Deadline: January 5, 2021

Applications are open for the SSRC Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship 2021. 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.


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


  • 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.
  • Those who have resident cards with mailing addresses in Japan at the application deadline are not eligible for the short-term fellowship.


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, 2015) 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 hold a PhD from a university outside Japan dated no more than six years prior to April 1, 2020 (On or after April 2, 2015) or 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.


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

  • A completed application
  • A 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 a 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.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit JSPS Fellowship.

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