‘NIMS is a truly top materials science institute, with an international ranking comparable to MIT, for instance,’ says Professor Wilfred van der Wiel, who has helped to set up the cooperation. ‘The Joint Graduate Program is a very tangible way towards research collaboration.’
The University of Twente has had ties with the Japanese institute since 2013, when an MoU was signed between NIMS and the NanoNextNL consortium, which the UT is a member of. Within this framework, a number of UT Master students visited NIMS for a research internship. In October 2018, it was decided to intensify the collaboration in the form of a Joint Graduate Programme between NIMS and universities affiliated with NanoNextNL. ‘Other Dutch universities are also involved in the programme, but NIMS wanted to move fast, and so the UT was selected as the first pilot partner,’ clarifies Van der Wiel.
Thanks to this new programme, UT PhD students from all faculties can spend up to one year at NIMS for doing research related to their PhD project, fully funded by the Japanese institute. ‘They need good people and they have positive experience with the researchers we’ve sent them so far,’ says the professor. ‘For NIMS, this is a way to catalyse collaboration with research groups in the Netherlands and contribute to internationalization.’
The UT can currently send two PhD candidates to NIMS per year. Interested doctoral researchers can contact Professor Van der Wiel for more information on how to apply for the programme.