Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers

Application through Open Recruitment in Japan
(Application by a Japanese host researcher)

Application Guidelines (FY2014)

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

March 2013

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers
(Gaikokujin Tokubetsu Kenkyuin)


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. The program allows such researchers to advance their own research while contributing to the progress of research in Japan and the counterpart countries.

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 applicant (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 eligible to apply to MEXT for funding under the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (MEXT Notification ) and must want to host an 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


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


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, 2008, or be scheduled to receive a doctorate degree before the Fellowship goes into effect.
  3. Have arranged in advance a research plan with his/her Japanese host researcher

Note: Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers (excluding Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (Short-term) for North American and European Researchers and Summer Program) are not eligible.


For the 1st Recruitment (September 2013): approximately 120 Fellowships will be granted.
For the 2nd Recruitment (May 2014): approximately 120 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 the following periods:


For the 1st Recruitment: April 1, 2014– September 30, 2014
For the 2nd Recruitment: September 1, 2014 – November 30, 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 ¥362,000
  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.


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 postdoctoral 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 deadline 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 postdoctoral researchers or through diplomatic channels.



There is another application channel: JSPS also receives applications for the program through overseas nominating authorities. Regarding this procedure, please see the following JSPS website and contact the nominating authority in your country.


  1. Materials to be submitted

    a.  Materials to be prepared by the applicant (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.

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

     Number of applications
     List of candidates

  2. Application deadline (for host institution):

    a.  1st Recruitment: Recruitment: 2- 6 September 2013
    b.  2nd Recruitment: Recruitment: 1-9 May 2014

    Note : 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. Selection process

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

    • That the collaboration will contribute to advancing science in Japan and counterpart country.
    • That the collaboration can be expected to advance research in the subject field.
    • That the applicant (host researcher) and candidate have established contact in advance and devised a concrete research plan.
    • That a suitable space is prepared and facilities arranged at the host institution for the fellow to conduct research during his/her tenure.
    • That, as much as possible, preference not be given to the candidate’s nationality, host institution, or field of specialization. Consideration is given to inviting first-time fellows from a range of countries.

    Note: For more information on the selection procedure, see JSPS website.

    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.

  3. Notification of selection results

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

      1st recruitment: recruitment: middle of January 2014
      2nd recruitment:recruitment: middle of August 2014

    • 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.
    • Unsuccessful candidates are not directly notified of their selection results. However, applicants (host researchers) will receive a notice of their approximate ranking among all the applications.

Notification procedure

Non-selected applications will be ranked in the following three tiers. (For reference, the number of applications submitted and number of awardees will be noted.)

Non-selected A (upper tier)
Non-selected B (middle tier)
Non-selected C (lower tier)

All notifications will be made via sealed letter.

Note: Individual requests for selection results are not accepted.


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 Program for Foreign Researchers. 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 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.


K.  Handling of Personal Information:

With regard to personal information contained in application materials, it shall be strictly controlled in accordance with laws to protect personal information held by administractive 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. When one applicant (host researcher) submits two or more applications, the order of their priority should be stated.
  3. 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.
  4. The same person may not simultaneously be a candidate for both this postdoctoral fellowship and a JSPS invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan.
  5. With regard to Paragraph J-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 (Short-term) Program for North American and European Researchers, and the RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program.
  6. 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
  7. 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: +81-3-3263-3444/3761/3692