Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship (Short-term)

Application Guidelines (FY2012)

Note: Hosts should observe the accompanying Japanese Application Guidelines when making applications.
March 2011

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (Short-term)
for North American and European Researchers
(Gaikokujin Tokubetsu Kenkyuin (Obei-Tanki))


    The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities to young pre- and post-doctoral researchers from the US, Canada and Europe (*) to conduct, under the guidance of their hosts, cooperative research with leading research groups in universities and other Japanese institutions. In so doing, the program is designed to help advance the research of the visiting fellows, while augmenting opportunities for young researchers to come to Japan from the US, Canada and Europe.
    Applications for this program are submitted by a host researcher in Japan who wishes to host a foreign postdoctoral fellow.

    *Eligible countries are the US, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Italy, Finland, the other European Union Countries (as of 1 April 2011), Switzerland, Norway and Russia.


    All fields of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are included under this program.

    The applicant (host researcher) must be a researcher who is employed full-time or classified as being employed full-time (excluding Jokyo, assistant professors, and Joshu, research assistants) at a university or research institution that is eligible to apply to MEXT for funding under the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific-Research Program (Kakenhi) and approved by JSPS as an appropriate institution for hosting young foreign researchers.

    Note: Full-time employment classification is determined by the regulations of the host institution.



    Be a citizen or permanent resident of an eligible country (listed in Section 1 above).
    Also eligible are persons who have earned a master’s or higher degree and continuously thereafter been engaged in research for a period of at least three years at a university or research institution in an eligible country. Such persons must be from a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan or from Taiwan or Palestine, and must possess an excellent research record.

    (2) Candidates must have obtained their doctoral degree at a university outside Japan within six years of the date the fellowship goes into effect (on or after 2 April 2006), or must be currently enrolled in a doctoral course at a university outside Japan and scheduled to receive their Ph.D. within two years.
    ( 3 ) Have arranged in advance a research plan with a host researcher in Japan.
    Note: Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers are not eligible. This Obei-Tanki Fellowship is only awarded once per researcher.

    Approximately 60 Fellowships will be granted in FY2012.

    (1) Fellowships are awarded for a period of 1 to 12 months
    (2) Successful candidates must start the Fellowship in Japan during the following period:
    1. April 2012 - 31 March 2013

    (The amounts of the Awards indicated below are subject to change for budgetary reasons.)
    1. A round-trip air ticket (according to JSPS's regulations)
    2. A settling-in allowance of ¥200,000 (only applicable for Fellows with 4 or more months of tenure)
    3. A monthly maintenance allowance
      (a) For Ph.D. holders: ¥362,000
      (b) For non-Ph.D. holders: ¥200,000
    4. Overseas travel accident and sickness insurance coverage, etc.
    Note 1: If the Fellow resides in Japan on the date his/her award letter is issued, the above-mentioned air ticket to Japan and settling-in allowance will not be provided.
    Note 2: A research support allowance is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application is made by the host researcher.

    Applicants (host researchers) will be required to use JSPS's web application system to apply for fellowships.
    Applications for this program must be submitted to JSPS by a host researcher in Japan through the head of his/her university or institution. Foreign researchers wishing to participate in this program are advised to establish contact with a Japanese or foreign-resident researcher in their field and to ask him/her to submit an application. They should make this contact well in advance of the host institution's application periods indicated below.
    Application process is as follows:
    1. Contact made between candidate and applicant (host researcher).
    2. Applicant (host researcher) submits application to institution's head office
    3. Office submits application to JSPS
    * JSPS does not find or introduce host researchers.
    * JSPS does not accept applications submitted directly by foreign researchers or through diplomatic channels.

    ( 1 ) Materials to be submitted
    1. Materials to be prepared by the applicant (host researcher) and submitted to his/her institution.
      1. Application form to be filled in by the host researcher (Form 1)
      2. Application form to be filled in by the foreign candidate (Form 2)
      3. A letter of reference/recommendation from the candidate's current or previous academic supervisor (not from his/her prospective host researcher in Japan)
      Note: Only successful candidates will be required to provide a copy of their diploma. If the degree has not yet been awarded, a letter is required from the candidate’s institution stating the date that he/she will officially receive the degree.
    2. Materials to be prepared by the administrative office of the host institution
      1. Number of applications
      2. List of applicants
    ( 2 ) Application periods (for host institution):
    (about 10 awardees each)
    Application periods Fellowship start periods
    1st recruitment 3-7 Oct 2011 Apr 2012 thru Mar 2013
    2nd recruitment 21-25 Nov 2011 Apr 2012 thru Mar 2013
    3rd recruitment 30 Jan-3 Feb 2012 Jun 2012 thru Mar 2013
    4th recruitment 2-6 Apr 2012 Aug 20121 thru Mar 2013
    5th recruitment 7-11 May 2012 Sep 2012 thru Mar 2013
    6th recruitment 30Jul-3 Aug 2012 Dec 2012 thru Mar 2013
    Notes: These deadlines are for the head of the host institution to submit the application to JSPS; the time frames for applicants (host researchers) to submit their applications are normally earlier.

