The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is a collaborative and interdisciplinary experiment that attempts to remove unnecessary burdens within academia so that scientists can focus exclusively on their research.

OIST is driven by a mission to conduct internationally outstanding education and research in science and technology, contribute to the sustainable development of Okinawa, and promote the advancement of science and technology in Japan and throughout the world. To this end, OIST has removed departments and instead conducts research in autonomous units that have the power to work across any fields they please. To provide quality education, OIST offers a fully-funded 5-year PhD program with low student-to-faculty ratios.

OIST is truly international, with over 60% of its faculty and 80% of its students from outside Japan. To promote further worldwide collaboration, OIST conducts research in English. In addition, OIST is located on the beautiful island of Okinawa, Japan in the village of Onna-son and has been designed with breathtaking views of the East China Sea. All-in-all, OIST is a pretty swell place to be!

OSA Okinawa Student Chapter

Our OSA student chapter was started in Cork, Ireland, and moved to Okinawa along with the chapter advisor and the then-student president. We have been at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) for the past four years. During this time our chapter has been especially active in outreach events by teaching at local schools, giving talks, and taking part in local large science promotional events. In the last year alone we have participated in outreach extending to approximately 7,500 people. This year we continue our outreach endeavors and take on the challenging task of hosting an IONS conference.

IONS conferences are student run events which present excellent opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to meet with their peers, discuss science, and form social networks early in their career. Annually, between six and eight of these conferences in optics and physics are distributed globally. This year we would be happy to host you on our small island of Okinawa where, for the first time in its history, our university, OIST, is hosting such an event through the OSA student chapter. Have a look around our site, check us out on facebook and if it seems of interest to you apply. We look forward to hearing from you.

Welcome to Okinawa

Okinawa is a subtropical island located in the Pacific Ocean, between mainland Japan, China and Taiwan. Although the archipelago is mainly famous for its stunning beaches, pristine waters and mesmerizing sunsets, it is also home to a rich and unique culture (e.g. Karate was invented there). Okinawa is also home to the second largest aquarium in the world, where whale sharks, sea turtles and several species of dolphins can be seen. Regarding food, you might want to try one of the local specialities such as Okinawa Soba (wheat noodles in a soup usually accompanied with bits of meat) or, for the more adventurous, the Goya Champuru. The latter is said to be the secret dish that gives Okinawans such a long lifespan, although you will have to endure the extremely bitter taste of the vegetable.