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Students in the Department of Fusion Science study mainly at the Toki campus, located in Toki city, Gifu Prefecture. Toki campus is located on a hill about seven kilometers from downtown Toki city and Tajimi city. The area of the campus is fairly wide, at 470,000 square meters. There are facilities specialized for advanced fusion research activities, such as the Large Helical Device building, and the simulation science research building. The campus is located in a typical Japanese prefectural city. Students can enjoy a convenient urban life with a wealth of nature and in a rich local culture which has developed the Mino ceramics. Since daily life is relatively less expensive than in a large city, students can live comfortably with the help of the supporting system introduced on the next page. Many students belonging to other collaborating universities, such as Nagoya University, are studying at the Toki campus, as well. Communication with those students and researchers are quite active. And as there are many foreign students and researchers, you can improve your English through frequent discussions in English.
You can see the access from the “NIFS” site.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Enrollment
Please click on the question.
Q1. I would like to receive detailed information regarding the entrance examination.
Details regarding (the examination schedule, examination subjects, the interview, and previous examination questions) may be found here.
Q2. Is is possible to take the entrance examination in English?
Yes, the entrance examination may be taken in English. The questions will be available in both Japanese and English.
For the English subject examinations, the candidate must submit an official document that certifies the TOEIC score or the TOEFL score.
Q3. What are the unique assets of SOKENDAI?
The unique assets of SOKENDAI may be summerized in the following three points:
- Advanced specialist education in a research facility
(that is, Inter-University Research Institutes [or IURIs] in Japan)
- Supervision by a large number of top-level IURI researchers in individual fields
- Inter-disciplinary education that cultivates a broad range of vision
Regarding (1), we provide an ideal education and research environment, offering direct access to large-scale experiment/supercomputing facilities, such as the Large Helical Device (LHD) and the Plasma Simulator (PS), at the world-class nuclear fusion research institute in Japan, the National Institute for Fusion Studies (NIFS).
This privileged environment enables students to develop their own research and achieve cutting-edge results in individual research fields.
Regarding (2), for the prescribed number of new students, 5, for each year there are approximately 50 teaching staff for fostering specialties and expertise in their individual research fields.
Students may be in daily communication not only with approximately 150 cutting-edge researchers at NIFS, but also with collaborating visitors and guest scientists in Japan and from abroad, and thus may find answers and solutions to research issues.
Regarding (3), joint education and academic exchange activities (see here) are always held in multiple departments or schools of SOKENDAI. Students may also attend seminars and collaboration workshops and symposia held at the hosting institute.
- Advanced specialist education in a research facility
Q4. Are there financial support programs?
Yes. According to the economic condition of each student, students may apply for and receive not only a partial or a full tuition exemption, but also various scholarships, such as from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
In addition, it also is possible for third-year students and above to apply for an associate researcher position or to be a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
For further information, please see here.
Q5. How is student daily life?
[Lectures and Research]
First-year students in the five-year doctoral course have lectures in the morning every day. In the afternoon, they individually will have laboratory seminars or research instruction in laboratories. Second-year students and above will give more attention to the latter. At the laboratory, students will receive intense research instruction with many researchers.
In SOKENDAI, university-wide events such as student seminars and SOKENDAI lectures are held at the Hayama Headquarters in Kanagawa Prefecture. Those events promote friendship between students and staff from different schools and departments, including the humanities and the social sciences. It is also easy to have relationships with not only SOKENDAI students in other departments but also with students from partner graduate schools, such as those Nagoya University, Hokkaido University, Toyama University, and Gifu University. There also are many foreign students and visiting researchers from overseas at NIFS, and English is commonly used for communication.
NIFS is in a typical Japanese local city, one which has a long history well known through the production of the famous Mino ceramic ware. A good natural environment mixes with convenient urban life, thus students can concentrate on their research at NIFS. And because rent is relatively lower than in metropolitan areas, students can possibly study with a lighter financial burden by using financial support programs. Please see our student life here. Also see the messages from current students and graduates.
Q6. What about employment after graduation?
As at other graduate schools, there are no quotas for recommending doctoral degree holders to companies or corporations. It is typical for PhD holders to search for their position themselves.
However, taking into account the severe conditions for job searches, we consider it necessary to strengthen support by offering advice from research supervisors. Based in an inter-university research institute, our department is fortunately endowed with opportunities to come into contact with various experts and companies nationwide. Please refer here to find the recent employment results.
[Finding employment at universities, colleges, or research organizations]
With personnel becoming more mobile, it has become common for research staff to be hired for a fixed term of several years. Consequently, most post-doctoral researchers apply for several full-time positions while advancing with their research achievements.
It must be noted that employment for researchers has become increasingly competitive. However, by taking full advantage of these world-advancing institutional resources, SOKENDAI students have important advantages to accomplish remarkable achievements which will certainly help them in gaining employment.
[Finding employment in companies or corporations]
Since our university has a relatively short history, its popularity among companies is not as high as traditional universities. However, graduate students are gaining a wider variety of employment by fully utilizing their unique research careers.
Typical companies have no set number of positions for hiring doctoral degree holders. Therefore, please note that job hunting activities must be undertaken by oneself.
Q7. Can business persons enter the school to receive a degree?
Yes. It is possible to take the entrance examination if the applicant satisfies the specified requirements, such as the scholastic ability of a university graduate, a master’s degree, or an equivalent degree.
Business staff students can apply for the long-term completion plan, which may be extended for a certain period of time beyond the standard term for graduation from the doctor course. When granted, the total course fee must be paid in installments over the years of the course.
Some business people have succeeded in completing the course and received the degree. It is strongly recommended that one negotiate with the work supervisor beforehand.
Q8. Are there opportunities to study abroad?
The School of Physical Sciences is now promoting the “Course-by-Course Education Program” to cultivate researchers in physical sciences with broad perspectives, and studying abroad is substantially supported.
Students can present their research achievements at international conferences held overseas, and can also participate in summer/winter schools.
It is also possible for a certain period to study in an overseas research institute by receiving supporting funds or scholarship for the research and travel expenses.
Q9. I cannot find my research subject and an appropriate supervisor.
For the first half-year of the five-year doctor course, every student will study various fields and have sufficient time for searching for one’s own research subject and professorial supervisor.
For the three-year doctor course students, it is strongly recommended before entering the graduate school to determine the professorial supervisor and consult that supervisor for determining one’s research subject.
It is also possible to search for your most interesting subject and for your supervisor candidate from the list of professors. If there are unclear matters, please feel free to ask the Graduate Student Affairs Section, such as through the query form.
Q10. Can I receive a Master’s Degree?
Yes. The master’s degree will be issued if one fulfills the specific requirements and submits the application. For more information, please see here.
Q11. I would like to ask further questions.
Please inquire to the Graduate Student Affairs Section “Daigakuin Renkei Kakari.” This office can provide overall services for the SOKENDAI graduate students and candidates, such as regarding educational affairs, student welfare, scholarship, and event information. Please make a request to the liaison office for the examination and admission information materials.
One may also directly contact the professorial staff for the specific research field. By making an appointment beforehand, one can visit the department and receive individual guidance or consultation.
Please feel free to ask any questions to us.