    (1) JSPS receives application documents from the host institutions and selects awardees.
    (2) JSPS's president notifies the head of the applying institutions of the results.
    (3) JSPS's president sends the successful candidates an invitation letter and related materials.
    (4) JSPS does not respond to individual inquiries for selection information.
    (5) Notices of selection results are issued about 3 months after applications are received by JSPS.

    Selection Criteria
    1) The fellowship should help advance both the candidate's and the host's research work
    2) The host and candidate must have established close communication and devised a concrete research plan
    3) The implementation of the fellowship should contribute to promoting exchange between Japan and countries of North America and Europe
    4) In the research plan, consideration should be given to honing the research skills of pre-doctoral candidates
    5) As much as possible, preference should not be given to host institution or field of specialization in making selections.
  18. Recruitment and Selection through JSPS's Overseas Liaison Offices

    Another framework, separate from the one provided herein, is provided to apply for this Obei-Tanki Program through JSPS's overseas liaison offices in the US, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. They recruit and select candidates for this program in cooperation with science agencies in their respective countries. (For more details on this application channel, please inquire at JSPS's overseas offices.)

    The host researchers, fellows and host institution should bear the following nine points in mind when applying for the program, and should observe them if selected for a fellowship. After selection, they will be expected to observe the regulations and procedures stipulated in the Program Guidelines for the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for North American and European Researchers (Short-Term). If either the fellow or host should fail to do so, the fellowship may be withdrawn, allowances (including airfares) stopped, and already-paid allowances reclaimed.
    (1) So as to allow the smooth progress of the fellow's research in Japan, before submitting an application, the host researcher shall fully inform the candidate of conditions at the host laboratory, including his/her status under the fellowship, and will ascertain the candidate's acknowledgement to accept those conditions.
    (2) The host researcher will, in cooperation with the administration office of the host institution, provide a suitable arrangement for the fellow to pursue his/her joint research. The host will also assist the fellow, when needed, with immigration processing (including applying for a "certificate of eligibility"), securing domicile and other matters related to his/her stay in Japan.
    (3) During fellowship tenures, the host is advised not to commit such acts of discrimination or abuse with regard to his/her fellow, and should be particularly careful that what s/he says or does cannot be interpreted as committing such acts.
    (4) During their tenures, fellows shall not, either in or outside the host institution, infringe in any way on the human rights of others, including racial or gender discrimination or other forms of abuse.
    (5) As a rule, fellows shall stay in Japan continuously during the tenure of their fellowships and concentrate on their research at the host institution. Fellows may, however, suspend their fellowships for the purpose of childbearing or infant nursing. Fellow may not engage in other work, neither paid nor unpaid, during their tenures.
    (6) The host researchers and fellows shall follow the rules established by the host institution and JSPS prohibiting acts of research misconduct, e.g., fabricating or falsifying research results.
    (7) The fellow and host researcher must submit a research report using separately prescribed format.
    (8) The host institution shall inform both the host researcher and the fellow of the rules that it and JSPS have established to prevent research misconduct and misuse of research funds and of the penalties for violations.

    The host shall take first responsibility for the fellow's actions, so must be proactive in preventing any discrimination, misconduct or misuse on the part of the fellow during his/her tenure. If any such problems should occur, the host will endeavor to resolve them.

    Note: Regarding paragraph (6) above, please see the separate document "About the Proper Use of Competitive and Other Funds."

  22. Handling of Personal Information

    With regard to personal information contained in application materials, it shall be strictly controlled in accordance with low to protect personal information held by administrative institutions and JSPS's rule of protect personal information.
    Using personal information in implementing the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (Short-Term) for North American and European Researchers, including the provision of such information to private companies commissioned to conduct date processing management, JSPS shall observe these laws and regulations.

    If selected as a fellow, fellows should note that their name, research theme, host institution, name and title of their host researcher, and their research reports will be given public access. Fellow will also be asked to participate in surveys aimed at improving the fellowship program.

  24. NOTES

    (1) When one applicant (host researcher) submits two or more applications, the order of their priority should be stated.
    (2) As only one application is allowed per candidate, applicants (host researchers) should verify in advanced that no other applications have been submitted for the candidate.
    (3) The same person may not simultaneously be a candidate for both this postdoctoral fellowship and a JSPS invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan.
    (4) With regard to Paragraph 11 (3) above, should a host researcher be found guilty by the host institution of violating a candidate's or fellow's human rights, s/he shall be disqualified for a period of five years from hosting JSPS fellows under the program, the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers, and the RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program.
    (5) Should JSPS determine that any information in an application to be falsified, plagiarized or otherwise flowed, the applications will be rejected or, if already awarded, the fellowship withdrawn.
    (6) When preparing their applications, prospective Japanese advisors who are currently involved in a JSPS international exchange activities or project or who have been within the past 5 years are to describe the results or anticipated results of that activity and any connection it has with making this nomination under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (Short-term) for North American and European Researchers.
    (7) JSPS does not support any research project related to military affairs.

    ADDRESS: Overseas Fellowship Division,
    Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
    8, Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472
    TEL: +81-3-3263-3769/3810