5.4. Student support

5.4.1. Financial support for students

The mission of OIST is to create an international graduate university that is best in the world.  This requires attracting the best students in the world.  Other leading international universities at this level provide support for tuition costs and living expenses. The OIST Graduate University offers financial support comparable to that offered by other leading research universities.

5.4.1.1. OIST Graduate University Research Assistantship and Senior Research Assistantship (Assistantships)OIST Graduate University Research Assistantships and Senior Research Assistantship (hereafter, Assistantships) are awarded to students on full-time study in the doctoral program at the OIST Graduate School. A student in good standing who performs research or who assists others in performing research and educational activities is registered as a Research Assistant. A student in a thesis lab after the qualifying exam is registered as a Senior Research Assistant.

During tenure of the Research Assistant and Senior Research Assistant, the student must undertake full-time doctoral studies in Okinawa, unless a special case for exemption from this requirement has been previously approved by the Graduate School.

The maximum tenure of a Research Assistant is normally two years and three years for a Senior Research Assistant. Students are expected to complete the requirements for graduation within the five year period. In case of early completion of requirements, Senior Research Assistant is continued for four weeks after the date of degree conferral, to allow time for completion of matters required for conclusion of the research project (such as archiving of the research records).

Continued financial support for students in the doctoral program depends on maintained performance in study and research, and is based on the provision of satisfactory annual Progress Reports. Assistantships will be discontinued in the event of unexcused absence, failure to maintain adequate academic performance, unethical behavior, or other reasons determined by the academic oversight process to be incompatible with good standing.

Overseas tenure of a Research Assistant and a Senior Research Assistant is not normally permitted. In exceptional circumstances, a period of overseas tenure may be granted by the Graduate School, if it can be shown that access to research guidance, facilities or opportunities overseas is essential to the completion of the project.

Assistantships are subject to annual confirmation of the Budget status and are paid in equal monthly installments. Standard remuneration of the OIST Graduate University Assistantships is about 3.0 million yen per year including the amount equivalent to tuition fee. However, if the Research Assistant is awarded for tuition waiver, the amount equivalent to tuition fee is not provided.

5.4.1.2. External fellowships and awards
While the University maintains financial support system, students are strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowships. In order to reward success, remuneration provided by the university as an OIST Graduate University Assistantships or Teaching Fellowship including the amount equivalent to tuition fee may be used to supplement external fellowships, up to a maximum of 3.6 million yen total. An OIST Graduate University Assistantships or Teaching Fellowship may be held concurrently with external scholarship on this basis. There is an obligation on the student to report external fellowships to the Graduate School office.

5.4.1.2.1. Teaching Fellowship
The University may offer special appointment as a Teaching Fellow to a student who had been recognized for academic and research excellence by an external award (JSPS scholarship etc.) In such cases payment is made on a fixed-hours basis. It is still necessary to record the teaching activity and hours for the individual academic record. Students applying for special appointment as a Teaching Fellow should apply with the required documents through the online web form.
 
Appointment of Teaching Fellows will be made by the Curriculum and Examinations Committee. 
 
Service as a teaching fellow is normally paid. This depends on the availability of budget, and the nature of the activity. When payment is possible it is made on an hourly basis for the contact hours and preparation time. Paid preparation time, when necessary, is based on a maximum of 4 hours preparation for 1 hour of contact time. Details of the conditions of service are separately stipulated.
 
5.4.1.2.2. Tuition waiver
The University may offer full amount tuition waiver to those who are recognized for their excellence in performance of research work by external awards (JSPS scholar etc.). Students applying for tuition waiver should apply with required documents through online web form. Application review and decision making will be made by the Curriculum and Examination Committee.
 
5.4.1.3.  Financial Support in Exceptional Circumstances
5.4.1.3.1  Students in Early Program
The OIST Graduate School offers financial support and benefit package for students who are in Early Program (as known as Gap program). Details of the supports are stipulated separately. Tuition is waived during this Early Program.
 
