Announcement for JSPS International Fellowships for Research in Japan (Standard)

FY 2021 Application Guidelines

Application through Overseas Nominating Authorities
In these guidelines, Overseas Nominating Authorities are referring to the following institutions:

  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA)
  • The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)
  • The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)

Contact information to apply and inquire for this program
JSPS Stockholm Office:    Contact: Tomoko Ishii


To provide opportunities for excellent postdoctoral researchers from other countries to conduct, under the guidance of their hosts, cooperative research with leading research groups in universities and other Japanese institutions. The program allows such researchers to advance their own research while contributing to the progress of research in Japan and the counterpart countries.


All fields of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are included under this program.


12 to 24 months. This fellowship is provided in full month units.


Candidates must start their Fellowship in Japan during the period of 1 April 2021 – 30 November 2021.

5. CANDIDATE (Invited Overseas Researcher) ELIGIBILITY

  1. Candidates must possess Swedish nationality, citizenship or permanent residency, and be a citizen of a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan (JSPS treats Taiwanese and Palestinian researchers in this manner.).
  2. Candidates must have obtained their doctoral degree within six years of the date the fellowship goes into effect (on or after 2 April 2015).

Note 1: Those who have previously been awarded a fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan ([Standard (P)] and [Pathway to University positions in Japan (PU)]) are not eligible.

Note 2: Persons who are Japanese citizen and foreigners who are permitted permanent residence in Japan are not eligible.

Note 3: If it becomes known even after being selected that a candidate (Invited Overseas Researcher) does not possess application eligibility, his/her selection may be cancelled or eligibility terminated during the fellowship period. In such cases, the candidate (Invited Overseas Researcher) may be required to reimburse JSPS his/her already-paid allowances.


  1. Be affiliated with a research institution specified in Article 2(*) of the Procedure for the Handling of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi), issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) (*) and be eligible to apply for a KAKENHI grant–in-aid.
  2. Be a full-time researcher. However, researchers who are not employed full time may be eligible if the host institution judges that they are able to execute his/her responsibilities for constantly carrying out the program throughout the fellowship period including the provision of a suitable research environment (e.g., laboratory, space, facilities and personnel), the same as the full time researchers are able to do.

(*)Eligible host institutions specified under the above MEXT Procedure are as follows:

  1. Universities and inter-university research institutes
  2. MEXT-affiliated institutions engaged in research
  3. Colleges of technology
  4. Institutions designated by the Minister of MEXT

A Fellow’s host researcher may not be changed during the fellowship period. Therefore, if it is known at the time of application that host Researcher will retire, due to reaching retirement age or other reason, during a candidate (Invited Overseas Researcher)’s fellowship tenure, he should not be a host researcher.


The amounts of the Awards will be as follows. They are subject to change for budgetary reasons.

  1. Airfare:  A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS’s regulations)
  2. Maintenance Allowance: ¥362,000 per month
  3. Miscellaneous: A settling-in allowance of ¥200,000, Overseas travel insurance, etc.

For the candidate (invited overseas researcher) who has been living in Japan (and has a mailing address) before the fellowship starting date, the “Airfare” of outbound flight and a “settling-in allowance” will not be paid.

A Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow) is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application for these grants is made by the host researcher through his/her institution. For details, please see the application guidelines for the Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow.


Applications for this program must be submitted to JSPS through an overseas nominating authority. The application process is as follows:

  1. Contact is made between the candidates (invited overseas researchers) who wish to conduct cooperative research in Japan and their prospective hosts.
  2. Candidates submit an application to JSPS Stockholm Office.
  3. The nominating authority conducts a scientific evaluation to select candidates and nominates them to JSPS.
  4. JSPS decides the final candidates based on the proposals of the overseas nominating authorities.
  5. Around the end of May, JSPS sends out a notice of selection decision to both the candidates and the nominating authorities.

Note  1:  JSPS does not find or introduce host researchers or institutions.

Note  2:  Application deadlines and selection procedures differ by each nominating authority.

Note 3: When setting the starting date of fellowships, adequate time should be allowed for application processing: e.g., application screening by the nominating authority (time differing   by authorities) and selection decision-making by JSPS (about three months).

Note 4: In addition to receiving applications through overseas nominating authorities, JSPS also accepts applications for candidates from their prospective host researchers in Japan (open   recruitment).


  1. FY2021 Application Form for JSPS International Fellowships for Research in Japan, Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan (Standard), for Application through Overseas Nominating Authorities. The application form is to be written by the candidate.
  2. Letter of acceptance/invitation from the candidate’s prospective host researcher in Japan, stating that s/he accepts the candidate at his /her institution during the period of the fellowship tenure. The letter should be signed by the host himself/herself. It is preferable that the letter be written on letterhead paper.
  3. Letter of recommendation signed by the candidate’s doctoral supervisor (etc.) (The writer of the letter must be a person other than the candidate’s prospective host researcher in Japan). It is preferable that the letter be written on letterhead paper.
  4. A copy of the candidate’s Ph.D. degree diploma or the original of his/her Ph.D. degree certificate. If the degree has not yet been awarded, a letter is required from the candidate’s institution stating the date that s/he will officially receive the degree. In that case, the candidate should submit to JSPS the original of Ph.D. degree certificate or a copy of the Ph.D. diploma promptly before starting his/her fellowship. The diploma or certificate should be signed or stamped with an official seal.
  5. A copy of the candidate’s permanent residence card or a certificate of permanent right of residence if you are not a citizen but a permanent resident of Sweden.

