2021 Activity Report vol.11:National Institute for Materials Science

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2021 vol.11 (Online)

From an Online Exchange to Collaborative Research with Young Teaching Faculty and PhD Course Students from Three Schools of the Indian Institutes of Technology

Report from the Global Program Office
Global Networking Division of the National Institute for Materials Science

With the support of the Sakura Science Exchange Program, from December 6 to December 10, 2021, the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) conducted online workshops and individual research discussions for future international collaborative research planning with 13 young faculty members and two doctoral students affiliated with the Indian Institutes of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H), Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G), and Indian Institutes of Technology Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU).

Initially, it was planned to invite the 15 people mentioned above to NIMS in 2020, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, implementation was postponed. We conducted the alternative online exchanges in December 2021.

[Online Exchange Program Content]

1.Created an Introductory Video of the Laboratories in NIMS

We asked each of the 15 participating members belonging to the IIT-H, the IIT-G and the IIT-BHU about their interest in the research of researchers at NIMS, and asked about their requests regarding the possibility of future international collaborative research in advance. We then attempted to match with NIMS researchers.

Through this matching, after deciding on the pairs to conduct an exchange, each NIMS researcher was asked to participate in the creation of the laboratory introduction video. Each laboratory created a virtual lab tour video of about 5 minutes. This video was distributed to all participants at the three Indian Institutes of Technology prior to the online workshop to help them get to know the real research environment of NIMS researchers in advance.

2. Conducted an Online Workshop

For four days from December 6 to 9, workshops were held online from 13:00 to 17:00 each time. We considered the time difference between the two countries, and they were held publicly in NIMS.

Each gave a presentation focusing on the introducing their own research with a 30-minute time frame for young faculty from Indian Institutes of Technology and NIMS researchers, and 15 minutes for graduate students. Furthermore, two professors representing the operation and research aspects of Tohoku University's Next Generation Synchrotron Radiation Facilities, which the Indian SAKURA Science Program participants from three IITs had planned to visit when they came to Japan in the initial invitation plan, gave presentations on the features of the Next Generation Synchrotron Radiation Facilities and the results of advanced research using the facilities. Afterwards, two Tohoku University professors kindly encouraged the Indian SAKURA Science Program participants to plan and implement an international joint research project with the Japanese host institution, NIMS, including the use of the Next Generation Synchrotron Radiation Facilities.

3. Implementation of Individual Online Meetings

On the fifth day, December 10, based on the research presentations up to the previous day, the individual online meetings were held in a congenial atmosphere between the members from three schools of IITs and NIMS joint research potential collaborators to coincide their research interests for planning active international collaboration.

At each individual meeting that lasted approximately one hour, we exchanged ideas on what initiatives to undertake when the coronavirus pandemic is under control and exchanges can actually begin.

It seems that we have strengthened our desire to continue online exchanges and to deepen ties between the exchange participants. The secretariat introduced NIMS programs that can be used for future researcher exchanges and graduate student invitations, and informed the participants that the secretariat (i.e., NIMS Global Program Office) will continue to support the promotion of collaborative research in the "post-corona world".

Snapshot of Individual Online Meetings between IIT-H Faculty and NIMS Researchers
Snapshot of Online Individual Meetings between IIT-G Faculty and NIMS Researchers
Snapshot of Online Individual Meetings by IIT-BHU Faculty/ PhD course students and NIMS Researchers