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Summer positions in Japan for American professor?

Denisu

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Hi,
I'm a US college professor in astronomy+physics. I usually take summers off, but I'm wondering if there are any summer positions in Japan appropriate for an academic. Whether it's teaching sciences, ALT, a guest lectureship, etc, I'd just be interested in using my skills while benefiting from the experience of a few months in Japan. My Japanese is very basic, probably at N4.

I recognize this is a bit presumptuous, basically expecting a perfectly-fit position to exist just for me, but I didn't think it'd hurt to ask. Especially if the Japanese school schedule is shifted relative to the US's.
Simply googling didn't help much, given how convoluted my search is, but any help in pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
D
 

Glenski

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You would have to get a visa to work here, and that's terribly unlikely to happen, certainly not for this year! (too late to apply) You'll need it to teach classes.
I work at a university, and unless you have a special relationship involving a contract between your school and one here, you're not going to get invited to do research on that contract.
ALT work? Not a chance, since there are no classes going on, and ALTs typically cannot be hired at universities.
Summertime is a terrible time anyway. No classes means that many professors are either away on business/study trips, and the school itself has very little going on. My only advice is for you to find a school that seems to have a program suiting your research interests, then see if there is anything they can do to invite you on a grant. But it's not going to happen this year.
 

Lawrence1

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Hi,
I'm a US college professor in astronomy+physics. I usually take summers off, but I'm wondering if there are any summer positions in Japan appropriate for an academic. Whether it's teaching sciences, ALT, a guest lectureship, etc, I'd just be interested in using my skills while benefiting from the experience of a few months in Japan. My Japanese is very basic, probably at N4.

I recognize this is a bit presumptuous, basically expecting a perfectly-fit position to exist just for me, but I didn't think it'd hurt to ask. Especially if the Japanese school schedule is shifted relative to the US's.
Simply googling didn't help much, given how convoluted my search is, but any help in pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
D

It is a little bit surprising to see a university professor asking this in this forum since I am not sure if there are many fellow professors using this forum. However, I actually do know a few resources that you should look into.
First of all, I recommend applying for NSF fellowships since they do have them for professor interested in collaborating with a university professor all over the world (including east asia). My last professor recently sent an undergraduate and a graduate student to work under this grant in South Korea.
Additionally, you can look at JSPS: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
although this is very specific for japan. In most cases you need to know a professor in Japan and have similar research interests. The people that I know that used the JSPS grants already knew professors in Japan. If you don't know anyone in Japan, I am not sure they can introduce you to someone. In all honesty, it may be better to simply look up international conferences in the USA or outside pertaining to your current research where a lot of Japanese professors attend. (Recently there was a conference on swarm behavior at Columbia University and a few Japanese professors came to attend and present).

As Glenski said you really need to have a relationship with a Japanese lab. Once you have that, the funding is out there
 

Denisu

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Wonderful, thank you very much for the informative answers!
Cheers,
D
 

tomoni

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I would look to what MOU or AOCs your university has with Japanese Universities. Failing that, look to other Unis that you have a partnership with and see which ones have MOUs/AOCs with Japan. That is one quick way to get a connection.

Generally speaking Japanese public Unis are open to MOU/AOCs with overseas unit, and international cooperation can be helpful in applying for grants (especially if each side is applying - J-funding stays in japan). So I would say the a key factor is the kind of commitment that you want to make to a Japanese University in terms of a long term relationship- It is a lot of work to make an AOC or MOU and people are willing BUT usually only if it is sustainable.

Visiting researchers are very easy to add to a grant application as are inviting speakers for anyone that has a budget.

Hope this is of some help.
 

Lawrence1

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I would look to what MOU or AOCs your university has with Japanese Universities. Failing that, look to other Unis that you have a partnership with and see which ones have MOUs/AOCs with Japan. That is one quick way to get a connection.

Generally speaking Japanese public Unis are open to MOU/AOCs with overseas unit, and international cooperation can be helpful in applying for grants (especially if each side is applying - J-funding stays in japan). So I would say the a key factor is the kind of commitment that you want to make to a Japanese University in terms of a long term relationship- It is a lot of work to make an AOC or MOU and people are willing BUT usually only if it is sustainable.

Visiting researchers are very easy to add to a grant application as are inviting speakers for anyone that has a budget.

Hope this is of some help.

I completely agree. I just want to add (if it wasn't obvious), the relationship/connection you make with a japanese professor/university should be natural. You should try to reach out to a lab that has very similar research interests and that you can become naturally close with. That is why I recommend going to international conferences since you can not only form a partnership with a laboratory based on similar research interest (since you are both going to same conference) but you can get an idea of how that person functions as a person and in a laboratory and how it will be like to collaborate with this person. Tomoni, is right and it will be a lot of work so it is worth it to think a lot about if person you contact fits for you. If you meet someone with similar research interest and can become close as a colleague, it should be easy to keep it sustainable, meet a lot of new people, and start a lot of collaborations.
 
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