Research study in the Graduate School is considered a year-round activity. OIST students are not employees. Therefore, rights and responsibilities of an employee as defined by Japanese Labor Law do not apply to students. In order to ensure student’s physical and mental wellbeing, students are expected to take reasonable breaks from their study. These might include University Holidays and other days off equivalent to the annual leave of employees (refer to Graduate School Q&A). These breaks should not interfere with their academic progress and should be planned as below. Additional absence for students encountering health or family-related matters should be granted at the discretion of Thesis Supervisors or Lab Rotation Supervisors and/or Course Coordinators.
Prior to any absence, students are expected to consult with their Thesis Supervisors or Lab Rotation Supervisors and/or Course Providers to make any necessary arrangements necessary to maintain academic progress, including obtaining endorsement, and notifying the GS by submitting a “Notification of Absence”.
Per the Graduate School’s “Student Responsibilities and Expectations”, Supervisors are expected to accommodate student requests for periods of absence from study in a respectful, compassionate, and reasonable manner.
The Graduate School retains a record of student absence for duty of care purposes. Thesis Supervisor, Lab Rotation Supervisor, and Course Coordinator are expected to make reasonable accommodation for student’s leave of absence. The GS is happy to assist students and faculty throughout the process.
1 Leave of Absence and Examinations
Following submission of the thesis proposal or thesis to the Graduate School, students should be aware that the thesis proposal or thesis will be forwarded to the examiners immediately, and as such the examination process has begun. Oral examination will only occur a minimum of eight weeks after submission (four weeks in the case of thesis proposal examinations).
Students may take leave of absence following submission but must be in Okinawa one month prior to the date of examination (to account for unforeseen rescheduling). An exception exists in the event of a “Defer” result during examination of the written thesis (the first stage of thesis defense examination). Where this result is received, the examination will immediately cease, and students will be expected to immediately return from leave of absence to complete the necessary revisions required for resubmission of the thesis for examination.
Students bear sole responsibility for any financial ramifications of their not being present on campus for their examination, or for any subsequent delays to examination or enrollment caused by leave of absence.
2 Non-study Leave
A student may request, or be asked to take, Non-study Leave when best advised for documented personal or health reasons. Requests for Non-study Leave must receive approval from the President following Article 26 of the OIST University Rules.
The purpose of Non-study Leave is to have time completely away from his / her academic responsibilities. While on Non-study Leave, students do not have access to OIST resources (excluding email) and must return all OIST assets. Financial Assistantship is not available to students on Non-study Leave.
Under no circumstances shall Non-study Leave be granted on each occasion for more than one year, or cumulatively for a period of more than two years (the maximum available period of Non-study Leave).
Any period of Non-Study Leave granted shall result in the extension of the period of study by the period of absence.
A return from Non-study Leave must be initiated by the student by contacting the Graduate School at least one month prior to their return. Requests for returning from Non-study Leave must receive approval from the President following Article 26 of the OIST University Rules.
This Leave Policy shall come into force from September 1, 2020.
This revised Leave Policy shall come into force from May 1, 2021.
This revised Leave Policy shall come into force from May 1, 2022.