The February 26th application deadline for the 2020 TOMODACH STEM @ Rice University Program has now passed.  The online application system is now closed and no further applications can be accepted.

Please like our Facebook page or check back to this website in late 2020/early 2021 for more information on next year’s program.

2020 Application Timeline

January 23, 2020 Online Application Opens
February 26, 2020
1. Students Must Submit Online Application
2. One Recommendation Letter Due via Email
Skype Interviews With Program Finalists.
by late-March
Notification of Selected Participants

Review the following pages of our website to confirm you are eligible to apply to this program and that you do not have any conflicts with our program dates.  Email if you have any questions.

To date, 40 Japanese undergraduate students from 20 universities in Japan have participated in this program.

Institution Name Participants Institution Name Participants
Doshisha University 2 Sophia University  1
Keio University 1 Tohoku University  1
Kyoto University 1 Tokyo Institute of Technology  2
Kyushu University 3 Tokyo University of Science  2
Meiji University 1 Tokyo Women's Medical University  1
Nagoya University 2 Tottori University  1
Ochonomizu University 1 Toyota Technological Institute  1
Osaka University 5 University of Tokyo, The  7
Osaka Prefecture University 1 University of Tskuba 1
Shinshu University 1 Waseda University  4

We strongly recommended applicants review the the student profiles of past participants to learn more about what the experience of conducting research in the U.S. is like.  This will help you better understand the program overall. If available, click the name of the student's research poster title to see a PDF of their final project poster.

  • Within the application, you will be asked to list, in ranked order, 3 preferred host laboratories at Rice that you would be interested in working with.
  • Please see our Potential Research Hosts page for more information.

In addition to the online application, applicants are required to submit one letter of recommendation, in support of your application to the TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University Program.

  • Reference letters may be submitted by: 
    • A professor or research advisor/mentor at your current university in Japan
    • An English language teacher or other staff member at your current university (for example an advisor in your study abroad or international programs office)
    • A high school teacher or counselor
    • A current or previous employer or volunteer/internship supervisor
    • Reference letters cannot be submitted by family or friends/peers.
  • How to request a letter of recommendation

You will be asked to upload the following documents in your online application. Request/prepare these documents now and save them to your computer so you can submit online.

  1. Required: Japanese University Transcript in English Showing all Courses/Grades Received To Date
    • Request this as soon as possible (ASAP) from your university Registrar's office. It may take 1 – 4 weeks for this document to be prepared in English.
    • If this document is not ready by the application deadline, you can still submit your online application. You will need to email a copy of your transcript to as soon as it becomes available.
  2. Required: Resume in English
  3. Optional Documents – Upload if Available 
    • Scanned Copy of the Photograph Page of your Passport
    • Scanned Copy of TOEFL or IELTS English Language Test Score Certificates

In the online application,  you will be required to submit three short-essays, in English, as part of your online application. We strongly recommend you compose your essays first in Microsoft Word or other word processing software and that you save a copy of your essays to your computer. It is also highly recommended that you ask a trusted advisor or mentor to proofread your essays prior to submission. If you have prior research or study abroad experience, you will also be asked to briefly describe this prior experience.

  • Maximum Length for Each Essay: 2,500 character limit, including spaces! This is about one page, single-spaced. Use the 'Word Count' feature in Microsoft Word and check the character limit to be sure your essays are not too long.
    • Why TOMODACHI STEM? Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to apply for this program. (2,500 characters, including spaces)
    • Why Research? What are your specific research interests and what type of research are you most interested in doing while abroad? Why have you selected the three potential host labs listed above? (2,500 characters, including spaces)
    • Long-term Goals? What are your long-term goals? How will participating in the TOMODACHI STEM program further your long-term goals? (2,500 characters, including spaces)
  • Short-Answer Responses (Only for students with prior experience.)
    • Prior Research Experience in Japan: If you have previously conducted scientific or engineering research in Japan, you will be asked to briefly describe this experience (1,500 character limit, with spaces).
    • Prior International Experience: If you have prior study abroad, internship/work abroad, or volunteer abroad experience you will be asked to briefly describe this experience (1,500 character limit, with spaces).
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