Research Elective Program (研究)

                                       ※ update : March, 23, 2023

Application Guideline for Medical Frontier Program
Research Elective Program for International Students

About the Medical Frontier Program
Osaka University Medical School offers research and clinical training opportunities for international undergraduate students as Special Auditor (students from institutions with inter-faculty student exchange agreement) or Credited Auditor (students from institutions without inter-faculty student exchange agreement) aimed at exposing students to advanced medical research and clinical medicine. The Medical Frontier Program offers two courses; Research Courses, and Clinical Elective Courses.

Research Elective Courses Application Process

1. Eligibility

  1. 1) Undergraduate students from universities both medical school students and those who are enrolling other department than medical school are eligible.
  2. 2) At least in 3rd year (juniors) are eligible however under sophomores who have prior research experience at home institutions are also eligible.
  3. 3) Fluent communication either in English or Japanese. TOEFL iBT score 80, IELTS 6.0, JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N2, or above is required.

The English language requirement may be waived if the applicant is a native or studying full-time in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa.
Students from institution without inter-faculty student exchange agreement are required to go through document screening.


2. Available Period and Application Deadlines

Postings are counted in weeks, commencing on Monday and ending on Friday. The minimum and maximum total posting periods are 2 weeks and 6 months respectively. If you start in March, you will need to finish by the last Friday in March.
Application period is 1st day of 8 months to 6 months prior to your commencement month.
(ex. If you wish to start in June, the application period is October 1st to December 1st of the previous year.)


3. Coursework and Credits

Join only one lab during entire course and conduct the lab work under supervision. Generally, the class hours are from 9 am to 4 pm, including a 1-hour lunch break. Attendance on Saturdays and Sundays may be required by the department that you are posted to.
Students will be given certification of attendance and credit from Osaka University. 5 working days/ week (35 hours) = 1 credit. Japanese holidays and the year-end through New Year holidays (December 29 – January 3) are not counted towards the credit. Completion Certificate and Academic Record will be issued after collecting all evaluation of your performance from your supervisors and will be sent to student’s home institution.

4. Financial Information

  1. 1) Applicton Entry Fee
    Non-refundable fee of 9,800 JPY to cover application fee, payable at the time of application by overseas remittance,is required. No refund is provided even if the application was not accepted.
  2. 2) Enrollment Fee
    Non-refundable fee of 28,200 JPY to cover enrollment fee, payable after notice of acceptance, but before the program commencement due date by overseas remittance, is necessary.
  1. 3) Tuition and Payment
    Tuition (14,400 JPY per 5 working days) needed to be paid by due date for all the registered courses, after the program commencement.

    Students from institutions without inter-faculty student exchange agreement are required to pay all above 1), 2), 3) fees for the registered course. These fees are waived for students from institutions with inter-faculty student exchange agreement. For details, please contact the program coordinator at your institution.

5. Cancellation and Change

It is not possible to cancel or change the schedule after students are officially accepted. Students withdrawing for extenuating circumstances must contact their institution and prepare a document with reasons reviewed and approved by faculty or the department chair of their home institution.
No refund will be provided in case of withdrawal or shorting the registered course after starting the class.


6. Accommodation

Each student is responsible for making their own housing arrangements. We may also provide students accepted into the program with a list of potential housing contacts. University dormitories are available, but on a strictly limited basis. University dormitories are not available for period shorter than 4 weeks. For shorter stays, you will need to find your own accommodation.
In addition to your accommodation, you should consider the cost of food and transportation. The accommodation fee does not include food and transportation unless otherwise specified.
A list of student dormitories accommodating international students are described on the following website:


7. Malpractice, Liability Insurance, Health Insurance

  1. 1) All students are required to enroll in the “Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research” (PAS), and “Liability Insurance coupled with PAS” for malpractice and liability insurance. It costs 1,884 JPY in total and should be paid on the first day of the program.
  2. 2) All students are required to carry an overseas travelers' personal accident insurance which sufficiently covers medical care during the period of entire stay. Proof of coverage must be declared in English and submitted after you are officially accepted to the program prior to the period.

8. Application Procedure

  1. 1) Contact Medical Education Center (MEC) info <at> to acquire the Medical Frontier Program application form and application fee payment overseas remittance instruction.
  2. 2) Contact the professor at the research lab you wish to join to find a slot by yourself and discuss the research topic.
  3. 3) After obtaining acceptance from the laboratory where you applied, send the completed application form with an identification photograph attached (size 3cm x 2.4cm) together with your supporting documents to MEC by e-mail.

Please ensure that you include the following documents in your application:

- Application form
- Recommendation letter
: preferably from one professor in the applicant’s home institution. The letter should be written in English on the applicant’s institution’s letterhead.
: applicant’s academic record issued by his/her home institution.
- Language certificate
: a copy of the language certificate (TOEFL or IELTS) and test score

  1. 4) The receipt of the application is notified by e-mail within one week. Then Application Entry Fee (9,800 JPY) is due.
    Send the receipt confirming the payment of 9,800 JPY overseas remittance.

  2. 5) The applicant screening process requires approximately 2.5 months after the deadline of application.
  3. 6) We will notify the screening result by e-mail, as to whether applicants are selected or not, about 3.5 months before the requested program commencement.
  4. 7) Upon your acceptance of Medical Frontier Program, Enrollment Fee of 28,200JPY to be remitted by payment due date by overseas remittance and send a receipt confirming the payment.

9. Partner Universities

Osaka University Faculty of Medicine has bilateral exchange agreements with several medical schools internationally to send students to each other’s schools to undertake a research elective.
If you have been nominated/selected by your university to take part in this exchange, your elective coordinator needs to send us an email formally. The student’s position will be ‘Special Auditor’ at Osaka University.

List of the Partner Medical Schools:

  1. 1.University Malaysia Sarawak
  2. 2.National Taiwan University College of Medicine
  3. 3.Taipei Medical University College of Medicine
  4. 4.Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramatiboti Hospital
  5. 5.Monash University , Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
  6. 6.The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty ofMedicine, HKSAR, China
  7. 7.College of Medine and Health Sciences,United Arab Emirates University

10. Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1) I am not a Medical School student. Can I apply?
    - Yes, you can apply for the research elective program.
  2. 2) May I start my research elective in March and end in May?
    - You can start in March however you must finish by the last Friday in March since Japanese academic year ends in March.
    - You may have to move out of the dormitory by March 24, and it is your responsibility to find your own accommodation after that.
    - For above reasons, we advise you to start from April.
  3. 3) Do you take students from institutions without inter-faculty agreement?
    - Yes, students from institutions without inter-faculty agreement students can apply. The student’s position will be ‘Credited Auditor’ at Osaka University.
  4. 4) Do I need to take TOEFL or IELTS?
    - If you are studying for a degree in a majority English-speaking country, you are exempted from taking English language proficiency test. Otherwise TOEFL or IELTS score (or Japanese test) is required.

11. Contact Us

Medical Education Center, Faculty of Medicine, Osaka University
Room 201, Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research (CoMIT)
2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
Tel: +81-6-6210-8223
info <at>


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