Japan: The JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship

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1. Introduction

The JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme was launched in 2002, and is jointly organised by UNU and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
(JSPS). It is designed to provide opportunities for promising, highly
qualified, young researchers to conduct cooperative research under the
leadership of their host researchers of Japanese universities and
research institutions especially in the fields relevant to the main
thematic focus of UNU-IAS, located in Yokohama, and UNU Centre, located
in Tokyo.

UNU acts as the nominating authority for the JSPS-UNU
Programme, and UNU-IAS administers the programme on behalf of UNU in
the nominating process. Candidates apply to UNU-IAS using the
prescribed application form with the following documents:
recommendation letters, and a certificate of his/her Ph.D. degree, etc.

It is necessary for applicants to indicate the prospective host researcher at the time of submitting the application. The list of prospective host researchers and their areas of specialisation
is available as an example for candidates. (It is not necessary to
obtain confirmation of acceptance from the prospective host researcher
at this stage.) After screening the candidates, UNU will assist in
receiving acceptance from the host researchers for the short-listed
candidates. After the host researcher is secured for each short-listed
candidate, UNU will make nominations to JSPS, which contributes
financially to this programme. The final award decision will be made by
JSPS and Awards Letters will be issued by JSPS to the fellowship
awardees. An advisor for each fellowship awardee will be selected for
the period of research in Japan from among the UNU (UNU-IAS or UNU
Centre) faculty members after consultation with the host researcher.

2. Fields of Research

fields of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences,
particularly those related to the main thematic focus of UNU’s
programme activities with emphasis on policy issues. Research proposals
should relate clearly to one of the following current research areas of
UNU-IAS and UNU Centre (see
UNU-IAS, UNU Centre/Peace and Governance and UNU Centre/Environment and Sustainable Development websites):

  1. Biodiplomacy
    Biodiplomacy Initiative (BI) is a multifaceted approach to supporting
    international, regional and national processes concerning development
    and implementation of law and policy relating to conservation and use
    of biodiversity, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing,
    protection of traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights,
    bioethics, biosafety and biosecurity. The BI includes policy research,
    outreach and capacity building activities.
  2. Sustainable Development Governance
    on the governance and effectiveness of institutions for sustainable
    development, interlinkages/interplay between MEAs, both at global and
    regional levels; ethics and the role of environmental principles in
    international governance, WTO and sustainable development in developing
    countries, development of markets and policies for environmental goods
    and services, WTO and investment in developing countries, and impacts
    of WTO accession on sustainable development particularly sectoral
    analysis on health, welfare, poverty reduction, culture and environment.
  3. Science Policy for Sustainable Development
    Studies on policy issues related to the implementation of technology
    transfer provisions of Convention on Biological Diversity
    (CBD),International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
    Agriculture (ITPGRFA), and the United Nations Convention to Combat
    Desertification (UNCCD); country case studies and best practices in
    biotechnology development and transfer in developing countries context;
    policy studies on the application of science and technology for
    achieving the millennium Development Goals, particularly in regard to
    poverty alleviation in Africa; institutional innovations in linking
    science and technology with the development process in developing
  4. Ecosystems & People
    Studies on the linkages between human well-being and ecosystems;
    poverty and environment; poverty reductions strategies/Millennium
    Development Goals related to environment; pro-poor markets for
    ecosystem services, roles of MEAs in improving human well-being; and
    ecosystem assessment leading towards integrated policy making;
    particularly focused on the development of training and teaching
    materials for policymakers in these areas. Also, this programme has an
    existing concentration on Urban Ecosystems – including the application
    of the ecosystem approach to the study and management of cities.
    Current priorities include exploring the drivers of urban environmental
    and ecosystem change, urban metabolism and other ecosystem approaches
    to understanding cities. The programme is also exploring the relevance
    and effectiveness of ecosystem approach influenced policies as they are
    applied to urban regions.
  5. Education for Sustainable Development
    Further development and implementation of the UNU strategy to promote
    education for sustainable development (EfSD) and the Decade of
    Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), which started in January
    2005. Possible topic for research may include, for instance, case
    studies of Regional Centers of Expertise (RCE) on EfSD regarding their
    development processes and success factors, development of curricula for
    priority topics on EfSD etc. An RCE is a group of organizations that
    deliver education for sustainable development at regional and local
    levels. Research may document how an RCE is developed to translate and
    articulate a global vision of education for sustainable development
    into the context of the local community in which it operates, thereby
    critically examining whether an RCE can serve as a platform to promote
    dialogues among EfSD stakeholders towards locally relevant and
    culturally appropriate EfSD.
  6. Sustainable Management of Fragile Ecosystems – Satoyama Area (Ishikawa International Cooperation Research Center- IICRC)
    research on the management of fragile ecosystems, especially the
    conservation and sustainable use of satoyama (traditional rural
    landscape) and its multidimensional values including ecological,
    social, cultural and economic aspects in Asia (including Japan),
    Europe, Africa and Oceania.
  7. Peace and Governance
    International order and justice (analyzes and contributes to the UN’s
    roles in meeting the most pressing challenges to international order
    and justice; addresses proposals to make the UN system more efficient
    in strengthening international peace; in promoting human rights, rule
    of law and good governance)
    2) Conflict and security (focusing on
    the roots of human, national, regional and international security
    threats, and the provision of security by civil society, state,
    regional and international actors, including conflict prevention and
    3) Human rights and ethics (focusing on the
    challenges of promoting human rights in a divided world, and the
    ethical and normative dimensions of contemporary foreign policy and
    international institutions)
    4) Policy and institutional frameworks
    (exploring the modalities, values and institutions that are employed to
    organize governance at the regional, transnational and global levels)
  8. Environment and Sustainable Development
    Management of fragile ecosystems (managing agrodiversity, sustainable
    land management in drylands, mountains and forests). Three programmes
    are conducting research that would lead to integration of
    sustainability into the management of endangered fragile ecosystems.
    Water crises (international rivers and lake basins management, managing
    basin water cycle for sustainable water resources development,
    environmental monitoring and governance in coastal hydrosphere) The
    research programme on ‘Water crises’ seeks to promote sustainable
    environmental and political management of critical water resources that
    will ensure adequate quality and quantities of water for all.
    3) Sustainable urbanization (research on multi-hazard risk assessment, innovative communities, Zero Emissions Forum)
    Global environmental governance and information (studies on Forum for
    Globally-Integrated Environmental Assessment Modeling, information
    society and environmental issues, The Inter-linkages Initiative)
    Holistic view of environmental transitions. This is the new thematic
    area that addresses global view on diverse environmental challenges.

