Since its establishment in 1986, the Center for African Area Studies (CAAS) has focused on the academic and career development of young researchers. At Kyoto University, academic research in Africa has been carried out mainly through fieldwork in the region, and through long-term stays in the local community to come into contact with the vigor of nature and the lives of the people. With the belief that interdisciplinary research that seeks to clarify the reality of Africa is driven by young researchers, we actively support young researchers and post-doctoral research fellows.
In addition to institutional researchers who are engaged in the work and research activities of CAAS, CAAS also offers research fellowships; project researchers who are engaged in research activities and belong to large projects, KAKENHI project researchers who are engaged in research activities and belong to Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research projects, sponsored by JSPS (Japan Society of Promotion of Science) and JSPS Postdoctoral Fellows (Japanese, foreign long-term and short-term). In addition, postdoctoral researchers who have obtained a doctoral degree are given the title of Specially Appointed Researcher to support them in obtaining KAKENHI grants and continuing their research activities. In recent years, there have been more than 40 postdoctoral researchers enrolled in CAAS.
These postdoctoral fellows not only contribute to their individual research achievements and to CAAS, but also to the education at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies (ASAFAS). In Africa fieldwork requires not only a variety of knowledge and skills, but also many skills that cannot be found in recorded manuals, such as how to make human connections and safety measures. In addition, through friendly competition, it is possible to improve communication skills and foster trusting relationships between the scholars.
Through daily interactions and discussions among researchers of different generations and from different fields, such as faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students, we are able to develop our research skills, which will lead to academic development, academic exchange with global academia dissemination and accumulation of research results for society, social contribution, and international assistance.