Eligibility & Selection

Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students
Eligibility & Selection

The Nakatani RIES Fellowship Program is geared towards the needs of young undergraduates who are new to scientific research. Prior research experience is not required. B1, and B2 students are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given preference.  Women and other groups traditionally underrepresented in science & engineering in Japan are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for the Nakatani RIES U.S. Fellowship Program students must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be a Japanese citizen or permanent resident;
  • Be a currently-enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate student in good academic standing at a Japanese institution of higher education;
  • Be majoring in a science or engineering field;
  • At the time of application, be a B1, B2, or B3 student*
  • Be able to express a demonstrated interest in international science & engineering research & future graduate study in your field;
  • Have the conversational English-language ability to successfully conduct research in a U.S. university lab.

*Students apply in February but participate in the program the following academic year in August – September.  B4 students are not eligible to apply because, at the time of participation, they will have already completed their undergraduate degree. B4 students are encouraged to review our Other Related Programs for Japanese Students page. 

B4 students who are enrolled in a six-year, undergraduate program should email nakatani-ries@rice.edu to ask about their eligibility.  In your email, list the name of your university, the program/field of study you are enrolled in, and the month and year you will graduate/receive your undergraduate degree. 

Selection Criteria

When reviewing applications, the Nakatani RIES program seeks to select students who:

  • Have a strong and well-defined interest in international research, particularly in the U.S.;
  • Have a desire to develop the skills necessary to become a globally-competent scientist or engineer;
  • Have a strong and well-defined interest in pursuit of future research & graduate study in a science or engineering field;
  • Have the English language skills necessary to conduct research in the U.S.

Complete applications will be reviewed by the Nakatani RIES selection committee and In-person/Skype interviews will be held with all program finalists. For more information see our Application Overview and Program Schedule.

Preferred Fields
Students in any science or engineering field are eligible to apply and potential host labs are available in all academic departments and centers within the  School of Engineering or School of Natural Sciences at Rice University. For more details, see our Potential Research Hosts page.

Students cannot apply for placement into the School of Architecture.  Architecture is a separate school/faculty at Rice University and does not participate in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship.  Architecture and non-STEM students should review our Other Related Programs for Japanese Students page. 

English Requirement
The online application for the program must be written in English and in-person/Skype interviews in Japanese and English will be conducted with all program finalists in March.

Selected participants will need to provide proof of English language competency either by

  • Option 1: Passing an English Skype interview with the Rice Center for Written, Oral and Visual Communication, or
  • Option 2: Providing proof of minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores

See English Language for more information. More information on scheduling the CWOVC English language interview or providing proof of minimum English language test scores will be provided to selected program participants in April.

Learn More About Research At Rice University
Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the students profiles of other Japanese students who have previously conducted research at Rice University. This may help you better understand the overall program design and experience.

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