Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellowship

Country
postdoctoral researchers
Residence
Germany
Country
6–24-month research stay in Japan

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Research Fellowship for highly qualified postdocs from Germany

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellowship supports you as a highly qualified postdoc from Germany in conducting your research in Japan – regardless of discipline.

There are two separate funding lines: short-term postdoctoral fellowships, which sponsors research stays of 1–12 months, and standard postdoctoral fellowships for research stays lasting from 12–24 months. The Humboldt Foundation pre-selects applicants for fellowships of six months or more on behalf of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS); the DAAD selects the fellows applying for shorter funding periods in the short-term programme. Up to 17 short-term postdoctoral fellowships and up to 16 standard postdoctoral fellowships may be awarded peryear.

If you would like to apply for a JSPS Research Fellowship, you will require an academic host, who must be working at a university or selected national research institution in Japan. For a corresponding list please see the programme information.

What we offer

The JSPS Research Fellowship enables you to carry out your research in Japan in cooperation with a qualified academic host of your choice.

The monthly fellowship amount paid by JSPS is currently 362,000 yen. Fellows conducting a stay of three months or more will receive a one-off settling-in allowance of 200,000 yen. Travel and insurance allowances may also be paid.

During your stay abroad, the Humboldt Foundation will provide you with a contact person. We will also assist you in reintegrating in Germany: e.g. with allowances for job interviews or the possibility of a twelve-month return fellowship. We will keep in contact with you even after your research stay: Our alumni sponsorship measures flexibly support every Humboldtian’s individual journey through life, in both their career and their future collaborations.

General requirements

You may apply for a JSPS Research Fellowship for highly qualified researchers from Germany if you meet the following criteria:

  • You completed your doctorate no more than six years ago (cut-off date: 1 April of the corresponding financial year) and will be able to present a copy of your doctoral certificate by the time you start your fellowship at the latest.
  • You have been published in academic journals and by academic publishers peer reviewed to international standards.
  • You have German citizenship or a permanent residence permit for Germany. For further details please see the programme information for the corresponding programme line (Short-Term or Standard).
  • Please note that Japanese citizens are not eligible to apply. This is also the case if you have dual citizenship and one of your citizenships is Japanese. You are moreover ineligible to apply if you hold a permanent residence permit for Japan.
  • You have an excellent command of English. Japanese language skills are not necessarily required. Humanities scholars, social and medical scientists must however have good knowledge of Japanese if needed to successfully carry out their research.
  • We expect you to abide by the rules of good scientific practice (PDF) and the principles of scientific ethics.

How to apply

Before applying, you should discuss the details of your independently developed research outline with your chosen academic host in Japan.

Please apply to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online and in English only. Please note that you may only submit your application once you have uploaded the following documents in the application form:

  • curriculum vitae (two pages max)
  • description of your research project (five pages max)
  • complete list of your publications
  • list of selected key publications (cf. Sample key publications list)
  • key publications
  • doctoral certificate or proof that your doctorate has been completed successfully, or confirmation that this will be the case within the next six months
  • if required: publisher’s acceptance notifications and/or acknowledgement of receipt and summaries/translations of key publications that are not available in English

In addition:

  • confirmation that research facilities are available/host’s statement: An academic from a research institution of your choice, selected from the corresponding list of potential host institutes in Japan (see programme information), must provide you with written confirmation that research facilities are available, submit a mentoring agreement and compile a detailed review for you.
  • two expert reviews: Your doctoral supervisor and one other researcher – preferably from outside of your institute – must each provide well-grounded information on your qualifications in an expert review.

The online application form contains links where the expert reviewers can upload their reviews and the academic hosts their mentoring agreement and host’s statement. Please forward these links promptly to the selected academics. You will not be able to submit your application until the requested documents have been uploaded. Please take this into account when planning your application in terms of submission deadlines. Further information and explanations can be found on the application form.

As soon as we have received your online application, we will send you written confirmation by email. After reviewing your documents, we will notify you of the expected selection date.

If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us (info[at]avh.de) before submitting your application. We are happy to help.

Deadlines

The Selection Committee responsible for reviewing applications to this programme meets every February, June and October. Please send your completed application form, including any additional documents required, well in advance of the desired selection date.  Applications are usually processed within four to seven months. Incomplete or inaccurate applications take longer to process and often have to be postponed to a later Selection Committee meeting.

After the selection meeting we will inform you of the outcome as quickly as possible by email. If your application is unsuccessful, we may provide you with the reasons for our decision. Please request this information informally by email. You and your host will receive a letter with the outcome of your application approximately five weeks after the decision is made. Decisions cannot be appealed. You can, however, re-apply if you significantly improve crucial aspects of the rejected application.  

Attention, notice for the JSPS Research Fellowship (standard): You must begin your fellowship in Japan between 1 April and 30 November of the respective financial year. You may not depart for Japan between 1 December and 31 March of the following year.

The selection procedure

The decision to award research fellowships is taken by a Selection Committee consisting of approximately 20 researchers from various fields. The committee’s decision is usually based on two independent peer reviews that evaluate your personal academic credentials. The selection is based on four criteria:

  • academic career and academic record to date (mobility, determination, thematic scope, academic productivity);
  • quality of the key publications named in the application (originality, innovativeness, evaluation of your own contributions to publications involving several authors);
  • originality and innovative potential of your proposed research (significance for the further development of the subject area, convincing selection of scientific methods, potential for scientific development, clear focus and feasibility within the requested sponsorship period, viability at the host institute);
  • your future potential (academic potential, personal development, career prospects)

You will be notified of the Selection Committee’s recommendation immediately following the selection meeting. The final decision on awarding a fellowship is made by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

All the best for your application!

Questions & Answers

You may apply if you will complete your doctorate before the fellowship goes into effect. You need a copy of the doctor's degree certificate by the commencement date of the fellowship.

 

The relevant date is that of completing the final academic part of the doctoral process (e.g., defence of thesis, doctoral viva). This date will usually be included on your doctoral certificate alongside the date of issue.

 

In the case of multiple doctorates, the effective date is that of the last doctoral degree (PhD/CSc.).

 

Yes, because the assessment of academic achievements is always made on an individual basis at the Humboldt Foundation. Therefore, when filling in the application form, please specify all periods in which you partially or completely interrupted your academic activities after finishing your doctorate in order to rear children.

The voluntary disclosure of private circumstances may help increase equal opportunities during the selection process. The consideration of your personal circumstances allows for a fairer assessment of your academic achievements.

Please contact info[at]avh.de if you have any questions.

 

Yes, because the assessment of academic achievements is always made on an individual basis at the Humboldt Foundation. Therefore, when filling in the application form, please specify all periods in which you partially or completely interrupted your academic activities after finishing your doctorate in order to perform military or alternative service, to care for close relatives or due to long-term illness.

Job hunting, unemployment and non-academic employment do not count as career breaks.

The voluntary disclosure of private circumstances may help increase equal opportunities during the selection process. The consideration of your personal circumstances allows for a fairer assessment of your academic achievements.

Please contact info[at]avh.de if you have any questions.

 

You are eligible to apply if you hold a research doctorate or a comparable academic degree.
In addition, please read our Admission Questionnaire for Physicians (MD / Dr. med.) for detailed information.

 

There are three Selection Committee Meetings each year: in February, June and October.

 

On principle, it is possible to file parallel applications. You must, however, indicate this on the application form and inform us immediately of any other applications you submit and any other sponsorship decisions that occur while we are considering your application.

 

JSPS applications that have been approved at the selection meeting must await the final decision of JSPS which is usually announced within three months.
Start of the Fellowship for JSPS Standard:
If the application was approved in the February or June selection meeting, the Fellowship in Japan must commence between 1 April and 30 November of the same year. If the application was approved in the October selection meeting, the Fellowship must commence between 1 April and 30 November of the following year.

Start of the Fellowship for JSPS Short-Term:
If the application was approved in the February or June selection meeting, the Fellowship in Japan must commence between 1 April of the same year and 31 March of the following year. If the application was approved in the October selection meeting, the Fellowship must commence between 1 April of the following year and 31 March of the year thereafter.

 

Please refer to our current programme information for details.

 

No, the fellowship cannot be paid retroactively.

 

There is no closing date for submitting applications. Applications are processed as part of an ongoing procedure. As soon as we have received your complete application we shall forward it to independent peer reviewers. Their written evaluations will then be presented to the selection committee at the next selection meeting at which a decision will be made.
Please note that you can submit your application only after your host and your expert reviewers have uploaded all necessary documents.
Selection committee meetings take place three times a year, in February, June and October. Applications should be submitted at least four to seven months ahead of the prospective selection meeting.

 

Your host and expert reviewers upload the required documents in a secure area themselves, adding them to your application form. You can find the links to this area in the application form. Please send these links on a timely basis to your designated scientists/academics. Once all the documents have been uploaded, you will automatically be notified by email and will then be able to submit your application. You are responsible for ensuring that your documents are complete. Expert reviews should not be more than 12 months old at the time of application.

 

The expert review should assess your development as a researcher, your potential, and your academic accomplishments to date. It is, therefore, important that expert reviewers are well acquainted with your academic work to date. You must submit two expert reviews.
Postdocs must submit an expert review from their doctoral supervisor.
Please note: The host's statement does not count as an expert review!
You are responsible for requesting all expert reviews and the host's statement.

 

Your application must contain one to three key publications. Other publications will not be accepted (exception: You may optionally submit published reviews of your key publications by other authors). If you wish to cite your dissertation as a key publication but have not yet submitted it for printing, please upload the original manuscript of your doctoral thesis.

 

No. Please only cite publications that are already in print, have been accepted for publication or have at least been submitted to a publishing house. Please cite submitted publications without naming the journal or publishing house on your publication list. In the latter case you must upload the acknowledgement of receipt from the publisher; in the case of publications that have been accepted, please upload the letter of acceptance from the publisher. Any other works cited on the list will be deleted.
Exception: Your dissertation may be cited as a key publication even if you have not yet submitted it to a publisher. If you wish to cite your dissertation as a key publication but have not yet submitted it for print, please upload the original manuscript of your doctoral thesis.

 

Yes. As soon as you complete your doctorate, we need at least official confirmation from your university. You will not be able to start the fellowship without this confirmation.

 

You yourself should choose the key publications from your publications. You should choose works which present your most important academic results. In cases of multiple authorship you should select those to which you have made a major contribution. When choosing key publications we recommend including works that reflect your more recent publication activity.
Please note that you cannot amend your selection of key publications once the selection process has begun.

 

At least one key publication is sufficient. You may cite a maximum of three.
Surplus key publications will be removed from the list without notifying the applicant.

 

Please address the particular academic relevance of the results contained in the key publication and briefly explain the significance of the publication for your academic profile (cf. sample key publications, PDF). In cases of multiple authorship please also indicate your own personal contribution to the publication.

 

Yes. Please cite all your publications in the complete list of publications, including your key publications. An unpublished dissertation, however, may not be listed in the complete list of publications. In this list the key publications should be cited without explanations (cf. sample publication list, PDF). Please note that the order of the authors on the publication list corresponds to the order of the authors on the submitted publication. Changing the order is against the Rules of Good Scientific Practice and may result in penalties (cf. Rules of Good Scientific Practice, PDF).
Please note that it is not possible to amend the list of publications submitted to the Humboldt Foundation once the selection process has begun.

 

No, a language certificate is not required.

 

As soon as we receive your application, we will notify you by email.

 

Your application will be checked upon receipt to ensure that it is complete and meets the formal requirements for eligibility. We shall only be able to inform you about the expected decision date when we have received all the required documents. Once the review process by independent reviewers has been initiated, it is not possible to submit or exchange any documentation. If any papers or books that have only been submitted for publication at the time of application should subsequently be accepted, you should send us a copy of the acceptance letter immediately by email. This information can be fed into the process prior to the selection meeting. It is not possible to add to the publication list once the procedure has started.

 

When all the documents have been received we shall notify you about the proposed date of the selection meeting. Should the peer review process of your application take longer than expected you will also be informed if it becomes unavoidable to postpone the date of the decision.

 

Your application will be reviewed by independent peer reviewers.

 

If your application is not approved, you may send an informal email requesting feedback to be sent to you and your host on the reasons for the rejection. This will usually follow approximately four to six weeks after the selection committee meeting. Please note that we cannot provide any personalised information before this juncture so as not to delay the notification process.

 

The essential aspect of the application is the individual applicant's academic qualification. Please refer to the relevant programme information for more details on the selection criteria.

 

It is possible to re-apply. The new application should, however, differ significantly from the original, rejected application. Generally, it makes sense to re-apply after developing one's academic profile, e.g. after academical publications have been accepted by internationally reviewed journals and publishing houses. Our experience shows that applicants should wait about two years before re-applying. Submitting a new application that differs little or not at all from the rejected original may result in a formal rejection of the new application.

 

This programme is financed by

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