About NII

NII International Internship Program - 2020 On-site - Guideline for Candidates

The NII International Internship Program is an exchange activity with students from institutions with which NII has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement. This incentive program aims at giving interns the opportunity for professional and personal development by engaging in research activities under the guidance and supervision of NII researchers.

In early 2020, the Program was suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In this call, we outline the procedures for the next NII Internships to be hosted at Tokyo, once pandemic-related travel restrictions have been lifted, and NII is once again prepared to receive on-site internships.

These procedures are designed to be more flexible than our standard calls, so that NII and its partner institutions can respond more quickly to student internship requests when the appropriate time comes.

In this call, we outline the procedures for internships held on-site at NII. We are also proposing a fully on-line version of our internship program, the details of which can be found here.

1. Target candidates:

The NII Internship Program is open to Master's and PhD students who are currently enrolled at one of the partner institutions that have signed an MOU agreement with NII.

Students who have already obtained the Doctor of Philosophy degree are ineligible for the NII International Internship Program. If accepted, candidates are expected to maintain their enrollment status at their home institutions for the full duration of their Internships.

2. Preparation of applications:

Applications may not be submitted until all COVID-19 travel restrictions between NII and your home institution have been lifted (as confirmed by your home institution and NII). Interested students are therefore strongly advised to prepare their applications in advance, so as to minimize the time required until final approval. In particular, we recommend that you:

  • Refer to the list of available research topics. Interested students are encouraged to check this list regularly, since topics may be added or withdrawn at any time. Questions regarding any of these topics should be directed to the NII project supervisor who proposed them. For other questions, please contact your home institution or the NII International Team.
  • Consult your supervisor and your home institution as to their own internal procedures for handling applications, and inform them of your intention to apply.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Japanese visa conditions that pertain to you. Note that for citizens of most countries, an internship stay of 90 days or more requires a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) from the Japanese government, which takes up to 3 months to obtain.
  • Although in principle NII Internship projects could potentially serve in fulfillment of the candidates' degree requirements at their home institutions, this is not guaranteed by NII. Students seeking an internship at NII in fulfillment of their own institution's degree requirements (such as a co-supervised Master's project or other project) should consult their supervisor before applying. Please note that any formal co-supervision arrangements must be negotiated directly with prospective NII supervisors before submitting their NII Internship applications.

3. Application deadline:

Once NII has informed your institute that it is ready to accept internships applications, you may lodge your application.

  • Choose up to three topics out of the list of available research projects.
  • Fill out the NII International Internship Program application form.
  • Attach your CV, indicating clearly any and all past employment and educational history.
  • Submit your application through the contact person designated by your home institution. Candidates may not submit their applications directly to NII.
  • Before lodging your application, we recommend you to have made e-mail contact with each NII supervisor whose research projects you are applying for.

Please note that the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) maintains a list of foreign entities with which it has security concerns. Candidates currently or formerly associated with institutions or companies on this list will be subject to additional screening, which could result in their being deemed inadmissible to the program.


Partner institutions
  • Over the course of the current combined call for NII Internships (on-line and hosted at Tokyo), your home institution may propose to NII a total of at most four different students meeting the institution's best standards of academic performance and research potential.
  • Students wishing to apply for both an on-line internship and an on-site internship may do so. Although they would count as one applicant towards the limit of four, they must nevertheless submit two applications: one for each type of internship.
  • For this call, your home institution is encouraged to forward applications to NII as they are received. However, your institution may choose to accumulate applications for a certain period before forwarding a ranked list of candidates.
  • Note that NII researchers may not necessarily give priority to the top-ranked candidates when deciding which interns they are willing to supervise. Other reasons for non-selection could include the ineligibility of a candidate due to government restrictions, competitive selection, or other limits on the total number of interns that NII is prepared to receive.

4. Application deadline:

Applications must be received at NII by 17:00 JST on February 1, 2021. Your home institution may set an earlier internal deadline for submissions. Please consult your home institution for details.

5. Selection process at NII:

For this call, NII will process applications as soon as they are received, in the order that they are received. Initial screening of candidates is conducted by each NII supervisor. Final selection is then made by the NII Global Liaison Office and the NII directorship.

6. Notification:

Successful candidates will be notified shortly after the final selection decision, through the contact person at their home institutions.

Important: acceptance as an NII Internship student is subject to the condition that the student works on the approved project topic, and complies with NII and Japanese government regulations. In the event that these conditions are not respected, NII may take appropriate action that may include the termination of their internship.

7. Funding:

For the duration of the internship, 5700 JPY per day will be provided by NII towards living expenses. Medical insurance will also be provided. Transportation expenses are in principle not paid.

8. Insurance:

NII will provide medical insurance for internship students at no cost, which covers students in most situations (except for pre-existing / chronic conditions, dental care, vaccinations, and certain other conditions). Under the terms of the insurance program, students must arrive in Japan at most one day prior to the commencement of their internship, and leave Japan no more than one day after their internship ends.

We recommend that interns consider whether they may need other types of insurance, and if so, arrange it before arriving in Japan. Examples include travel insurance to cover the cost of flight cancellations, lost baggage, and so on.

Important: by Japanese law any visitor residing in Japan for more than three months must make contributions to the national health insurance program. Internship students are liable for payment of an insurance fee of approximately 1000 JPY per month to the local government of their residence. Students must follow the necessary administrative payment procedures at their local municipal office.

9. Final evaluation:

At the end of their internship, students are expected to submit an NII International Internship Program Report outlining the outcomes of their project. In writing their reports, interns should take care to respect any restrictions on confidential information or on intellectual property that may have been required by NII or their home institution. After the completion of the internship period and the submission of their report, NII will issue a certificate of completion.

10. Time frame:

Interns accepted for this program must arrive before the end of March 2021. Any exceptional circumstances should be discussed beforehand with your NII supervisor and with the NII International Team. The duration of the internship should also be confirmed with your NII supervisor after acceptance. Internship activities should be for a period of 60 to 180 days (excluding travel time to and from Japan). Students must be able to commit to a minimum period of 2 months.


International Affairs and Education Support Team
National Institute of Informatics, Japan
E-mail: nii-internship[at]nii.ac.jp

Prof. Emmanuel Planas
Acting Director GLO