Whether I was able to conduct my research according to my plan:
I shared an office with the assistant professor and a couple of Ph.D. students, and this helped me progress my work significantly since the close contact enabled us to participate in discussions on a regular basis. The host department also provided me with a desktop computer. Although the time span of the program was short, I felt that I got a lot of output from the two-month stay.
Accomplishments and experiences I have never get unless I joined the Summer Program:
I had the chance to get a hands-on experience with state of the art measurement equipment used in my field of study (antenna technology) at the institutional microwave laboratory. I also found it very rewarding to get to know the other JSPS participants. There was an enormous spread of academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds, but a common factor for all participants I met seemed to be their ambition and the devotion to their topic. Culture-wise, I attended the Yokohama Pikachu festival and experienced some beautiful views while biking the 70 km long Shimanami Kaido Bikeway running from Imabari to Onomichi.
How do I make good use of this experience in my future research:
I have obtained a better perception of how to conduct research in an international environment, which I think is a very valuable experience, especially if I want to pursue an international career after graduation. More specific for my field of research, I have learned a lot about alternative methods and techniques for addressing the same sorts of problems that I commonly encounter when conducting research in my department in Sweden.
Message for future participants:
I would encourage all future participants to be an active member of the host research group in order to not only maximize the research output, but also experience Japanese customs and culture through social interaction. This is essential in order to establish a long-term academic collaboration that is mutually beneficial. As an active member of the group, I also got to participate in research meetings and institutional seminars with international guest lecturers, a valuable experience that has helped me to gain a broader perspective on well-established and potential areas of application within my research field. Lastly, the JSPS program is an opportunity to conduct research in a new environment and a completely different setting, and as such it is a possibility to work with equipment and software that might be inaccessible otherwise.
Name: Jakob Helander
Title: Ph.D. Student
Institution: Lund University
Host University in Japan: Tokyo Institute of Technology