The Cooperative Graduate School System is a graduate education system which allows students access to facilities and resources in leading edge research institutes to conduct their research by employing the researchers from these institutes as professors and associate professors of the University of Tsukuba. The university will retain this system in the new graduate schools and programs (degree program system) reorganized in AY 2020.
For each developed country, the training of researchers who are the main providers of knowledge creation is regarded as a high-priority issue. Due to the rapid progress and further sophistication of science and technology, research fields have become more departmentalized and specialized. At the same time, there emerge new interdisciplinary fields that go beyond the boundaries of traditional academic systems, prompting the need for interdisciplinary research.
In particular, interdisciplinary research that requires a wide range of knowledge from the basics to application areas has attached more importance to cooperation between researchers from different fields. There is an increased demand for new interdisciplinary and integrated methods of fostering researchers.
The Cooperative Graduate School System was established to respond to these academic and social needs. We have cooperated with a large number of research institutes run by the government, incorporated administrative agencies (including national research and development agencies), and private companies in and outside of Tsukuba Science City. We employ researchers from these institutes as professors (Cooperative Graduate School) and associate professors (Cooperative Graduate School) and have them supervise the research of our students at research institutes equipped with the latest research facilities and features. Our aim is to diversify and expand the educational and research domain for further enhancement of graduate school education, and to develop new research areas by promoting exchanges with these research institutes.
As of 2021, the University of Tsukuba partners with 29 research institutes and implements cooperation on a scale of 138 professors and 69 associate professors.
The Cooperative Graduate School System has the following two types.
1st Cooperative Graduate School System
Researchers at external research institutes join the Degree Programs as teaching staff and conduct research guidance of the university's graduate students by utilizing leading-edge facilities of the research institutes. Under the 1st Cooperative Graduate School System, a university's full-time faculty member is appointed as a co-supervisor and provides academic and student life support for each student. In addition to research supervision provided at research institutes, students should take coursework offered at the university.
2nd Cooperative Graduate School System
The 2nd Cooperative Graduate School System was launched in 2004, in which an entire curriculum is organized by researchers from an external research institute. The university employs these researchers as teaching staff and institutionalizes a subprogram within a university's degree program. For academic and student life support, full-time university faculty members also cooperate with the researchers. Students registered in the subprograms benefit from cutting-edge level research guidance conducted by the researchers in research institutes with the latest facilities and features, while taking necessary coursework offered at the university.
Currently, the following two subprograms are institutionalized under the 2nd Cooperative Graduate School System.
Subprogram in Materials Science and Engineering (Doctoral Program in Engineering Sciences, Degree Programs in Pure and Applied Sciences)
Partner Institute: National Institute for Materials Science
Subprogram in Advanced Agricultural Technology and Science cooperated with NARO (Doctoral Program in Agricultural Sciences, Degree Programs in Life and Earth Sciences)
Partner Institute: National Agriculture and Food Research Organization