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  • Locations: Multiple Cities, Japan
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Lehigh applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Area of Study: Aerospace, Astronomy, Behavioral Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Health, Medicine, & Society, Industrial Engineering, Information Systems Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Molecular Biology, Nanotechnology, Pre-Med Science, Structural Engineering, Systems Engineering Experience / Activity Type: Research
Credit type: Apply for transfer credit Minimum GPA: 3.0
Class Eligibility: First Year, Sophomore Host: External Program
LU Study Abroad Advisor: Brian Wasserman AACSB accredited: No
Exchange: No Global Engineering Consortium: No
Program Description:

About the Nakatani RIES Fellowship for U.S. Students

The Nakatani RIES (Research & International Experiences for Students) Fellowship for U.S. Students is a 13-week, summer research internship in science & engineering that is open to freshman and sophomore engineering students from universities nationwide. This summer program seeks to cultivate interest in science & engineering research among young U.S. undergraduate students, especially those from underrepresented groups, and encourages such students to pursue future graduate study. To be eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Up to 12 students will be selected to participate annually.

The program design, combining the best aspects of a traditional study abroad experience with intensive high-technology research internships, is modeled off of the award-winning NanoJapan: International Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (2006 – 2015) which has been nationally recognized as an innovative and effective model for international STEM programs.

The Nakatani RIES Fellowship for U.S. Students program will include the following program components. Opportunities will also be provided for engagement with RIES Fellows from Japan via shared in-person workshops and networking and opportunities for virtual engagement via online webinars and e-mentorship.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation at Rice University
  • Introduction to Science & Engineering Research in Japan Seminar
  • Japanese Language & Culture Orientation in Tokyo
  • Research Internship in a leading science or engineering research host lab at a Japanese university or research institution
  • Mid-Program Meeting
  • Re-Entry Program at Rice University
  • Enrollment in Rice University Summer School for 3 credits of Engineering Research (ELEC 490)
  • Alumni Follow-on Project
For more information, visit the Nakatani RIES Website and select the U.S. Fellows drop-down menu option.

Important Dates for 2018

Application Opens: November 6, 2017
Application Deadline: January 16, 2018

Program Dates: May 9th - August 11th*
*Due to conflict with Lehigh academic calendar, special arrangements would need to be made with professors regarding final exam scheduling  

For more information regarding the application timeline and program dates/activities, please visit the Nakatani RIES Website and select program schedule under the U.S. Fellows drop-down menu.


To be eligible for the Nakatani RIES U.S. Fellowship Program, students must:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a currently-enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate student in good academic standing
  • Be majoring in a science or engineering field
  • Be in your freshman or sophomore year of undergraduate study at time of application
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Be able to express a demonstrated interest in international science & engineering research, particularly with Japan
  • Be able to express a demonstrated interest in future graduate study in a science or engineering field
No prior research or language study is required.  If you do have prior language or research experience, you are encouraged to share this information in your application essays.  Students who have prior research experience will be expected to have their current/former research advisor submit one of the two required letters of recommendation.

For more information about eligibility requirements and selection criteria, visit the Nakatani RIES Website and select eligibility & selection under the U.S. Fellows drop-down menu.  

Application Process

2018 Application Deadline: January 16, 2018
All application materials, including the letters of reference, must be submitted by this time.

Students intending to apply to the Nakatani RIES Fellowship should notify the Lehigh Study Abroad Office by sending an email to or contacting their study abroad advisor.

Due to the competitiveness of this program, students are encouraged to start the application process early.  The Lehigh Office of Fellowship Advising (OFA) may be able to assist by reviewing application materials and essays.  The Lehigh Study Abroad Office can connect students with OFA.  Students intending to seek OFA assistance should do so as early as possible.

Students apply directly to the Nakatani RIES Fellowship by completing an online application found on their website.  A complete application requires students to submit the following:
  • Online application form
  • Three (3) short essays
  • Current resume
  • University transcript*
  • Copy of the photograph page of your passport
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
*First-year students are strongly encouraged to wait to submit their online application until their Fall semester grades have been posted to their transcript.  First-year applicants should contact the Lehigh Registrar to request a copy of their transcript in advance of the application deadline of January 16, 2018..

For more information about application procedures, including essay prompts and letter of recommendation instructions, please visit the Nakatani RIES Website and select Application Overview under the U.S. Fellows drop-down menu.