In 2020, more than 1000 researchers took part in a total of 21 meetings. Due to COVID-19, almost all meetings were forced to run on the WEB. In 2021, 28 meetings are being planned. In FY2021, 28 meetings are scheduled to be held, but as of March 2021, there is no prospect of convergence, and it is expected that the events will mainly be held online. Despite of the pandemics, the country’s best researchers gathered to take part in serious discussions about the meeting’s theme.
The discussions often lead to new collaborative research project ideas both within and outside the institute or even new researching funding. For example, the Glial Young Researcher Meeting in 1994 – 1996 had led to the priority area （B） “Glial cell role in the neural transmission regulation mechanism” discovery, and later on, the became the priority area“ Glial Neural Network.” Another example would be the Biomolecular sensor related NIPS research meeting held in 2008, which lead to the Grant-in-Aid for scientific research on priority area “Cell Sensor.” The establishment of two priority areas in 2015, “Thermal biology” and “Oscillology” was also triggered by the activity of NIPS research meeting. Also, synapse research meetings and research meetings on pain have all helped progress in research communities across Japan, and have led to the establishment of new fields.
In 2016, one NIPS research meeting was held at Kyushu University. Traditionally, NIPS research meetings had been held in Okazaki area. We aimed to contribute to the physiological research communities located in the Kyushu area, and to the functional enhancement of the universities there. As this trial-run meeting won popularity, we conducted one in Tohoku and another in Tokyo area in 2017, and in Nagoya and Tokyo in 2018, and one in Osaka in 2019. NIPS International Workshop was conducted on the WEB in 2020 (see 4. NIPS International Workshop).
More recently, there have been some debates going on about whether it was useful or not to hold researching meetings on the same topic every year.
As a result, the meeting application guidelines were revised and put into use from 2013. The revised guidelines are as follows.
1） Research meetings: This research debate meeting will aim to create a new research field or develop a new technology, and will only involve up to 100 participants, one of which must be a Professor or Associate Professor from NIPS. NIPS will provide some financial support to pay for travel expenses.
2） Meeting Duration: Up to three days.
3） Meeting Venue: Meetings will take place within the Okazaki area, where the National Institutes for Natural Sciences is based. The Okazaki Conference Center is available for use, and reservations can be made by contacting the International Research Support division（ TEL: 0564-55-7138）.
4） Research report: The organizer is required to submit a report to the Institute head within 30 days after the meeting has ended.
5） Other: Researching meeting themes may only be repeated for three consecutive years. If you wish to continue research meetings on a theme for more than three years, please submit an agenda that has included new points of discussion.