Graduate School of Environmental Science

Laying down the co-ordinates of environmental science

Special Grant Program for International Students (October 2024)


Special Grant Program for International Students / Research Assistant Program of Graduate School of Environmental Science (October 2024)

This program will select students who can likely contribute internationally in their research field, from those applying to doctoral courses at the Graduate School of Environmental Science.
Participating in research as a Research Assistant (RA) is very meaningful to develop your research ability. Each Research Assistant must serve to achieve the objective of a research subject directed by a Graduate School of Environmental Science faculty member. The research subjects are listed below.


Maximum 3 years, with the annual extension subject to evaluation of achievements by a faculty committee.

Qualifications of application (Eligibility):

Students (mainly from developing countries) who seek admission to the doctor courses of the Graduate School of Environmental Science.
If the students of this Special Grant Program are also selected as recipients of the doctoral fellowships, they must choose one of them and decline the others.

Payment Exemption / RA Allowance:

Payment Exemption: Total amount of school fees is entirely covered by Hokkaido University (i.e., entrance exam fee of 30,000 yen, admission fee of 282,000 yen, and the annual tuition fee of 535,800 yen for each of three years). RA Allowance (depending on the actual working time): Total 3 million yen (1 million yen annually for three years)
The applicant should meet travel expenses for the entrance exam.

Application Deadline

17 June (Monday) 2024

Application for the program:

Applicants are required to submit the documents listed below via email. The documents should not be written in a language other than English.

  1. Curriculum vitae with the applicant’s photograph
  2. Academic transcripts
  3. Graduation certificate
  4. A list of publications and presentations in scientific meetings
  5. A research proposal
  6. Direction and comments of potential supervisor and at least one co-supervisor, including proofs of communication between you and the potential supervisors
  7. Master’s thesis or other documents in proof of your research ability

Reference and address to apply

Academic Affairs Section
Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University
E-mail: kyomu (at)

List of possible research subjects (Ocotober 2024)

Title: Biologically active compounds from cyanobacteria
Professor: Tatsufumi Okino

Cyanobacteria are rich sources of secondary metabolites. We aim at isolation, structure elucidation, biological activity evaluation, and biosynthesis of cyanobacterial metabolites. We are especially interested in secondary metabolites that could be synthesized by silent genes and are seeking a new method to express silent genes of biosynthetic enzymes.

Title: Development of Protein-conjugated Nanomaterials
Professor: Akira Onoda

Protein immobilization onto nanomaterials involves challenges for the application in immunoassay, other diagnostic tools, and others. Developing knowledge and methodologies for specific and oriented immobilization of proteins is critically important for the generation of protein-conjugated nanomaterials enabling high-performance immunoassay. The purpose of this research is to develop novel methodology for protein-conjugated nanomaterials. A successful candidate is expected have a Masters Degree in Chemistry or Biotechnology at the time of joining and he/she is required to have the knowledge and experience of organic synthesis, nanomaterials synthesis, and preparation of protein-conjugated nanomaterials.

Title: Comprehensive characterization of heterogeneous catalyst surface during liquid-phase reactions using in-situ/operando FTIR measurement 
Professor: Kiyotaka Nakajima

To reveal structure-activity relationship quantitatively using advanced spectroscopic techniques is of great importance for understanding catalytic reaction at the molecular level and gaining the idea to improve the activity of heterogeneous catalyst. This program focuses on understanding reaction phenomena at the molecular level in the liquid-phase reaction with heterogeneous catalyst. The behavior of catalytically active site during liquid-phase reaction, including the interaction of active site with substrate, intermediate, and solvent molecule(s), is comprehensively evaluated using in-situ/operando FTIR measurement.

Title: Heterogeneous catalysts for the valorization of biomass-derived carbohydrates
Professor: Kiyotaka Nakajima

Building a sustainable society requires a different paradigm using renewable carbon resources such as non-edible biomass and CO2 to produce fuels and platform chemicals in future chemical industries. Our vision is to design catalytic reactions using new heterogeneous catalysts and lignocellulose-derived hydrocarbons, in which scalable production of platform chemicals can be accomplished while minimizing environmental load and energy consumption in work-up processes. This program aims at developing new conversion technologies that convert biomass-derived carbohydrates to terephthalate or terephthalic acid with heterogeneous catalysts.

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