Universities of Melbourne and Hokkaido foster promising new research linkages

The University of Melbourne is building its research relationship with the University of Hokkaido, Japan, with a joint conference discussing healthy ageing, and the launch of the Hokkaido – Melbourne Joint Research Workshops Fund to support new and emerging collaborations between the two institutions.

Held on Tuesday 8 March 2022, the Virtual Conference on Healthy Ageing featured researchers from both universities, and from across multiple academic disciplines. Parallel sessions focused on topics such as living environments, allied health, social philosophy, and women’s healthy ageing.

Healthy Ageing is an interdisciplinary topic of mutual strength for both the University of Melbourne and the University of Hokkaido, which was showcased through the breadth of the discussion, incorporating speakers from our Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts, and the Melbourne Law School.

Emerging collaborations on healthy ageing research would join the long-standing research collaboration and exchange in zoonosis control, as well as the successful VESKI Study Melbourne Research Partnership in chemistry building on the JSPS core-to-core program between the universities of Melbourne and Hokkaido.

Furthering the partnership is the launch of the Hokkaido – Melbourne Joint Research Workshops Fund to support new and emerging links. Open to researchers from any discipline, this fund will finance up to four research workshops to be held at Hokkaido or Melbourne from June 2022 onwards, and include matching funding from the institutions of AU$20,000 (or JPN Yen equivalent) per workshop.

The fund will prioritise applications involving researchers from different disciplines, and early career and graduate researchers.

The institutional relationship between the University of Melbourne and University of Hokkaido was initiated during a virtual delegation to Japan in late 2021, with the Healthy Ageing Conference and new workshop fund a direct result of discussions held during the delegation.

Professor Justin Zobel, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate and International Research), thanked the University of Hokkaido for its continued support as Melbourne's presence in the region develops.

“Our Healthy Ageing Conference and the launch of the Hokkaido – Melbourne Joint Research Workshops Fund are the first steps in developing a broad-ranging research partnership between our two institutions,” Professor Zobel said.

“We welcome the opportunity to work more with the University of Hokkaido, as an established leader in these fields, and we look forward to continuing to grow this relationship to benefit the work of researchers at both our universities.”

First published on 19 August 2022.

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