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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply. All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student, you are eligible to apply in the fall of your senior year.  If you are a graduate student, you are eligible as long as you will not have a PhD degree by the application deadline.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants are encouraged to contact the Fulbright Program Adviser at their most recent alma mater to inquire if the institution can support alumni/ae through the application process. If not, non-enrolled applicants are welcome to apply at “at-large” candidates.

Non-enrolled applicant should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Candidates with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Please visit the Getting Started page for next steps.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts. Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7-years or less) in which they are applying. Artists with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered. 



U.S. Faculty/Staff/Professionals

If you are a U.S. citizen and faculty or staff at a U.S. institution, or professional interested in applying, please visit the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to come to the United States, you will need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country. Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar or Student Program.


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14 Open Study/Research Award for Graduate Students

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
12 Months
No Pre-Departure Orientation
Award Profile

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.

Grant Period

12 Months

Grants may begin at any date from July 2021 through March 2022. 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.

Pre-Departure Orientation

No Pre-Departure Orientation

Accepted Degree Levels



Foreign Language Proficiency

Required - Intermediate

Additional Information: 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

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: No


Applicants should 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.


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.


Dependent support is available.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website