In 2005, the President of the University of Tokyo visited the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS). Discussion centered around the development of a program which would promote the exchange of graduate student research activities between the two institutions. As a result of this meeting, the Institute of Medical Science University of Tokyo hosted the inaugural symposium in September of 2005. During this initial forum, both GUCAS and the Institute of Medical Science University of Tokyo (IMSUT) came to the agreement that it would benefit the institutions to have an even broader international scope. Thus, in 2006, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska, USA (UNMC) was invited to become a charter member of the annual symposium now named the International Student Research Forum (ISRF).
In June of 2006, the first ISRF was hosted by GUCAS in Beijing, China. Students from GUCAS, IMSUT, Australian Academy of Science, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, were in attendance.
The Forum has continued annually for the past 12 years, hosted multiple times in Beijing, Tokyo, Omaha and Griffith University.
The Forum offers a unique opportunity for students to develop professional relationships with fellow research scientists that may ultimately lead to collaboration and ultimately, considerable scientific advances.