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Introduction to Osaka University

Dynamic Research Activities

Researchers and scholars at Osaka University have been awarded many prestigious awards and produced many outstanding results in research and scholarship.

1. Nobel Prizes and other Awards

  • Winner of Nobel Prize in Physics -- Hideki YUKAWA (Thesis produced while working at Osaka University)
  • Winners of Order of Cultural Merit -- 19
  • Persons who have "made outstanding cultural contributions" -- 32
  • Winners of Imperial Prize of Japan Academy -- 16
  • Winners of Japan Academy Prize -- 42

2. External & Third-Party Funding

  • World Premier International Research Center Initiative--WPI The World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Program) provides priority support for projects aimed at creating top world-level research centers staffed at their core with the world's most leading researchers. By achieving a very high research standard and providing an excellent research environment, the centers should possess a level of "global visibility" that attracts top researchers from around the world.

  • The Immunology Frontier Research Center (iFReC) (headed by Dr. Shizuo AKIRA)at Osaka University is one of five programs in Japan selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to be part of the prestigious World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) program. iFReC became part of the WPI program in October 2007.

  • Selections for the Global COE (Centers of Excellence) Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

The Global COE Program aims at building internationally competitive universities in Japan by focusing specifically on support for such universities in order to form outstanding global bases for the further improvement and strengthening of graduate schools as education and research institutes, institutes which will nurture creative leaders for the world.

Twelve programs at Osaka University are currently a part of this prestigious program. In 2007, 7 programs in 5 fields of study were selected; in 2008, 4 programs in 4 fields; in 2009, 1 program, making for a total of 12.


  • Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (page in Japanese)
    Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, MEXT are competitive funds aiming to significantly develop various fields ranging from liberal arts, sociology, to natural science. The funds are offered to unique and pioneering research that are selected through peer review and will be a foundation for the development of an affluent society. In competitive funds, Osaka University has ranked among the highest in the number of projects which have received funds and in the amount of funding which has been received. (3rd both in the number of selected projects and in the amount of received funds)
  • Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology
    These government funds are policy-driven competitive funds for the purpose of coordinating and promoting comprehensively important matters necessary for promoting science and technology in line with the policies of the Council for Science and Technology Policy. The projects selected at Osaka University are: Education for Innovative Fields, Super Center of Excellence, Promotion of Important Problem Solving Research, Promotion of the Suitable Research Environment for the Independent Research of Young Scientists, Creation of an Innovation Center for the Fusion of Advanced Technologies, Model Programs to Nurture Support for Female Researchers, Effective and Efficient Promotion of Coordination in Science and Technology Projects, and Education for Young Researchers to Create Innovation. Selected projects

  • Other competitive funds

Projects of Osaka University have been selected as projects operated with various competitive funds

3. Research Results and Achievements

  • Osaka University scholars are nationally among the highest in the number of articles published, particularly in magazines such as Science and Nature.
  • Osaka University is among the highest among universities in Japan in the number of patents registered in the USA.

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