Collaboration in Japan

Karolinska Institutet and Japanese institutions have had collaborations for the past 25 years. The most extensive collaborations are with RIKEN, the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Metropolitan University.

KI collaborates with Japanese universities, hospitals and organisations. Research collaborations are spread over many different research fields but are particularly active within the fields of neuroscience, genomics, cell biology, and immunology.

KI has agreements at different levels with different institutions in Japan, but the majority of the activities with Japanese collaborators takes place between researchers and are not centrally regulated. There are a few exceptions, where collaborative agreements, projects and activities are initiated and supported centrally.

Collaborative agreements

KI has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the following universities:


The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) has for over two decades been an important partner to KI. The partnership covers collaborations at many departments  at KI and  agreements, including doctoral  students and research. The two institutions offer an annual PhD course, held both at KI and RIKEN, Yokohama campus.

Stockholm Trio och UTokyo

In 2022 the Stockholm Trio (KI, KTH, SU) renewed the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the University of Tokyo (UTokyo). The collaboration with UTokyo includes activities at all levels including workshops and travel grants to doctoral students and post docs.

Reflections of collaboration between Stockholm trio and the University of Tokyo by Dr Per Nilsson and Professor Agneta Richter-Dahlfors.

The UTokyo-KI LINK programme

KI and the University of Tokyo have launched the UTokyo-KI LINK programme to facilitate research and educational collaboration at doctoral and postdoctoral levels. At KI, the administrative base of the programme is at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) and Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut). At the University of Tokyo, the administrative base is at the Institute for Quantitative Biosciences.

Bachelor's and master's education

Several KI study programmes have bilateral exchange agreements with Japanese universities.

For current agreements on student exchange and more information search the map where all agreements can be found.

Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU)

KI and TMU has a unique collaboration where students from three study programmes (physiotherapy, nursing and occupational therapy) jointly carry out a an exchange for a course where TMU and KI students study cases together. 

Doctoral education

A majority of the doctoral students that spend time at KI are doing so outside formal agreements. In most cases, the doctoral students are visiting KI within existing research collaborations. For information regarding current doctoral agreements at departmental level, please contact the relevant department and search the map.

The only agreement at central level that KI has with a Japanese university is a PhD short term exchange agreement with RIKEN.

Post doc

The majority of the international researchers doing a post doc at KI stay without a formal agreement between the institutions. The activities take place between researchers  are not centrally regulated.

All postdoctoral positions are located at KI's departments and most are also initiated from the departments. KI has no central post doc agreements with any Japanese university.

The Japanese Society for Promotion of Science

The Japanese embassy in Stockholm and the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) are important collaborators and are active in their support to the KI-Japan educational and scientific collaborations. The Scandinavian office of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is located at KI.

Scholarships and travel grants

KI researchers, post docs and doctoral students interested in spending time in Japan can apply for scholarships through the JSPS and the Sweden-Japan Foundation.

Sweden-Japan foundation have a few scholarships for students and researchers.

JSPS has different fellowship programmes for foreign doctoral students, post docs and scholars/researchers.

There are also some Swedish funded programmes, but they are mainly for post docs and researchers.

Travel award for lab visits at the University of Tokyo

Karolinska Institutet has in collaboration with Stockholm University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology signed a strategic partnership with the University of Tokyo. KI offers a travel award to increase mobility.


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Lotta Lundqvist

International Coordinator
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Per Nilsson

Academic coordinator Japan