NSF award propels the Kent State - Kyoto University partnership!

NSF award propels the Kent State - Kyoto University partnership! 


In July, Drs. Tosi, Raghanti, Meindl, and Lovejoy received a grant from the National Science Foundation, International Research Experience for Students (NSF-IRES) program.

Interested students can find application materials here.       



One of the world’s top primate centers, the PRI has resources unmatched elsewhere. The institute has over 10,000 skeletal specimens representing more than 100 species; it maintains a primate biomaterials repository vast in both number of specimens and types of tissue; and it houses representatives of twelve different species, more than most primate centers around the world. The PRI boasts field stations in Africa, Asia, and South America, including long-term chimpanzee, bonobo, and Japanese macaque sites.


The IRES award follows years of successful collaborations between Kent State University and Kyoto University.

  • Since 2015, six KSU Anthropology graduate students and five faculty have visited the PRI for projects in neuroscience, genetics, and morphology.
  • Eight joint manuscripts have been produced, and these have been published in journals including Evolutionary Anthropology, Neuroscience Research, the Journal of Anatomy, and Chromosome Research.


The IRES award allows great expansion of research connections with our Japanese colleagues. Such a multi-year grant, with multiple internships per summer, opens the possibility for larger collaborations to be designed; different students can visit the same lab in consecutive years and conduct tiered stages of a project. Sending groups of KSU students each year also significantly increases the number of social interactions between the Japanese and American graduate students – potential future collaborators – as individuals introduce new colleagues to their friends across laboratories.


These summer internships at the PRI are certain to provide our students with a number of personal and professional benefits.

  • Learn new scientific techniques
  • Collect data for graduate research projects
  • Gain an understanding of the scientific culture of another country
  • Establish international research collaborations
  • Develop basic Japanese language skills
  • Expand global job market opportunities.


The six student alumni of our partnership with the PRI have all had wonderful experiences and look forward to returning to Japan someday. “From learning new techniques in the laboratory, to visiting the most magnificent places, to learning more about Japanese culture, I am not exaggerating when I say this has been a life-changing journey.” (from the blogpost of Kristen Hirter, MA student).


Drs. Tosi, Raghanti, Meindl, and Lovejoy look forward to cultivating this opportunity for many more KSU graduate students over the next three years. We are deeply grateful to our colleagues at the PRI for welcoming our students, and we are especially thankful to the NSF-IRES program for supporting this graduate-level exchange with Kyoto University.


POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 2:28pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 3:29pm