Joint Researches

Call for Joint Research Project Proposals FY 2023

Call for Joint Research Project Proposals FY 2023
National Institute for Physiological Sciences
National Institutes of Natural Sciences

1. Joint research projects to be proposed

(1) General collaborative project

(2) Planned collaborative project

Themes:
(i) Ultrastructure analysis of biological specimens by cutting-edge electron microscopy
(ii) Functional and morphological analyses of cells and tissues by multi-photon   excitation microscopy
(iii) Development and supply of viral vectors and gene-transfer to primates
(iv) Purification of supra molecular complexes and analyses of their constituents by   mass spectrometry
(v) Multi-dimensional fluorescence imaging analysis with a multi-point scanning microscope
(vi) Elucidation of the pathology of mental/neurological diseases by analyzing neural activity dynamics
 
(3) Planned collaborative project (Center for Animal Resources and Collaborative Study)

Themes:
(i) Production of advanced animal models
(ii) Analysis of behavior, metabolism, and physiological functions of mice and rats
*Some of the planned collaborative projects of the Center for Animal Resources and Collaborative Study (hereinafter referred to as the “Animal Resource Center”) were conducted as planned collaborative projects at NIPS until fiscal year (FY) 2021 and have been transferred to the Animal Resource Center.

(4) NIPS Research Meeting

(5) NIPS International Workshop

(6) Cooperative study by functional imaging
 (Research term: April 2023 to March 2024 for all themes listed above)

2. Eligibility

A person who is a researcher at a research institution, such as a university or a national or public research institute, or who is recognized by the Director-General of NIPS as having equivalent research capabilities.

 

3. How to apply

Proposals for joint research projects must be submitted to NIPS online using the Natural Science Collaborative Research Management System (NOUS). NOUS can be accessed from the login page (https://nous.nins.jp/user/signin).
Before submitting the proposal, anyone wishing to apply must consult with a professor, associate professor, or equivalent, belonging to the Division most relevant to the intended research, to discuss details such as the research theme, research plan, visit term, and required expenses, etc.
The names, persons in charge, research outlines, and contact information of Departments, Divisions, and Sections of NIPS are as shown in the Annex.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Section of Collaboration Promotion of NIPS for help (e.g., if you cannot find a NIPS laboratory that will accept your proposal).

 <Support Desk for Collaboration Promotion (for both NIPS and the Animal Resource Center)>
  Section of Collaboration Promotion of NIPS, NINS
  TEL: +81-564-55-7722
  e-mail: collabo@nips.ac.jp
  URL: https://www.nips.ac.jp/collabo/researcher_poster.html
 
<List, and other>
Please refer to the PDF file below.
List of host researchers(39KB)
About Researches(PDF)(102KB)
About Facilities(PDF)(94KB)

The NOUS (NINS Open Use System) is an online integrated project management system for joint research and joint use projects hosted by NINS. It covers all of procedures from submission, examination, and adoption of research proposals to reporting, publication, and analysis of project outcomes (the NOUS is a system shared among NINS member organizations, including NIPS and the Animal Resource Center).

*Submission of a supervisor’s approval document was mandatory until FY 2021, but beginning in FY 2022 it is no longer required because you will have to declare that you have your supervisor’s approval when making an online application.

4. Deadline for proposals

17:00 Friday, December 2, 2022
(Friday, December 11th, 2020 for the supervisor's approval document)

Some proposals not submitted by this deadline may be accepted at a later date. Please submit each proposal at least 1 month before the scheduled start of the proposed project.
As a general rule, if a proposal is not submitted by the deadline but is accepted at a later date, reimbursement of travel expenses and research expenses will not be provided.
Also, please be aware that in some cases it may not be possible to decide whether or not to accept or reject a proposal by the planned start date due to our review schedule.
 

5. Determination of proposal acceptance

The Director-General of NIPS will accept proposals based on reviews of proposed projects by the Advisory Committee for Research and Management of NIPS.

 

6. Date of decision regarding proposal acceptance

Around March 2023.

7. Joint Researchers

If a joint research project is successfully accepted, the representative and joint researchers will carry out the accepted project as Collaborative Researchers. (NINS-Regulations No. 16 of 2004).
Pursuant to the article 3 of the above Regulations, Collaborative Researchers can use the research equipment at NIPS for the project and the Animal Resource Center, where experimental animals are bred and stored.
Travel expenses will be borne by NIPS when visiting the institute as a Collaborative Researcher (Article 4 of the same Regulations). For more details, please refer to item 8. Travel Expenses.

