What is NIGINTERN Program?

National Institute of Genetics (NIG)/ Department of Genetics, SOKENDAI offers a research internship program for undergraduate and postgraduate students who wish to gain research experience in genetics and related fields in life sciences. Intern students will conduct independent research under the mentorship of a host investigator at NIG.

Our program includes training on scientific research, scientific communication, and lab visits to discuss with individual principal investigators. At the end of the program, participants will give a presentation on their experience as the “NIGINTERN Reports Symposium”. NIG will issue a certificate to those who have successfully completed the program. Interns can also participate in various activities such as graduate program lectures, journal clubs, and seminars by outstanding researchers from inside and outside of NIG. Japanese language classes are also available.

Financial Support

NIG will cover costs of airfare, local transportation fares between airport in Japan and NIG, lodging in the institute’s guesthouse, and travel insurance during the program. Allowance for meals (ca. 1,500JPY/day, subject to change) will also be provided.

Conditions and Requirements

Internship Period

June 18 – July 29 , 2020

* NIG covers expenses for the designated period only. Requests for shorter or longer periods will not be considered.

* For any internship opportunity other than this program, please contact your potential host PI(s). In such cases, costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the interns or their sponsoring institutions.

* There may be some changes due to the Olympic Games held in Japan.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be interested in life sciences and be in the prefinal-year at the time of application, i.e. in the 3rd year of a 4-year bachelor program, in the 2nd year of a 3-year bachelor program, in the 4th year of a 5-year program, in the 1st year of a 2-year master program, or in the 5th year of a 6-year program. Students who are interested in enrolling in our PhD program at NIG are encouraged to apply.

How to apply?

We accept applications only through the online application system. Please read “Application guideline” below carefully and follow the instructions.

Application guideline and Online Application

* The online application system opens on November 26 and closes at noon on January 7, 2020 (Japan standard time, JST)

* Students interested in applying for this program must read, understand and agree to the conditions and requirements of the program.

* Due to the overwhelming number of applications, we do not reply to individual queries regarding this website, the selection status, and the results.

Registration through Online Application Form【February 1 to noon on 28 (JST)】

Before you start registration, make sure that you have general information such as current postal address, field of interests and preferred host laboratory where you wish to study. After the registration, a confirmation e-mail with your application number and password will be sent to your e-mail address. In the initial registration, you are requested to enter the name of two recommenders and their E-mail addresses as well. Talk to your recommenders before you register and ask them to write a recommendation letter for you. As soon as you register, the recommenders will receive an e-mail asking to enter the recommendation for you.


After the registration, you will receive an e-mail with your password. Use this password and log into our online application page. Applicants are requested to enter “Letter of Motivation/Self advertisement” and upload the following materials through the online application form.

◇ Letter of Motivation / Self advertisement
Within 500 English words
◇ Curriculum Vitae
In English. Includes education record starting from high school. Be sure to indicate your current academic year.
◇ Scanned Academic Transcript
Submit a latest undergraduate or postgraduate transcript that you can obtain. Please scan it and then upload. In case your Academic Transcript is prepared in languages other than English, attach an English or a Japanese translation to each document. Please combine them into a single file when you upload multiple documents by online application system.
◇ Two recommendation letters of your teachers
Must be entered by your recommenders through the recommender page of the online application system.
  • All the required materials including recommendation letters must be submitted through the online system. Materials submitted by E-mail will not be accepted.
  • The online application system will open on November 26 and will close at noon on January 7, 2020 (JST)
  • Only applications completed before the deadline will be considered.

Result Announcement 【Early March】

The selected students will receive a notification from us by early March, 2020

  • Due to the overwhelming number of internship applications, we cannot reply to individual queries regarding the selection status and the results.

Time Schedule

November 26 to noon on January 7, 2020 (Japan standard time, JST): Application Period
All the application process must be completed through our online system. Recommendation letter from your teachers also must be submitted through the online system by noon January 7.
By Early March, 2020: Result Announcement
March to May: Arrangement for Travel
Soon after the result announcement, we will start arranging flights for successful applicants. Please note that the selected students will be asked to submit a copy of valid passport by early March. Make sure to obtain a passport by this stage.
June 18 to July 29: Internship
Invited interns will stay at NIG Guest House, carry out a research project under the mentorship of a host investigator, participate in various activities such as lab visits, graduate program lectures, Japanese lessons etc. All interns will give an oral presentation on the scheduled day at the end of internship.
Early August: Submission of Assignments
Submit an essay, a questionnaire and a stub of boarding pass of return flight or its (scanned or photo) copy by August 5.
  • There may be some changes due to the Olympic Games held in Japan.






I’m currently in the 3rd year of 5 year-dual degree program. Am I eligible?


No, we accept applications only from students in their prefinal year at the time of application.


I’ll be a prefinal-year student during the intern period but am currently in the 2nd year of 4-year Bachelor program. Am I eligible?


No, at the time of application you must be a prefinal-year student.


Which countries / nationalities are eligible?


We welcome applications from any country / nationality.


Am I eligible to apply even if my university is not in the country of my citizenship?


Yes, the only condition is that applicants must live outside Japan at the time of application.

Before you send an inquiry, please check the above FAQ.

* Due to the New Year’s holiday, our office will be closed from December 28, 2019 to January 5, 2020.


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