5.4.1.3.2  Students who continue registration beyond the standard period of study
In general, PhD funding at OIST is only for the standard period of study which is 5 years as stipulated in PRP5.4.1.1. A student who continues to make satisfactory academic progress in the program should be on course to complete within 5 years, and progress is reviewed each year to keep on this track. Faculty and students should plan a program that can be concluded, including write-up of the thesis, prior to the end of the 5th year.   
In exceptional circumstances events beyond the control of the student may compel an extension of the 5 years. In such cases the duration of financial support may be extended by the Graduate School, subject to the availability of funds. In all cases, there must be a clear plan for completion, supported by the Thesis Committee. The following circumstances may be considered possible grounds for an extension:
    
1.    Delays due to the vicissitudes of research. 
Exceptionally, a student who is making satisfactory academic progress may be unable to complete their thesis research project in the timeframe due to research-related factors beyond their control. On the recommendation of the Thesis Committee, and approval of the Dean of the Graduate School (who may refer the matter to the Curriculum and Examinations Committee) extension up to 3 additional school terms (started from the beginning of each term using the terms defined in Article 17 of the University Rules) may be possible.
    
2.    Change in thesis research laboratory. 
This may occur because of the departure or incapacity of the supervisor, or because of a change of supervisor that has been approved by the graduate school. In such cases, subject to continued satisfactory academic progress, the financial support may be extended by the Dean of the Graduate School for the period necessary to complete the course of study. Continuation is subject to positive annual academic progress reviews.
    
3.    Other extenuating circumstances. 
Where there are other significant extenuating circumstances, the Dean of the Graduate School may grant an extension of up to three terms upon request with supporting documentation (e.g. a medical certificate). The extension shall start from the beginning of each term using the terms defined in Article 17 of the University Rules. Students who become responsible for the care of a new born or newly adopted child in the family may apply for an extension of the financial support period that takes into account the provisions of the Childbirth Accommodation Policy.
    
 Applications for extension of financial support should be made in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School by the end of the 4th year.
 
5.4.1.4  Travel support for educational purposes
The University does not provide grants for home leave. However, the University provides travel support for visiting an educational institution. The amount of support will be based on the lowest quote obtained from the University’s PTAs for a round trip economy flight to the student’s destination, no per-diem and lodging allowance will be provided. However, the hotel arrangement due to flight connections can be considered as a part of this travel support. As long as there is no hindrance to study and the Research Assistant work, it is possible to take paid annual leave or other types of leave during the travel period. This support is available once each year of study. For students who do not yet have an approved thesis supervisor, the travel is approved by rotation supervisor and the Dean of the Graduate School. When students do have an approved thesis supervisor, the thesis supervisor and the Dean of the Graduate School approve the travel.
For details concerning visiting an educational institution, please refer to the OIST Guidelines for Student Travel.
 
5.4.1.5  Travel grants for students to attend conferences
Rules for travel grants for students to attend conferences and other educational activities are stipulated in PRP Chapter 29. For details concerning attendingconferences and other educational activities, please refer to the OIST Guidelines for Student Travel.
 
5.4.1.6   Travel grants for career development
Rules for travel grants for students to attend domestic career events and other career activities are stipulated in PRP Chapter 29. For details concerning attending career events and other career activities, please refer to the OIST Guidelines for Student Travel.
 
5.4.1.7   Relocation

5.4.1.7.1  Transfer Allowance
Transfer Allowance can be provided stipulated in the table below:

Domestic

36,600

International

62,800

Family relocation allowance:

Spouse & Child 12 years of age or older = 2/3 Child under 12 years of age = 1/3

5.4.1.7.2  Relocation Expenses

Actual relocation expenses can be reimbursed up to the maximum level stipulated in the appended table.

Reimbursement of relocation expenses can only be provided once.

If a Student voluntarily terminates the agreement within the first three months, OIST S.C. may request return of the total amount provided. If the termination is due to unavoidable circumstances (including family health reasons), OIST S.C. may waive the claim regarding return of the above amount.

          5.4.1.8   Commuting

          In principle, students who live outside the campus and need to commute are expected to use the OIST  shuttle bus.

