Eligibility & Selection

Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students – Eligibility & Selection

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;
  • Be in their second (B2), third (B3), or fourth (B4) year of undergraduate study as of this summer;
  • Be able to express a demonstrated interest in international science & engineering research & future graduate study in your field;
  • Have the conversational English-language competence to successfully conduct research in a U.S. university lab.

The Nakatani RIES Fellowship Program is geared towards the needs of young undergraduates who are new to scientific research and prior research experience is not required. B2 and B3 students are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given preference.  Women and other group traditionally underrepresented in science & engineering are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Preferred Fields: Students in any science or engineering major are eligible to apply but applicants are strongly encouraged to review the websites of potential Research Hosts and, within their essays identify, which host lab/s they are most interested in conducting research with.  Host labs and available projects may vary from year to year.

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 passing a English Skype interview with the Rice Center for Written, Oral and Visual Communication or providing proof of minimum English language test 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 will be provided to program participants in April.

Selection Criteria – Japanese Fellows

When reviewing applications, the Nakatani RIES program seeks 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.

Alumni Profiles:  It is also strongly recommended that applicants review the 2016 Japanese Fellow Profiles page to learn more about what the experience of conducting research in the U.S. is like.  This will help you better understand the program overall and may help you as you write your application essays. However, remember that your experience will be unique and different from our 2016 participants.  Research host labs and projects may vary, the members of a research group will change as students graduate and new students join, and each participant’s motivations, personality, and attitude will be different and influence your experience in the U.S.

You can also review the student profiles of participants in the 2016 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University as well for additional background on the experience of Japanese students who conducted a research internship in the U.S.

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