Head of CAOS, Niigata University
The Center for Advanced Oral Science was established in April 2015 when the “Formation of Resilient Educational Research through Network-style Faculty Organizations” project was selected as a recipient of the 2015 Grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education. Considering third round of medium-term goals and medium-term plan from 2016, the following problems were raised for enhancing functions of the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences: (1) rigidity of the faculty organization such as difficulty appointing younger personnel, (2) the current chair system which makes it difficult to incorporate interdisciplinary education and research, (3) diversification of needs in dentistry, (4) delay in the organization of a joint research system that facilitates acquisition of funding for large-scale research, and (5) quality assurance of higher education, and establishment of identity of dentistry in the trends of international standardization of dental education.
In the super-aging society of Japan, the field of dentistry plays an important role in promoting maintenance and restoration of oral function. Although there are individual research achievements in each field of educational research, a joint research system that enables scientists to apply themselves under a competitive and seamless environment has yet to be established. To solve these issues, we need to reform the system of human resources for revitalization of faculty organizations and functional enhancement. To that end, the Center for Advanced Oral Science was established as part of a research promotion project that is consistent with the directionality of Faculty of Dentistry function enhancement.
The Center for Advanced Oral Science aims to promote project-driven interdisciplinary education and research for young talent. We created about 2,000㎡ of shared space (common labs, alliance/laboratory spaces), which comprises over 10% of the total area of the School of Dentistry as part of the major renovation completed in September 2015. Some of the main roles of the Center have included new installation and consolidation of large scale devices in this shared space for implementation of project-based studies that cross interdisciplinary boundaries in educational research, and management of the space. Since 2016, we have adopted the principles of “Formation of the Base for Resilient Oral Health Educational Research for Young Researchers—Development of Network-type Faculty Organization and Comprehensive Enhancement of Functions through Substantiation—” to enhance function of the Niigata University. Faculty members from oral life sciences that implement project research are assigned as faculty members of the center.