Summer Science Research Programs in Japan

The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RI) provides opportunities for Harvard College students in life, physical/natural, engineering and applied sciences to conduct research in a leading science or engineering host laboratory in Japan for at least 10 weeks. This is a non-credit * science research program designed to prepare outstanding students for postgraduate fellowships, graduate/doctoral study, and post-baccalaureate research positions in the private sector. Applicants must be in good academic standing and return in the fall as full-time students.

Applicants who are placed into the program will receive a grant package put together by the RI and the host institution, which includes round-trip discount airfare, housing accommodation, and a small subsidy for some meals. Maximum grant package value is $6,000.

*Note: Students who are interested in credit-bearing science research programs should consider applying to the Harvard Summer School study abroad programs in Tokyo (RIKEN Brain Science Institute) and in Yokohama (RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences). For these programs, students must apply to the Harvard Summer School, not to the RI.


1. Apply using CARAT, Harvard’s web-based application tool, at: After logging in with your Harvard credentials, select “Reischauer Institute Summer Science Research Programs in Japan” to start your application. The application requires:

1) One letter of recommendation
2) Application form
3) Current one-page résumé
4) Current unofficial transcript

2. Submit your completed application on CARAT by Monday, February 5, 2018, 5 PM.

3. Students will be notified of their placements by late March. Students have 1 week from the date of the acceptance letter to accept or decline the offer.


1. Application must be supported by one letter of recommendation from either your concentration advisor or a faculty/instructor of a recent science course. A strong recommendation letter will be written by someone who knows you well and can speak to your character and abilities to conduct research abroad with the principal investigator(s) you have identified on your application form. Letter of recommendation must be uploaded to CARAT by the recommender or his/her proxy.

2. Application form is available here for download. Upon completion, applicants should print/save as a PDF file and upload the PDF on CARAT.

3. Applicants who arrange their own research experience in Japan must obtain a letter of confirmation (PDF file ONLY) from their host stating the following: (1) Duration of the research (must be at least 10 weeks), (2) Duties and expectations of the intern, and (3) Expenses to be covered by the host. After applicants save the application form as a PDF file, they must combine the letter of confirmation at the end of the form and submit it in one PDF document.

4. You must inform the RI if you receive any funding for the program after you submit this application.

5. Any incomplete applications, or those that do not follow the instructions above will not be considered.


Monday, February 5, 2018, 5:00 PM on CARAT.

For application inquiries, please contact the RI Program Coordinator: Jennie Kim ( For more information on various science institutions in Japan, please contact Dr. Takao Hensch's assistant, Giselle Grenier (