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) in cooperation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions. UNU-IAS acts as the nominating authority for the JSPS–UNU Programme. This fellowship is aimed at candidates who have completed their doctorates in the past six years and also have professional and/or research experience. UNU-IAS 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 2012) when the fellowship begins, or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before the fellowship begins. Japanese nationals are not eligible, nor are those of dual nationality if one is Japanese. Also, those who have permanent residency in Japan are not eligible. Those who have been previously awarded a Standard or Pathway Fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan scheme are not eligible.
Terms of the Award
JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2018
Research proposals for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowships should relate clearly to one of the research areas of UNU-IAS listed below, and also aim to be policy-relevant.
The following research projects at UNU-IAS are accepting applications for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellows:
Global Change and Resilience (GCR) is interpreted as conducting research and activities to reduce disaster risks, address climate change through adaptation and mitigation, and contribute to the advancement in understanding and conceptualizing global change and resilience. Climate change impacts lead to more extreme weather events, loss of livelihoods and adverse health impacts, and threaten food security. Disaster impacts lead to more deaths, more people affected, and the associated costs to infrastructure and finance are enormous. Climate change impacts and disasters also undermine the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The selected fellow will be expected to conduct research that contributes to the multiple dimensions of GCR research on resilience, climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR), and policy-relevant knowledge generation for effective implementation and actions for climate change and DRR. Familiarity with international frameworks related to SDGs, UNFCCC processes, or the Sendai Framework for DRR is highly desirable.
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, the primary focus is on Goal 12 and Goal 17, including their linkage with other relevant goals, but is not limited to them.
The Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) programme at UNU-IAS engages in capacity development and applied research which aims to enhance the sustainable development of Africa through skills development and youth entrepreneurship. The selected fellow will be expected to work with a multi-disciplinary team to carry out research on this theme with regard to one or more of the following issues: Africa’s sustainable development agenda such as Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); accelerating development of skills and technology; promoting and driving entrepreneurship and regional partnerships which enhance skills development and youth entrepreneurship; sustainability science; and rural-urban linkages. The fellow will be encouraged to link their research to ESDA’s flagship initiatives which are: (i) Master’s programmes in Mining and Mineral Resources (MMR), Sustainable Urban Development (SUD), and Sustainable Integrated Rural Development in Africa (SIRDA) run by 8 leading African universities; (ii) The African Youth Entrepreneurship initiative which aims to promote and drive enterprise development among African youth in partnership with young African academics; and (iii) Rural-urban linkages in Asia and Africa.
The selected fellow will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to water issues for sustainable development in developing, semi-urban cities in Asia. The primary goals of the planned project are to (i) identify socio-economic scenarios to realize the sustainable water environment which the 2030 Agenda envisages and (ii) provide analytical tools for necessary policy options and a roadmap for actions. A successful candidate will have research interests aligned in this direction, allowing for contribution to the project by conducting field surveys in Asia and providing policy options under the supervision of the project leader.
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. Also, those who have permanent residency in Japan are not eligible. Applicants must hold a doctorate received on or after 2 April 2012 (i.e., the degree must have been received within six years prior to 1 April 2018), when the fellowship begins or be scheduled to receive doctorate 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 Standard or Pathway Fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan scheme are not eligible.
Duration of the fellowship
Fellowships are awarded for a period of 24 months.
Nomination of candidates
UNU-IAS will act as the nominating authority of the programme; and applications should be submitted to UNU-IAS, which will assist in securing acceptance from host researchers for short-listed candidates. UNU-IAS nominates candidates to JSPS based on the following criteria:
UNU intends to inform successful candidates of the results of the nomination in May 2018. 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 2018 Fellowships is 28 February 2018.
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.