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OIST International PhD Program

Fully Funded PhD Program Opportunity

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), accredited in 2011 as a graduate university, is located in the beautiful subtropical island of Okinawa, Japan. The university offers talented students full funding to study for a PhD in science, and as a student, you have access to modern laboratory facilities and the equipment you need to get you to the cutting edge in your research area. With strong emphasis in interdisciplinary research and education, OIST has built a graduate program for students to grow highly competent in their core discipline, while also learning to communicate scientifically with people in completely different disciplines.

Instrumentation is available for observation from nanoscale dimensions through to large ecosystems. Students have ready access to instruments according to their research requirements. Facilities include state-of-the-art gene sequencers, mass spectrometers, light and electron microscopy with confocal and two-photon microscopes, atomic force microscopy and other surface characterization equipment, clean room for device fabrication, and high-performance computing. Computing facilities provide general purpose computing resources as well as exotic architectures selected to provide a significant impact on scientific discovery. The OIST Marine Science Station (OMSS) with its water tank systems and a 3-meter-deep pool allows students to conduct experiments on-site.

OIST International PhD Program

Program Summary

  • Interdisciplinary education – no departments, and cross-disciplinary research is encouraged
  • Concentration of science disciplines include: 1) Physics, 2) Chemistry, 3) Biology, 4) Neuroscience, 5) Mathematics, 6) Computational Science, 7) Environmental, Ecological, Marine Sciences and 8) Engineering and Applied Science
  • Coursework and research conducted entirely in English
  • A customized program tailored to meet each individual student’s talents and requirements
  • Access to cutting-edge equipment and facility
  • Lab rotations allow students to broaden their scientific perspectives outside of their field
  • Funding for your research is guaranteed, no matter which research unit you choose for your thesis work
  • About 90 faculty with strongly international research backgrounds – 64% of the faculty come from overseas
  • Small faculty to student ratio ensures unparalleled opportunities for PhD students to develop their full potential in research

Internationally Competitive Student Support

  • Fully-funded for all admitted PhD students– about 2.52 million yen in the first year (taxable), amount changes along with academic progress and is provided as Research Assistantship
  • International relocation cost
  • Housing support
  • Family support
  • Childcare – Child Development Center
  • Visa support
  • Conference travel support
  • Career development


Anyone with a Bachelors, Masters, or equivalent degree in STEM field.

Application Documents for the PhD program

  • Official transcript and diploma
  • Statement of purpose – 400 words
  • 2-5 recommendation letters
  • Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS) – only for students coming from non-English speaking institution
  • Passport (or government issued identification documents)

Contact the OIST Admissions Team

For any questions or inquiries regarding OIST programs, contact: