JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship (Short-term) for Researchers in the U.S.

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JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship (Short-term) for Researchers in the U.S. “Obei-Tanki” 2016 – 2017
[Application to JSPS Washington Office]


The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for young and excellent pre/post-doctoral researchers from the U.S. to conduct, under the guidance of their hosts, cooperative research with leading research groups in universities and other Japanese institutions. In so doing, the program is designed to help advance the research of the visiting fellows, while expanding opportunities for young researchers to come to Japan from the U.S.


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


(1) Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. Also eligible are persons who have earned a master’s or higher degree in an eligible country (*) and continuously thereafter been engaged in research for a period of at least three years at a university or research institution in the U.S. Such persons must be from a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan or from Taiwan or Palestine, have conducted research continuously for three or more years before the time their application was submitted, and must possess an excellent research record.
(*)Eligible countries are the U.S., Canada, the European Union countries (as of April 1, 2015), Switzerland, Norway and Russia.

(2) Applicants must have obtained their doctoral degree at a university outside Japan within six years of the date the fellowship goes into effect (on or after April 2, 2010) or must be currently enrolled in a doctoral course at a university outside Japan and scheduled to receive their Ph.D. within two years from the time that their research starts in Japan.

(3) Have arranged in advance a research plan with a host researcher in Japan.

Note 1: Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Overseas Researchers are not eligible. This Obei-Tanki Fellowship is only awarded once per researcher.

Note 2: Overseas researchers who reside in Japan at the time of application are not eligible.

Note 3: Japanese citizens are not eligible.


Host researcher must, in principle, be a researcher who is employed full-time at a university or research institution as specified in Article 2 of the Procedure for the Handling of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi ), issued by the MEXT. (The status of “full-time researcher” is determined by each university. Jokyo , assistant professor, and Joshu, research assistant, are excluded.) However, there are cases when a researcher not employed in a full time position may be eligible. Such persons must be eligible to apply for a KAKENHI grant–in-aid and his/her affiliated institution must judge them able to implement the project and to provide an appropriate research environment (e.g., laboratory, equipment, personnel) for it.

Eligible host institutions specified under the above MEXT Procedure are as follows:

  1. Universities and inter-university research institutes
  2. MEXT-affiliated institutions engaged in research
  3. College of technology
  4. Institutions designated by the Minister of MEXT


(1) Fellowships are awarded for a period of 1 to 12 months

(2) Successful candidates must start the Fellowship in Japan during the following period:

1) First Recruitment: June 1, 2016- March 31, 2017

2) Second Recruitment: September 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017


*The amounts of the Awards indicated below are subject to change for budgetary reasons.

  1. A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS’s regulations)
  2. A settling-in allowance of JPY 200,000  (only applicable for Fellows with 4 or more months of tenure)
  3. A monthly maintenance allowance
    (a) For Ph.D. holders: JPY 362,000
    (b) For Ph.D. candidates: JPY 200,000
  4. Overseas travel insurance coverage, etc.

Note1: 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.

Note2: A research support allowance is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application is made by the host researcher through his/her institution.


Application process is as follows:

(1) Contact made between applicant and his/her prospective host researcher
(2) Applicant submits application to JSPS Washington Office.

Materials to be submitted are as follows:

(a) Application Form (PDF or MS Word) to be filled out by the applicant. (Note: Use forms prepared by JSPS.)

(b) A letter of acceptance/invitation from the applicant’s prospective host researcher in Japan, stating that s/he accepts the applicant at his/her institution, that the project has been thoroughly discussed and developed with him/her, and that both the applicant and s/he will positively benefit from the proposed collaboration.

(c) A letter of reference/recommendation from the applicant’s current or previous academic supervisor (not from his/her prospective host researcher in Japan)

(d)A copy of the applicant’s doctoral degree certificate (diploma). If the degree has not yet been awarded, a letter is required from the applicant’s institution stating the date when s/he will officially receive the degree. Those who are not scheduled to receive a PhD degree by the day before the fellowship starts must submit ORIGINAL of one of the following documents.

– Certificate/Verification of doctoral course enrollment at the time of application.

– A document written and signed by the candidate’s advisor stating that you are scheduled to receive a PhD degree within two years of the fellowship starting date.

Note 1: JSPS does not find or introduce host researchers.

Note 2: Application materials should be submitted to JSPS Washington Office by mail, not by email attachments.

Note 3: All documents except a diploma must be the original. All documents must be in English. When the original document is in another language, please be sure to attach an English translation (which does not need to be an official translation, but may be done by the host or applicant).


1) First Recruitment
The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, January 15th, 2016.

2) Second Recruitment
The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, April 15th, 2016.

Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.


(1) JSPS Washington Office selects the candidates and nominates them to JSPS Tokyo HQ.

(2) Approximately three months after receiving an application, JSPS Tokyo HQ will send out a notice of selection decision to the candidate.

Selection Criteria

  1. The fellowship should help advance both the candidate’s and the host’s research work.
  2. The host and candidate must have established close communication and devised a concrete research plan.
  3. The implementation of the fellowship should contribute to promoting exchange between Japan and the U.S.
  4. In the research plan, consideration should be given to honing the research skills of pre-doctoral applicants.
  5. As much as possible, preference should not be given to host institution or field of specialization in making selections.


Another framework, separate from the one provided herein, is provided to apply for this Obei-Tanki Program through JSPS Tokyo HQ. They accept applications from Japanese researchers who agree to host an overseas researcher. For more details on this application channel, please inquire at JSPS website.


The fellows, host researchers and host institutions 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 Overseas 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 applicant should confirm his/her conditions at the host laboratory, including his/her status under the fellowship to pursue his/her joint research. The candidates will also have to ask their host researcher/institution, when needed, with immigration processing (including applying for a “certificate of eligibility”), securing domicile and other matters related to his/her stay in Japan.

(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 and other research activities. 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 fellowship 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. Fellows may not receive any remuneration for their research activities carried out under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Overseas Researchers.

(6) The fellows and host researchers shall follow the rules established by the host institution and JSPS prohibiting acts of research misconduct, e.g., fabricating or falsifying research results.

(7) The fellow and host researcher must submit a research report using separately prescribed format.

(8) The host institution shall inform both the fellow and host researcher 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.

Note: Regarding paragraph (6) above, please see the separate document “About the Proper Use of Competitive and Other Funds.”


With regard to personal information contained in application materials, it shall be strictly controlled in accordance with the “Law to Protect Personal Information Held by Independent Administrative Institutions” and JSPS’s own regulations for protecting personal information. JSPS will use such information exclusively for implementing its programs. (This may involve the provision of personal information to external companies commissioned to electronically process and manage program-related data.)

If selected for a fellowship, fellows should note that their name, title, affiliated organization and country; research theme, host institution, host researcher’s name and title; and research reports may be given public access. Fellows are also asked to participate in surveys aimed at improving JSPS programs.


  1. JSPS does not support any research project related to military affairs.
  2. The same person may not simultaneously be a candidate for both this postdoctoral fellowship and a JSPS invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan.
  3. Should JSPS determine that any information in an application to be falsified, plagiarized or otherwise flawed, the application will be rejected or, if already awarded, the fellowship withdrawn.
  4. For research plans that include surveys, research or experiments that require approval processing by an ethics committee either in or outside the Japanese host institution, please state clearly the measures to be taken in your application.


Address for submitting Applications:
JSPS Washington Office
2001 L Street NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20036
Email address
TEL: 1-202-659-8190 FAX: 1-202-659-8199

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