Application Overview

Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students
2018 Application Overview

Date Activity
December 1, 2017 Online Application Opens
February 2, 2018 (by 11:59 PM, Japan time) Online Application Deadline & 1 Reference Letter Due
March 5 – 7, 2018 In-Person Finalist Interviews in Tokyo
by mid-April 2018 Notification of 2018 Japanese Fellows

Step One: Register with the Nakatani Foundation (Required)

Interested applicants must first visit the Nakatani Foundation website and enter their name and other requested information in Japanese by completing the registration form.

Step Two: Completing the Online Application Form (Required)

After registering on the Nakatani Foundation website, read all of the information below and click the button at the bottom of this page to begin the online application. Within the online application form you will be required to submit the following information, in English.

Prior to beginning the online application, students are strongly encouraged to review the following:

Personal and Background Information

  • Name and Contact Inforamtion
  • University & Major/Field of Study
  • Status at time of Application (B1, B2, or B3)
  • English Language Level/Experience
  • Information on any Prior Study Abroad/International Experience
  • Information on any Prior Research Experience

Preferred Host Laboratories at Rice University:
You will be asked to list, in ranked order, three preferred host laboratories at Rice that you would be interested in working with.  Please see our Potential Research Hosts in the U.S. page for more information.

You will be asked to submit three short-essays, in English, as part of your online application.  We strongly recommend you compose your essays first in Microsoft Word or other word processing software and that you save a copy of your essays to your computer. It is also highly recommended that you ask a trusted advisor or mentor to proofread your essays prior to submission.

  1. Maximum Length for All Essays: 2,500 character limit, including spaces
  2. Why Nakatani RIES?
    • Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to apply for this program.
  3. Why Research?
    • What are your specific research interests and what type of research are you most interested in doing while abroad? Why have you selected the three potential host labs listed above?
  4. Long-term Goals?
    • What are your long-term goals?  How will participating in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship further your long-term goals?

Once you have finished all edits/revisions to your essays in your Word document,  copy and paste  your saved essays from your Word document into the online form. Remember, there is a 2,500 character limit, including spaces, for each essay. Sometimes there are differences in how Microsoft Word counts characters and how the online form counts characters. Carefully review your essays in the online form to make sure they are not cut off and make any final, necessary edits to meet the 2,500 character limit in the text boxes.

Supporting Documents
At the end of the online application,  you will be asked to upload the following documents in your online application.

  • CV or Resume in English* (Required)
  • Copy of University Transcript in English** (Required)
  • Scanned Copy of the Photograph Page of your Passport (Optional/if available)
  • English Language Test Scores (Optional/if applicable)

* If you do not have a resume, or are unsure of how to format a resume, consult the Freshman Resume Guide on the Rice Center for Career Developments website under the ‘Professional Communication’ section.

** Please contact your university’s Registrar’s Office to request this document as soon as possible as it may take 1 – 4 weeks for them to process your request. You may opt to either upload a scanned copy of your transcript with your online application (preferred) or you can send your transcript in via email after the application deadline to 

Reference Letter (in English)
Your application will not be considered complete until we have received 1 reference letter, written in English, in support of your application to the Naktani RIES Fellowship Program.  The person you ask to provide this letter should be someone who knows you well and can write about your interest in studying abroad in the U.S., science & engineering research, and/or how this program will influence your future goals.

Contact the person you would like to ask to provide a letter of reference in advance, and provide them with information on the Nakatani RIES Fellowship and why you would like to apply.  Ask them if they would be willing to write a letter on your behalf, in English.  Provide them with the link to the Reference Letter Submission page and be sure they are aware of the February 2, 2018 submission deadline (by 11:59 PM, Japan time).

If your preferred reference letter writer cannot submit a letter in English we will accept a letter written in Japanese. This will be conditionally translated into English for the selection committee’s review. 

This letter can be submitted by:

  • A professor at your current university in Japan
  • A research advisor/professor that you have previously conducted research with (if applicable)
  • An English language teacher or other staff member at your current university
    • For example an advisor in your study abroad or international programs office
  • A high school teacher or counselor/advisor
  • A current or previous employer or volunteer/internship supervisor
  • Reference letters cannot be submitted by family or close friends.

Learn More About Research At Rice University
Prior to application, interested students are also strongly encouraged to review the students profiles of other Japanese students who have previously conducted research at Rice University.

Begin the Online Application for the 2018 Nakatani RIES Fellowship

For questions about submitting the online application to the 2018 Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students please email

Facebook Page

Students interested in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese students are also encouraged to like our Facebook page to receive program announcements and information on other, related programs you may be interested in applying to.

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