About The Program

Who We Are

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is an independent public body of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). JST plays a key role in implementing science and technology policies formulated in line with the nation’s Science and Technology Basic Plan.

JST was formed in October 2003 as a successor of the Japan Science and Technology Corporation, which was founded through a merger of the Japan Information Center of Science and Technology (JICST) and the Research Development Corporation of Japan (JRDC) in 1996.

What We Do

With an aim to promote and encourage the development of break-through technologies that contribute to attainment of the country’s strategic objectives, JST provides a variety of research funding programs for promising research projects. CREST is one of JST’s major undertakings for stimulating achievement in fundamental science fields. In addition, returning the fruits of such research to society through innovations is another important responsibility of JST.
JST also deploys extensive activities in such fields as providing S&T&T information services, enhancing public understanding of science and technology, and developing international collaborative research on strategic subjects.

JST Basic Research Programs

The Basic Research Programs at JST focus on fundamental research areas that help developing technological breakthroughs, which in turn lead to the advance of S&T and creation of new industries. The programs also encourage researches that trigger, through innovations, reformation of social and economic structures.

To begin with, JST defines the scope of each research area in accordance with the nation's prioritized Strategic Objects formulated by MEXT. Then, research themes for each area are openly called for, screened and finalized after interview with applicants. The research on an adopted theme is conducted by the researcher who presented the theme. For some research areas, Research Supervisors designated by JST form their own teams and carry out studies under the direction and management of the Supervisors.

In either case, research performance is evaluated and output is published with a view to returning the fruits of research to tax payers.

About JST Basic Research Programs

The Basic Research Programs are JST's major undertaking to promote fundamental research in top-down method towards the accomplishment of the nation's Strategic Objects.
The programs aim to produce technological seeds that contribute to reformation of industries and society. Front-line researchers at universities, public and private institutes join the programs by forming temporary cross-institute research consortium as required.

Although the history of the Basic Research Programs is not long, we already saw more than a couple of successful commercialization of the research output such as amorphous metals and red light emitting diode (LED). In 2007 the research on Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cell by Prof. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University attracted a heap of attention worldwide. His research has been conducted under the support of JST's CREST funding program.

Structures of Programs

Chronology of JST Basic Research Programs

October 1981
JRDC launches Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO)
October 1989
Start of the International Cooperative Research Project (ICORP)
October 1991
Start of Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology 21 (PRESTO21)
October 1995
Start of Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST)
October 1998
Start of Research and Development for Applying Advanced Computational Science and Technology (ACT-JST)
January 2000
Start of Target-Oriented Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (TOREST)
October 2000
Start of Solution-Oriented Research for Science and Technology (SORST)
July 2001
Launch of the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX)
October 2001
PRESTO21 and TOREST integrated into PRESTO
April 2002
Launch of Basic Research Programs following a reorganization of previous programs

CREST – How It Works

Strategic Objects

Based on the nation's science and technology policies and foreseeable social and economical needs in the future, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) defines priority research objectives, called "Strategic Objects," that are expected to have substantial impact on our economy and lives. Strategic Objects also shows a path towards the future return of research results to tax payers.

Research Areas

In accordance with each Strategic Object, JST determines the scope of research to be pursued, called "Research Area."

Research Supervisors

For each Research Area, JST designates a Research Supervisor who acts as the head of a Virtual Institute, i.e. Research Area. A Research Supervisor is responsible for overall coordination and results of his research area through defining research themes, selecting qualified proposals, managing the progress of each project and evaluating projects when done.

Call for Proposals

Researchers are encouraged to submit proposals for each Research Area. After screening by examining proposals, the Research Supervisor, with the help of Research Area Advisors, interviews the qualified applicants to make the final selection.
Click here for how-to-apply guideline.

Research Director and Research Team

The director or team leader of an adopted projects chooses a group of researchers and assistants best suited for conducting the proposed research. The size of a team is up to the director but in most cases somewhere between 5 to 20. Throughout the research period, the director takes responsibility for the entire project including budget and expenditure control, progress management and the use of the project's output.

Research Period

All research projects must be completed within 5.5 years.

Research Agreement

It is JST's common practice to enter into a research agreement with the institute, university or organization to which the research director belongs.

Research Budget

A budget of a 5-year research project ranges 40 million to 120 million JP Yen per year. The budget may include costs and expenses for employment, labor, equipment, materials, transportation, workshops and symposiums. Indirect cost must not exceed 30% of the total budget granted to the institute, university or organization.

Intellectual Property Rights

In principle, intellectual property rights arising from the research conducted under the above-mentioned research agreement shall belong to the institute, university or organization.

Research Results and Evaluation

With a view to returning the fruits of research to our society, all results obtained from the projects conducted under this funding program are published.
An interim appraisal is performed, around 3 years after commencement, by the Research Supervisor and Advisors to evaluate the progress and prospective outcome of each project. Further, post-project and follow-up evaluations are made when research is completed. The results of evaluations are also made available to the public.

CREST Competitive Funding – How It Works


Research Workflow


Research Support System at JST

JST provides strong support for researchers. In collaboration with Research Supervisors, the staff of five departments at JST's Office of Basic Research works together with researchers to ensure smoother proceeding of the projects.

Research Support System at JST

Conducting Research

Research is conducted by a team or groups led by the project director.

Project Director's Responsibility

  • Submit a research proposal after forming own research team.
  • Once adopted, the director takes responsibility for the entire project throughout the research period, including budget and expenditure control, progress management and the use of the project's output.
  • The director is expected to take every opportunity to publish scientific papers and present the research result at academic conferences. He/she also is required to take part in workshops and symposiums held by JST.

Research Team

  • The size of a team is up to the director but in most cases somewhere between 5 and 20.
  • The director may invite members who belong to other institutes, universities or organizations as joint researchers, when he/she considers the participation of such members are indispensable for achieving the research objectives.
Research Team

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