Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Extramural Research Fellowships in Japan.
General | Post-Award Logistics
Q: Where should I mail my application?
A: Send signed application with supporting documentation electronically as PDF files to Mili Ferreira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is the application deadline?
A: All Extramural Fellowship applications should be received by Fogarty on January 31, 2018. JSPS nominating authorities have separate deadlines.
Q: What paper size should I print out my application (US or Asia size)?
A: Either letter (8 1/2" x 11") or A4 paper size is fine.
Q: What is the turnaround timeframe between nomination and award?
A: The turnaround is approximately 3 months from the time the nominations are submitted by NIH to the JSPS office until the applicant receives their notification of award.
Q: When is Japan's Fiscal Year?
A: Japan's Fiscal Year goes from April 1 to March 31 of each year.
Q: How many nominations can NIH submit to JSPS?
A: NIH can submit 10 short-term and 2 long-term extramural fellowship nominations.
Q: Does NIH find a Japanese host researcher for the applicant?
A: No, the applicant must have made prior contact with a qualifying institution in Japan and received an Invitation Letter from the institution before submitting their application to Fogarty.
Q: Can a successful applicant postpone the award for a year?
A: No. The successful applicant must start the fellowship during the "Date" specified under each program guidelines.
Q: Where can I find information about JSPS invitation fellowships?
A: As of September 2016, NIH will no longer serve as a nominating authority for JSPS invitation fellowships. Please submit applications for Invitation Fellowships directly to JSPS.
Q: Upon accepting the Fellowship, what sort of procedure must my host carry out?
A: Your host scientist is responsible for handling the administrative procedures related to your Fellowship, and for explaining them to you when necessary. The host handles the procedures related to your visit and stay, including the preparation of various forms and documents. Your host also submits a final research report.
Q: What are the visa requirements for the fellowship?
A: To enter into Japan, Fellows must possess a valid passport and a visa obtained from an overseas Japanese Embassy or Consulate. Without the necessary visa you may not be allowed to enter Japan upon your arrival. However, Fellows whose countries have a reciprocal visa exemption agreement with Japan do not need to obtain a visa, but can apply for the entry permission upon arrival so long as their stays are short-term. Ask the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate if you need to obtain an entry visa in advance. If you are required to obtain a visa, you must submit the necessary visa application. Fellows on short-term stays are normally given a "temporary visitor" visa status. Those on long-term stays are assigned the status of "cultural activities," "researcher," or "professor."
Q: What is the best way to obtain lodging during my stay?
A: The rent for private apartments is high, especially in metropolitan areas such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. It is recommended that you use the guesthouse at your host institution.
Various fees and deposits are required when you sign the rental contract for an apartment. These are called "key money," and add up to 4 to 6 months of rent. The real estate agent's fee may also be as much as 2 to 3 months of rent. The amount of key money required may differ from landlord to landlord. Japanese rental houses and apartments normally come unfurnished. If you should decide to rent an apartment, it is advisable that you bring your host, a Japanese colleague, or an officer of your host institution along with you when you go to sign the rental agreement. The several months' worth of key money must be paid when you sign the contract. JSPS does not cover these fees or deposits, nor can it be the guarantor for rental agreements. As a guarantor is normally required, ask your host well in advance whether he/she is willing to be a guarantor.
Q: Can I split my stay in Japan?
A: No. Fellows must reside in Japan continuously during the duration of their fellowships. Temporary absences may be granted for related research purposes.
Q: May I change my commencement date?
A: Yes. The commencement date of your Fellowship may be changed from that indicated in your host's application as long as it starts within the designated "start date" for the fellowship program.
Q: I want to shorten my stay to less than 14 days. Will that be possible?
A: No. The fellowship is premised upon a 14 day or longer stay.
Q: May I take a temporary absence, even if it shortens my time in Japan to less than 14 days?
Q: What happens to my allowances if I should shorten my tenure during my stay?
A: Your allowances will be reduced. You will be required to reimburse JSPS the amount of already-paid allowances rendered unused by the change of tenure.
Q: If my fellowship is for less than 60 days, may I extend it to up to 60 days?
A: No. Irrespective of the reason, the period of tenure stipulated in your "Award Letter" cannot be extended. You may continue your stay in Japan after the expiration of your fellowship due to flight scheduling or research continuation. However, JSPS will not assume any responsibility for your extended stay, nor will it cover expenses after the fellowship expires.
Q: Should I buy my own air tickets?
A: No. You will be issued tickets through the JSPS fellowship desk of our designated travel agency. JSPS does not reimburse fellows for air tickets purchased, nor does it provide cash payments for airfare.
Q: How will I receive my monthly allowances?
A: Allowances will be deposited into your account at a bank in Japan, or into your host's account.
Q: How should I apply for overseas travel and accident insurance?
A: Fellows do not need to apply for this insurance. However, your host scientist must submit a form to begin the start of coverage.
Q: Is any support provided for dependents?
A: No. Neither JSPS nor NIH provide support for dependents.
Q: How do I apply for the National Health Insurance Program?
A: Foreigners are eligible for National Health Insurance who are registered under the Alien Registration Law, and have stayed in Japan for more than one year as stipulated under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Visiting researchers whose stay under the fellowship program is less than one year are not eligible for the National Health Insurance.
These are cases when a fellow will stay in Japan after the completion of his/her tenure for research or other purposes. If an extended stay of one year or longer is authorized by the immigration authorities, it may be possible for the researcher to join the National Insurance Program. Inquire at the ward, city, town or village office.
Q: How do I register if I am in Japan for over 90 days?
A: Under Japan's Alien Registration Law, foreigners who will stay in Japan for 90 days or longer must register at the city, ward or town office where they reside within 90 days of arrival in Japan. Fellows under the long-term fellowship program must register. An alien registration card will be issued 2 to 3 weeks after registration.
Updated October 23, 2017