Harvard Summer Program in Tokyo, Japan

June 4, 2018 to August 10, 2018
Apply by: 
January 26, 2017

The research being conducted at RIKEN was fascinating, and I really liked the interactive nature of the tours.”

Learn and conduct research at Tokyo's cutting-edge neuroscience center. 

In this program, you study and work in Tokyo at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, where leading research is being conducted at the molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels. Leading researchers introduce you to many different fields of neuroscience, offering an invaluable experience for undergraduates still in the process of deciding which field to pursue.  

Program Structure

The lecture course was the most exciting 10 days of my life.”

The program comprises:

  • An internship in the lab of your choosing
  • An intensive neuroscience lecture course, featuring a speaker series by world-renowned researchers
  • Your presentations of two papers based on your laboratory and coursework experiences at RIKEN

This program counts as two semester-long courses (4 credits each) of degree credit. BIOS S-98RT counts as 4 credits of summer independent research.

BIOS S-98RT Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan (RIKEN): Laboratory Research in Neurobiology (32537)

Takao K. Hensch
4 credits
UN Limited enrollment.

Students are placed in a laboratory for their independent research project based on their academic interests. See the RIKEN Brain Science Institute website for more information.

BIOS S-141D Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan (RIKEN): Untangling the Brain—Cognition, Memory, and Consciousness (33007)

Takao K. Hensch
4 credits
UN Limited enrollment.

How does the nervous system control our behavior? The aim of the lecture program is to gain deeper insights into the underlying circuits and synapses that drive the behavior in response to the outside world.

Where You Live and Study

The RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Tokyo promotes ambitious, adventurous, and flexible research programs, integrating experimental and theoretical approaches. It is an ideal place for you to learn from leading researchers and advance your research experience. 


You stay on the RIKEN campus, in fully a furnished studio apartment with high-speed Internet, satellite television, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

How to Apply

Review How to Apply before submitting your application.

Students with advanced coursework or research experience in molecular biology, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, or neurobiology are appropriate candidates for this program. Laboratory experience preferred.

Application materials include: 

  1. A statement of interest in the program 
    • ​​Describe your interest in the program, outline any previous neurobiology research, and describe any areas of research interest.
  2. Transcripts
    • Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu.
    • Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university.
  3. A $50 nonrefundable application fee

Note: Interviews may be requested.

Applications are now closed. You will be notified of admission decisions by mid- to late-February.


The program fee is $6,750, which includes tuition, accommodation, scheduled excursions and activities, and some meals. 

See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options. 

Student budget

Student budget

In addition to the program fee, you will need to budget for a number of personal expenses: 

  • International airfare ($1,600 to $2,000)
  • Local transportation ($500)
  • Some meals ($1,200)
  • Course materials ($50)
  • Personal expenditures, laundry, communications, and miscellaneous ($300)

Please note: The amounts are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not listed here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including your personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. If you have specific questions about budgeting, please contact the program directly.

Additional Information