14 Open Study/Research Award for Graduate Students
Accepted Degree LevelsMaster's
Grant PeriodFlexible Start
PhD dissertation research candidates, graduate students enrolled in professional schools such as law, business, journalism, international relations, public administration, and fine arts or graduates from the above-mentioned professional schools within three years of the time of application, are eligible to apply. Non-Japan Studies specialists or first-timers to Japan must show the feasibility of their proposals and indicate how a research experience in Japan will relate to their career plans.
Grants may begin at any date from July 2022 through March 2023. Awards for PhD dissertation grantees may be extended for a maximum of six months in two three-month iterations, depending on availability of funds and subject to satisfactory justification and progress. Applicants who think their work will require more than one year should include justification in their research proposals.
Individual briefing upon arrival in Japan.
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. Japan Studies specialists who plan to conduct advanced research must have the necessary language skills.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Applicants must identify appropriate host institutions for their projects and include affiliation letters with their Fulbright applications. The Fulbright Commission will confirm final affiliations for candidates awarded Fulbright grants.
Dual citizens of this country are not eligible
Residency in host country not permitted in year prior to grant
Candidates living in Japan may apply only if they are studying Japanese language full-time and have not otherwise been studying or conducting research or been employed in the immediate past in Japan.
Applicants with completed doctorates at the time of the start of the award are not eligible.
Fields of Study
Social science and humanities applications will be considered in the following five areas:
1. Japan StudiesStudy 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. With prior approval of the Commission, up to 2 months, typically at the end of grant, may be spent in a third country in the Indo-Pacific region, if the research justifies it.
3. Critical Issues of Contemporary SocietyStudy of contemporary social issues in Japan and the U.S. 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 IssuesStudy 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).
5. EducationStudy of contemporary issues for all levels of educational systems in Japan and the U.S. 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.
Applications will also be accepted in the fields of architecture, creative writing, design, painting, and sculpture.
Japanese Language Proposal
Applicants MUST submit a one-page Statement of Grant Purpose in Japanese in addition to the two-page English language 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.
Institutional Review Board Clearance
For all levels and types of projects, if the proposed research project entails "human subject" issues, candidates should be aware that gaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval after arrival in Japan will be virtually impossible. Candidates should explore obtaining IRB approval from their current universities if at all possible, as this process is not as common or thoroughly developed in Japan.
Persons holding dual Japan-U.S. citizenship or permanent Japanese residency must give up their Japanese citizenship or permanent resident status if they are selected for and accept a Fulbright grant to Japan.