On Friday (25 February 2022) , in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies, I took part in the The Japan Foundation/BAJS Postgraduate Workshop. This was the eleventh one and, I’m glad to say, that we were back to having the workshop in person, with it being held at the University of East Anglia, after the online version last year due to COVID.
The main theme this year (the theme tends to rotate over three to four years so that a typical PhD student will get to be part of each theme once) was funding and collaboration.
As the information on the Japan Foundation London Office website says, “The workshop provides opportunity for participants to present their current research projects and receive feedback from peers and senior colleagues. This year’s key note theme is ‘The Bigger Picture – Funding and Beyond’. The afternoon will be dedicated to learning about larger-scale funding applications, projects and interdisciplinary collaborations.”
In the morning participating students presented their latest research to academics and their peers, gaining important feedback at a time when presenting opportunities has been low. The presentations were excellent – though the rustiness of not presenting showed in some cases (which is why we hold such events).
In the afternoon, there were talks and discussions about key areas surrounding funding and collaboration in Japanese Studies. It was on that last aspect that I presented a paper and helped a discussion.
From what I can tell, and the Japan Foundation is gathering feedback from students directly, the day seemed to go very well for the students. The following post on LinkedIn by one participant is an example of that:
I’m very happy that the day was successful and extend my thanks to everyone involved in the organisation, funding, and those who participated.
[Update 8 March 2022]: Also see Lauren Constance’s post on the event.