6 Open Study/Research Award for Graduating Seniors
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodSeptember Start
Grant Length10 Months
This grant introduces recent American graduates to various regions of Japan to pursue language study and independent research at local universities. The main purpose of the research project is to serve as a vehicle for immersion and engagement with the local community. Successful applicants will be chosen who demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and independence.
Prospective candidates should be aware that they will need to be flexible in terms of program activities due to possible COVID-19-related adjustments to the 2023-24 academic year. Program adjustments may include the necessity for grantees to stay in a designated hotel for post-arrival quarantine and to attend virtual orientations during the quarantine period.
Grantees must arrive in Japan in September 2023 to participate in the orientation program. They must also participate in a mid-year conference in March 2024.
Fulbright group orientation upon arrival in Japan.
Applications will only be considered from graduating seniors who will receive bachelor’s degrees between December 2022 and August 2023. Future career and academic objectives are important considerations and should be addressed in the Personal Statement of the application.
Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
At least two years of college-level study, or equivalent, is required prior to commencing the grant. Higher level proficiency may be necessary depending on the requirements of the proposed project.
Fulbright Proposal Types
No affiliation letter required at deadline
In most cases, the Fulbright Commission arranges affiliations with academic institutions throughout Japan, taking the candidate's background and previous experience in Japan into consideration.
However, candidates in the hard sciences and creative arts must arrange affiliations with Japanese academic institutions, and include invitation letters from those institutions with their Fulbright applications. Candidates in other fields whose research projects require specific placements, i.e., a certain academic advisor or institution, must also provide invitation letters. Other than those two instances, preliminary contact with institutions is strongly discouraged.
Grantees do not enroll as degree students at Japanese universities. They structure their own programs, combining language study, selected course study according to their Japanese proficiency, and individual research under the guidance of an assigned professor. Fellows with prior experience in Japan will be strongly discouraged from returning to the locales of their prior studies or residence.
An allowance to cover the mandatory affiliation fees for one university will be provided.
Fields of Study
Though applications in all disciplines will be considered, preference will be given to social science and humanities applications in the following five areas:
1. Japan Studies
Study of the society and culture of Japan through such fields as history, political science, economics, law, journalism, literature, and sociology.
2. Japan-U.S. Relations in the Indo-Pacific
Study of contemporary social, political, economic, and security issues between Japan and the U.S. in relation with the Indo-Pacific region.
3. Critical Issues of Contemporary Society
Study of contemporary social issues in Japan and the United States. Subjects of particular interest include risk or crisis management, ethical and other issues of rapid technological development, urbanization, the family, aging society, economic disparity, and criminology.
4. Global Issues
Study of issues occurring on a global scale. Subjects of particular interest include public health, trade, labor and mobility, migration, environment, energy, diversity and inclusion, demographic issues and other related topics to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Study of contemporary issues for all levels of educational systems in Japan and the United States. A comparative perspective is encouraged. Subjects of particular interest include all aspects of internationalization, global skill competency development, foreign language acquisition, structural and curricular reform, and the role of education in society.
Japanese Language Proposal
Applicants MUST submit a one-page Statement of Grant Purpose in Japanese in addition to the two-page English version. Both documents should be uploaded in the correlating fields in the Fulbright online application. The translated document should be uploaded as a PDF document.