OIST Facts and Figures

People   |   Research   |   Academics   |   Intellectual Property   |   Community Relations

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

  1. Over half of the faculty and students are recruited from outside Japan, and education and research are conducted entirely in English.
  2. 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.
  3. Each faculty member, including assistant and associate professors, lead independent research units and are responsible for their own research agenda.
  4. 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.

Guiding Principles

  1. Globally Recognized: We want to be globally recognized for world-leading cross-disciplinary research that benefits humanity.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Graphic of Guiding Principles as three colors.

Vision, Values, and Mission

  1. Our Vision: The advancement of knowledge for the benefit of humanity
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

People

Employees

As of September 2020, OIST has 990 employees from 60 countries and territories.

  Number % International % Women
Faculty 80 63% 15%
Research Unit Staff 456 54% 46%
Research Support Staff 95 23% 44%
Administrative Staff 358 22% 66%
Total 989 40% 50%

PhD Students

As of September 2020, OIST has 217 PhD students from 42 countries and territories.

  Total % International % Women
PhD Students 217 82% 41%

Nationalities

Map showing where students are from
Argentina 1
Australia 1
Brazil 1
Canada 1
China 19
Colombia 1
Croatia 1
Denmark 2
Egypt 5
Finland 1
France 4
Georgia 1
Germany 7
Greece 3
HongKong 1
Hungary 1
India 30
Indonesia 3
Iran 3
Ireland 1
Israel 2
Italy 3
Japan 40
Kazakhstan 7
Lesotho 1
Malaysia 2
Mexico 3
Pakistan 2
Peru 1
Philippines 5
Romania 3
Russian Federation 15
Slovenia 1
South Korea 1
Spain 3
Switzerland 1
Taiwan 11
Thailand 1
Ukraine 1
United Kingdom 16
United States 9
Viet Nam 2

Number of Students Admitted per Academic Year

Year Total % International % Women
2012 34 85% 29%
2013 20 75% 25%
2014 27 78% 44%
2015 24 92% 29%
2016 35 83% 49%
2017 37 87% 35%
2018 34 97% 41%
2019 52 83% 38%
2020 33 64% 45%

Research (September 2020)

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

Academics

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.

Academic Events

Total Number of Academic Events at OIST

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
2019 25,290
2018 27,673
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
2019 5,200
2018 4,500
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."