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    Guidelines for JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

    Short- and long-term fellowships for postdoctoral researchers are available as a part of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellowship opportunities through the NIH. The fellowships promote international cooperation in scientific research and contribute to advancement of research in the subject field.

    Short-term Postdoctoral Fellowships

    Short-term JSPS postdoctoral fellowships provide opportunities to young and excellent North American and European predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers to conduct, under the guidance of their hosts, cooperative research with leading research groups in universities and other Japanese institutions. The program aims to help such researchers advance their own research while expanding opportunities for them to come to Japan, thus advancing scientific exchange between Japan and participating countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., Italy, Finland, other European Union countries (as of 1 April 2017), Switzerland, Norway and Russia.

    Eligibility

    Short-term postdoctoral fellowship candidates must:

    1. Possess either the nationality or citizenship of the nominating country or be a permanent resident of that country.
    2. Hold a doctorate degree obtained from outside Japan when the Fellowship goes into effect, which must have been received within six years prior to April 1, 2018 (i.e. awarded on or after April 2, 2012), or be enrolled in a doctoral course and be scheduled to receive a Ph.D. within two years from the starting date of the Fellowship.
    3. Have arranged in advance a research plan with his/her Japanese host.
    • Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers are not eligible.
    • Short-term JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for North American and European Researchers are only awarded once per researcher.
    • Persons of Japanese nationality are not eligible to apply, nor are those of dual nationality if one is Japanese.
    • Persons who have received a Ph.D. from a Japanese university or who are expected to receive one are not eligible to apply.
    • Researchers doing research at a Japanese research institution at the time of application are not eligible.

    Period

    From 1 to 12 months (full months)

    Starting Dates

    Fellows must start their fellowships in Japan between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

    Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowships

    Long-term JSPS postdoctoral fellowships 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.

    Eligibility

    Long-term postdoctoral fellowship candidates must:

    1. Possess either the nationality or citizenship of the nominating country or be a permanent resident of that country.
    2. Hold a doctorate degree when the Fellowship goes into effect, which must have been received within six years prior to April 1, 2018 (i.e. awarded on or after April 2, 2012), 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.
    • Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers (excluding short-term Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for North American and European Researchers and the Summer Program) are not eligible.
    • Those who do not meet the above nationality/citizenship requirement may apply for the program only if the competent nominating authority agrees to accept their applications. Such researchers may be nominated to JSPS so long as they do not reduce the number of nominees with eligible status. However, researchers of Japanese nationality are not eligible.
    • You are not eligible to apply if you have a professional degree J.D. or M.D. in the U.S.

    Period

    From 12 to 24 months (full months)

    Starting Dates

    Fellows must start their fellowships in Japan between April 1, 2018 and November 30, 2018.

    Fields of Research

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

    Terms of Award

      1. A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS regulations).
      2. A monthly maintenance allowance of 362,000 yen for fellows with a Ph.D. at the start of tenure; 200,000 yen for fellows without a Ph.D. at the start of tenure.
      3. A settling-in allowance of 200,000 yen (only for Fellows with four or more months of tenure).
      4. Overseas travel accident and sickness insurance coverage.
    • The amounts of the awards indicated above are subject to change.
    • No air ticket or settling-in allowance will be provided if the Fellow resides in Japan before the fellowships starts, or has resident status before or after the date the certificate of award is issued.
    • A research-support allowance (grant-in-aid for scientific research) is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application is made by the host researcher.

    Host Researchers and Host Institutions in Japan

    • Host researchers in Japan must be employed full-time or classified as being employed full-time (excluding Jokyo, assistant professors, and Joshu, research assistants) at a university or research institution 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 overseas researchers.
    • Candidates must have arranged in advance a research plan for their stay in Japan with their prospective host researcher.

    Application Procedures

    Applications for this program must be submitted to JSPS through an overseas nominating authority. Application process is as follows:

      1. Contact is made between an overseas scientist who wishes to conduct cooperative research in Japan and his/her prospective host.
      2. Contact Mili Ferreira at mili.ferreira@nih.gov to request an application form.
      3. The overseas scientist submits an application to a nominating authority.
      4. Nominating authority conducts scientific evaluation to select the candidates and nominates them to JSPS.
      5. Approximately three months after JSPS receiving an application from nominating authorities, JSPS will send out a notice of selection decision to both the candidate and submitting nominating authority.
    • JSPS does not find or introduce host researchers.
    • Application deadlines and selection procedures differ by each nominating authority.
    • When setting the starting date of fellowships, adequate time should be allowed for application processing: e.g., application screening by the nominating authority (depending on authorities) and selection decision-making by JSPS (app. three months).
    • Apart from receiving applications through foreign nominating authorities, JSPS also accepts applications from Japanese researchers who agree to host a foreign researcher (open recruitment). For details on this application channel, please see JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers.

    Materials to be Submitted

      1. Application form (research data) written by each candidate (Format 2-Postdoc).
      2. A letter of acceptance/invitation from the candidate's prospective host researcher in Japan, stating that he/she accepts the candidate at his/her institution during the period of the fellowship tenure.
      3. A letter of reference/recommendation from the candidate's current or previous supervisor (not from his/her prospective host researcher in Japan).
      4. A copy of the candidate's Ph.D. degree diploma or the original Ph.D. certificate. 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. In that case, the candidate should submit to JSPS an original degree certificate or copy of the diploma promptly before starting his/her fellowship.
      5. Supplementary documents (if necessary).
    • The application form can be submitted electronically in PDF format. The application and letters must be signed documents.
    • All documents must be in either English or Japanese. When the original document is in another language, please be sure to attach an English translation (which does not to need be an official translation, but may be done by the host or candidate).
    • With regard to section 13. Research Theme in Japan in the application form, the entry must be within 100 letters including spaces and symbols.
    • For candidates who are not scheduled to receive a doctoral degree by the time the fellowship starts, one of the following documents may be submitted in lieu of a document from the university stating the date the Ph.D. will be awarded.
      • Certificate of doctoral course enrolment (showing the Fellow’s enrolment in at least the final two years of the doctoral course as of the time the fellowship starts.
      • A document written and signed by the Fellow’s academic advisor stating that s/he is scheduled to receive a Ph.D. degree within two years. (If the advisor writes a letter of recommendation for the Fellow, this content may be included in it.)

    Obligation (including measures against misconduct and misuse of funds)

    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. 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. Please see the separate document "About the Proper Use of Competitive and Other Funds."
      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.

    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 administrative institutions and JSPS's rules for safeguarding personal information. Personal information is to be used solely for implementing the 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, 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.

    Notes

    • The same person may not simultaneously be a candidate for both this postdoctoral fellowship and a JSPS Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan.
    • Should JSPS determine any information in an application to be falsified, plagiarized or otherwise flawed, the application will be rejected or, if already awarded, the fellowship withdrawn.
    • JSPS does not support any research related to military affairs.

    Updated October 23, 2017

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