National Institute for Physiological Sciences Visiting Researcher Handling Rules (Japanese only): https://www.nips.ac.jp/profile/9-16seikisoku16.pdf
 

8. Travel expenses

Travel expenses will be reimbursed pursuant to the NINS Regulations for Travel Expenses within the budget.
When an undergraduate student who visits NIPS accompanied by or under the direction of a supervisor who is a researcher participating in a collaborative project with NIPS, the travel expenses for the student may also be reimbursed.

*In such cases, the undergraduate student is required to carry out the procedures prescribed in the NINS Guidelines for Undergraduate Students (or the Equivalent) Who Participate in Collaborative Projects at NINS Okazaki Three Institutions.
*Graduate and undergraduate students are required to have Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research (including Liability Insurance Coupled with PAS) provided by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services, or insurance that is equivalent or more comprehensive.
*Due to budget constraints, daily allowances and/or accommodation expenses may be reduced or not paid.

9. Research expenses

Research expenses will be borne by NIPS as allowed by its budget. (Expenses must not be used outside of NIPS.)

 

10. Certificate application for individuals working with radiation

If your project involves the use of radioisotopes at NIPS, after its acceptance it will require registration procedures for individuals who will be working with radiation.

 

11. Gene recombination experiments

If your project involves gene recombination experiments at NIPS, after its acceptance it will require approval by the NIPS Gene Recombinant Experiment Safety Committee.

12. Animal experiments

If your project involves animal experiments at NIPS, after its acceptance it will require approval by the President of NINS once the project proposal is reviewed by the NINS Animal Experimentation Committee.

13. Any projects involving human subjects or specimens obtained from human bodies

 Any projects involving human subjects or specimens obtained from human bodies
If your project involves physiological research on human subjects or specimens obtained from human bodies, or if it involves related fields at NIPS, approval must be obtained from the ethics committee of your institution before the project proposal is submitted to NIPS.

If the project is approved, it will also require the approval of the Ethics Committee for Human Research of National Institutes of Natural Sciences.
Furthermore, if the new proposed project uses the Magnetic Resonance Apparatus (3-T, 7-T) for humans, the approval of the Ethics Committee for Human Research of National Institutes of Natural Sciences will be required after the safety review by the NIPS Interactive Cooperative Project Promotion Committee.

Finally, if a project is classified as "clinical research" by the Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare of Japan, please consult with a NIPS researcher in advance.
 

14. Human genome or gene analysis research

In the case of collaborative projects or experiments involving human genome / gene analysis experiments at NIPS, approval by the Ethics Committee for Human Research of National Institutes of Natural Sciences will be required after approval.

 

15. Japan-U.S. Brain Research Cooperative Program

Projects that have been successfully adopted for the Japan–U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program, for which NIPS serves as a contact (http://www.nips.ac.jp/jusnou/), will be given priority upon claim.

 

16. Submission of research report

After the research project is finished, the principal investigator must submit a research report to the Director-General within 30 days of the completion date.
The report will be included and published in the NIPS Catalogue.
 

17. Clarification of supports by NIPS

If you publish any outcome of the proposed joint research in academic papers, please be sure to clearly indicate in the Acknowledgments that the work was performed as joint research hosted by NIPS. When you use the Animal Resource Center, please also be sure to clearly indicate it in the Acknowledgment.

Example (for NIPS): “This study was supported by the Joint Research Program (XX-YYY) of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences.”

Example (for Animal Resource Center): “This study was supported by the Joint Research Program (XX-YYY) of the Center for Animal Resources and Collaborative Study of NINS.”

 * Please replace "XX-YYY" with the project number, which will be provided when the project is adopted.
 

18. Handling of intellectual property rights

The basic policy on the intellectual property rights will be handled pursuant to the National Institutes of Natural Sciences Intellectual Property Policy.
Attribution of patent rights and other relevant rights shall be discussed separately.

National Institutes of Natural Sciences Intellectual Property Policy (Japanese only):
https://www.nins.jp/site/rule/1127.html

 

19. Accommodations

We have accommodations for use by researchers who participate in joint research.

 

20. Promotion of gender equality

NIPS actively promotes gender equality. Please consider this when planning and conducting any collaborative project with us.

 

21. Personal information

The personal information provided in proposals will be used only for the purpose of selecting successful projects and for administrative procedures involving NOUS.

