Japan - RIKEN

Karolinska Institutet and RIKEN have an agreement on a short term student exchange program where RIKEN hosts doctoral students from KI for a period of 3 - 6 months.

International Program Associates (IPAs)

An International Program Associate (IPA) is a non-Japanese doctoral candidate attending a Japanese or overseas graduate school participating in RIKEN’s joint graduate school program. IPAs conduct research at RIKEN under the supervision of RIKEN scientists as part of work toward obtaining a PhD. RIKEN’s joint graduate school program is based on agreements with a number of Japanese and overseas universities and aims to identify and foster talented young scientists capable of contributing to the advancement of science for the global community.

Karolinska Institutet has a doctoral exchange agreement with RIKEN called “Short Term International Program Associate (IPA)”. This agreement enables KI PhD-students to spend between 3-6 months at RIKEN. Information about the application process and applications forms can be obtained from the RIKEN PIs who will be accepting the KI students.

Application and admission

Application documents are to be submitted to the Research Personnel Affairs Section by the RIKEN PIs who will be accepting the KI students. All applications should include confirmation from a RIKEN researcher stating that the researcher is willing to supervise the student during the student´s stay at RIKEN. RIKEN PIs and KI professors should discuss the candidates´ research proposals in advance. After approval by RIKEN, the Research Personnel Affairs Section will officially notify KI on the acceptance of successful IPA candidates on a case-by-case basis.

Calls for applications are issued in April and in October each year. The evaluation process takes about four weeks and the PhD-student can start the exchange at the earliest five months after the application has been handed in.

Necessary documents:

  1. Short-term IPA Application Form (Original copy)
  2. Research Proposal for short-term IPA (Original copy)
  3. Applicant’s CV
  4. Certificate of enrolment in PhD program (in English) (Original copy)
  5. Certificate of graduation for undergraduate degree and masters degree (in English)
  6. Certified academic transcripts for undergraduate and master’s programs (in English)
  7. Certificate of English language proficiency (in English) -> Meaning TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS scores or scores that can be converted to the aforementioned scores
  8. Scholarship/fellowship certificates (if applicable)(in English)
  9. Photo (4 x 3cm)(1 photo, in JPEG, GIF, PNG or similar format)
  10. Photocopy of passport (The pages with the candidate's name, nationality, date of birth and photo)

* Note that the applicant for the call is the Head of the hosting laboratory.

Duration: More than 3months, up to 6months. Extendable to less than a year, given that the hosting lab at RIKEN can cover the extra cost.

Financial support from RIKEN to each KI student

  • A daily living allowance of 5,200 yen per day
  • Free on-campus housing. If not available, payment of actual amount of rent for off-campus apartment, up to a maximum of 70,000 JPY/month

For more details, please visit RIKEN’s website. Specific information regarding “Short Term International Program Associate (IPA)” please contact ipa-info@riken.jp)

Support from KI

  • Insurance: Kammarkollegiet’s Stud UT
  • KI doctoral students can apply for travel grants from KI Foundations & Funds


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Lotta Lundqvist

International Coordinator
Content reviewer:
Emma Hägg