OIST Facts and Figures
What is OIST?
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is an interdisciplinary graduate school offering a 5-year PhD program in Science.
OIST was founded by the Japanese government to contribute to science and technology worldwide, attract leading researchers from Japan and abroad to conduct high-quality research, advance the development of a world-class research hub, and nucleate a knowledge cluster that will catalyze technology transfer and industrial innovation in Okinawa.
Unique in Japan
- Over half of the faculty and students are recruited from outside Japan, and education and research are conducted entirely in English.
- There are no departments, and courses are not restricted to a single discipline. Even the architecture and campus organization reinforce this emphasis on interdisciplinary research by populating each lab building with a variety of different specialties and facilities.
- Each faculty member, including assistant and associate professors, lead independent research units and are responsible for their own research agenda.
- With independent governance from the Private Schools Act and public funding under the sponsorship of the Cabinet Office, OIST is run as a private university under the stewardship of the Board of Governors, the membership of which includes Nobel Laureates and global leaders in science, business, and education. The Board of Counselors also provides university leadership with an additional range of international and domestic perspectives.
- Globally Recognized: We want to be globally recognized for world-leading cross-disciplinary research that benefits humanity.
- Destination of Choice: We want to be the destination of choice to work, learn and collaborate, linking science to education leading to innovation and entrepreneurship, supported by an efficient administration.
- Partner of Choice: We want to be the partner of choice for innovation and a catalyst in Okinawa, promoting economic growth and sustainable benefits, addressing problems important to Japanese and global society.
Vision, Values, and Mission
- Our Vision: The advancement of knowledge for the benefit of humanity
- Our Values: We abide by a core set of values that underpin everything that we do: Excellence, Respectfulness, Responsibility, Transparency, Sustainability, Diversity, Courage and Freedom.
- Our Mission: We are a pioneering graduate university. We conduct research that bridges disciplines to explore new frontiers of scientific knowledge. We educate a new generation of scientific leaders. We are a catalyst for an innovation hub in Okinawa.
For more information about OIST ideals and guiding principles, please see the Strategic Plan.
As of September 2020, OIST has 990 employees from 60 countries and territories.
|Number||% International||% Women|
|Research Unit Staff||456||54%||46%|
|Research Support Staff||95||23%||44%|
As of September 2020, OIST has 217 PhD students from 42 countries and territories.
|Total||% International||% Women|
Number of Students Admitted per Academic Year
|Year||Total||% International||% Women|
- Research units: 80
Fields of Research
- 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.
Scientific Productivity (May 2018)
|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|
Research Collaboration (29 Countries / 156 Institutions)
The graduate school accepts less than 100 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.
Number of Visitors to OIST
|Fiscal Year||Number of Visitors|
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|
For more details about OIST see the OIST Publications and explore the links under "About OIST."