Jointly organized by the United Nations University and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is designed to provide promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research relevant to the main thematic focus areas of the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS, Tokyo) and UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR, Tokyo), in co-operation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions. UNU acts as the nominating authority for the JSPS–UNU Programme. This fellowship is aimed at candidates who have completed their doctoral degrees in the past six years and also have professional and/or research experience. UNU will assist in securing acceptance from host researchers for short-listed candidates.
Fellowships are awarded for a period of 24 months. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree (received on or after 2 April 2011) when the fellowship begins, or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before the fellowship begins. Japanese nationals are not eligible.
Terms of the Award
JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2017
Research proposals for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowships should relate clearly to one of the research areas of UNU-IAS or UNU-CPR listed below, and also aim to be policy-relevant.
The following research projects at UNU-IAS and UNU-CPR are accepting applications for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellows:
The selected fellow in Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services Assessment will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to ecosystem assessments and governance in the area of natural capital and biodiversity. One focus of the project is ecosystem assessments undertaken by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This includes accounting systems of natural capital and ecosystem services, synergies and tradeoff analysis across ecosystem services and scales, future scenarios analysis, and policy and institutions designed to promote sustainable ecosystem governance, including effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and green growth.
The selected fellow will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to Governance for Sustainable Development. One focus of the project is governance related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes implementation mechanisms and governance of the SDGs at national or regional levels, comparison of implementation among different countries and actors, science–policy interface, interlinkages between the SDGs and other international agreements as well as synergies and trade-offs between targets. In terms of issues, our primary focus is on Goal 12 and its linkage with other relevant goals, but not limited to it.
The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme at UNU-IAS is focused on the implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development, as well as the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using ESD as a mechanism for the implementation of the goals. The selected fellow will work with an interdisciplinary team on research related to the assessment and implementation of ESD curriculum and practices at local, sub-national, national, and global levels. The selected fellow is encouraged to work with the two flagship initiatives, Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable development, which are networks of ESD organizations which operate at sub-national and local levels, as well as ProSPER.Net – the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network, and a network of leading universities in the Asia-Pacific region that are committed to integrating sustainable development principles into postgraduate curriculum and research.
The selected fellow will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to social and international aspects of Low Carbon Technology in the context of realizing a low carbon society. The primary focus of the project is technology transfer policy and institutions at the global level, including multilateral mechanisms and partnerships, as well as in OECD countries such as France, Germany, the UK and the US. The successful candidate is expected to have research interests aligned in this direction and contribute to the project. Familiarity with issues such as low carbon development pathways, international cooperation and policies in OECD countries, project implementation in developing countries, the UNFCCC process and the SDGs is an asset.
The selected fellows will be expected to conduct research that contributes to UNU-CPR’s flagship research programme on the changing nature of armed conflict. The nature of armed conflict has changed dramatically over the past two decades, as a result of the growth of illicit trafficking networks, the rise of non-state actors, and the spread of violent Islamist extremist groups. However, the UN’s conflict resolution tools have not evolved in step. UNU-CPR’s research programme explores how these tools will need to be adapted to retain their effectiveness in a new environment, exploring three clusters in particular: 1) conflict prevention, mediation and local-level conflict resolution; 2) peacekeeping and protection; and 3) sanctions. The aim of this programme is to provide in-depth analysis, policy recommendations, and real-time advisory support to UN policy processes and operations. The successful candidate is expected to have research interests aligned in this direction. Familiarity with research into conflict trends and drivers as well as the UN’s conflict resolution work is essential.
Applicants must be citizens of countries that have diplomatic relations with Japan. Japanese nationals are not eligible, nor are those of dual nationality if one is Japanese. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree on or after 2 April 2011 (i.e., the degree must have been received within six years prior to 1 April 2017), when the fellowship begins or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before the fellowship begins.
Applicants with at least 10 months research and/or professional experience are especially encouraged to apply.
Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the “JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Overseas Researchers” (excluding Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (Short-term) and Summer Program) are not eligible.
Duration of the fellowship
Fellowships are awarded for a period of 24 months.
Nomination of candidates
UNU will act as the nominating authority of the programme, and applications should be submitted to UNU-IAS. UNU-IAS nominates candidates to the JSPS based on the following criteria:
UNU intends to inform successful candidates of the results of the nomination in May 2017. JSPS takes up to 3 months after receiving the nominations to process its award decisions.
Starting date and deadline for applications
The JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral 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 2017 Fellowships is 28 February 2017.
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. 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.
Review of applications by the Fellowship Committee will begin immediately after the application deadline. Short-listed candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview and to provide reference letters.