TOP FrontierNewsletter No.15 Jul.2001

Report on the FRSGC Interim Evaluation in 2001

The FRSGC Interim Evaluation in 2001 was held over the three days from May 23 to 25 at the Yokohama Institute for Earth Science.

The Advisory Committee, which was installed at the inauguration of the FRSGC (October, 1997), decided on the interim evaluation as follows in response to the Cabinet Decision for the "Fundamental Plan of Science and Technology"(July, 1996) and the "National Guideline on the Method of Evaluation for Government R&D"(August, 1997), which advocated external evaluation; "The evaluation is held in the middle of a 10-year period, that is, the fifth year, with the aim of reviewing issues such as research results and concerns to date and future plans, and reflecting the evaluation in plans for the sixth year and beyond."

In order for the results of this evaluation to be reflected in plans for the sixth year (2002) and onwards, they need to be incorporated into the budget proposal for FY 2002. For this purpose, the FRSGC decided to have the Evaluation Committee meeting in early May 2001.

Set photograph
Comittee Members , FRSGC's Program Directors, &Promotion Office

The Evaluation Committee comprises world-class researchers who are internationally active in the forefront of their fields . The eight committee members are; Dr. Akio Arakawa (UCLA, USA), Dr. Guy Brasseur (Co-chair/Max-Plank Institute,Germany), Dr. Gary Meyers (CSIRO, Australia), Dr. Hisashi Mitsuyasu (Kyushu University, Japan), Dr. Berrien Moore III (University of New Hampshire, USA), Dr. Shuzo Nishioka (NIES, Japan), Dr. Takashi Nitta (Co-chair/Halex Corporation, Japan), and Dr. Soroosha Sorooshian (University of Arizona, USA).

In their assessment, the Evaluation Committee members considered the documentation that was sent to them from the FRSGC one month prior to the evaluation, along with results from the sessions held on the days of the evaluation. The sessions included presentations given by the Director-General, Program Directors, and the Joint Promotion Office Director, and Q&A sessions by researchers from each program. There were also smaller presentations and informal discussions by researchers from each Program that were held separately without the attendance of Program Directors or Group Leaders. The issues were then discussed in a closed meeting attended by the Evaluation Committee members only.

On the final day (May 25), Dr. Guy Brasseur, as one of the co-chairpersons, gave a speech on the evaluation result to the FRSGC on behalf of the whole Evaluation Committee. In addition to the Director-General, all Program Directors, and representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, JAMSTEC, and NASDA, the speech session was also attended by some hundred FRSGC researchers and Promotion Office staff. In addition to showing keen interest in the future development of the FRSGC as a whole, the researchers and staff demonstrated their strong sense of identification with Frontier.

The photograph of a meeting
Meeting scene

In his speech, Dr. Brasseur appraised the research result,scientific leadership provided by the Director-General and Program Directors, the quality of the researchers, and the research support system. He gave the research facility a clean bill of health and he recommended that inter-disciplinary collaboration among the various research programs would contribute greatly towards our ultimate goal of implementing an integrated global model. He also mentioned that some aspects of the institution need to be improved, after careful consideration. Recognizing the tremendous importance of this research facility, one that takes global initiatives, he presented the proposal (Recommendations) for further improvement, and so the three-day proceedings were concluded.

The Evaluation Committee members are currently compiling the evaluation report, including evaluations and Recommendations for each Research Program. These reports should be completed in early-July, 2001, and posted on the Frontier Homepage. Please refer to the Frontier Homepage for further details.

Upon receiving the evaluation report, the FRSGC intends to formulate an action plan to be reflected in prospective research plans.

Back Cover Next