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Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students – Apply Online

The online application for the 2018 program is not yet open.  To receive an email when the application is available, send your name and email address to or like our Facebook page.

2018 Application Cycle for Japanese Fellows

Date Activity
by Early December Online Application Opens
February 2, 2018 (by 11:59 PM, Japan time) Online Application Deadline & 1 Reference Letter Due
Early March Finalist Interviews
by mid-April Notification of 2018 Japanese Fellows

Prior to submission of the online application, students are strongly encouraged to review our Eligibility & Selection Criteria, English Language Requirements, and FAQs pages.

Completing the Online Application
Your online application must be completed in English and must be submitted by 11:59 PM, Japan time, on February 2, 2018. To complete your online application you will need to submit the following information.

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, 3 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.

Essays: 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 so that you may revise and edit your response. It is also highly recommended that you ask a trusted advisor or mentor to proofread your essays prior to submission.

  1. Why Nakatani RIES?
    • Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to apply for this program.
  2. 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?
  3. Long-term Goals?
    • What are your long-term goals?  How will participating in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship further your long-term goals?
  4. Maximum Length for All Essays
    • About one and a half pages, double-spaced (2,500 character limit, including spaces in the online form)

Supporting Documents
You will be asked to upload the following documents in your online application.

1. CV or Resume in English (required)
2. Copy of University Transcript in English*
3. Scanned Copy of the Photograph Page of your Passport** (optional/if available)
4. English Language Test Scores (optional/if applicable)

* 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 or you can send it in via email after the application deadline to (English or Japanese accepted).

** If you do not already have a Japanese passport, we strongly encourage you to apply for one now. If you are selected as a participant you will need to provide Rice University with a scanned copy of the photograph page of your passport no later than the end of April. 

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 you 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).

This letter can be submitted by:

  • A professor or research advisor/mentor at your current university in Japan
  • 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
Applicants are also strongly encouraged to review the students profiles of other Japanese students who have previously conducted research at Rice University.

For questions about applying to the 2017 Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students please email (English or Japanese accepted).

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