5.4 OIST PhD Students

OIST PhD Students are defined as students enrolled in the OIST PhD Program.

5.4.1 Number of Students Admitted

In accordance with best-practice graduate teaching methods where low numbers of students for each faculty member are essential; and in line with prestigious overseas  universities; the admission capacity of PhD full-time graduate students accepted by the Graduate School shall be as stipulated in Article 15 of the OIST University Rules.

5.4.2 Enrollment

An applicant who has been admitted to the OIST graduate program will become a student of the OIST Graduate School on the date of first registration. All students are required to register on admission to the Graduate School (Article 25 of the University Rules), and thereafter two full calendar months prior to the beginning of each term of the graduate program.

5.4.3 The OIST Graduate Program

The OIST Graduate School offers an integrated doctoral program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The degree of PhD is a research postgraduate degree. Such a degree shall be awarded to a candidate who:

  1. meets admission requirements and receives and accepts an offer of admission, and is registered as a full-time PhD student for a minimum of three years and not more than ten years; and
  2. satisfactorily completes prescribed coursework amounting to at least 30 credits (20 from elective courses, 10 from mandatory requirements); and
  3. successfully defends a thesis representing the result of the candidate’s research, constituting an original contribution to knowledge and containing material worthy of publication. Period of study
The standard period of study is 5 years. Minimum period of study
The minimum period of study is stipulated in Article 35 of the University Rules. Extension to the standard period of study
In exceptional circumstances the period of study may be extended beyond the standard period of 5 years. Extensions require approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Maximum Enrollment Period
The maximum enrollment period is 10 years, including Personal Time Off. Periods of Non-Study Leave and External Internship Leave are not included in the maximum enrollment period. Academic year and dates of terms
The academic year begins in September each year, and is composed of three terms, with nominally 15 weeks of scheduled teaching in each term. Coursework requirements
The first two years of the integrated 5-year doctoral program comprise a combination of research rotations and coursework, designed to prepare the student for his or her doctoral thesis work in a flexible manner. In the first two years of the program students will undertake an individualized study program constructed from a combination of courses. Qualifying for Progression to PhD Thesis Research
OIST graduate students are eligible for PhD thesis research on submission of a thesis proposal and successfully passing the subsequent examination. In submitting the thesis proposal for examination, students are required to have adequate fundamental knowledge in the field or fields of study relevant to the thesis topic, and to have the ability to organize, apply and convey that knowledge effectively. Appointment of Thesis Supervisor and Thesis Committee
All students are required to have a Thesis Committee, irrespective of the seniority of the Thesis Supervisor, to provide oversight of the thesis research supervision. The Thesis Committee will consist of the Mentor, the Thesis Supervisor, and a Third Committee Member or Internal Co-Supervisor; all selected from OIST faculty members. If the Co-supervisor is selected from faculty members external to OIST, an additional Thesis Committee member also needs to be selected from among OIST faculty members.

Thesis Supervisors must be full-time faculty members. Other faculty members may only be appointed as Co-supervisor or as a Thesis Committee member. Any exception to the above must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Faculty external to the university may be Co-supervisors provided an institutional agreement exists with the university of the external faculty member. Information about such agreements is available from the Academic Affairs Section.\

The student is responsible for nominating the Thesis Supervisor and may suggest names for the other committee members. The members of the Thesis Committee must be nominated and approved before appointment of the Examination Panel for the thesis proposal. PhD Degree Completion
The PhD degree is conferred by the University in recognition of completion by the candidate of original research that makes a significant contribution to scientific knowledge. The degree is not awarded for completion of certain courses or a fixed period of enrollment, or for directed work as a technician. The work for the degree consists of original research and systematic studies that advance knowledge, conducted by the candidate with an appropriate degree of independence. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the ability to communicate the results of their research and scholarship effectively in both oral and written English. The candidate must present their work in a thesis and defend it in an oral examination. A candidate may not submit for examination work that has been included in a thesis or dissertation that has been previously submitted towards a degree qualification. Conferment of Degree
On meeting OIST graduation requirements the secretariat of the Curriculum and Examinations Committee passes to the Faculty Assembly the recommendation to award the degree.

When an OIST doctoral degree is conferred, it shall be reported to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the abstract of the thesis and the result of the examination shall be publicized within 3 months following the day of the conferment of the doctoral degree.

The entire text of the thesis related to the conferment of the doctoral degree shall be published within one year following the day of the conferment of the doctoral degree; provided. Preclusion Period of Eligibility to a Postdoctoral Position
Appointment to a postdoctoral position at OIST is not permitted for OIST PhD graduates for a period of two years from the date of degree conferral.

5.4.4 Graduation Ceremony

The University holds an annual Graduation Ceremony, to which all eligible PhD graduates from the preceding year are invited. The President will present those graduates in attendance at the ceremony with their degree certificates in the presence of the assembled faculty of the University. Graduates who choose to graduate in absentia will be mentioned at the ceremony and their certificate will be sent to them by mail. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science
The OIST Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) Degree recognizes those who have made profound and enduring contributions to science, culture, or improved quality of life in society. It is important that recipients be persons of great integrity, as the choices we make reflect our values as an institution. The Honorary DSc Degree is awarded to the recipient in person at the Graduation Ceremony at the OIST Campus. The Honorary DSc Degree may not be awarded in absentia.

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