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OIST Research Internship Program 2021 In Japan

Application Deadline: October 15, 2020

The OIST Graduate School offers education and research opportunities through a system of undergraduate and graduate placements as Research Interns. These 2-6 month placements give the opportunity to gain experience in a particular laboratory or to learn a specific technique. Interns work under the direction of a Professor at OIST and contribute to the research activities of OIST.

OIST is a university with no departments, eliminating artificial barriers between people working in a wide variety of fields including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Neuroscience, Mathematics, Computational Science, Environmental, Ecological and Marine Sciences. OIST is bringing brilliant minds from all over the world to Okinawa and provides them with stable funding and excellent resources to transform the way science, research, education and innovation are done globally.

OIST provides centralized research resources and technical support, creating an exciting and enabling environment for researchers. At OIST, they have all manner of state-of-the-art devices, suitable for any field, with a strong emphasis on imaging techniques material preparation and characterization, and the best genomics and computing facilities in Japan.

Graduate students at OIST have access to outstanding laboratory facilities and all the equipment you need to get you to the cutting edge in your research. The newly completed laboratory buildings are state-of-the-art, and very well equipped for all research requirements. Instrumentation is available for observation from nanoscale dimensions to large ecosystems, with equal access for students and research staff. Apply for the fully-funded Research Internship now!



OIST provides living allowance, commuting support where necessary, and accommodation either on campus or nearby. Successful applicants will receive a Living Allowance of 2,400 JPY per day (weekends excluded) while at OIST.  

Travel Expenses

OIST will pay for one direct roundtrip travel for Research Interns between the home university or institution and the research unit or other facility where the internship will take place (primarily in Okinawa). The travel dates must be as close as possible to the term of the placement.  Travel for successful applicants is arranged by the OIST Graduate School. 

Other Support

The Student Support Section of the Graduate School will provide support for Research Interns at OIST with matters such as housing, visa acquisition, insurance procedures, and local registration. OIST regrets that support for dependents, family members, and persons other than the student is not available.


  • Those eligible to apply for the OIST Research Internship Program include excellent students enrolled in undergraduate or Masters programs in universities, colleges, junior colleges, and vocational schools in Japan or overseas, or recent graduates of such institutions.

  • Currently, enrolled students must have approval from their home institution.

  • Academic background of applicants should be appropriate to their desired host unit(s) at OIST.

  • Graduate School funded internships are highly competitive and are only awarded to outstanding applicants who are in the final 2 years of their academic program, or are recent graduates within the past year before the application deadline.

  • In some cases, additional internship positions may be offered directly by OIST faculty to other outstanding applicants, particularly for those with highly-developed skills relevant to the group’s research.


You will need to open an account in order to apply to the program. Be sure to remember your username and password. You may complete the application all at once or in multiple sessions. Please fill out and submit the following materials to apply for the program:

1) Curriculum Vitae Sheet - OIST CV SHEET

2) Personal Statement - STATEMENT SHEET

Please write a 1 page statement including the following points:

How do OIST and your desired research unit(s) fit with your current expertise & skillset? If you are interested in multiple research units, please explain your interest & fit for each briefly within one single statement.

What do you hope to accomplish at OIST?

How does a research internship at OIST fit into your overall career plans/ aspirations?

3) Academic Transcript - Upload a scan of your current academic transcript in PDF format. Unofficial partial transcripts are accepted.

4) Recommendation Letter - A letter of reference from an academic or research professional familiar with your work is required. The application system will ask him/ her directly, using the email contact details that you provide. Please obtain the consent of that person before submitting their detailsin the form. Be sure to also confirm the e-mail address before entering it in the web-form. Applicants will be automatically notified within the application system when a letter of recommendation is received by OIST.

5) ID Photo - Upload a recent photo, showing your face from the front in standard passport orientation (image must be in JPG format, and less than 5 MB).


Research Intern places are awarded twice a year on a competitive basis. Selection is highly competitive, and depends on suitability of the intended research, academic background, available funding and space. Not all available positions will necessarily be filled.

Candidates are considered for admission without regard to gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, medical condition, race, ethnicity, ancestry, culture, national origin, religion, or marital status. Applications from women and minorities are strongly encouraged.


" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al