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Every year UNU-IAS and UNU-ISP offer PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowships to provide young scholars and policy-makers, especially from the developing world, with a multi-disciplinarily context within which to pursue advanced research and training that is of professional interest to the successful applicant and of direct relevance to the research agenda of their selected UNU-IAS or UNU-ISP programme.

The fellowship programme provides the successful applicant with a unique opportunity to:

  • develop and advance their research under the supervision of a UNU-IAS or UNU-ISP faculty member and contribute to the overall research agenda of the Institute,
  • widen their research interests and professional networks by working in the international and multi-disciplinary context of the UNU-IAS and UNU-ISP, and with its wider network of Japanese universities and research institutes, as well as international collaborators,
  • become exposed to the workings of the international and multilateral policy process and the broader UN system, and
  • link with other UNU-IAS and UNU-ISP PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows.

The Fellows are resident at UNU-IAS in Yokohama, UNU-IAS OUIK in Kanazawa, or UNU-ISP in Tokyo, Japan for the full term of the fellowship. This gives the PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows the opportunity to gain from the broader research programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences arranged by UNU-IAS and UNU-ISP. UNU’s close institutional links with Japanese affiliated professors and researchers from key universities and think tanks in Japan and around the world also allows Fellows to link into the broader Japanese academic and research community. Since the start of the fellowship programme at UNU-IAS in 1996, more than 180 young scholars, 70% of which from the developing world, have benefited from collaboration with UNU-IAS/UNU-ISP and Japanese scholars in this way. Applications will be invited for the following three fellowship types:

UNU-IAS PhD Fellowship


  1. Applicants must be at an advanced dissertation writing stage of the PhD with their research proposal accepted by the candidate’s university.
  2. Proficiency in English is essential.

UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship


  1. Applicants must have gained their PhD degree.
  2. Proficiency in English is essential.

JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship


  1. Applicants must have gained their PhD degree on or after 2 April 2004 for the 2010 Fellowships.
  2. Proficiency in English is essential.
  3. Nationality: Citizens of a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan. (Japanese nationals that do not have citizenship or permanent residency of another country are not eligible.)

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 request of reference letters. The final result will be announced in April.

Contact details
Questions regarding the fellowships should be directed to:UNU-IAS Fellowship Committee

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