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Japanese Studies Fellowship Programs

Fellowships to USA Ph.D. Scholars and Doctoral Candidates to Conduct
Social Science, Humanities, or Comparative Research in Japan

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Japan Foundation - New York (JFNY)

Deadline Date:

11/01/19 11:59 PM EST.


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Fellowships to USA Ph.D. scholars and doctoral candidates for the opportunity to conduct research in Japan. Funding is intended for research projects in the focus areas of social sciences, humanities, and/or comparative research. Fellowship funds may be used for airfare, insurance, settling-in and departure allowances, monthly stipend, dependent allowance, and enrollment fees (may vary depending on program). Fellowships are available for long-term and short-term research projects for scholars who hold a Ph.D., and for doctoral candidates.

Fellowship Categories and Priorities:

  • Doctoral Fellowship: Higher priority will be given to those who are expected to submit their dissertation thesis shortly after the completion of the Fellowship; preference may be given to doctoral candidates under 35 years of age. Applicants must have achieved ABD status by the time the fellowship begins.
  • Research Fellowship (Long-Term): Higher priority will be given to relatively junior scholars and researchers, and to those with less research experience in Japan. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience.
  • Research Fellowship (Short-Term): Higher priority will be given to relatively experienced scholars and researchers who are expected to publish their research results shortly after the completion of their Fellowship. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience.

Project quality is evaluated on the basis of the following:

  • The project’s significance to the field and to the applicant’s professional development
  • The project’s feasibility in terms of time and resources
  • The securing of appropriate affiliation
  • Evidence that residence in Japan is necessary for completion of the project
  • Plans to disseminate research findings, etc., in Japan and abroad

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187132

Estimated Size of Grant:

For information about benefits, see page 3 of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents, below.

Term of Contract:

The proposed commencement date for a 2020-2021 Fellowship must fall between May 20, 2020 and March 15, 2021. However, the commencement date might change depending on the availability of the institutional affiliate

- Long-Term Research Fellowship: For research projects 2-12 months in length
- Short-Term Research Fellowship: For intensive research projects 21-59 days in length
- Doctoral Fellowship: For doctoral research projects 4-12 months in length

Please note that for awardees in the Research (Long-Term) and Doctoral Fellowship categories, there is a possibility that the duration of the Fellowship may be adjusted to a whole-month unit or reduced by the Foundation. In such, the approved duration of the Fellowship will be as stated in the grant letter.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Basic Eligibility Requirements:
- Applicants must be American citizens, American citizens temporarily residing abroad, or permanent residents of the United States.
- Americans who hold U.S. citizenship and permanent resident status in another country in which they are residing (except for Japan) should submit their applications to the Japan Foundation’s office in the country where they reside or to the Japanese diplomatic mission of their resident country using a different form by December 2, 2019.
- Applicants residing in the United States who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents should submit their applications to the Foundation’s Tokyo Headquarters using a different form. The application must be submitted by mail and will be accepted no later than December 2, 2019. Please visit:
- Doctoral Candidates must have achieved ABD status by the time the Fellowship begins.
- Applicants for Scholars and Researchers program (both Long-Term and Short-Term) must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in research, teaching and writing in the fields of the humanities or social sciences at the time of application.
- Previous recipients of Japan Foundation Fellowships, such as the Japanese Studies Fellowship, Abe Fellowship, etc., are eligible to reapply only if, on April 1, 2020, a full three years have elapsed since the termination of their most recent Fellowship. Previous Short-Term Research Fellows may reapply after one full year from the termination of their most recent Fellowship.
- Applicants may only apply to one category of the Fellowship Program. Multiple applications from the same applicant will make all applications invalid.
- Applicants may receive funding through only one Fellowship sponsored by the Japan Foundation, including the Abe Fellowship, during any one Japanese fiscal year, which runs from April 1 through March 31.
- Applicants must be in good health.
- Applicants must be proficient in either Japanese or English.
- Applicants must secure all affiliation arrangements by the application deadline (excluding applicants for the Research Fellowship (Short-Term)).
- In principle, applicants must be able to stay continuously in Japan for the term of Fellowship.

Individuals meeting any of the following conditions are not eligible to apply:
- Scholars or researchers in the natural sciences, medicine or engineering;
- Undergraduates; Master’s degree candidates; those intending to enroll in Undergraduate or Master’s courses at universities in Japan; or graduates who are to pursue Ph.D. courses in Japan;
- Those who intend to use the Fellowship for political or religious purposes;
- Those who primarily intend to enhance their Japanese language ability or technical skills;
- Those who intend to develop and/or produce Japanese language teaching materials;
- Those who intend to acquire artistic training in the area of Japanese traditional culture (tea ceremony, flower arrangement, etc.);
- Those who plan to receive other grants concurrently with the Fellowship;
- Those who will have been in Japan continuously between April 1, 2019 and April 1, 2020.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for submission of proposals is November 1 (annually), 11:59 PM EST.

Different deadlines apply to applicants who do not hold American citizenship, permanent residency or Americans with permanent residency in other countries.

Principal awardees will be notified starting from late March to early April 2020. Alternate awardees will be notified as fellowships become available.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

Genevieve Sawicz, Associate Program Officer

Japanese Studies Fellowship Program
The Japan Foundation, New York
Tel: 212-489-0299

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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