NIPS is an internationally recognized research institution and active international exchanges are performed. NIPS has the positions of foreign research staff, and world top-class researchers have engaged in research collaboration so far using this framework. Besides the research collaboration, visiting professors contribute to education of young researchers. In FY2014, NIPS started the Section of International Collaborative Research Project, which is run for 3 years by an adjunctive foreign professor as a Principal Investigator (P.I.). In FY2017, Professor Denis Le Bihan (a former Director of Neurospin, France) is running a lab as a P.I. In addition, using the frameworks such as JSPS postdoctoral fellowship, foreign researchers and graduate students conduct research at NIPS. Also many foreign students enter Department of Physiological Sciences of SOKENDAI as a graduate school and engage in research actively.
One of the main international exchange activities at NIPS is the annual international symposium. A NIPS professor serves as an organizer, and usually approximately 10 top researchers from abroad and a similar number of top domestic researchers are invited. The total number of participants is around 100-150. In FY2018, the 49th NIPS International Symposium entitled “Ion channels - looking back and seeing ahead” was organized by Professors Keiji Imoto and Yasuo Mori (Kyoto University). There were 164 participants including 10 oversea speakers (total 24 speakers) and 57 poster presenters. In FY2019, the 50th NIPS International Symposium entitled “Homeostasis of Cardio-vascular system (tentative)” will be held on Dec 5-7 (Organizers: Professor Motohiro Nishida). In addition, the international workshop, which is an international version of NIPS research meetings, was launched in FY2008 and two meetings are scheduled in FY 2019.
NIPS has an academic contract or a memorandum of understanding for academic interaction with foreign institutions as follows, and is actively conducting joint academic activities including collaborative researches. The institutions are Uzbekistan Academy of Science, Research Institute for Physiology and Biophysics (Uzbekistan); Korea University, Faculty of Medicine and Yonsei University, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (Korea); Tübingen University, Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience (Germany); Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Thailand); University of New South Wales, Faculty of Medicine (Australia); Neurospin (France); and McGill University (Canada). In FY2018, a joint symposium with McGill University was held in NIPS, inviting 9 P.I.s and 2 graduate students. The two students further stayed for 5 weeks for collaborative research. A joint symposium with Tübingen University was also held in Tübingen University. In FY2019, two PhD students from McGill University will stay again for 5 weeks for collaborative research. A joint symposium with Tübingen University is scheduled to be held in NIPS, and that with Korea University and Yonsei University will be held in Kore University.
Besides these, many international research collaborations of high quality are performed at the individual researchers’ level, supported by the budget of NIPS and also research grant from outside.