2017 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University Application Now Closed

Thank you for your interest in the 2017 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University Program. The November 2, 2016 application deadline has now passed and the online application is now closed.  No further applications will be accepted.

Interested students are encouraged to check back to our website next fall for information on next year’s program.  Students are also encouraged to apply for the 2017 Nakatani RIES Fellowship at Rice University.  This program provides undergraduate students from Japan the opportunity to conduct a six-week science or engineering research internship at Rice University from August – September 2017.  The Nakatani RIES Fellowship is open to both female and male students and the application deadline will be in February 2017.

2017 Application Timeline 

  • Online Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 (by midnight, Japan time)
  • Reference Letter Submission Deadline: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 (by midnight, Japan time)
  • Notification of Finalists and Skype Interviews: Mid-November
  • Notification of Participants: Early December
  • Visa Application Processing: December – January
  • Online Pre-Departure Webinar: Late January

Completing the Online Application
Your online application must be completed in English and must be submitted by midnight, Japan time on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. To complete your online application you will need to submit the following information.

Essays: You will be asked to complete two essays of up to 6,000 characters (between 1 – 2 pages) 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.? (1-2 pages): 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 and future academic goals
  • Why Science & Engineering Research at Rice?: 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.

2016 Alumni Profiles:  It is also strongly recommended that applicants review the 2016 Student Profiles page 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.

However, remember that your experience will be unique and different from our 2016 students.  Research host labs and projects may vary, 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.

You can also review the student profiles of participants in the 2016 Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students as well for additional background on research in the U.S.

Reference Letter (in English)
Your application will not be considered complete until we have received 1 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 Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at midnight (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.

1. CV or Resume in English (required)
2. Copy University Transcript in English (required)*
3. Scanned Copy of the Photograph Page of your Passport (optional/if available)
4. 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’s 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 with your online application that is fine.  Simply submit your online application without your transcript and, when it arrives, send it via email to

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