Application Overview

Application Overview – U.S. Fellows

To receive notification when the online application for 2019 opens, send the following information to

  • Full Name
  • Home University
  • Major/Field of Study
  • Year in School
  • Interested students are also encouraged to ‘Like’ our Facebook page to receive program announcements.
  • You may also want to review our Other Related Programs page.

Tentative Schedule for 2019 Program Application

Date Activity
Late November Online Application Opens
Mid-January 2019 Online Application Deadline & 2 Reference Letters Due
mid-February Finalist Interviews
by early to mid-March Notification of 2019 U.S. Fellows

Before Starting the Online Application

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

How To Apply

The information below provides an overview of the information you will be asked to submit as part of the online application.  Please review and then click the link at the bottom of this page to go to the online application form.

Personal and Background Information

  • Name and Contact Information
  • University & Major/Field of Study
  • Status at time of Application (Freshman or Sophomore)
  • Information on Any Prior:
    • Study Abroad/International Experience
    • Science or Engineering Research Experience
    • Japanese Language Experience

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

You will be asked to submit three short-essays 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. Why Nakatani RIES? (2,500 character limit, including spaces) 
    • Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to apply for this program.
  2. Why Research? (2,500 character limit, including spaces) 
    • 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? (2,500 character limit, including spaces) 
    • 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 into the online form. Remember, there is a 2,500 character limit, including spaces, for each essay. There may be 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 edits to meet the 2,500 character limit in the text boxes.

Two Letters of Reference by Mid-January (Required)

  • Your application will not be considered complete until we have received two letters of reference in support of your application to the Nakatani RIES Fellowship for U.S. Students program.
  • The person you ask to provide this letter should be someone who knows you well and you can write about your interest in this program, ability to work well with others, interest in science and engineering research, and/or how participating in this program will impact your future goals.
  • Reference letters may be submitted by: 
    • One letter must be from a professor, advisor, mentor, or other individual at your current university or college.
    • Applicants with prior science or engineering research experience, must submit one letter from their prior/current research advisor/professor/lab.
    • Potential Letter Writers:
      • Professor or Research Advisor/Mentor who knows you well
      • Academic Advisor/University Mentor who knows you well
      • Faculty Director/Coordinator/Mentor from any Prior Study Abroad Experience
      • High School Teacher or Counselor
      • Supervisor from Internship/Job/Volunteer Experience
      • Reference letters cannot be submitted by family or close friends.
  • How to request a letter of recommendation

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

  • Resume (Required)
    • If you have not updated your resume recently or are not sure what to include in your resume. see the ‘Freshman Resume Guide’ under the Professional Communication section on the Rice Center for Career Development Website.
    • Applicants are also strongly encouraged to visit their home university career services office to ask for assistance in preparing or updated your resume.
  • Unofficial Copy of University Transcript (Required)
    • We strongly encourage students to wait to submit your online application until after your Fall grades have posted to your university transcript.
    • Contact your university Registrar’s Office well in advance of the deadline to request a copy of your transcript with your fall grades posted.  If you are not sure when fall grades will be posted, email or visit your Registrar’s office to ask this question.
    • You must submit copies of transcripts from all institutions where you have been enrolled as a degree-seeking student.  For example, transfer students will need to submit a copy of their transcript from their current and prior university/ies as you have been a degree-seeking student at multiple institutions.
    • If you are unable to submit a copy of your transcript by the application deadline, email

Alumni Profiles

From 2016 – 2018, a total of 38 U.S. students from 24 different institutions nationwide have participated in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship for U.S. students.  Institutions represented to date include:

Institution Name Participants Institution Name Participants
Bethel University 2 St. Joseph’s College (NY)  1
Brown University 1 Stevens Institute of Technology  1
Carnegie Mellon University 2 University of Florida  1
Case Western Reserve University 2 University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa  2
College of William and Mary 1 University of Massachusetts, Amherst  1
Columbia University 1 University of Pittsburgh  1
Cornell University 2 University of Rochester  1
Georgia Institute of Technology 1 University of Texas, Austin  3
Pennsylvania State University 1 University of Wisconsin, Madison  1
Purdue University 1 Washington University in St. Louis  1
Rice University 8 Willamette University  1
Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale 1 Yale University  1

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review our alumni profiles and the PDFs of past student research posters to learn more about the experience of doing research in Japan as a Nakatani RIES U.S. Fellow.

If selected as a participant,  your experience will be unique and different from our past participants.  Research host labs and projects may vary, the members of an individual 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 Japan. No two student’s Nakatani RIES experiences will be exactly alike.

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