International Graduate Program (IGP)

Program Overview

The National Institute of Genetics (NIG) welcomes graduate students from abroad. We offer a 5-year PhD program (International Graduate Program: IGP) in life sciences as the Department of Genetics, SOKENDAI. Our program provides an interdisciplinary education with frequent seminars, journal clubs, and courses on scientific writing and presentation. IGP students receive competitive financial support. Education and research at NIG are conducted primarily in English, and knowledge of Japanese is not required for PhD studies.

NIG consists of about 40 research groups that conduct innovative research programs in a highly interactive atmosphere. The quality of research is evident from frequent citations of papers published from the institute. NIG houses tremendous resources for basic research in life sciences, such as the well-established DNA database (DDBJ), an extensive collection of mutant strains of various model organisms, and state of the art research equipment. United under the term “Genetics”, graduate students at NIG continue to expand the frontiers of life sciences, in molecular and cell biology, development, neurosciences, evolution, structural biology and bioinformatics.

IGP includes a laboratory rotation system. During their first six months in the program, IGP students experience independent research in three laboratories of their choice. Students can thus explore several research areas in depth before choosing a thesis advisor.

An important feature of graduate education at NIG is “team teaching”. Each student in the NIG graduate program elects four faculty members outside their own research group as members of their “Progress Report Committee”. This committee meets with the student twice a year and gives advice on the student’s thesis project. All NIG faculty are committed to providing a friendly and stimulating environment in which students can have frequent discussions with researchers in a wide range of fields. This approach encourages students to broaden their views and helps them find breakthroughs when research is not going smoothly.


Application to IGP

IGP is open to citizens of all countries outside of Japan. For details on eligibility, please see here, or inquire. People interested in applying for October 2017 enrollment should send application documents by December 9th, 2016. Application to IGP does not require coming to Japan for the selection process. Please see here for details and timeline for the application process. Note that applicants who apply to the IGP cannot apply for Early Admission Process for MEXT scholarship (EA‒MEXT)”.

  • Application Instructions (including FAQ): PDF
  • Application form: PDF WORD
  • Letter of recommendation form: PDF WORD
  • Comparison between EA‒MEXT and IGP: PDF


Contact for Inquiries

IGP Section, National Institute of Genetics
nig-igp@nig.ac.jp