JSPS Ikushi Prize

- Recognizing and Supporting Outstanding University Doctoral Students -

1. Objective

In 2009, JSPS received an endowment from His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus Akihito on the 20th year of his reign. Amidst a severe economic environment in Japanese society, His Majesty’s desire was to encourage and support young scientists who are working diligently to advance their studies and research.
In deference to his wishes, JSPS established the Ikushi Prize program and placed it into operation in FY 2010. It functions to formally recognize outstanding doctoral students who can be expected to contribute to Japan’s future scientific advancement.

2. Applicable Fields

All fields of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

3. Eligibility

Candidates must be doctoral students with outstanding academic records, who possess abundant qualities of humanity and who pursue their studies and research in an independent and vigorous manner. They must be nominated by either the president of their university or the director of an academic society to which they belong. They must be enrolled in a university doctoral program on 1 May and be under 34 years of age on 1 April of the subject fiscal year.
Overseas students enrolled in university doctoral programs in Japan are also eligible.

4. Nominators
(1) Presidents of Japanese universities
Quota: Up to four nominations

*one from each of three research areas; humanities/social sciences, science /mathematics/engineering, and biological/medical sciences

*one from all research areas including the above-mentioned three research areas
(2) Directors of Japanese academic societies
Quota: one
5. Selection Method

Selections are made by the JSPS Ikushi Prize Selection Committee established within JSPS. In making its selections, the Committee takes into consideration the results of a preliminary review of the nominees conducted by JSPS’s Research Center for Science Systems.

6. Award Recipients

About 16 recipients are chosen for the Ikushi Prize each fiscal year. They receive a certificate, a medal, and a purse of 1.1 million yen.

7. FY2018 Prize Nominations

Nominated by university presidents 106
Nominated by academic society directors 58
Total 155 (note)

Note: When the same person is nominated twice, s/he is counted as one person.

List of JSPS Ikushi Prize Selection Committee Members
SHIMIZU, Takao Director, Institute National Center for Global Health and Medicine

KAWATA, Teiichi

CEO, The Intellectual Bank of Japan

GO, Michiko

Director, Nagoya University

SHIRAI, Katsuhiko

Honorary Advisor, Waseda University

TANAKA, Akihiko

President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies


Professor, Research Institute for Bioresources and Biotechnology, Ishikawa Prefectural University


Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University


President, International Christian University

HIRANO, Shin-ichi

Professor Emeritus, Nagoya University