International Program Associate

An International Program Associate (IPA) is a non-Japanese doctoral candidate attending a Japanese or overseas graduate school participating in RIKEN’s joint graduate school program. IPAs conduct research at RIKEN under the supervision of RIKEN scientists as part of work toward obtaining a PhD. RIKEN’s joint graduate school program is based on agreements with a number of Japanese and overseas universities and aims to identify and foster talented young scientists capable of contributing to the advancement of science for the global community.

RIKEN's Educational Partnerships

Japanese Universities

  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • The University of Tokyo (Graduate School of Frontier Science)
  • Tokyo Medical and Dental University (Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences)
  • Saitama University (Graduate School of Science and Engineering)
  • Kobe University (Graduate School of Science/Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Yokohama City University (Graduate School of Nano bioscience, Department of Genome System Science)
  • University of Tsukuba
  • Osaka University (Research Center for Nuclear Physics/Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences)
  • Kyoto University (Graduate School of Medicine/Graduate School of Biostudies)

List of RIKEN researchers collaborating in this program

Overseas Universities

P.R.China Lanzhou University
Peking University
Nanjing University
University of Science and Technology Beijing
Dalian University of Technology
Hunan University
China Agricultural University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Xi'an Jiaotong University
Fudan University
Northeast Forestry University
East China University of Science and Technology
Jilin University
Zhejiang University
Korea Pohang University of Sceince and Technology
Sungkyunkwan University
Hanyang University
Seoul National University
Korea University
Taiwan National Tsing Hua University
National Chiao Tung University
National Yang Ming University
Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia
India Indian Institutes of Technology Bombay
Indonesia University of Padjadjaran
Singapore Nanyang Technological University
Vietnam Hanoi University of Science
Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Russia Kazan Federal University (Russia)
Lithuania Vilinus Gediminas Technical University
Sweden Karolinska Institutet
U K The University of Liverpool
France Université de Rennes 1
Germany University of Tübingen
Italy University of Rome Tor Vergata
Università degli Studidi Palermo
Switzerland ETH Zürich
Brazil Federal University of Ceará
Mexico Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

The position of International Program Associate (IPA) was created in October 2006. Under the terms of the joint graduate school program, RIKEN provides the IPA with a daily living allowance and covers the IPA’s housing costs for up to a maximum of three years.


A graduate student enrolled in a PhD program at a Japanese or an overseas university which has entered into a joint graduate school partnership program with RIKEN, or is in the process of entering into an agreement.


1 to 3 years, in principle.


  • Airfare (1 round-trip ticket)
  • Living allowance (5,200 JPY/day)
  • Free on-campus housing, or payment of actual amount of rent for off-campus apartment, up to a maximum of 70,000 JPY/month
  • Payment of accident insurance premium

Note: The information shown above is the basic compensation. The portion paid by RIKEN may differ depending on the stipulations in the agreement with the partnering university. However, the compensation for each individual student is as shown above.


Within Japan

Since recruitment procedures and required documents differ by partnering university, please ask RIKEN’s Global Relations Office for instructions.

The basic sequence of procedures for becoming an IPA from within Japan is as follows:

  1. Check the list of partner Universities for information of the entrance exam at each University and contact RIKEN’s researchers collaborating with that University.
  2. RIKEN’s researchers willing to accept the candidate contacts GRO
  3. Collect necessary application documents
  4. Internal screening (Done before submitting application documents to the University)
  5. Pass entrance exam and become an IPA


Calls for applications are issued in April and in October each year. Application documents must be submitted following the instructions in the call for applications.

Note: IPAs may select his/her starting date from October to March of the following year, or from April to September.

The basic sequence of procedures for becoming an IPA from outside of Japan is as follows:

  1. Directly contact RIKEN’s researchers of interest
  2. RIKEN’s researchers willing to accept the candidate contacts GRO
  3. Apply for IPA at biannual Call of application (in April and October)
  4. Screening
  5. After gaining internal approval, become an IPA


Research Personnel Affairs Section
Human Resources Division, RIKEN
Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, Saitama JAPAN 351-0198
FAX: +81-(0)48-463-3687
Email: ipa-info [at]