Doing research in a foreign country

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chanchunky
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Doing research in a foreign country

I'm new to this forum, so there may be some topics on 'working in a foreign country' already. Anyways....
I got my PhD in Canada, and now doing research in Japan. I grew up in Hong Kong, so I thought I could easily adapt to the Japanese culture, which was 'just another Asian country', right? But as time goes by, there're more and more things that baffles me, and at the same time, there're plenty of pleasant surprises. I would be nice to have a place to share those experiences.

Marina Fomin
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Please, share your experience

Please, share your experience. It is very interesting!

brod16
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Yes please share, I would

Yes please share, I would love to hear about our fellow scientists and their lab culture!

achandra
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hi , I am doing my PhD in

hi , I am doing my PhD in japan. Initially I had some surprises about the work culture , slowly I got used to it. Now, when my PhD is ending I again feel the same surprises bothering me.

chanchunky
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hello again,

hello again,

I'm working as a postdoc at Chiba University.
So to start off, my first surprise was that in this university, they take attendance- of everyone, professors and postdoc included! I am so used to my old lab's system - come and go as you wish, as long as you get things done. The secretary of this lab collect everyone's stamp (instead of signiture, Japanese use name stamps). Everyday she mark everyone's attendance on a book to be checked by the university.

achandra
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I am at hamamatsu univ.

I am at hamamatsu univ. school of medicine. The system here is same as you mentioned. Although that is not what worries me the most. It is the total dominance of the lab by the prof. which hurts me and he is secretive too.

chanchunky
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I see. Yeah, somehow it's

I see. Yeah, somehow it's different trying to interact with a Japanese....
My supervisor here is very nice and kind, and open to a certain extend.
However, Japanese tend to hide their emotions and thoughts. Back in Canada, my supervisor is very clear when he was telling me what I did wrong. And we can talk very frankly about his problem with me, or my problem with him or my project. Here, I feel restrained in stating anything negative about the lab and other things in general, because I'd never know when I've crossed the line and offend someone.

Congratulations on the completion of your PhD! It is such a long and sometimes painful journey, you should be proud of yourself! Hopefully things sort themselves out for you. Hang in there, it's almost done!

chanchunky
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Hey,

Hey,

Another thing different about doing research here is about the use of animals. It seems that we can use as many rats as we want. Haven't seen any animal protocol or applications for such.
Funny thing is though, they have a little grave beside the big freezer room for dead animal bodies so people can put flowers there and say 'sorry', pay their respect, things like that. It's a very typical Japanese custom to pay respect to deceased people, but before, I didn't know that applied to animals too.

Back in Canada we had to deal with a lot of paper work to use rats in our studies. And we had inspections from animal care groups and vet all the time. None of those here.

achandra
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Yeah, I found they kill the

Yeah, I found they kill the mouse and rats brutally, then pray at the grave once a year.Drink alcohol in the grief of killing them ..huh.well the animal facility here is pretty strict on animal handling,cleanliness of the room,etc..

chanchunky
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Hi,

Hi,

Chiba University is quite 'protective' of its students. Master students are NOT ALLOWED to go to conferences in foreign countries unless accompanied by staff. How about at Hamamatsu Univ.?

Jason King
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We have had Japanese clinical

We have had Japanese clinical scientists working in our laboratory here in Scotland and they remarked how impressed they were with the way we worked in the lab. After reading the above postings, I'm guessing that our visitors were suprised that so many people spent so long in the labs, in the absence of signing-in-stamps.

sally208
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Thanks for the above sharing!

Thanks for the above sharing! I'm going to get my doc degree the next year, after which I hope to do postdoc abroad. Your experiences would be greatly helpful to me. Expecting more sharing ...

Wnt
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parvoman wrote:

parvoman wrote:

We have had Japanese clinical scientists working in our laboratory here in Scotland and they remarked how impressed they were with the way we worked in the lab. After reading the above postings, I'm guessing that our visitors were suprised that so many people spent so long in the labs, in the absence of signing-in-stamps.

What is signing in stamps?

Oh sorry, I just found out from the previous one. That is very surprising!!!

chanchunky
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Japanese prefer using name

Japanese prefer using name stamps over signatures, the argument being that signatures are easy to forge while you have to register your 'legal' stamps at the local government office. I don't get it (those stamps are all just bought at shops). But that's the way they do it.

armaanster
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Although I guess that DOES

Although I guess that DOES make sense on some level... I doubt japanese signatures would vary that much from their normal characters, although I might be wrong, and if so, then signatures would be very easy to forge. And secondly, a stamp would take far more effort to forge, especially since there's no simple, easy way to create a stamp from a print of that stamp, if one is even acquired that is...