Overview

Open for applications, next deadline is December 1st 2019. Apply Now >

The SSRC/JSPS Fellowship Program for ABDs and Recent PhDs provides promising and highly qualified researchers with opportunities to conduct research at leading universities and other research institutions in Japan for 1-12 month or 12-24 month terms. Projects need not be explicitly related to the study of Japan, but must propose work with colleagues and resources in Japan. The program especially encourages proposals for cooperative research with colleagues in Japan under the guidance of a senior host researcher. The Social Science Research Council serves as the nominating authority for US-based applicants in the social sciences and humanities only. Researchers in the field of medicine or natural sciences should contact the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health

The application cycle for the 2020 JSPS Fellowship competition will close 11:59pm December 1st, 2019. Announcements will be made in late February.

  • Fellowships are awarded for a single, continuous stay in Japan only. Extended travel outside of Japan during the fellowship term is not permitted. Fellows may, however, suspend their fellowships for the purpose of childbearing or infant nursing. Fellows may not engage in other work, paid or unpaid, during their tenures.
  • Fellowships will be awarded the summer of 2020. Long-term fellowship recipients must arrive in Japan between April 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020. Short-term fellowship recipients must arrive in Japan between June 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Because of the time required by JSPS to process final awards, we strongly recommend applicants for the long-term fellowship select a start date no earlier than June 1, 2020. 
  • Period of tenure for a short-term fellowship is 1-12 months; long-term fellowship terms are 12-24 months.
  • Applicants must negotiate the fellowship tenure and research plan in advance with the host researcher. 
  • Host researchers in Japan must be employed full-time or classified as being employed full-time (excluding jokyo, assistant professors and joshu, research assistants). All accredited universities and research institutions in Japan under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) are eligible host institutions.

Selection Process

Fellows are selected by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) based on nominations made by the SSRC Japan Advisory Board. The SSRC Japan Advisory Board recommends to JSPS up to 20 candidates annually from the social sciences and humanities. Award offers are made by JSPS in early summer for fellowships that must commence between June 1 and November 30 (long-term) or June 1 and March 31 (short-term).

Fellowship Topics

Applications are welcome from all social science and humanities disciplines and need not be explicitly related to the study of Japan. Projects must include work with colleagues and resources in Japan and propose a single, continuous stay in Japan from 1 to 12 months (short-term) or 12 to 24 months (long-term).

Eligibility

  • Scholars who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers are not eligible. However, previous short-term fellowship recipients may apply for the long-term fellowship.
  • JSPS does not extend fellowships to scholars employed in institutions under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Japanese nationals are not eligible.
  • Japanese permanent residents are not eligible.

Additionally:

Candidates for the Long-Term Fellowship must:

  • Possess US citizenship or permanent residency status. Permanent residents should upload an image of their permanent resident card ("green card"). 
  • Have received a PhD diploma from a university outside Japan dated no more than six years prior to April 1, 2020 (on or after April 2, 2014) or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before their fellowship tenure begins. 

Candidates for the Short-Term Fellowship must:

  • Possess US citizenship or permanent residency status. Permanent residents should upload an image of their permanent resident card ("green card"). Citizens of other countries may be eligible if they have completed a masters or PhD course at a US university and, upon completing the course, have for at least three continuous years conducted research in the US. Scholars residing in Japan at the time of application are not eligible.
  • Either a) hold a PhD from a university outside Japan dated no more than six years prior to April 1, 2020 (On or after April 2, 2014) or b) be within two years of receiving a PhD from the start date of the fellowship.
  • Those still working towards the PhD at the time of application must have their advisors submit through the portal a letter detailing that the applicant is in good academic standing and specifying their expected PhD date.

Financial Provisions

JSPS currently provides:

  • Round-trip international airfare for fellows originating in the U.S.;
  • Insurance coverage for accidents and illness;
  • A monthly stipend of ¥362,000 for fellows with a PhD at the start of their tenure and ¥200,000 for fellows without it.
  • A settling-in allowance of ¥200,000 for fellowships over three months in duration;
  • Additional research expenses may be made available for long-term fellows only. Applications for these grants are made by the researcher through their host institution

Application Instructions and Materials

The application materials include the following items, all to be submitted through the application portal:

  • A completed application
  • Summary Abstract of 100-150 words
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publications List (if applicable)
  • Applicants with PhD's must upload a PDF image of their PhD diploma. 
  • Applicants who have not yet received the PhD should follow instructions below:
    • Short-term applicants without PhD must have a representative from their institution (usually an advisor or department head) submit a letter from the applicant's institution on letterhead stating that the applicant will receive a PhD within two years of the fellowship start date and the expected date for receipt (month/year). Letters must be uploaded through the portal by the applicant.
    • Long-term applicants without a PhD at the time of application must have a letter from the applicant's institution on letterhead stating the date that the applicant will officially receive the degree. If nominated, the candidate must submit to JSPS the original degree certificate or a copy of the diploma promptly before the start of the fellowship. Letters may be uploaded through the portal. 
  • Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card") for non-US citizens (if applicable) should be uploaded through the portal.
  • Letter of Invitation/affiliation from Japanese host researcher/institution.
    • Letters must be on letterhead, signed, and uploaded as a PDF through the portal by the applicant
    • Letters must state that the host accepts the candidate at their institution during the period of the fellowship tenure, include the proposed dates, and be signed by the host on official letterhead.
  • One reference letter from a referee at the applicant's current or previous institution. 

Applicants must submit the application, including all supporting documents, through the portal by 11:59pm EST December 1st. Additionally, your reference letter must be submitted by that time. We strongly recommend giving references and host researchers ample time to submit their letters. 

Notification

Fellows will be selected by the JSPS based on nominations made by the SSRC Japan Advisory Board. The SSRC Japan Advisory Board will forward nominations to JSPS, and applicants will be notified of their nomination status in early spring 2020 to begin preliminary planning for departure. Successful nominees will then be notified directly by JSPS in summer 2020. Therefore, we suggest that all applicants plan on starting their fellowship no earlier than summer 2020.

Please direct further questions or inquiries to japan@ssrc.org. 

Staff

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