General enquiries on the graduate program

Hokkaido University
Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering

Administration Office (CSE Office),
Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering,
Hokkaido University
Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan


Access and Transport

Please see the university website

Graduate School of Life Science,
Hokkaido University

Graduate School Educational Affairs Section
Graduate School of Life Science,
Hokkaido University
Kita 10, Nishi 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan


Access and Transport

Please see the university website

Enquiries on NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship

Graduate Program Group
Division of International Collaborations and Public Relations
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)

1-2-1 Sengen, Tsukuba city, Ibaraki 305-0047, Japan


Access and Transport

Please see the NIMS website


From application to admission

Q1 What kind of degree is awarded by completing the program?

The following degrees will be awarded by Hokkaido University, for successfully completing the Hokkaido University – NIMS graduate programs.

Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering ... Doctor of Philosophy
Transdisciplinary Life Science course, Graduate School of Life Science... Doctor of Life Science in the field of Life Science
Functional Soft Matter course, Graduate School of Life Science ... Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Condensed Matter Physics
Graduate School of Science ... Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Condensed Matter Physics

Q2 How should I submit the university application?

The university application documents need to be submitted to Hokkaido University. If you have any concerns or questions on the submission,please contact the following office.

[Chemistry] Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering

... Administration Office, Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Hokkaido University
[Life Science] Graduate School of Life Science and [Physics] Graduate School of Science
... Graduate School Educational Affairs Section, Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University

Q3 Do I have to take the admission exam? And where?

You are requested to take the exam at Hokkaido University. An online interview will not be conducted. The admission will be determined based on the interview and the application documents. The selection process, including the interview, will be different by the programs (chemistry, physics and life sciences). Please ask your prospective supervising professors for the details.

Q4 Is there an application fee?

The examination fee is 30,000 JPY (for 2018 admission. Subjected to change). Applicants who are supported by scholarship (as well as those who are expecting to receive scholarship) would possibly be exempt from paying the examination fee. Please read the university application guidelines or contact the university office prior to apply.

Q5 If I successfully pass the university exam, what do I have to do for the enrollment?

Details of the enrollment procedures will be provided in the notification letter mailed to those who have been successful. As well as the university enrollment administration, all students in the Hokkaido University-NIMS programs are required to register at NIMS. Please follow the instructions provided by your supervising professor.

Q6 How much is the tuition fee required for the doctoral program?

According to the Application Guidelines for April 2018 entry, the enrollment fee was 282,000 JPY and the first semester tuition for academic year 2018 was 267,900 JPY (annual total would be 535,800 JPY). Please check the latest university application guidelines as the fees are subjected to change.
It is possible to apply for the fee exemption or deferred payment, however, there is a separate selection process and submitting the application does not assure acceptance of that.

Where am I going to study at, Hokkaido University of NIMS?

Q1 Where am I going to study at, Hokkaido University of NIMS?

Most of the research activities will be performed at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS, located in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture). All students of the Hokkaido University – NIMS programs will join the NIMS research groups to conduct their research. The group and location are determined by where the supervising professor is, either Sengen, Namiki or Sakura site.

Q2 If the main campus is NIMS, how often do I go to Hokkaido University?

Usually once a year, however, it will be different from the courses (Chemistry, Physics, and Life Science). Please ask your prospective supervising professor. However, without exception, thesis review will beheld at Hokkaido University.

Q3 I have a research theme that I have been working on. Is it possible to conduct it as my thesis research?

Your supervising professor will advise you on that, taking into account your interests, experience, and research background. It will be developed through discussion with the supervisor.

Q4 At the laboratory, will I work with other laboratory members as well as my supervising professor?

You will have opportunities to work with other researchers, laboratory staff, postdoctoral researchers or/and other students. You could participate in projects with companies, other universities or research institutes. This depends on the laboratory, but we believe that the atmosphere will give you an intellectual incentive.

Q5 I assume that the opportunity to work with other students is not as great as it is at university.

NIMS has various programs for students,apart from this graduate program. The students, from Japan and across the world, can take advantage of the opportunities to gain knowledge and skills that will benefit the present and the future. In this program, 70 percent of the students are from overseas. English is used in daily activities. There are also a get-together event with the other NIMS joint graduate program students, which is usually held a few times a year.

Q6 How many credits are required to pursue the degree?

Basically, the required course credits will be able to earn by activities at NIMS. Depending on what courses the student takes, it may be required attending an intensive lecture course (about 3 days) at the university.

Q7 Can I attend seminars held at NIMS?

The students can participate in several events, such as workshops and symposiums, at NIMS as well as Hokkaido University.

Q8 Is it possible to use the facilities at NIMS, other than the facilities owned by the laboratory I belong to?

It is possible. You will first need to get the approval by your supervising professor.

Q9 Is an insurance required for my study and research?

All students must take out insurance from enrollment to graduation. All international students with student visas are required to join the National Health Insurance paid by the students (approximately 20,000 yen a year, subject to change). It reduces the medical expenses to 30 percent by joining the scheme, and helps in case of accident and/or illness. The students must also take out disaster and accident insurance, by Hokkaido University. The details will be provided upon admission to the university.

Q10 Is it possible to have a medical check during a course of study?