3. Eligibility

  1. Citizens of UN member countries that have diplomatic relations with
    Japan. (Japanese nationals that do not have citizenship or permanent
    residency of foreign countries are not eligible.)
  2. Holders of
    a doctoral degree when the Fellowship goes into effect, which must have
    been received within six years prior to 2 April 2006.

Those who have research experience (at least 10 months) after receiving their doctoral degree are encouraged to apply.

and UNU cannot accept nominations for persons who have in the past been
awarded either a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship or STA (Japan Science and
Technology Corporation) Fellowship (Long-term) for a term of 12 months
or more.

4. Duration of the Fellowship

Fellowships are awarded for a period of 12 to 24 months.

5. Terms of Award

  1. A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS regulations)
  2. A monthly maintenance allowance of 392,000 yen
  3. A settling-in allowance of 200,000 yen (based on JSPS regulations)
  4. An annual domestic research travel allowance of 58,500 yen
  5. Overseas travel accident and sickness insurance coverage


  1. The amounts of the Awards indicated above are subject to change.
  2. If
    the Fellow resides in Japan on the date his/her award letter is issued,
    the above-mentioned air ticket to Japan and settling-in allowance will
    not be provided.
  3. A research grant, "Grant-in-Aid for
    Scientific Research" or "Research Grant", of up to 1,500,000 yen per
    year (total of 3,000,000 yen for two years. The amount varies depending
    on the areas/disciplines of research.) is available to cover
    cooperative research-related expenses. Application for these grants is
    made by the host reseacher through his/her institution.

This award is provided by JSPS, and follows JSPS programme guidelines.

6. Eligible Host Institutions in Japan

Eligible host institutions in Japan are universities, inter-university research institutions, and other research institutions designated by JSPS.

7. Nomination of Candidates

  1. UNU will act as a nominating authority of the Programme, and application should be submitted to UNU-IAS.
  2. UNU will try to inform the applicants of the results of the nomination by the middle of July.
  3. JSPS takes about 2 months after receiving the nominations to process its award decision.

8. Starting Date and Deadline for Applications

JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme begins on 1 November each
year and the selected fellows are required to be in Japan by this date.

The closing date for applications for the 2006 Fellowships is 12 May 2006.

Application forms are available for download as Microsoft Word (.doc) and Portable Document Format (.pdf ) files. The application form can also be obtained through email fellowships@ias.unu.edu.

All applications must be received by post on or before 12 May 2006 to the address below:

JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme
United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies
6F, International Organizations Center, Pacifico-Yokohama
1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220-8502 Japan
Fax: +81-45-221-2303

Applicants are encouraged, in addition to the mailed hard copy, to also
submit application electronically as an email attachment. These
electronic applications represent a supplement to the hard copies
mailed to the UNU-IAS, and they do not replace the mailed hard copy.
All parts of this form must be completed in English. Uncompleted parts
may result in the application being rejected.


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