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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

GraSPPers Voice GraSPPers Voice

PhD program at GraSPP

Shaun Ketch (from United States) Class of 2013

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It is a great privilege to be among the inaugural group of Ph.D. students entering GraSPP in 2016. It is clear that the faculty and administration are dedicated to the doctoral program’s successful launch. They have designed the program with great care and attention and are committed to providing us with the resources and support necessary to conduct meaningful research that has the potential to advance thinking in our respective fields.

As an incoming doctoral student here, you will have opportunities to present your research early and often with renowned supervisors, who I’ve found to be both accessible and happy to be helpful. I wanted to continue my studies at GraSPP because of this supportive academic culture and its truly interdisciplinary approach to understanding the most pressing policy issues the world faces today. Doctoral students here are encouraged to approach their research from various academic and practitioner perspectives beyond their own specializations, in efforts to produce wholistic policy research that bridges divides.

Further, GraSPP, as a premier global policy school with a growing international network, offers opportunities for doctoral students to conduct international fieldwork through exchange relationships with the best policy schools from around the world. Where studying abroad can be considered an unnecessary luxury for doctoral students in many academic disciplines, it is a great advantage for students of international public policy. I also thought that this was the right time to conduct International Public Policy research. After a period of globalization, a new era has emerged. Regional power shifts, rising nationalisms, the resurgence of geopolitics, and the rise of populism have ushered in an era of uncertainty and threatened the stability of established global institutions and the prevailing international order. This has made the study of International Public Policy more pressing, more interesting and more challenging.

For anyone considering doctoral level research in international relations or public policy, I highly recommend that you give GraSPP a very close look. Your doctoral committee will be worldclass. The administrators are helpful and kind, and will help you navigate your life and studies in Japan. GraSPP grants you access to the broader UTokyo system and to its top-tier international partner schools. Bring your academic talents to our program, where we are committed to the public solution of the great problems of our time.

With my boss, Kentaro Nakamichi, Partner at Deloitte Japan’s Financial Advisory practice.
He came to my doctoral proposal review and has been extremely supportive of me pursuing my doctorate while continuing to work full-time.