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The 2011 earthquake in Japan changed neuroscientist Tadashi Sugihara’s career path forever. Sugihara had been working as a senior research scientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako, but the damage to his laboratory and other setbacks from the quake prompted him to reconsider his dream of becoming a principal investigator.
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So when the Japanese Ministry of Education launched an initiative in 2011 to fund the appointments of academic administrators, Sugihara applied for a job as research administrator at Kyoto University. Although he was initially worried about abandoning his dream, he was able to move past those concerns. “I didn’t feel bad at all,” he says. “The transition was very smooth.”