Student-led Design of Online Tools to Support the Quality of Research Life at the University of Tokyo: A Survey-based Approach

Abstract

The Toward Diversity team consists of PhD students from four countries and three graduate schools at the University of Tokyo (UTokyo). In June 2020, at UTokyo's Post-Corona Society Future Vision Symposium, we proposed an online platform to support the quality of research life among students and faculty members, with a focus on promoting diversity. Our team was awarded with funding and mentorship to develop a prototype, for initial application in the School of Engineering. The platform is being designed to enhance research life in three areas, identified as priorities during a pre-pandemic study and of renewed relevance at present: interactions between researchers, the balance between research and personal life, and mindsets and attitudes towards diversity. In order to gather feedback on the proposal, a survey was distributed to diverse UTokyo members. The three lessons learnt from the 290 responses are that: the types of issues faced in research life at UTokyo change mainly with age, rather than other factors such as gender and nationality; although most researchers are aware of existing support services offered by UTokyo, a majority chooses not to avail of these opportunities; and there is strong demand for more information services, such as access to stories of others' experiences, as well as more communication services such as online communities for researchers facing similar issues. After highlighting key features of the student-led research and development methodology, this paper explains how the survey results are being translated into system requirements for the online platform for research life support.



Author Information
Maximilien Berthet, University of Tokyo, Japan
Kozue Okamura, University of Tokyo, Japan
Yang Li, University of Tokyo, Japan
Saeko Kawataki, University of Tokyo, Japan
Paul Nadeau, University of Tokyo, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2021
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the ECE2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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