1. Home
  2. Careers
  3. Programs for Junior Scientists

International Program Associate

Image of a young researcher

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 (Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences/Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Kyoto University (Graduate School of Medicine/Graduate School of Biostudies)

List of RIKEN researchers collaborating in this program

Overseas Universities

China Nanjing University (Medical School)
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Lanzhou University (School of Nuclear Science and Technology)
Chinese Academy of Science (IMP, NCNST, XIOPM)
University of Science and Technology China
Guangdong University of Technology (School of Automation)
Peking University*
X'iang Jiaotong University*
Hong Kong The University of Hong Kong (Department of Physics)
Taiwan National Tsing Hua University
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University
National Taiwan University (College of Science)
National Chung Hsing University (Biotechnology Center)
National Central University
Korea Pohang University of Science and Technology
Korea University
Seoul National University (College of Natural Sciences)
Hanyang University
Ewha Womans University (Department of Physics)
GIST(Gwangiu Institute of Science and Technology) (Department of Chemistry)
DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
India Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) (Department of Chemistry)
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR) (Department of Physics)
Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology
Indonesia Universitas Indonesia (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences)
Universitas Padjadjaran (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences)
Malaysia Universti Sains Malaysia*
Vietnam Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences
IU-VNU (School of Biotechnology)
Thai Kasetsart University (Faculty of Science)
Chiang Mai University (Department of Physics and Materials Science)
Phillipines University of the Phillipines-Diliman (National Institute of Physics)
Australia The University of Western Australia
Russia Kazan Federal University
ITMO University (School of Photonics)
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
Romania University of Bucharest (Faculty of Physics)
Ukraine B. Verkin Institute for Low Temberature Phisics and Engineering (ILTPE)
UK University of York (School of Physics, Engineering and Technology)
University of Surrey
Germany Eberhard Karls Universitat of Tubingen
Spain University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia
Canada McGill University
The University of Toronto
Egypt Cairo University
Nigeria African University of Science and Technology (Department of Theoretical and Applied Physics)

*Universities which have strategic agreements with RIKEN

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 while they are at RIKEN.


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


  • The partnering university/organization may cover part of the compensation instead of RIKEN, based on the stipulations in the agreement with the partnering university/organization.
  • If the candidate receives financial support from organizations other than RIKEN that overlaps with the contents of RIKEN’s compensation, RIKEN’s compensation will be reduced by deducting the overlapping part.


Domestic University

Since recruitment procedures and required documents differ by partnering university, please ask RIKEN’s Research Personnel Affairs Section(RPAS) 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 RPAS
  • 3.Collect necessary application documents
  • 4.Internal screening (Done before submitting application documents to the University)
  • 5.Pass entrance exam and become an IPA

Overseas University / Institution

Calls for applications are issued in April and in September 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 April of the following year, or from April to October.

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 RPAS
  • 3.Apply for IPA at biannual Call of application (in April and September)
  • 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] riken.jp