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Overseas Research Fellowships

Under this program, fellowships are awarded to young Japanese postdoctoral researchers for conducting research at foreign universities or research institutions for a period of two years. The fellowship covers travel expenses, a stipend, and a research grant.

Call for FY2018

(world wide)
Quota for FY2018: about 130 people
Quota for FY2018 RRA: Restart Research Abroad: about 5 people
Duration of Stay 2 years from the starting date which is
For FY2018: 1 April 2018 - 28 February 2019
Application Method: Complete the e-application process on the JSPS Tokyo website.
For details, please refer to (only the Japanese version is available)

Application Period:

Deadline for sending applications on the e-application system: 8 May 2017 17:00 (Japanese Time)

Application Period for submitting paper-based documents (other than e-application documents): 8 May to 11 May 2017 17:00 (Japanese Time)

Coverage of
1) International return flight tickets
2) Accommodation fees and research costs (The amount depends on the country the fellow will visit, ranging from 3.8 million to 5.2 million Japanese yen per year.)
Link to JSPS
Tokyo Website
JSPS Tokyo website (only the Japanese version is available)


  • Institutions applying for the programme must be one of the following:

1. Japanese universities, inter-university research institute corporations, junior colleges and colleges of technology

2. National research institutions

3. Independent administrative institutions and other institutions which conduct scientific research or R&D activities

4. Research institutions in the private sector

  • The position of the applicant must be either one of the following:

1. Full-time researcher affiliated with a Japanese university or research institute. (This excludes researchers employed on a project-specific contract supported by competitive research funds.)
2. Applicants who hope to become full-time researchers at a Japanese university or research institute.

  • Applicants must have obtained or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree as of 1 April 2018 or applicants cannot have received their doctoral degree more than 5 years prior to 1 April 2018.
  • It is not mandatory for applicants to have prior work experience and those applicants that have been based full time at a recognised university or research institution should have held such a position for less than 5 years previous to 1st April 2018 in order to be eligible to apply to this programme.
  • Applicants must be Japanese nationals or foreign citizens possessing permanent residency status in Japan.
  • Applicants who have been awarded this fellowship before are not eligible to apply for this award again.

Duration And Commencement of Award

  • Grants are awarded for a period of 2 years.
  • Successful applicants are asked to start their award between 1 April 2018 and 28 February 2019 for FY 2018.

Terms of the Award

  • International return flight tickets
  • Maintenance Allowances and research costs (The amount depends on the country the fellow will visit ranging from 3.8 million to 5.2 million Japanese yen per year.)

Application Period

Deadline for sending applications on the e-application system: 8 May 2017 17:00 (Japanese Time)

Application Period for submitting paper-based documents (other than e-application documents): 8 to 11 May 2017


Notice to host researchers:

If you decide to host a Japanese researcher under this fellowship, please cooperate on the following points concerning their application:

・Please complete the “Letter of Intent to Accept Prospective Fellow by Host Researcher” document when you are asked by the applicant.

・Please discuss the research plan in detail with the applicant before they submit their proposal as one of the important points of the selection criteria.

・Please write a letter of acceptance if the applicant passes the selection process and when you are asked by the applicant. This letter should be submitted to JSPS Headquarters by the applicant before 40 days of the fellowship start date.


Selection Process

1. Selection of this fellowship includes a first stage mail review by expert reviewers followed by interviews conducted by a special panel of expert reviewers which consists of researchers considered at the top of their research field in Japan. There are 55 such panel members and 1,800 expert reviewers in total in the JSPS College of Peer Reviewers.

2. Each application is reviewed by 6 expert reviewers from the same research field as the applicant.

3. The panel meeting is held in late July for nine research fields (humanities; social science; mathematics and physics; chemistry; engineering; biology; agriculture and medicine, dentistry and pharmacology; multidisciplinary areas). As a result of this meeting, some successful applicants may not be required to attend a further interview. Those invited to a further interview are selected based on a criteria described in the next part for quotas allocated for each research field. The results of the panel meeting are announced to applicants in the middle of August.

4. Interviews take place in late September, last for around ten minutes and take place in front of a panel of expert and non- expert reviewers. The first four minutes of the interview are allocated for the applicant to explain about their research accomplishments and research plans, and the remaining six minutes are allocated for other questions from the panel. The result is announced to the applicant and head of the institute to which applicant is affiliated on the e-application website around the end of October.


Selection Criteria

Applications to JSPS Headquarters will be evaluated according to the following points:

  • Future prospects of researcher


  • Research plan that aims to tackle a new area or that is expected to develop by carrying out research in an overseas institution with a different advantage.


  • Concrete research plan that has been sufficiently discussed with host researchers.


  • Foreign language skills, e.g. English language TOEFL score of at least 79 (Internet-based), 730 TOEIC score or the pre-1st grade of the Practical English Proficiency Test are desirable.


  • Approach to research requiring a legal procedure to be satisfied i.e. research that requires obtaining another person’s consent and cooperation, to handle personal information with caution, to address bioethics and/or safety measures.
  • The mail review uses a five scale grading system in consideration of research accomplishments, research plan and value of implementing the project at an overseas institution. The grading system scale is: strongly recommended, recommended, fair, questionable, not recommended.


For application enquiries and submissions, please contact:

Research Fellowship Division
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
102-0083 JAPAN
Tel: +81-(0)3-3263-0925

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