Nakatani RIES: Research & International Experiences for U.S. Students in Japan Application Deadline: January 16, 2018

Program Dates: May 10 – August 10, 2018
Program Website:
Click Here to Download Program Flier (PDF)

Rice University and the Nakatani Foundation are pleased to announce the opening of the application cycle for the 2018 Nakatani RIES: Research & International Experience Program for U.S. Students in Japan! This is a 13-week, summer research internship in science & engineering that is open to freshman and sophomore students nationwide.   The program seeks to cultivate an interest in science & engineering research and future graduate study among young undergraduate students. Nakatani RIES is geared towards the needs of young undergraduates who are new to scientific research and study of Japanese language and culture; no prior research or language experience is required.

Nakatani RIES serves as a catalyst for the development of a generation of globally-engaged scientists & engineers who have the technical and cultural skills necessary to contribute to vibrant international research collaborations in the future. The program includes:

  • 2-day Pre-Departure Orientation at Rice University
  • 3-week Language & Cultural Orientation in Japan
    • 45 hours of intensive Japanese language study
    • Introduction to Science & Engineering Research Seminars
    • Introduction to Japanese Society & Culture Seminars
  • 9-week Research Internship at a Japanese university or research institution
  • 3-day Mid-Program Meeting in July
  • 3-day Re-Entry Program and Final Poster Presentation at Rice University
  • All participants will receive 3-research credits from Rice University for the summer program

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for the Nakatani RIES Fellowship students must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Be a currently-enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate student in good academic standing at a U.S. institution of higher education;
  • Be majoring in a science or engineering field;
  • Be in their freshman (first) or sophomore (second) year of undergraduate study at the time of application;
  • Have a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 or above;
  • Be able to express a demonstrated interest in international science & engineering research, particularly with Japan;
  • Be able to express a demonstrated interested in future graduate study in a science or engineering field.

Women, underrepresented groups, and students from schools with limited research opportunities are particularly encouraged to apply. Community college students who plan to transfer to a four-year university and major in science or engineering are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Benefits: The program provides funding for most costs including tuition and fees, international health and liability insurance, domestic airfare to/from Houston, international airfare to/from Japan, lodging, a partial meal/living cost stipend, program seminars and classes, the loan of a Japanese cell phone, and travel in Japan to/from research host lab and to/from Mid-Program Meeting.  

Student Costs: Costs that students will pay individually include passport and visa fees (if applicable), immunizations (if applicable), books, meal/living costs above and beyond the partial stipend provided, daily commuting costs via subway/bus, and personal expenses including souvenirs/shopping and independent sight-seeing/travel during free time.

Application Deadline: The online application form and two letters of recommendation must be received by 11:59 PM on January 16, 2018 in the local time zone.

Alumni Profiles: Since 2016, a total of 26 U.S. students from 16 different institutions nationwide have participated in Nakatani RIES.  Institutions represented to date include: Bethel University, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Purdue University, Rice University, St. Joseph’s College, the University of Florida, the University of Hawai‘I at Mānoa, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Rochester, the University of Texas, Austin, Washington University in St. Louis, and Willamette University. 

To learn more about the experiences of our alumni see their website profiles at:

Contact:  For more information see our program website at or email

We look forward to receiving your application for the 2018 Nakatani RIES Fellowship for U.S. Students in Japan!

The Nakatani RIES Fellowship is organized by the Nakatani Foundation and is implemented by the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Rice University.