KIST founded the International R&D Academy (IRDA) in 2001 as a unique graduate program. This program is open exclusively to promising future scientists and engineers from outside of Korea. Under the guidance of KIST's experienced scientists, the IRDA offers its students a multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to learning which, in turn, provides expanded opportunities to pursue individual research activities. This approach provides the IRDA student with a challenging and enriching educational experience. The goal of this program is to train and educate prospective foreign scientists and engineers to become leading researchers in academia and industry in their respective countries. Emphasis is specifically placed on transferring KIST's established knowledge and experience in R&D, focusing on innovative technologies and developing R&D management skills. Students admitted to IRDA are registered at UST, as KIST confer degrees through UST.
All IRDA students receive full scholarship benefits, including free tuition, registration, and health insurance, as well as a monthly stipend of $1,100 for Master's students and $1,470 for Ph.D. students. Campus housing is offered on a space available basis for only $120/month.