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About the institute

The Institute for Study of the Earth’s Interior (ISEI), located in Misasa, a well-known hot-spring resort, is a leading joint-use/research institute in the field of Earth and planetary materials science, with a diverse range of forefront experimental and analytical facilities and expertise. Active researches are being conducted, by ISEI members alone or in collaboration with researchers from around the world, in the areas of isotope and trace element geochemistry, high-resolution geochronology, and high-pressure and -temperature materials science, aimed at understanding the origin, evolution and dynamics of the Earth and other planets.

To further strength the institute’s role as an international collaborative research and education center, ISEI will be expanded into a new “Institute for Planetary Materials” in April 2016.

For more information, please visit the ISEI website.

About the program

The annual Misasa International Student Intern Program for advanced undergraduate (3rd to 4th year) and 1st year master’s students, first initiated in 2005, is designed to promote international collaborative research and education. During the intern program, each student will work on an active ISEI research project under the supervision of ISEI faculty members and their research groups.

Successful applicants will participate in one of the following intern projects described below. The goal of the program is for participants to become acquainted with research activities and the state-of-the-art research facilities at the ISEI, and to gain first-hand scientific research experience. At the conclusion of the program, an intern symposium will be held for each participant to give an oral presentation of his/her intern research in English.

List of intern projects for 2016

  1. Major and trace element distribution on Eucrite and Howardite: homogeneity and heterogeneity of regolith on 4 Vesta (Supervisors: Eizo Nakamura*, Katsura Kobayashi, Ryoji Tanaka, Tak Kunihiro, Hiroshi Kitagawa, Matthew R. M. Izawa)
  2. Thermal conductivity measurement of olivine and its high-pressure polymorphs (Supervisors: Takashi Yoshino*, Daisuke Yamazaki, Akira Yoneda)
  3. Hydrogen incorporation in enstatite: High-pressure synthesis, multi-nuclear NMR and Raman spectroscopic characterization and first-principles calculation (Supervisors: Xianyu Xue* and Masami Kanzaki)
  4. Water in Mars (Supervisor: Takuo Okuchi*)


The program is open to advanced undergraduate (3rd to 4th year) and 1st year master’s course students majoring in earth sciences, physics, chemistry, materials sciences, or related fields, who have a strong interest in a career pursuing scientific research. Students from either within or outside Japan, regardless of nationality, are eligible to apply. Communication skill in English is required.

Date and Period

About five weeks during July 4 (Mon.) — Aug. 10 (Weds).

Financial support

Travel expenses and daily living expenses will be fully covered, and accommodation in the Misasa Guesthouse will be provided.

Number of participants

About 10

Application procedure

All application materials must be received by May 9 (Mon.), 2016 (24:00, JST) to be considered. Notification of acceptance will be made by the mid-May, 2016. The application should be prepared

  1. Complete and sign the application using the provided form, and send by airmail or as an e-mail attachment or via file uploading at the Intern application site.
  2. Arrange to have one reference letter, preferably from your current supervisor or departmental head, prepared using the provided reference letterform and sent directly by the referee (not through the applicant) via airmail or as e-mail attachment (using his/her academic institution’s e-mail account).
  3. Arrange to have an official transcript of your academic record, from the institution you currently attend, and sent by airmail or as e-mail attachment or via file uploading at the Intern application site. Successful applicants may be asked to send the original official transcript later.

Contact information

The application material should be sent to:

Prof. Masami Kanzaki
Institute for Planetary Materials (before April 1st: Institute for Study of the Earth’s Interior)
Okayama University
Misasa, Tottori 682-0193, Japan

For inquiries about the program, please contact Prof. Masami Kanzaki or the project supervisors* (Eizo Nakamura, Takashi Yoshino, Xianyu Xue, Takuo Okuchi).

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