. For this goal, I organized a seminar to develop interdisciplinary communication with students who have different research backgrounds. Furthermore, I participated in a leadership training program in North Carolina, USA, with Japanese and international students. At the training, the students interacted by helping and competing with each other, and the most important aspect was that we learned how to have a global outlook. These were valuable experiences for me and I would like to make good use of the experiences and networks to thrive in the future.
I came to study in Japan after qualifying as a lawyer in Sri Lanka, my home country. Sri Lanka was in a state of civil war that ended in 2009. After the war ended, we were finally able to pay attention to socio-economic development. Japan had a similar experience following World War II where it miraculously recovered from defeat. By learning from Japan’s development experience, I would like to contribute to the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. Therefore, I also want to get engaged in strengthening the international relations of our countries. I am very thankful to the Leading Program, which has provided me opportunities to network with overseas researchers such as from the University of Cambridge, UK. I hope that the Leading Program continues into the future, so that both and Japanese and foreign students are able to study and research together and can contribute to the well-being of society.
A leader who can lead people regardless of their backgrounds is what I want to be in the future. This Leading Program provides me with a great opportunity to improve my leadership capabilities. An environment where students who have different nationalities, cultures and social backgrounds can learn together is very exciting, and at the same time, quite challenging. During our collaborative research discussions with my classmates, we often faced conflicting ideas. However, we overcame these differences by respecting and encouraging each other to achieve a common goal. In addition, to be able to collaborate with peers, students are required to think and act autonomously. For example, students are expected to make an overseas internship proposal and to manage everything related to it. I believe I can be an ideal leader in the future by taking advantage of this program.
I plan to be a global leader with a wide range of knowledge, rich experience and deep insight, not just a leader with a specialized skill. I joined the Leading Program because its aim matched my interest. I can learn leaders’ vision directly through discussions with top leaders from various fields who I would normally never meet. Overseas training was also a valuable experience because I felt the intense growth and change happening within Asia and I also exchanged opinions with local students. Because the nationalities and fields of specialization of the students participating in this program are diverse, when I have discussions with students from different backgrounds, I find it challenging. However, I feel this is close to the real working environment I will be facing as a leader and this experience is an excellent learning opportunity.
I was interested in highly diverse economies in Asia and decided to apply for the ‘PhD Professional: Gateway to Success in Frontier Asia’ program that focuses on cooperation with Asian countries. In our overseas training, I visited Laos and Thailand, and saw with my own eyes the unique economic systems in these countries. This was a very valuable learning experience for me. Moreover, the feedback we received from the professors was substantial, making our learning more significant. I am grateful for their support and responsibility, and I will apply what I have learned to my own future research activities.
Satellites are designed to resolve the mysteries of space, which has the potential to benefit all mankind. I thought that I could develop these, so I applied for the program. My research theme is ‘far infrared radiation’. It is my dream to develop a sensor that can work as the “eyes” for a satellite. I am not good at English, but I attended a one-month English training course in Malaysia with the support of my program. It was a valuable learning experience. I was able to work hard together with my foreign classmates and reduce my negative feeling of speaking English. I found the Leading Program to be very challenging, which was great. I aim to develop my skills as an engineer to help the satellite program. Through this experience, I will continue to do my best to become a well-rounded engineer.
In the future, I would like to become a researcher who contributes to society through space development. The reason I applied for the ‘Leadership Development Program for Space Exploration and Research’ is that I thought this would be the best chance for me to acquire the necessary skills in order to realize my goals. An attractive feature of this program is that it is a practical program in which students are able to learn about satellite development and leadership, in addition to basic classes on space science and engineering. I can gain knowledge that cannot be taught in classes, by interacting with front-line professors who are passionate and actively involved in space development, which is the most attractive feature about this program. There are also many exciting activities in this program. Once, I started thinking about development of a microsatellite mission and got so excited that by the time I realized, it was already morning. Towards the realization of my goal, I would like to diligently learn many things, while working hard together with my peers.
My reason for applying to this program is to learn other fields of research and fuse them into my field of expertise, which is materials science. In this program, students have the opportunity to apply for research grants. I was successfully awarded a grant in the academic year of 2015. My research filed and granted project are related to the field of material informatics. In this field of research, material science and information technology are fused. Recently, South Korea and the United States of America have shown progress in this kind of research. However this progress has not been well recognized in Japan. In this context, I would like to become an expert who can fuse these fields in a positive way, since information technology is developing rapidly where it is predicted that by year 2020, the amount of data will increase more than 20 times. Meantime, I would like to study the technological development of Japan. I believe that such a study can be shared by all experts in the society through analyzing and utilizing the escalating amount of data.
The main reason I participated in the Leading Program is that I would like to learn about not only my specialized field, but also other fields. The exchange of information and knowledge with students, whose specialized fields are medicine, information science, and economics, is important for me because of my research field. I continue to research on the theme of artificial limb development and by interacting with other specialists, I can widen my understanding and knowledge from different fields. The program is attractive because I can communicate with various business leaders who play an active role on the social front-lines. Moreover, I can utilize the program’s overseas internship system. In the future, I would like to develop products that are helpful for people, while doing collaborative research with many contemporaries in my field.
Presently in my country, schools are considered to have the ultimate responsibility of crafting and modeling good citizens. The school principal plays an important role in this mission. However, with social, economic, cultural and technological transformations, the duties and the expectations of the school principals have increased enormously, while the expected contribution from the principal's part is considered insufficient. When I was performing duties of an educational administrative officer in Sri Lanka, I felt the necessity of professional development and leadership skill development for school administrators in order to assure quality educational outcomes. My research explores the present school administrators' roles and the issues related to school administrators in Sri Lanka. This program is ideal for me since it aims to nurture female leadership and foster women leaders for the future. These are complementary to my goal to become a better education administrator in my home country. I would like to utilize knowledge and practical skills gained through this program and my research, and in the future I wish to improve the school educational administrative mechanism in Sri Lanka.
After working as a nurse for 6-years, I entered the Graduate School of Medicine and applied to this program to study overseas community healthcare systems. In our overseas fieldwork, students from four graduate schools form teams and inspect hospitals and farmlands. After entering this program, for the first time I gained on-site knowledge in agriculture. I strongly felt that agriculture is deeply associated with health promotion, which is my expertise. How to promote its future development is still a challenge. Talking to the foreign students enrolled in this program, I learned that many countries have better support systems for working women than Japan. From now on, I would like to advance my career while maintaining my work-life balance. Since my interest is related to health problems, I would like to play an active role in international organizations such as WHO or UNFPA in the future.