Since the main campus is NIMS, taking a health check at Hokkaido University will be difficult. However, all students in this graduate program will be able to take a health check-up at NIMS once a year. If your research involves use of radiation, organic solvent or particular types of chemicals, the extra medical check will be available. The check-ups arranged by NIMS is free.

Q11 Can I present the results/articles at a conference or seminar during my course study or after the completion? Is there any way to have financial support for the travel?

You will be encouraged to present your results at such occasions. Prior discussion and approval from your supervising professor is required. If you present the research results conducted at NIMS, you can possibly have travel financial support.

Q12 Is there a student accommodation facility?

There is no specific accommodation available at NIMS. As there are a few universities located 1-6 km away from NIMS, it would not be difficult in finding student apartments/flats close to NIMS at reasonable prices.

Q13 If I cannot complete the program within 3 years, is there still any chance to get the degree?

The program duration for the doctoral study is 3 years. However, the maximum duration of the enrollment is 5 years. This means, you can obtain a PhD degree if you successfully defend your dissertation within 5 years.

Q14 Who will be on my dissertation?

Professors from the Hokkaido University - NIMS joint graduate program will be in your dissertation committee, as well as professors at Hokkaido University. The thesis review will be held at Hokkaido University.

NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship

Q1 What is the Graduate Research Assistantship? NIMS Junior Researcher?

NIMS offers the NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship to excellent doctoral students enrolled in the Hokkaido University - NIMS joint graduate program at Hokkaido University, who aspire to a career as researchers. The awarded students, NIMS Junior Researchers, will have opportunity to work as members of the NIMS laboratories and receive a monthly stipend for their activities.

Study toward a degree is not deemed to be a duty. However, the assigned duties are consistent with the research objectives of the NIMS laboratory where you study. Eventually, the assistantship requirement can be fulfilled by focusing on the activities in the course of obtaining the degree.

Q2 How can I become the NIMS Junior Researcher?

Enrollment to the joint graduate program is a prerequisite to be the NIMS Junior Researcher. The application of the assistantship is usually announced 3 months before the university application period. The application documents need to be sent by email to the Graduate Program Group, NIMS. Prior to the university application, the candidates will be selected based on the documents, and the results will be sent by email in 1-2 months before the university application period. The candidates need to be successful in the university entrance exam.

Important Note : Application for the NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship and the one for Hokkaido University are different. Applicants who were selected on the document screening of the assistantship must submit the application documents to Hokkaido University.

Q3 It seems that I need to pass 2 exams, at NIMS and Hokkaido University. What are the interviews will be like?

The interview held at NIMS for the NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship will be the same as the university entrance exam interview.

Q4 I am currently being employed. I will be on a long unpaid leave if I am accepted into the graduate program as a student. Am I eligible to apply for the NIMS Junior Researcher?

Yes. Once you are back from leave and get paid again, the contract of the NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship will be terminated.

Q5 Are there age restrictions to apply for the NIMS Junior Researcher? How long is the contract?

No age restrictions. The contract is for one year; it may be renewed annually, depending on performance. The maximum employment period is 3 years - the same as the program duration. The contract will terminate if the NIMS Junior Researcher completes the program, even earlier than the duration, or withdraws from the program.

Q6 How and when can I apply?

The call for the NIMS Junior Researcher is usually announced 4-5 months before the university exam. The entrance exam in August is for October and the next year April admission, and the exam in February is for April admission.Please see the details here.

Q7 How much is the monthly stipend? Does the employment start from the first month of the enrollment? Is housing allowance also provided?

The monthly stipend is approximately 180,000 JPY for 13 days work per month. Income tax will be imposed on the stipend. The stipend is paid in the middle of every month, after the tax deduction. The start of the employment is the same date as the university enrollment. No housing allowance provided, but there is a wide choice of reasonable accommodations for students studying in Tsukuba.

Q8 Is it possible to apply for both NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship and JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Research Fellowships?

PhD Students in our programs are eligible to apply for JSPS Research Fellowships for Young Scientists. Please find the details on the JSPS website. Please note that you cannot have contracts with both at the same time.

Q9 While I get paid from the NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship, can I possibly receive a scholarship as well?

Yes. However, the monthly stipend may be deducted, depending on the type of the scholarship.

Q10 If I get paid as a NIMS Junior Researcher, will I get exempted from repaying the JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) scholarship?

Due to the employment condition of the NIMS Junior Researcher, the repayment exemption does not apply. Please see the JASSO website for the details.

Q11 Can I have another part-time job while working as a NIMS Junior Researcher?

No. The purpose of the NIMS Graduate Research Assistantship is to enable the students to focus on their graduate study and research. The salary is sufficient to cover the living expenses in Tsukuba for a single person. The assistantship is designed to fit in the conditions of the work permit for student visa holders. It is restricted from pursuing a side job as per visa regulations. All international students employed as a NIMS Junior Researcher have to obtain the permit (Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted) as well as the student visa.

Q12 If I get accepted as a NIMS Junior Researcher, will I get exempt from paying the enrollment fee or tuition fee?

No. Depending on the result of the application for fee exemption or deferred payment, NIMS will pay the enrollment fee to the university and the student will reimburse later. (This has a separate application and selection process. Your application does not guarantee this payment.)