After years of slow progress in reforming Japan's research institutions, the country's Science and Technology Agency has developed plans that will radically alter the way institutes operate. The agency hopes to create 30 to 50 new institutes in the next 10 years that will allow their directors greater freedom in budget and management issues. Although directors will have fewer constraints in decision-making, they will be held accountable for the results of publicly funded research. The new philosophy breaks with some long-held practices of older Japanese institutes, which typically had a bureaucratic structure and granted researchers lifetime appointments. The new institutes will adopt a less hierarchical structure and hire fewer tenured researchers.