Check Back in Late Summer 2018 for More Information on the 2019 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University Program!

Students: Did you miss the application deadline for the 2018 program? We encourage interested students to review our Other Related Programs page for information on other international study, research, and funding opportunities.

Advisors/Professors/Staff: Advisors/Professors/International Programs Staff from universities in Japan who would like more information on the program are encouraged to email

2019 Application Timeline (Tentative) 

  • Online Application Deadline: Early to Mid-October
  • Finalist Interviews: Early November
  • Notification of Participants: Mid-November

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.

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.

Essays (Updated for 2019): You will be asked 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.

  • Maximum Length for All Essays: 2,500 character limit, including spaces
  • Why TOMODACHI STEM? Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to apply for this program
  • 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?
  • Long-term Goals? What are your long-term goals? How will participating in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship further your long-term goals?

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 unique motivations, personality, and attitude will 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 of the submission deadline.

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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