The November 2, 2017 (Japan time) application deadline for the 2018 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University program has passed.  The online application system is now closed. No further applications can be accepted.

We encourage interested students to consider applying to the 2018 Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students. Students are also encouraged to review our Other Related Programs page.

For more information on the 2019 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University Program, please check back in late summer, 2018.

2018 Application Timeline 

  • Tuesday, October 10 – 2018 Online Application Opens
  • Passed: Application now closed.
    • Thursday, November 2 by 11:59 PM (Japan time)
    • Online Application Form Due
    • One Letter of Reference must be received via email
  • November 10 – 11 (Japan time): Skype Interviews with Program Finalists
  • Mid-November: Notification of Selected Participants

Completing the Online Application
To complete your online application you will need to prepare the following information. You can begin preparing this information now and save copies to your computer. Then, when the online application opens, you can easily input this information into the online form.

Essays: You will be asked to complete two essays of between 1 – 2 pages, in English, as part of your online application.  We strongly recommend you compose these essays first in Microsoft Word or other word processing software so that you may revise and edit your response. It is also highly recommended that you ask a trusted advisor or mentor to proofread your essays prior to submission.

  • Why the U.S.? (~1 page, 1,500-character limit): Describe why you wish to participate in an internship program abroad? What aspects of U.S. society or culture are you most curious to learn more about while abroad? How will participation in this program support your English language learning goals?
  • Why Science & Engineering Research at Rice? (~1 page, 1,500-character limit): Describe why you wish to participate in a science and engineering research internship program at Rice University?  What are your specific research interests and why type of research are you most interested in working with at Rice?  How will participating in a research internship in the U.S. impact your future academic or professional goals?

Preferred Host Laboratories at Rice University: 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.

Alumni Profiles:  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 and may help you as you write your application essays.

Remember, your experience will be unique and different from past participants.  Research host labs and projects may change, the members of a research group will change as students graduate and new students join, and each participant’s motivations, personality, and attitude will be different and influence your experience in the U.S.

One Reference Letter (in English)
Your application will not be considered complete until we have received one reference letter, written in English in support of your application to the TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University Program.  The person you ask to provide this letter should be someone who knows you well and you can write about your interest in studying abroad in the U.S., science & engineering research, and/or how this program will influence your future goals.

This letter can 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 close friends.

List the name and email address of the individual who will be submitting a reference letter on your behalf below. It is your responsible to provide this individual with a link to the Reference Letter Submission page and ensure they are aware that all reference letters must be received by 11:59 PM on Thursday, November 2, 2017 (Japan time).

If you have questions regarding the reference letter email

Supporting Documents
You will be asked to upload the following documents in your online application.

  • CV or Resume in English (required)
    • Consult the Rice Center for Career Development Freshman Resume Guide under Professional Communication for tips on preparing a U.S.-style resume.
  • Copy of University Transcript in English (required)*
  • Scanned Copy of the Photograph Page of your Passport (optional/if available)
  • English Language Test Scores (optional/if applicable)

* Each applicant must submit a copy of their university transcript or grade record in English for their application to be considered complete.  Please contact your university Registrar’s Office to request this document as soon as possible as it may take 1 – 4 weeks for them to process your request.  If possible, please upload a scanned copy of your transcript with your online application.  If you cannot upload a copy of your transcript you can submit your online application without your transcript and, when it arrives, send it via email to

If you will be submitting your transcript/grade record via email you must contact us at to inform us the estimated date that the transcript/grade record will be available. 

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