Research Internships in Tokyo

The NII-programme in brief

The Department of Information Science cooperates with the National Institute of Informatics (NII) to offer master and PhD students paid research internships in Tokyo.

  • Who's eligible: Master and PhD students at the University of Konstanz
  • Duration: usually 6 months
  • Application deadlines: twice per year
  • Project topics: collaboratively decided by supervisors at the Univ. of Konstanz and at the NII, working on own master or PhD project can be possible
  • Compensation (monthly): 171,000 JPY (approx. 1,400 Euro - sufficient to cover all living expenses)
  • Responsible for the program: Prof. Falk Schreiber and Prof. Stefan Leue.


Applications can be submitted twice per year, please check the submission periods on the NII's site. Here are the steps to apply:

  1. Choose a project from the list provided by the NII or suggest your own topic, e.g., related to your thesis.
  2. Get in contact with Prof. Schreiber and / or Prof. Leue. Please include a short description of yourself, your background, and the time during which you would like to do the internship.
  3. We will choose the best two projects from the applications we receive and nominate them for acceptance by the NII.
  4. The NII makes the final acceptance decision and notifies the candidates.

Information about the Internship Program

A cooperation agreement between the NII and the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Konstanz allows students from Konstanz to conduct research in Tokyo and vice versa.

The cooperation agreement offers students at the University of Konstanz a great opportunity to get involved in international research and allows to experience an exciting culture, country and the world’s most populous metropolis – a city that literally never sleeps!

The duration of the research internships can be anywhere from 2 months up to 6 months. During this time, students work on assigned projects in collaboration with their supervisors in Konstanz and at the NII. The broad range of research activities at the NII offers a great variety of project topics.
In agreement with their supervisor in Konstanz, students may work on their own research topics, for instance as part of their master project & thesis, while profiting from the academic and scientific environment at the NII.

Interns receive a monthly compensation of 171,000 JPY (approx. 1,400 Euro), which is sufficient to cover the living expenses in Tokyo.

In addition to the highly professional and inspiring research environment at the NII, interns will find sufficient time to discover the Japanese culture and the country on weekends and public holidays.


Is the compensation / stipend really enough for living? I've heard Tokyo is quite expensive?

  • Yes, Tokyo is probably similarly expensive as other capitals, but the compensation is still enough. Other interns usually didn't make any loss during their stay, i.e., they were able to pay from the compensation a room in a shared house, daily living (supermarket, restaurant, etc.), and even some weekend trips. If you want to live in an apartment and not in a shared house, even that is possible - as other interns did as well.

Should / do I need to learn Japanese before performing the research stay?

  • It is not necessary to learn Japanese before going to Tokyo. At the NII everyone speaks English, so you will easily be able to socialize with other colleagues and interns. If you live in a shared house, many people are interested in foreign cultures (otherwise they wouldn't live in a shared house with people from all over the world). This makes it easy to find friends at "home", and most of them also speak English well. There are also many other opportunities to connect with people in Japan, like where you can find people that share same interests as you and group together, e.g., for photography, hiking, etc.

Impressions from Tokio

If you want to learn more about the life in Tokio, or how students perceived the internship in the past, please follow the links:

Life in Tokio

Student Reports