NIMS accepts doctoral students from partner universities in the International Collaborative Graduate School Program for research stays of up to one year

2024.06.10 Update

International Cooperative Graduate Program (ICGP)

The International Collaborative Graduate School Program (ICGP) is a program that promotes collaborative research between NIMS and overseas universities. Under this program, NIMS hosts Ph.D. students from partner universities for up to one year to promote collaborative research between faculty members of the partner universities and NIMS researchers. The research results obtained during the stay at NIMS can be used in the doctoral dissertation. Candidates who wish to participate in this program must discuss their research plans with their advisors and the host NIMS researchers.

The 2024 ICGP Application is closed. We'll announce the next round on our website and via email to university contacts.


ICGP Partner Universities

NIMS has International Cooperative Graduate Program (ICGP) agreements with the following universities.

Map of Partner Universities: links are listed below.

The links are posted in the list below.




Key Information of ICGP

  1. Benefits
  • Doctoral students can conduct 6-month to 1-year research towards their thesis work at NIMS.
  • Participants will receive co-supervision from experienced NIMS researchers.
  • NIMS provides a living allowance and furnished accommodation for the duration of the program.
  1. Eligibility: Open to students recommended by the partner universities, as per the agreement.
  2. Call for application:  NIMS announces new ICGP rounds on the website and via email to the relevant university offices.
  3. Application: Applications must be submitted through the relevant offices at NIMS's partner universities.
  4. Program duration: Flexible, ranging from 6-month to 1-year
  5. Participant position: Trainee with visa sponsorship
  6. Thesis completion: Students complete doctoral thesis at their home universities.


Program Support Offered by NIMS

  1. Financial assistance: Living allowance and accommodation in Tsukuba
  2. Working language: English
  3. Additional supports: visa arrangements, Japanese language program, culture experience, and living assistant service for foreign researchers


Application Process

  1. Eligibility: Open to students recommended by the partner universities, as per the agreement.
  2. Application materials: 
  • A completed application form   
  • Official academic transcripts (bachelor's and master's)                         
  1. Preparing application: To ensure a fulfilling research experience, NIMS encourages all interested students to:
  • Explore research interests: Students are encourages to visit the NIMS Research Directory site "SAMURAI" (link below) to explore the research interests of NIMS researchers. This step helps students identify potential supervisors whose work aligns with their own research goals, ensuring a good fit.
  • Ensure alignment: Before contacting a NIMS researcher, ensure that their research interests fit within the relevant research field. This ensures that students are approaching potential supervisors with research proposals that are relevant and compatible.                               
  • Confirm Support: Once a potential supervisor is identified, students are instructed to contact them and confirm their willingness to support the student's application. This step ensures that there is mutual agreement and commitment between the student and the potential supervisor before proceeding with the application process.
  1. Applying: 
  • Applications are only accepted through the designated offices at the partner universities. NIMS cannot accept applications directly from individual professors or students. 
  • Note: Before applying for the ICGP, students should obtain approval from their university supervisor. Additionally, we may contact the university supervisor directly to request a reference letter and to schedule a teleconference interview.


Selection Process

  1. Application review: Applications are reviewed based on the submitted documents (including transcripts). NIMS may contact the applicant's supervisor directly for a reference letter. 
  2. Interviews:  Shortlisted candidates may be invited to participate in individual or group teleconference interviews with potential supervisors, which may also involve their university supervisors. During the interview, the applicant, university supervisor, and potential supervisor must reach an agreement on the research topics.


Inquiry about this page

Graduate Program Group, Academic Collaboration Office,
Division of International Collaborations and Public Relations
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
1-2-1 Sengen Tsukuba, Ibaraki 3050047 JAPAN

E-Mail: nims-graduate=nims.go.jp(Please change "=" to "@")