Please be aware that the name and affiliation of the representative researcher, the project title, and other related information pertaining to each successful project will be published on the NIPS website and in the NIPS Handbook.

22. Childcare support

(1) On-site childcare facility
Depending on availability, researchers who participate in NIPS joint research projects can use our onsite childcare facility.
(2) Childcare support system
Researchers who participate in NIPS joint research projects can use our childcare support system, in which NIPS provides reimbursement for a portion of childcare expenses such as daycare, babysitting, and care for sick children.
(3) Support scheme for researchers who travel with their children
Researchers who participate in NIPS joint research projects can use our travel expenses support scheme whereby NIPS partially supports travel expenses when researchers are accompanied by any of their children during travel for the purpose of conducting the project.
  
For more details on (1) through (3), please refer to the NIPS website: https://www.nips.ac.jp/collabo/child_rearing_support.html.

23. Contact for inquiries and report submission

38 Nishigo-naka Myodaiji, Okazaki, Aichi, 444-8585, Japan
Joint Use Section of the International Research Cooperation Division, General Affairs Department, Okazaki Administration Center, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences
 
TEL: 81(Japan)-564-55-7133;
Fax: 81(Japan)-564-55-7119;
E-mail: r7133@orion.ac.jp
 

Access

From areas around Tokyo

Take JR Shinkansen to Toyohashi Station
Take Meitetsu Nagoya Honsen Line from Toyohashi Station to Higashi-Okazaki Station (about 20 min with a Limited Express train)

From areas around Osaka

Take JR Shinkansen or Kintetsu Line to Nagoya Station
Take Meitetsu Nagoya Honsen Line from Nagoya Station to Higashi-Okazaki Station (about 30 min with a Limited Express train)
7-minute walk from the south exit of Higashi-Okazaki Station (Meitetsu Line).
For more details, please refer to the NIPS website (https://www.nips.ac.jp/eng/profile/access.html).

Details of the Call for Proposals

I. General collaborative projects

1) Outline:
  A general collaborative project is a project on a research theme proposed by a representative researcher and conducted by multiple researchers. The representative researcher must be a researcher (or the equivalent) who does not belong to NIPS, and at least one or more NIPS professors or associate professors must participate in each project.

2) Other:
No project can be conducted for over 5 years on the same research theme.
 

II. Planned collaborative projects (NIPS)

1) Outline:
  Planned collaborative projects are conducted on research themes designated by NIPS and are listed below. Accepted projects will be conducted at NIPS facilities.

Themes
(i) Ultrastructure analysis of biological specimens by cutting-edge electron microscopy
  Using the most advanced electron microscopy techniques such as those involving the phase-contrast method, we perform single-particle analysis of proteins and functional and morphological analysis of cells. We also use microtome-integrated scanning electron microscopy to reconstruct the three-dimensional ultrastructure model of specimens at a resolution of dozens of nanometers.
(ii) Functional and morphological analyses of cells and tissues by multi-photon excitation microscopy
  We perform intracellular signal transduction and functional analysis of cell morphology in vivo and in vitro using fluorescence microscopy with two-photon excitation or fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).
(iii) Development and supply of viral vectors and gene transfer to primates
   In recent years, the performance of viral vectors has improved as a gene transfer technique in the central nervous systems of mice, rats, primates and the like. The Section of Viral Vector Development of the Supportive Center for Brain Research has developed novel high-frequency conventional lentiviral vectors and various serotypes of adeno-associated viral vectors that can be manipulated in a pathway-selective manner. The various viral vectors we have developed are and will continue to be used in projects. Furthermore, in order to clarify higher brain function, we will use viral vectors to introduce genes into primates such as macaques and marmosets to perform morphological, physiological, and behavioral analysis.
(iv) Purification of supra-molecular complexes and analyses of their constituents by mass spectrometry
  To understand the functions of proteins in living organisms, it is essential to precisely identify the constituents of supra-molecular complexes. We thus purify protein complexes from tissues and cells with an emphasis on their specificity, and then identify constituents of the complexes with mass spectrometry.
Target antigens for autoantibodies in autoimmune diseases are also identified.
(v) Multi-dimensional fluorescence imaging analysis with a multi-point scanning microscope
 We conduct joint research with our original multi-point scanning confocal/two-photon microscope. In particular, we quantitatively visualize and analyze various cell physiological functions, including circadian rhythms, with high-speed 3D, ultra-long-term, multicolor, and super-resolution observations.
(vi)  Elucidation of the pathology of mental/neurological diseases by analysis of neural activity dynamics
  We study the relationship between human and animal neural activity dynamics and the pathology of various mental and neurological diseases by combining unit recording, local field potentials (LFPs), electrocorticography (ECoG), scalp electroencephalography (scalp EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) in a multi-layered manner. In particular, we analyze neural activity dynamics such as vibration, synchronization, and fluctuation from the perspective of nonlinear dynamics and computational theory.

2) Contact person: Before submitting any proposal, please consult with one of the NIPS members listed below according to your interest.

(i) Project Prof. MURATA (Division of Structural Biology), Prof. FURUSE (Division of Cell Structure), and Adjunct Prof. OHNO (Division of Ultrastructural Research)
(ii) Assoc. Prof. NARUSHIMA (Division of Homeostatic Development) or Assoc. Prof. MURAKOSHI (Section of Multiphoton Neuroimaging)
(iii) Assoc. Prof. Kobayashi (Section of Viral Vector Development) for preparation and provision of viral vectors
Prof. ISODA (Division of Behavioral Development) for gene transfer into primates
(iv) Prof. FUKATA (Division of Membrane Physiology)
(v) Prof. NEMOTO (Division of Biophotonics)
(vi) Prof. KITAJO (Division of Neural Dynamics)

3) Others: No project can be conducted for over 5 years on the same research theme.

III Planned collaborative projects (Animal Resource Center)

1) Overview
Planned collaborative projects are conducted on research themes designated by the Animal Resource Center and are listed below. Accepted projects will be conducted at the Animal Resource Center facilities.

(Themes)
(i) Production of advanced animal models
We produce genetically modified rats and mice and develop model animals that are useful for physiological and neuroscience experiments.
Please note that as a general rule, the animals produced by these collaborative projects must be preserved as public bioresources, and details regarding the animals must be available to the public.
Please therefore deposit produced animals in the National BioResource Project (rats: Institute of Laboratory Animals Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University; mice: Riken BioResource Research Center) within 3 years after completion of the project.
(Person in charge) Assoc. Prof. HIRABAYASHI, Masumi, Section of Mammalian   Transgenesis, Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, Animal Resource Center
(Note) Until FY 2021, this theme was conducted at NIPS as a joint research theme titled “Physiological and neuroscientific analysis of genetically modified model animals.”

(ii) Analysis of behavior, metabolism, and physiological functions of mice and rats
We measure behaviors and physiological and metabolic parameters of mice and rats, including disease models.
  This year we focus on mouse analyses. The items analyzed and the persons in charge are listed below:
(Analyzed items, persons in charge)
(A) Evaluation of behaviors related to emotions, leaning, and memories, and analyses of neural and muscular activities.
Open field test, light/dark transition test, elevated plus-maze test, forced swimming test, rotarod test, passive avoidance test, fear conditioning test, Morris water maze test, Barnes circular maze test, recordings of neural (single-unit, local field potential, etc.) and muscular activities under awake states
(Person in charge)  Assis. Prof. CHIKEN, Section of Multilayer Physiology, Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, Department of Model Animal Phenotype Analysis, Animal Resource Center Multi-level Physiological Function Analysis Room
(B) Energy intake and expenditure in free-moving animals
(Person in charge)  Prof. MINOKOSHI, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
(C) Body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure in free-moving animals
(Person in charge)  Prof. TOMINAGA, Division of Cell Signaling
(D) Non-invasive 4-dimensional cardiac function and capillary blood flow imaging using anesthetized mice
(Person in charge)  Prof. NISHIDA, Division of Cardiocirculatory Signaling
(E) Mouse temperature preference assays with a thermal gradient ring
(Person in charge)  Prof. TOMINAGA, Division of Cell Signaling
(F) Multicellular activity measurement and manipulation in vivo
(Person in charge)  Prof. WAKE, Division of Multicellular Circuit Dynamics
(G) Functional analysis of neuroimmune interactions in mouse models of diseases
(Person in charge) Prof. MURAKAMI, Division of Molecular Neuroimmunology
(Note) Until FY 2021, the above (B) to (D) were conducted at NIPS under a joint research theme titled “Analysis of metabolic physiology for mice and rats.”
2) Person in charge
Before submitting any proposal, please meet in advance with one of the members listed above, as appropriate based on your interest.
3) Overview of equipment used for analyzing metabolic physiology in mice and rats
Please refer to Annex 1.
4) Other:
No project can be conducted for over 5 years on the same research theme.
Specific-pathogen free animals will be used for planned collaborative projects conducted at the Animal Resource Center facilities. If you would like to know further information concerning SPF animals, please contact NIPS person in charge.

