Special Research Students

Students of other universities who are permitted by their home institution to receive research guidance at the OIST Graduate University may apply to become Special Research Students (Tokubetsu-Kenkyu-Gakusei) at OIST. 


Candidates for Special Research Student status must obtain approval from the Dean of the OIST Graduate School. The application procedure requires the candidate to submit the documents listed below to academic@oist.jp:

i)          Application for Special Research Student status (click here to download the form)
ii)         Recommendation letter from thesis supervisor in their home institution
iii)        Research plan
iv)        Copy of transcript of the current degree at the home institution
v)        Other documents the Dean deems necessary


The Dean will decide on admission after consulting with faculty members, and notify applicants of the decision. The period for which a student can receive research guidance as a Special Research Student shall be determined by the Dean in consultation with the partner institution and the OIST supervisor. This is granted normally on an annual basis and may be renewed.

Please submit an application well in advance as the process can take up to 6 months.  This includes the signing of an agreement between the home and host university.

Research Supervision at OIST

Research guidance shall be provided to Special Research Students by members of the professoriate of the OIST Graduate School. Students shall enroll for the course Research Guidance with the OIST supervising professor. Upon the completion of Research Guidance, or annually in the case of extended tenure, the supervisor shall submit a report on the student to the Dean.

Special Research Students may apply to audit OIST Graduate School courses. The application will be considered by the Dean, in consultation with the research supervisor and the course coordinator. In general such applications will be approved provided this poses no obstacles to the education and research of the Graduate School.

Other Conditions

Special Research Students must observe OIST Graduate University rules as defined in the Graduate School Handbook and the OIST Graduate University PRP. A Special Research Student who violates the regulations of the OIST Graduate University shall be disqualified as a Special Research Student and their research guidance shall be terminated in accordance with the OIST Graduate University PRP.

In general, Special Research Students enjoy many of the same privileges of degree candidates in the University, with the exception of Financial Support, which is handled differently.  Special Research Students will not be charged application fees but may be charged tuition fees in the absence of a fee waiver arrangment between universities.

Financial Support for Special Research Students

Financial support for Special Research Students may be available from the host research unit by employment as a Student Research Assistant (such income is taxable). Students seeking such support must organize this with the Professor of the host research unit before coming to OIST.  Scholarships held at other institutions may generally be continued while at OIST as the student is still enrolled at their home institution.  No financial support is available from the Graduate School or other central fund.

Subsidized housing is available to Special Research Students who receive OIST financial support in the Campus Village. Other family members may be accommodated with adequate prior notice and consultation.

All Special Research Students must join the National Health Insurance scheme, or provide evidence of similar medical insurance that is appropriate to their situation.



Further clarification of these conditions is ongoing; please check for regular updates. (August 2012)