Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers
(Pathway to University Positions in Japan)

Application Guidelines (FY2013)

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

April 2013

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers
(Pathway to University Positions in Japan)
(Gaikokujin Tokubetsu Kenkyuin (Teityakusokushin))


The fellowship’s purpose is to provide opportunities for young and excellent postdoctoral researchers from other countries to conduct, under the guidance of their hosts, cooperative research with leading research groups in universities and other Japanese institutions. This program is offered as a phase for preparing overseas researchers to become full-time researchers at Japanese universities and other research institutions. That is, the program is designed to lead to the full-time employment of overseas researchers who will play an active role in advancing the institutions’ international collaborative research and promoting their internationalization through such means as fostering globally oriented talent.

Applications for this program are submitted by a host researcher in Japan who wishes to host a foreign postdoctoral fellow.


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


The unit for submitting applications is a Japanese university and other research institution. The heads of these institutions submit the applications to JSPS. Each institution is limited to two applications.


The host institution must be a research institution that is eligible to apply to MEXT for funding under the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (MEXT Notification). It must also have a clearly defined vision for achieving the internationalization of its research and education programs by promoting the employment of overseas researchers. Host institutions are to have and initiate a plan for employing in full-time positions fellows under this program upon the conclusion of their tenure. As to the type of full-time employment, it is to be coordinated between the host institution and the overseas researcher.

Eligible host institutions include the following:
1. Universities and inter-university research institutes
2. MEXT-affiliated institutions that conduct scientific research
3. Technical colleges
4. Other institutions designated by the Minister of MEXT


The host researcher must be employed full-time or classified as being employed full-time (excluding Jokyo, assistant professor, and Joshu, research assistant) at a research institution that is listed above Paragraph D and must want to host an overseas researcher.


Each candidate (fellow) for the Fellowship must:

  1. Be a citizen of a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan
    (JSPS treats Taiwanese and Palestinian researchers in this manner.)
  2. Hold a doctorate degree when the Fellowship goes into effect, which must have been received on or after April 2, 2007, or be scheduled to receive a doctorate degree before the Fellowship goes into effect. As of April 1, 2013, hold a position as an associate professor or equivalent.
  3. Have arranged in advance a research plan with his/her Japanese host researcher
  4. Have a desire to continue engaging in research and education at the host institution in a full-time employment capacity.


Approximately 20 Fellowships will be granted.


  1. Fellowships are awarded for a period of 12 to 24 months.
  2. Successful candidates must start the Fellowship in Japan during October 1, 2013 - March 31, 2014


(The amounts of the Awards indicated below are subject to change for budgetary reasons.)

  1. A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS regulations)
  2. A monthly maintenance allowance of \387,600
  3. A settling-in allowance of \200,000, Overseas travel accident and sickness insurance coverage, etc.

Note 1: The terms of the Awards indicated above are subject to change.
Note 2: If the Fellow resides in Japan on or after the date his/her award letter is issued, the above-mentioned air ticket to Japan and settling-in allowance will not be provided.

A “Grant-In-Aid for Scientific Research” (Tokubetsu Kenkyuin Shorei-hi) of up to ¥1,500,000 per year (total of ¥3,000,000 for two years) is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application for these grants is made by the host researcher through his/her institution.


Application process is as follows:

  1. Contact made between candidate and host researcher
  2. Host researcher submits application to institution’s head office
  3. Office submits application to JSPS

Note: (1) JSPS does not find or introduce host researchers.
  (2) JSPS does not accept applications submitted directly by foreign postdoctoral researchers or through diplomatic channels.
  (3) If a host institution receives three or more applications, it will screen them internally and forward two to JSPS. If candidates wish to know whether their application has been sent to JSPS, they should contact the host institution.


  1. Materials to be submitted

    1. Materials to be prepared by the host researcher and submitted to his/her institution

      Application form to be filled in by the host researcher (Form 1)
      Application form to be filled in by the foreign candidate (Form 2)
      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 doctoral degree certificate or a copy of their diploma if already received.

    2. Materials to be prepared by the administrative office of the host institution

      Number of applications
      List of candidates
      Guidelines for applying institutions

  2. Application deadline (for host institution):

      27- 30 May 2013

    Note: These deadlines are for the head of the host institution to submit the application to JSPS; the time frames for host researchers to submit their applications are normally earlier.


1. Selection process

Screening is conducted by JSPS’s selection committee based on the six criteria listed below.

a. That the applying institution has a program for employing fellows under this program in future full-time research positions.
b. That by hosting the overseas researcher, the internationalization of the host institution can be expected to advance through such means as fostering globally oriented talent.
c. That the collaboration will contribute to advancing science in Japan and counterpart country.
d. That the collaboration can be expected to advance research in the subject field.
e. That the host researcher and candidate have established contact in advance and devised a concrete research plan.
f. That a suitable space is prepared and facilities arranged at the host institution for the fellow to conduct research during his/her tenure.

Research Requiring Approval Processing within the Affiliated Institution:

This provision applies to research activities whose implementation requires compliance with laws or regulations, such as research that requires consent and/or cooperation of other parties, that handles personal information, or that requires the application of bioethics or safety measures. Also applicable are examinations for devising measures and actions related to such research. It, for example, applies to surveys, research and experiments in such cases as questionnaire or interview surveys that use personal information, research using samples received from others, studies of cultural heritage assets either in or outside Japan, human genome research/analysis, recombination DNA experiments, or animal experiments that require approval processing by an information-advisory committee or ethics committee within the affiliated or other research institution.

2. Notification of selection results

a. Notification of the selection results will be made in writing through the head of the applying institution in the following periods:

Around September 2013
b. Acceptance documents will be sent to the successful candidates. The names of the awardees, host researchers and institutions as well as their research themes are subject to public disclosure on JSPS’s website.
c. Unsuccessful candidates are not directly notified of their selection results.

Note: Individual requests for selection results are not accepted.


The host researchers, fellows and host institutions 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 Program for Foreign Researchers (Pathway to University Positions in Japan). If either the fellow or host should fail to do so, the fellowship may be withdrawn, allowances (including airfares) stopped, and already-paid allowances (including research grants) 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 also 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 and education 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, and misuse research funds, e.g., use for private purpose or for purposes other than the approved research.
  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.
  9. 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.


With regard to personal information contained in application materials, it shall be strictly controlled in accordance with laws to protect personal information held by administrative institutions and JSPS’s rules for safeguarding personal information. Personal information is to be used solely for implementing JSPS programs, including the provision of such information to private companies commissioned to conduct data processing. In such cases, JSPS will observe all pertinent laws and regulations.

If selected for a fellowship, fellows should note that their name, title, nationality, affiliated research institution, research theme, Japanese host institution, name/title of their host researcher, and research reports may be given public access. Fellows will also be asked to participate in surveys aimed at improving JSPS programs.


  1. JSPS does not support any research project related to military affairs.
  2. As only one application is allowed per candidate, host researchers should verify in advanced that no other applications have been submitted for the candidate.
  3. The same person may not be simultaneously a candidate for this program and other JSPS fellowships, namely a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers (Standard or Short-term for North American and European Researchers) or a JSPS Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan.
  4. With regard to Paragraph L-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 (Standard), the postdoctoral Fellowship (Short-term) Program for North American and European 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. For further application details, please see the “Points to Keep in Mind When Preparing an Application Form” and the Q&A section of our website.


ADDRESS: Overseas Fellowship Division,
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
5-3-1, Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083
TEL: +81-3-3263-3769/3783/3444