What is Ph.D. Program in Humanics?

“Humanics” is a discipline that sheds light on the fundamental principles of physiology and pathology of the human, generating new science and technology to achieve a healthy and comfortable life of human beings in the society. The Ph.D. Program in Humanics cultivates leaders with doctoral-level knowledge and skills in the fields of both biomedical sciences and physical sciences/engineering/informatics, as well as the capacity to integrate two or more research fields and to apply them in human society.

Characteristic Features, Excellence, Competitiveness, and Future Potential of the Program

The program aims thereby to address challenges to human life and health and enable the sustainable prosperity of all humankind. The leaders fostered in this program are expected to become drivers of science and technology to surmount various challenges facing the world, including the onset of the super-aged society and the associated rise in medical costs and health insecurities, as well as increasing mental health problems. Resolution of these problems will require the capacity to combine the latest knowledge and technology from the field of biomedical science with cutting-edge knowledge and technology from different fields, employ the vocabulary of both fields to engage in dialogue between them, and apply deep insights into them in order to formulate new paradigms. Such paradigms can only be realized through outstanding bi-disciplinary expertise that integrates two different fields of research. Furthermore, it will be essential to seek out real-life applications for research findings on an ongoing basis, utilizing the specific capabilities of problem discovery (the capacity for conceptualization of research topics), breakthrough (the capacity to overcome difficulties sincerely and earnestly), and application (the capacity to communicate solutions to wider society and apply them in practice).

1. Combination of biomedical sciences and physical sciences/engineering/informatics

The program will build structures for collaboration between the fields of biomedical sciences and physical sciences/engineering/informatics, through a variety of horizontal linkages with university research centers, centering on the internationally competitive and outstanding International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine, the Center for Cybernics Research that develops medical/nursing care robots and other cutting-edge human assistive technologies, and the Center for Computational Sciences and the Life Science Center for Survival Dynamics (TARA), both of which are working at the front lines of research internationally. Linkages will also be developed with national research and development corporations within the Tsukuba Science City (National Institute for Materials Science, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), international partner universities, and private companies.

2. Bi-disciplinary educational structure

The program will cultivate students’ bi-disciplinary expertise using a “full double mentor system” in which faculty members from the fields of both biomedical sciences and physical sciences/engineering/informatics provide research guidance to students in their respective laboratories in the course of pursuing joint research projects.

3. Seamlessly integrated curriculum from pre-admission to graduate education

The program will create a seamlessly integrated system for transition to graduate school, whereby prospective students currently studying medicine or physical sciences/engineering/informatics are offered a pre-admission program on physical sciences/engineering/informatics or medicine as applicable. This is one approach to achieving a genuine MD-PhD combined program – something which has proven difficult in Japan thus far. This reform of graduate school admissions has the potential to become a leading model in interdisciplinary education through identification and nurturing of talented prospective candidates for admission, and educational intervention at the pre-admission stage.

4.Procurement of external resources in partnership with business and complete program self-sufficiency in future

During the period of government funding, resources shall be procured through such channels as special joint research projects with business. At the end of the period, complete self-sufficiency will be achieved with the establishment of the CYBERDYNE Ph.D. Program in Humanics (tentative name) through a corporate collaboration.

Student support

Talented students will be supported by a scholarship from the University of Tsukuba which covers living and research costs. There are also other programs to support students, including tuition and housing support.

Financial supports

The following financial supports are being planned for students chosen for the “Ph.D. Program in Humanics” and judged as excellent so that they can concentrate in study and research.

  • For students (of Master’s Course ) who are yet to pass the Qualifying Examination (Examination of Basic Research Ability for Doctor’s Course ), financial supports according to their contribution on research based on TA, RA, and Reverse Mentor systems are planned.
  • Excellent students who have already passed the Qualifying Examination (Examination of Basic Research Ability for Doctor’s Course) and judged as eligible for the Doctor’s Course can receive Education and Research Support Expenses (planned for 160,000 to 180,000 yen).

Amount of the above items of financial supports will be decided according to results of entrance examination, outcome of participation in programs and research, results of Qualifying Examination, and other factors.
Students who are judged as excellent in academic achievement by the university’s regulations are eligible for the following exemption in tuition fees.

  • Equivalent to Master’s Course: Half exemption
  • Equivalent to Doctor’s Course: Total exemption

Support for overseas study & research activities

University will provide students with the expenses for overseas study & research activities, within the certain limit, such as overseas internship, international laboratory rotation, presentations at international conferences, and overseas travels.

Students dormitory

Tsukuba University has built students’ dormitory with the purpose of providing students of good study environment and letting them experience autonomous citizen life.

For details, please refer to the following website.