University Fellowship Founding Project for Innovation Creation in Science and Technology

Fellowship for Integrated Materials Science and Career Development

(Important) Recruitment of Course Students for FY 2023

The recruitment of course students for this program will be integrated with the "Fostering Advanced Human Resources to Lead Green Transformation (GX)" project (SPRING GX). For details on the application procedures, etc., please refer to the SPRING GX website ( Since this program will be operated in an integrated manner with the World-leading Innovative Graduate Study Program for Materials Research, Information, and Technology (MERIT-WINGS), eligible MERIT-WINGS course students will be selected through the Qualifying Examination (QE) to be held separately.

1. Purpose of this program

Materials science is the academic field which supports Japanese domestic industry in a very wide area, from materials industry to electronics, medical engineering, and automotive industries. In all these sectors, Japan maintains a world-leading presence even today. On the way to a better society of the future, an era of new industrial revolutions is upon us, e.g. in artificial intelligence (AI), in IoT technology, and in biotechnology. With these challenges and the development of Japan in mind, we propose to utilize Japan's existing strength in materials science and to further raise its international competitiveness by concentrating excellent students in research and learning. These students are selected for their potential to compete at an international level and for their high aspirations, thus allowing them to make important contributions to the chain of innovation in materials science. This fellowship aims at developing doctoral human resources with high communication skills, problem finding/solving skills, and portable skills that are ahead of their times. Combined with deep academic knowledge and research expertise in the field of materials science, graduates of this program will take leadership roles in various sectors of the real-world industry.

2. Grants and Research Funds

Course students receive a monthly grant of 180,000 yen and an annual research fund of 340,000 yen. The amount of the grant may be reduced by evaluating their course activities. A course student may decline to receive the grant and still be on the program.

3. Eligibility to Apply

Students who enrolled or will enroll in a doctor’s program in one of the following departments of the following graduate schools in October 2022 or April 2023 and who meet all of the requirements listed below are eligible to apply for the course (see Note):

Eligible Departments

  • Graduate School of Engineering: Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering and Information Systems, Materials Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Chemical System Engineering, Chemistry and Biotechnology, Bioengineering;
  • Graduate School of Science: Physics, Chemistry;
  • Graduate School of Frontier Sciences: Advanced Materials Science.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Intend to obtain a Doctoral degree in the broadly defined field of materials science
  • Have an interest in the social and industrial applications of science, and be committed to studying such applications
  • Understand the aims of this course as well as its credit requirements
  • Agree to apply for DC2 in the JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists, and even when accepted, also agree to stay in the course

Students who were enrolled in October 2022: Only this program is acceptable to apply.
Students who will be enrolled in April 2023: Only this program, or both SPRING GX and this program are acceptable to apply. (Only SPRING GX is also acceptable to apply.)

4. Enrollment Period

Course participants will be enrolled on the course from April 1, 2023 until September 30, 2025
for students who enrolled in doctor’s programs in October 2022, and from April 1, 2023 until March 31, 2026 for students who will enroll in doctor’s programs in April 2023.

5. Number of Admission Offers

approximately 30 students

6. Mandatory Research Training

Course students are required to attend all of the following items.

A. Special Lectures
Intensive lecture series held around four times a year (twice in each term). Students must attend at least three series by the end of their course.
B. Practical Research Training
Course students are required to complete one of the following four options. Applications must be submitted for these opportunities; eligibility to participate is granted on application approval.
① Self-directed joint research
MERIT Course students affiliated to different laboratories work together to design a joint research project, inspired by MERIT Course activities, which is then conducted in one of the laboratories. Funding may be granted to projects tackling groundbreaking themes.
② Long-term overseas dispatch (1–3 months)
Students negotiate directly with institutions overseas to propose research projects that can be conducted by the students on location as temporary researchers.
③ Corporate internship (1–3 months)
Students negotiate directly with private companies to arrange internships that are focused on obtaining practical training in fields other than their own areas of expertise.
④ Entrepreneur challenge
Students challenge entrepreneurship to implement in society based on research results.
C. Mentoring by an assistant supervisor
Course students will be mentored by an assistant supervisor on a quarterly basis. Assistant supervisors will be the Program instructors who are faculty at The University of Tokyo.
D. Final Examination
Course students must take the Final Examination in this program in the year in which they apply for the doctoral degree.

7. Optional programs

In addition to those indicated in 6, course students may take the following educational programs.

A. Global Focus on Materials Science
This course aims to cultivate the "bird's-eye view" necessary to work globally in industry, academia, and government. In order to acquire the leading-edge knowledge in various fields of materials science and to deeply consider how one's own field of expertise is related to the surrounding fields, we will have lecturers who are active on the frontiers give an overview of the forefront of their field. In addition, through these lectures, students will learn specific methodologies for facilitating communication between different fields.
B. Colloquium
In order to develop communication skills and initiative that can be applied in any field, a colloquium will be held for students from different fields to present and discuss their research and background in English.

8. Others

This program is operated in an integrated manner with the World-leading Innovative Graduate Study Program for Materials Research, Information, and Technology (MERIT-WINGS).