Join Us - Invitation to my lab

Notice: Doctoral students are not accepted this year.


  • Our lab is open to excellent students and researchers who wish to work with us in related research fields.
  • This page is meant for prospective students/researchers who are interested in joining us, because we receive similar questions from many of them.


There are a variety of positions for international students and researchers:
  • Research Student (based on inter-university exchange program, or preparation for the upper grade)
  • Master's Program Student (two years possibly followed by the doctoral program)
  • Doctoral Program Student (PhD candidate, three years)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Post-Doc positions)
  • Visiting Researcher, Invited Researcher


The following background is required to join our lab.
  • Fundamental training in mathematics and signal processing is essential.
  • Higher-level knowledge in stochastic processes, time series analysis, probability theory, mathematical statistics, numerical analysis, differential geometry, information theory, pattern information theory, machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, phonetics/phonology, linguistics, music composition, speech coding, speech recognition, speech synthesis, spoken dialog, computer graphics, virtual reality, and anthropomorphic agent is highly appreciated.
  • Particularly, knowledge and experiences in Hidden Markov Models, Dynamic Programming, Linear Predictive Coding, Spectral Analysis, Neural Networks, Speech Recognition Algorithms, and Statistical Estimation (EM-algorithm) will be helpful.
  • For music information processing, basic knowledge in music theory is necessary. Well-organized knowledge in harmony theory, counterpoint, history of classical music, and music composition is helpful. Keyboard playing and other music instrument playing skills, and MIDI-based desk-top music skill are useful.

Computer Skills

Some computer skill is essential.
  • Fundamental computer skills for Linux operations, C programming, and shell script programming are essential.
  • C++ programming and practical script languages such as perl, awk, ruby, Tcl/Tk, html, etc. are also suggested. Matlab may be helpful in limited purposes but is not sufficient in speed and flexibility for intensive research at our lab.
  • X programming and OpenGL programming skills are also appreciated in the area of anthropomorphic spoken dialogue agent (digital human).
  • Document and slide preparation with TeX in combination with tgif and gnuplot is recommended.


My contact address is as follows:
  • Prof. Dr. Shigeki Sagayama, E-mail address:

General Information about Financial Supports


First of all, the following description is a personal collection of information and the author is not responsible of correctness of the contents and any subsequent results caused by this web page.

Prospective international students are highly recommended to obtain a government funded scholarship either from your country or from Japan. Actually, up to now, all of my international students are/were supported by their country or the Japanese government except for the case of inter-university student exchange programs.

Pre-doctoral Students (Master's program, doctoral program, research student)

If you are a pre-doctoral student (not a Ph.D. holder), there are a variety of choices of joining us. Here are most typical cases:
  • Case 1: (Student exchange between universities)

    The first category of MONBUKAGAKUSHO scholarship is based on recommendation from the university in Japan which is to accept the international student. At the University of Toyko, we have a local rule that the recommendation is made based on agreements between universities. Check if your university has an agreement on the student exchange program with the University of Tokyo. If so, there is a chance for you to be nominated by our recommendation as a candidate for MONBUKAGAKUSHO scholarship recipient.

    See the list of universities participating in the inter-university student exchange program with the University of Tokyo (in Japanese) and index to statistics of the university.

  • Case 2: (MEXT scholarship)

    After the selection process by the Japanese Embassy in your country for the MEXT (MONBUKAGAKUSHO) scholarship from the Japanese government, join us as a research student to spend the first one or half year to acquire Japanese communication skills and to prepare for the entrance examination possibly followed by the two-year master's course and three-year doctoral course spanning six years altogether at maximum, supported by MEXT (180,300 yen/month). See a time table provided by MEXT. I understand the typical time line is as follows: (hope it is correct)

    1st year May ? Apply for a MEXT scholarship to the Embassy of Japan
    June ? First selection step
    August ? Final selection step (interview)
    October Join our lab as a research student (or in April next year)
    2nd year February Entrance examination for the master's program (or in August)
    April Enroll in the master's program (or in October, or in April next year)
    3rd year August Entrance examination for the doctoral program
    4th year March Finish the master's program
    April Enroll in the doctoral program
    5th year --- Research
    6th year --- Research
    7th year January Defense for the PhD degree
    March Finish the doctoral program and obtain a PhD

    If you join our lab in April, you will take the entrance examination in August and enroll in the master's program in October or next April (your choice).

  • Case 3: (Master)

    If you already hold a master degree or an equivalent, you can skip the master's program described in the above case. Your stay may be supported for 4 years in total (one preparatory year + 3 years for PhD) at maximum by MEXT (MONBUKAGAKUSHO) scholarship. Be reminded that it is absolutely required to contact the prospective supervisor (professor) and completely discuss your research plan with him/her. Otherwise, your application for the doctoral program will not be accepted.

In any case, you are strongly suggested to contact me before applying for a scholarship (typically from MONBUKAGAKUSHO) and discuss your research plan. If needed, a letter of acceptance may be available from me.

Postdoctoral Fellowship

If you hold a Ph.D. degree, there are a wide variety of possibilities:
  • Case 1: Apply for Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers supported by JSPS (Japan Society of the Promotion of Science) typically for 2 years. The category of "Application through an overseas nominating authority" is applicable to our lab. According to JSPS, "JSPS may receive applications for the programs through its below-listed overseas nominating authorities. For further information on this procedure, please contact directly the nominating authority in your country." Here is the list of nominating authorities. We encourage you to apply for the above post-doctoral fellowship through the designated nominating authority of your country. In the meantime, you and we should keep a close contact and discuss the your research plan.
  • Case 2: Stay with us as a visiting researcher with a support to post-doctoral researchers from your government (typically for 1 year).
  • Case 3: Seek for a postdoctoral fellowship position at our 21st-century COE (Center of Excellence) Program. These positions may be available during the program from 2001 to 2005. (Unfortunately, there is no vacancy for this case now.)
  • Case 4: Ask about open positions for Postdoctoral Fellowship. If all requirements meet, you will be employed by the University of Tokyo.

Visiting Researchers

We will be pleased to accept excellent visiting researchers working in a relevant research area and financially supported for staying in Japan. Actually, we have an experience of working with an Associate Professor from a university in China for a year.

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