Unites Nation University Japan PhD Fellowship for International Students 2014

Unites Nation University Japan PhD Fellowship for International Students

Since 1996, UNU-IAS has been offering PhD Fellowships to candidates in the last stages of their dissertation process to broaden their perspectives to other related scientific fields, and to expose them to international policy-making circles. So far, more than 90 Fellows from some 50 countries have passed through the PhD Fellowship Programme. Out of those who have completed the programme, about one third have been women, and developing country participants have outnumbered developed country participants.

One or two PhD Fellowships are awarded each year for a period of 12 months, starting in September.

The Fellowship Programme provides the successful applicant with a unique opportunity to:

  • develop and advance their research under the supervision of a UNU-IAS faculty member and contribute to the overall research agenda of the Institute;
  • widen their research interests and professional networks by working in the international and multi-disciplinary context of UNU-IAS, and with its wider network of Japanese universities and research institutes, as well as international collaborators;
  • become exposed to the workings of the international and multilateral policy process and the broader UN system; and
  • link with other UNU-IAS and UNU-CPR PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows.


The Fellows are resident at UNU-IAS in Tokyo, Japan for the full term of the fellowship. This gives them the opportunity to gain from the broader research programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences arranged by UNU-IAS. The Institute’s close links with Japanese affiliated professors and visiting professors from key universities and think tanks in Japan also allow Fellows to link into the broader Japanese academic and research community.

 Field of Research The purpose of the UNU-IAS PhD Fellowship is to provide young scholars and policymakers, especially from the developing world, with a multidisciplinary context within which to pursue advanced research and training that are of professional interest to the applicant and of direct relevance to the research agenda of UNU-IAS. Research proposals for UNU-IAS PhD Fellowships should therefore relate clearly to one of the research areas of the Institute, as well as aim to be policy relevant. Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

Sustainability Science Environmental Governance (Biodiversity)  Cities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Science and Technology for SDG   

 Eligibility and Conditions Applicants must be at the dissertation writing stage of their PhD with a research proposal accepted by the candidate’s university. Language proficiency in English is essential. Applicants from developing countries and women are particularly encouraged to apply.


UNU-IAS PhD Fellowships are awarded for a period of 12 months. The starting date of the PhD Fellowship Programme is 1 September. Successful applicants are required to be in Japan by this date. Residency in Tokyo for the full duration of the fellowship is required.


Fellows are provided with their own desk in a dedicated study room in the Institute, administrative support and desktop computing. Fellows have access to the UNU Library which includes an excellent collection of UN documents. They also have access via the UNU Library to various Japanese university libraries and computer databases. A limited range of other, more specialised computer hardware and software may also be available.


The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of JPY260,000. A one-time-only settle-in-allowance of JPY 80,000 will be granted to each Fellow at the beginning of the programme for relocation, adjustment expenses, ground transportation and incidental costs. UNU-IAS provides Fellows with a return air ticket between his/her country of residence and Narita Airport.  Settle-in-allowance and air tickets are, however, not provided for Fellows already residing in Japan before the commencement of the fellowship. 


Fellows carry out their research in Japan under the supervision of a UNU-IAS faculty member. Fellows will spend about half of their working hours on their dissertation and the remaining half assisting the Institute’s projects and activities.


Starting Date and Deadline for Applications


The UNU-IAS PhD Fellowship Programme begins on 1 September and the selected Fellows are required to be in Japan by this date. The deadline for applications for the 2014 Fellowships is 15 March 2014.

 To Apply

Interested and eligible candidates are invited to complete the online-application form. If an applicant does not have access to the Internet, he or she should contact UNU-IAS (see the contact information below). The online form and the required documents indicated in the form must be in English. If supporting documents are not in English, English translations must be attached. 


6. Selection Criteria and Process Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:
(i) The research objectives of the applicant and the quality of the research proposal; (ii) the relevance of the research proposal to the ongoing or planned research activities of the applicant’s selected Research Programme at UNU-IAS; (iii) the applicant’s academic merit and the potential for successful research while at UNU-IAS.

After the initial review of all completed applications, short-listed candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview.

Contact Information:

Ph.D. 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


Email: [email protected] Fax: +81-45-221-2302

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