Monbusho and CREST Grants

Science  28 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5270, pp. 1857d-1861d
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5270.1857d

Letters from:

Ichiro Kanazawa

Dennis Normile

The News & Comment article by Dennis Normile describing the awarding of CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) grants in Japan (3 May, p. 645) was instructive and timely. However, I was not quoted accurately. What I said to Normile was, “As a matter of policy, Monbusho [the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture] Research Grants usually do not provide funds for hiring research personnel. In addition, because the Department of Neurology is a clinical department, it is difficult to hire permanent staff who hold only the Ph.D. degree. My goal for the Department of Neurology is to foster a high level of basic research while maintaining excellence in clinical areas. The CREST grant is therefore particularly welcome, since it will help meet this goal by allowing us to hire researcher who hold Ph.D.'s.” Indeed, my research has received much-appreciated support from Monbusho in the past. The CREST grant is also welcome, however, as it is of surprisingly large size.

This, of course, does not mean I agree with the content or tone of the statement, “Monbusho typically doles out tiny grants to academic researchers.”

Response: I apologize for misinterpreting Kanazawa's remarks. I did not intend any criticism of Monbusho, but was trying to explain that previously available funding programs would not have allowed Kanazawa to undertake his planned research.

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