IV. NIPS Research Meeting

1) Purpose and Overview
The NIPS research meeting is a relatively small group meeting (about 100 people or fewer) for debating the creation of new academic fields and developing new technologies. At least one NIPS professors or associate professors must participate in each meeting. Travel expenses of participants will be partly borne by NIPS.
2) Duration
The duration of each research meeting cannot be longer than 3 days.
3) Venue
In principle, the meeting must be carried out in the Okazaki area of NINS.
However, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, an online or hybrid meeting may be    recommended. For more information, please refer to the "Research Guidelines Aimed at Preventing the COVID-19 Outbreaks Within the National Institute for Natural Sciences (NIBB, NIPS, IMS, and EXCELLS) "  ( https://www.nips.ac.jp/release/pdf/kijyun200409.pdf ).
Please note that you can hold a meeting in the Okazaki Conference Center of NINS. For details on reservation procedures, please contact the Joint Research Section of the International Research Cooperation Division (r7133@orion.ac.jp).
In addition, to contribute to the research communities surrounding NIPS and to Japanese universities, applications for a NIPS research meeting and a NIPS international workshop outside the NINS Okazaki area are possible. Preferably the venue will be a university or other related institute. As a general rule, the research meeting cannot be held in conjunction with any other event, such as an academic conference or the like. Travel expenses for these research meetings will be handled in accordance with the rules for those held in the Okazaki area.
4) Others
If any research meeting is to be held on the same theme for more than 3 years, its significance must be reviewed. If you desire to continue the meetings for over 3 years, we expect a new development to be included in the proposal.

Please pay special consideration to gender equality when selecting participants in the proposed project.
We welcome meetings that allow participants to join online.

V. NIPS International Workshop

1) Purpose and Overview
To promote the internationalization and development of NIPS, we hold a NIPS International Workshop that invites several scientists from around the world. The Workshop is held in English. You can submit the same content as both a NIPS Research Meeting proposal and a NIPS International Workshop proposal. If both of the proposals are approved, the project will be held as an International Workshop. We plan to adopt one to three proposals for the International Workshop every year.
At least one or more NIPS professors or associate professors must participate in each workshop. The expected number of participants in a Workshop is 50 to 100. The International Workshops are relatively small events compared to the NIPS International Symposium, which is held once or twice every year.
2) Duration
The duration of an International Workshop cannot be longer than 3 days.
3) Venue
In principle, the meeting must be carried out in the Okazaki area of NINS.
However, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, an online or hybrid meeting may be    recommended. For more information, please refer to the "Research Guidelines Aimed at Preventing the COVID-19 Outbreaks Within the National Institute for Natural Sciences (NIBB, NIPS, IMS, and EXCELLS) "  ( https://www.nips.ac.jp/release/pdf/kijyun200409.pdf ).
Please note that you can hold a meeting in the Okazaki Conference Center of NINS. For details on applying for its use, please contact the Joint Research Section of the International Research Cooperation Division (TEL: +81-564-55-7138).
In addition, to contribute to the research communities surrounding NIPS and to Japanese universities, we plan to annually adopt one proposal (or more if possible) for both a NIPS research meeting and a NIPS international workshop outside the NINS Okazaki area.

VI. Cooperative studies by functional imaging

1.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner
1) Research themes
For collaborative studies using our MRI scanner, we have defined the following two research themes. Under these themes, researchers inside and outside NIPS aim to comprehensively elucidate biological functions from the molecular level to the individual level.
i)  Non-destructive, 3-dimensional observation of the inside of living organisms
ii) Continuous observation of morphological and energy states associated with biological activities (including brain activation tests)
2) Overview of the MRI scanner installed at NIPS
Please refer to Annex 2.
3) Before submitting any proposal, please consult with one of the NIPS members listed below based on your interest.
Prof. ISODA (Division of Behavioral Development)
Prof. KITAJO (Division of Neural Dynamics)
Prof. TAKEMURA (Division of Sensory and Cognitive Brain Mapping)
Assoc. Prof. FUKUNAGA (Division of Cerebral Integration)
4) Other
When making a proposal, please select a theme that will enable the project to be completed within three years.