What is CREST?

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.
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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 five 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


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Research Area
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