Earth-Life Science Institute Integrated Graduate Course
On July. 27, we will organize orientation webinars for international students (enrollment in April 2024).
Visit and register here!
The next IGP-C Application Deadline (April, 2024, entry) will be announced soon!
Founded in 2012, ELSI is an independent research institute based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan's leading science and engineering university. ELSI's ambition is to study the origin and evolution of planets and life as intimately connected inter-dependent systems. We bring together hundreds of world-leading scientists in fields ranging from astrophysics to geology to chemistry and biology to fuse our expertise and tackle the most challenging scientific questions. To learn more, please visit the ELSI home page.
ELSI Graduate Program
Building on a decade of experience recruiting top researchers from around the world to engage in genuinely inter-disciplinary research on origins of planets and life, in 2022 ELSI launched a new integrated 5-year (combined masters and doctorate) graduate program. The program is offered in partnership with the Tokyo Tech Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS), Department of Life Science and Technology (LST), and Department of Chemical Science and Engineering (CSE). ELSI will provide financial support to all ELSI graduate course students*. These students and their research efforts are based at ELSI under the mentorship of ELSI faculty (see below). Special emphasis will be placed on exposure to disciplines that span the institute, and students are encouraged to work on projects involving multiple ELSI faculty.
Options for Study at ELSI
Students will be enrolled in one of the following degree programs, in addition to the ELSI course:
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS)
Department of Life Science and Technology (LST)
Department of Chemical Science and Engineering (CSE)
ELSI Principal Investigators have additional affiliations with these departments, and will act as the students' formal supervisor.
Students should contact ELSI PIs and A-PIs via e-mail. See links to candidate PIs and A-PIs below for contact and other information. Applicants are free to contact multiple PIs and A-PIs.
Confirm interest in applying to the graduate program with their intended supervisor (September 11). Applicants will need to submit a consent letter to the university by the deadline (early-October) for enrollment starting in April 2024.
Prepare and submit an application for Tokyo Tech IGP-C to the Admissions Division (Deadline mid-October for enrollment starting in April 2024). See https://www.titech.ac.jp/english/admissions/prospective-students/graduate-programs/igp-c for details. Official application documents for enrollment starting in April 2024 will be uploaded in mid-August.
As a selection process, an interview will be conducted with ELSI PIs online (mid-November). After the selection process, applicants will be notified of the decision (mid-December).
If you have any questions, please contact us via <edu-info [at] elsi.jp> (replace [at] to @).
Starting Enrollment in April 2024:
Details will be announced in August 2023. Below is a rough schedule based on the previous process.
Now on air: Pre-orientation movie on ELSI YouTube Channel!
27 July 2023: Orientation Webinars: Visit and register here!
mid-August 2023: Tokyo Tech IGP-C Application period opens
mid-August 2023: Contact ELSI PIs/A-PIs
11 September 2023: Confirm interest with ELSI PI
early-October 2023: Deadline for consent letter submission
mid-October 2023: Deadline for receipt of IGP-C applications
mid-November 2023: Entrance exam and interview
mid-December 2023: Notification of selection results
ELSI Specific Courses
In addition to core courses required by the degree-granting department in which students will enroll, ELSI will have the following additional integrated courses to be taken in the first 2 years (All in English):
Earth-Life Science A (Chemistry) - Why do chemical reactions occur and what controls their kinetics? We will discuss these questions from the viewpoints of geochemistry, electrochemistry, and materials chemistry. In particular, the lecture will focus on fundamental reactions that are essential for understanding the origin of life and are directly related to global energy and environmental issues (e.g. carbon dioxide fixation). By taking this course, students will acquire state-of-the-art knowledge on the origin of life (more specifically, chemical evolution). By studying the origin of life from multiple perspectives based on thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, electrochemistry, and polymer chemistry, students will acquire the ability to extract the chemical strengths and weaknesses of each theory.
Earth-Life Science B (Biology) - The purpose of this class is to provide students with a wide range of fundamental knowledge in life science and related fields (molecular and cell biology, biochemical engineering, population dynamics, bioenergetics, synthetic biology, astrobiology, etc.). This class is also aimed for students who did not have the opportunity to study life science during their undergraduate period. We expect this class to provide basic knowledge towards becoming an interdisciplinary researcher through the Earth-Life Science graduate course.
Earth-Life Science C (Planetary Science) - The basic ideas of the surface environments and interior structure of the present-day Earth are explained. Earth's formation/evolution as a planet in Solar system is also explained via formation models of Solar system. Solar system explorations and exoplanet observations are also explained. Understanding the Earth as a site of emergence of life to discuss relations to origins of life on the Earth. Extrapolating these understanding to discuss possible life in satellites and Mars in Solar system and in exoplanets.
Research development project for Earth-Life Science M (Collaboration with Industry) - Through group exercises with industries in the fields of space science and life science etc, students learn how to set and solve social problems. In addition to acquiring the basic knowledge necessary for group discussions, students will acquire the skills necessary to implement basic science in society.
Communicating Earth-Life Science to the World M (Science Communication) - This course aims to empower students to communicate their research effectively with a diverse audience from scientific community, policy makers to the public at large. The course modules will cover five modules of thought: Public Engagement in Science, Tools for Research Communication, Publishing and Grants in Academia, Policy and Development in Science and Society, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. A key aspect is to provide practical skills and knowledge that students can use throughout their careers. We also aim to show students how science can be a force for positive change in the world, with special attention to issues of poverty, hunger, health, environment, sustainability, social justice, diversity, and equal opportunity. Course content will consist of a mixture of lectures, applied activities, and guest speakers.
PIs: Principal Investigators (Primary Supervisors)
A-PIs: Associate Principal Investigators (Co-Supervisors**)
Dr. Nathaniel Virgo
Field: Artificial Life and Origins of Life
* The financial support is about JPY 170,000 /month for 5 years, as a research assistant’s salary. Please be also noted that students must pay the enrollment fee (JPY 282,000) and the tuition fee (JPY 317,700 per semester). The tuition fees for the second and subsequent semesters can be waived upon application and approval.
**Principal investigators may directly supervise students while associate principal investigators may co-supervise students with the cooperation of a principal investigator.
***The information on this page is relevant for International students. Japanese students should visit this page for information on how to apply and enroll.