OIST in a Nutshell

What is OIST?

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology is an interdisciplinary graduate school offering a 5-year PhD program in Science. Over half of the faculty and students are recruited from outside Japan, and all education and research is conducted entirely in English.

People   |   Academics   |   Research   |   Intellectual Property   |   Community Relations

Ideals and Guiding Principles

Mission Statement

The OIST Graduate University shall conduct internationally outstanding education and research in science and technology, and thus contribute to the sustainable development of Okinawa, and promote and sustain the advancement of science and technology in Japan and throughout the world.

Central Concepts

  1. Best in the World: Recruit the best students in the world to work in an environment that encourages creativity, uniqueness, and diversity.
  2. International: Recruit over half of the faculty and student body from outside of Japan and use English as the official language.
  3. Flexible: Encourage innovation, creativity, and adaptability; accommodate new initiatives; ensure a thoroughly interdisciplinary academic environment; and treat every student as a unique individual.
  4. Global Networking: Host, attend, and participate in international meetings, conferences, workshops, and other events to enhance the university’s visibility and increase research and education opportunities.
  5. Collaboration with Industry: Create an environment where research outcomes are developed and applied by industry for the benefit of society, the sustained development of Okinawa, and the competitiveness of Japan.

What makes OIST different

  • English: The international language of science used in peer-review journals and international conferences is also the daily operational language
  • International: Half of students and faculty are recruited from outside Japan.
  • Interdisciplinary: Collaboration and exchange between specialities is encouraged by such things as the absence of administrative departments, campus architecture, and the curriculum of the graduate program.
  • Education: With a 2:1 student to faculty ratio, students do research side-by-side with top-class researchers as they work toward their degrees.
  • Funding: OIST is a Special Private School Corporation, funded mostly by the Japanese government but granted the administrative freedom to take innovative initiatives.
  • Location: Okinawa is a beautiful tropical island in the center of Asia’s rapid economic development, but as a part of Japan, it enjoys all the convenience and stability of a developed nation.
  • Commitment: OIST strives to provide an environment for work and study where each individual is valued and encouraged to realize his or her potential.

For more information about OIST ideals and guiding principles, please see Chapter 1 of the Policy Library “Who We Are”.

People

Employees

  Japanese International % of Women Total
OIST Employees (as of September 2018)
Faculty 22 37 20% 59
Research Units Staff 203 237 44% 440
Research Support Staff 66 15 43% 81
Administrative Staff 263 64 63% 327

Students

  Total % Japanese % Women
OIST Students (as of September 2018)
Students 174 15% 41%

Student Nationalities: 174 Students from 42 Countries and Territories (as of September 2018)

Map showing where students are from
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Year Total % Japanese % Women
Number of Students Admitted per Academic Year
2012 34 14.7% 29.4%
2013 20 25.0% 25.0%
2014 27 28.6% 44.4%
2015 24 9.1% 29.2%
2016 35 20.7% 48.6%
2017 37 13.5% 35.1%
2018 35 14.9% 41.4%

Academics

The graduate school accepts 40 students per year, creating a very low student to instructor ratio. Students also receive support for living costs, health care, housing, childcare, and other needs that would otherwise distract them from the science. Balancing lectures and lab work, the doctoral program places students in well-funded labs where they work side-by-side with top researchers on state-of-the-art equipment. Frequent visits from internationally-known scientists further enrich the program and provide opportunities for collaboration and exchange. By the time they graduate, students have accumulated not only abstract knowledge and practical skills but also the kind of professional connections necessary to launch their careers as world-class researchers.

Academic Events

Total Number of Academic Events at OIST

OIST Workshops* for FY2016 [40 Countries and Regions / 996 Participants and Lecturers]

*including OIST co-organized conferences


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Research (May 2018)

  • Research units: 57

Fields of Research

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Neuroscience
  • Marine Science
  • Environmental and Ecological Sciences
  • Mathematical and Computational Sciences
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Research and Education

OIST research units take a cross-disciplinary approach to research, and the PhD program encourages students to explore the intersections of disparate fields of science and technology.

Circles representing research fields with lines draw between to represent interdisciplinary research and points of intersection.

 

Scientific Productivity (May 2018)

Fiscal Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total
Conference Presentations 59 43 43 99 99 163 213 230 309 430 491 535 615 696 4,025
Seminars 3 1 3 6 21 19 20 40 147 119 166 167 181 191 1,084
Dissertations 0 0 2 3 3 0 1 1 2 4 3 1 4 7 31
Books, Edited Books 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 2 2 10
Book Chapters, Journal Articles 16 22 26 62 78 84 96 152 192 211 261 294 324 268 2,086
Software 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 9 10 10 8 0 44
Total 78 68 75 179 207 267 339 427 677 791 976 1069 1242 1254 7,649

 

A graph that displays the yearly increase in the number of presentations and journal publications.

Research Collaboration (29 Countries / 156 Institutions)

Research Collaborations by Country

Intellectual Property

Patents

  FY2004-FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017
Patent Filings 19 1 19 15 49 63 87 65
Issued Patents 6 2 2 2 1 6 25 25

Growing Number of OIST Patent Applications

Community Relations

Number of Visitors to OIST

Fiscal Year Number of Visitors
2017 32,083
2016 35,919
2015 35,495
2014 41,009
2013 39,984
2012 21,475
2011 10,565

Science Festival

OIST has held its annual Science Festival since FY2008. The number of participants increased from 629 up to 5000 in 6 yrs.

Fiscal Year Number of Participants
2017 5,300
2016 5,200
2015 5,000
2014 5,000
2013 5,000
2012 4,075
2011 3,012
2010 2,130
2009 471
2008 629

Learn More

For more details about OIST see the OIST Publications and explore the links under "About OIST."