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International Program Associate

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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
Dalian University of Technology
Hunan University
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Lanzhou University
Chinese Academy of Science (IMP, DCP, IHEP, NCNST)
University of Science and Technology China
Peking Union Medical College
Guangdong University of Technology
Peking University*
X'iang Jiaotong University*
Taiwan National Tsing Hua University
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (former NCTU)
Taipei Medical University
National Taiwan University
Korea Pohang University of Science and Technology
Korea University
Seoul National University
Kyungpook National University
Hanyang University
Ewha Womans University
GIST(Gwangiu Institute of Science and Technology)
DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
India Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)
Pakistan University of Punjab
Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology
Indonesia Institut Teknologi Bandung
Universitas Indonesia
Malaysia University of Malaya
Universti Sains Malaysia*
Vietnam Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Thai Kasetsart University
Phillipines University of the Phillipines-Diliman
Australia University of New South Wales
The University of Queensland
The University of Western Australia
Russia Kazan Federal University
ITMO University
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
Romania University of Bucharest
Ukraine B. Verkin Institute for Low Temberature Phisics and Engineering (ILTPE)
UK University of York
The University of Liverpool*
University of Surrey
France Universite de Caen Normandie
Germany Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald
Switzerland ETH Zurich
Canada McGill University
The University of Toronto
Brazil University of Sao Paulo

*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

Note: The portion paid by RIKEN may differ depending on the stipulations in the agreement with the partnering university. If the candidate receives other financial support such as scholarships from universities/institutions other than RIKEN, the payment made by RIKEN will be reduced accordingly.


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 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 RPAS
  • 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] riken.jp