5.4.1.8.1  Commuting Allowance
A commuting allowance may be paid to students who live outside of campus but cannot use the OIST shuttle bus for reasons deemed valid by the Dean of the Graduate School. Details on the allowance are stipulated separately by “Rules Pertaining to a Commuting Allowance for Students.”

 

5.4.2. Assistance with visa requirements

The Student Affairs Section provides assistance with student visas. Students must have completed visa requirements prior to registration. Students needing assistance must contact the Student Affairs Section at least three months prior to registration dates. Students who do not have a valid student visa cannot be registered.

5.4.3. Student health and welfare

The mission of the Student Affairs Section is to ensure a worry-free student experience at OIST. The Student Affairs Section is the first point of contact for students in need of assistance.

5.4.3.1 Student health and counselling
OIST has a Campus Clinic service during working hours. If necessary, the clinic refers students to local health services. Excellent hospitals and clinics are available in Okinawa, and assistance with English and other languages is available.
Counseling services are available as separately described.

5.4.3.2 Insurance
   5.4.3.2.1 Health Insurance
Subscription to National Health Insurance is a mandatory requirement and the cost will be covered by students.

5.4.3.2.2 Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research (PAS), and Liability Insurance coupled with PAS  (Gakkensai and Gakkenbai)
All students are covered by  Gakkensai and Gakkenbai provided by Graduate School. 
 
5.4.3.3 Childcare
Students needing childcare will be eligible to use on-campus early-childhood education facilities when these become available.
 
5.4.3.4 Recreational, cultural and social activities
The Student Affairs Section supports the welfare of students by organizing and facilitating recreational, cultural and social activities.
 
5.4.4. Accommodation

Subsidized accommodation is provided for students living in the Campus Housing. All students are expected to live in the accommodation provided at least 1 year. If a student is required to live off-campus due to unavoidable circumstances, such as shortage of housing in the Campus Housing, the University may lease off-campus housing for residence of the student. (Please refer Student Rental Housing Rules.)

5.4.4.1. On-Campus Housing
All On-Campus Housings have air conditioning in living room and bedrooms, and a gas cook-top in the kitchen. Furnished On-Campus Housings also have a full set of the basic furniture and furnishings needed for daily life. However, items such as video players, stereos, televisions, personal computers, etc. are not included. Additional facilities are available on the first floor of the Village Center including: residents support desk, linen/dry-cleaning service, convenience store, coin laundry, gym, clinic, student lounge, common use kitchen with full size appliances, and meeting/event rooms. A storage locker is provided for each apartment at street level.
 

On-Campus Housings are rented on an annual basis (rent is paid monthly in advance, but contract is for 1 year, and there is no refund for holiday periods etc.). Utility charges will be the responsibility of the students. Students will have to pay for electricity, gas, water, plus optional landline phone, fiber internet, and cable TV if required.

Rents are as follows:

Apartment type

Use

Floor Area

Net Rent
(Furnished)

Net Rent
(Unfurnished)

1LDK

Single

45 m2

¥ 21,600/mth

¥ 13,600/mth

2LDK

Single

70 m2

¥ 80,000/mth

¥ 65,000/mth

2LDK

2 Share*

70 m2

¥ 18,000/mth*

¥ 10,500/mth*

2LDK

Family

70 m2

¥ 41,000/mth

¥ 21,000/mth

3LDK

3 Share*

100 m2

Master BR:
 ¥ 20,000/mth*

Other BR:
 ¥ 18,000/mth*

Master BR:
 ¥ 11,000/mth*

Other BR:
 ¥ 10,000/mth*

* This applies only when both occupants are students.

Minor change in rates on the order of 10% is possible.

An application for housing should be made on the application form available from the Facility Management section.

5.4.4.2. Off-Campus Housing
If a student is required to live off-campus due to unavoidable circumstances, such as shortage of housing in the Campus Housing, the University may lease off-campus housing for residence of the student. (Please refer Student Rental Housing Rules.)

5.4.4.3. Payment
Rent, Utilities (if applicable) and other necessary costs will be deducted from the emolument of the Research Assistantship. Those who do not have Research Assistantship will be billed.

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