Note: All documents must be in English. When the original document is in another language, please be sure to attach an English translation (which does not need to be an official translation, and may be done by the host or candidate).


(Deadline) 31 January 2021 (Sun) 17:00 CET

*Please write “Application for 2021 JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship (Standard)” in the subject line of your email.


  1. Candidates should be outstanding researchers who are expected to contribute to the future of science.
  2. The research plan should be of high scientific quality, specific and realistic.
  3. The proposed collaboration should clearly develop synergies and form strong linkages between Japan and Sweden.

As the situation of the novel coronavirus changes, we may consider applying flexibility in our handling of some of the entry items in the Application Guidelines.

1. False information etc., in the application form

Should JSPS determine any information in an application to be falsified, plagiarized or otherwise flawed, the application will be rejected or, if already awarded, the fellowship withdrawn.

2. Response to acts of research misconduct and funding misuse

“Rules for Responding to Misconduct and Misuse of Funds in Research Activities” (Enacted on December 6, 2006 (Rule No. 19 of 2006)) stipulate actions to be taken by JSPS in response to research misconduct and funding misuse and measures to be taken by organizations within research institutions in executing their responsibility to manage and ensure the integrity of research funds. When established that specific acts of research misconduct and/or misuse of research funds have been committed, actions stipulated in this Rule will be taken.

Postdoctoral Fellowships:

3. Establishing a system for implementing the “Guidelines for Responding to Research Misconduct”

When making proposals to JSPS and conducting research activities, research institutions are to follow the “Guidelines for Responding to Misconduct in Research” (Adopted by the MEXT on 26 August 2014).” If the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) judges via the results of an inspection that a research institution’s system is inadequate or defective, it or an independent administrative institution under the jurisdiction of MEXT may cut or reduce the research institution’s indirect budget allocation of competitive funding.

4. Research ethics education coursework

To promote the proper conduct of research activities and prevent misconduct in advance, it is first necessary to raise the level of researcher ethics within research institutions. When deemed appropriate, therefore, host institution (host researcher’s institution) should establish educational courses for candidates (invited overseas researchers) to take in research ethics.

(References) Learning materials on avoiding misconduct in research activities

  1. For the Sound Development of Science—The Attitude of a Conscientious Scientist— by Editing Committee of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science;
  2. e-Learning Course on Research Ethics [eL CoRE];
  3. APRIN e-learning program (eAPRIN)
  4. Research ethics courses conducted by Institutions based on the “Guidelines for Responding to Misconduct in Research” (Adopted by the MEXT on 26 August 2014)

5. Handling of personal information

With regard to personal information contained in application materials, it shall be strictly controlled in accordance with the “Law to Protect Personal Information Held by Independent Administrative Institutions” and JSPS’s own regulations for protecting personal information. JSPS will use such information exclusively for implementing its programs. (This may involve the provision of personal information to external companies commissioned to electronically process and manage program-related data.)

If selected for a fellowship, candidates (invited overseas researchers) should note that their name, nationality, title and affiliated organization, research theme, fellowship tenure, host institution, host researcher’s name, their title and research reports may be given public access. For researchers located within the European Economic Area which embodies the EU, their agreement is to be obtained to follow the above-stated “handing of personal information” in line with the “General Data Protection Regulation.”

6. Research conducted for a military purpose

JSPS does not support any research project related to military affairs.

7. The Security Trade Control

Much research on cutting-edge technology is being conducted in Japan’s research institutions. Along with Japan’s advancing internationalization, there has been an increase in the number of foreign students and overseas researchers residing in Japan. This has increased the risk of advanced technologies and research materials and equipment leaking out and for them to be used in the development and production of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Research institutions are to take systematic measure to keep research results and products that can be diverted to military use out of the hands of WMD developers, terrorist groups, and other persons whose activities are suspect.

In Japan, export controls (*) are carried out under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (Act No. 228 of 1949) (hereinafter referred to as “Foreign Exchange Law”). Therefore, in principle, in order to export (provide) cargo and technology regulated by the Foreign Exchange Law, it is necessary to obtain permission of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Starting with the Foreign Exchange Law, candidates (invited overseas researchers) must follow all of Japan’s pertinent laws and ordinances, guidelines, and directives. If research is conducted in violation of these laws and ordinances, measures and penalties prescribed in them may be enforced along with the termination of the candidate’s research funding or his/her scheduled allocation of research funding.

(*) Export controls
Japan’s Security Export Control System established on the basis of international agreements mainly consists of (1) “List rules” which require permission of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in principle when exporting cargo or providing technology that carry specifications and/or functions higher than certain levels, such as carbon fiber and numerically controlled machine tool etc., and (2) “Catch-all regulation” which requires permission of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry when exporting cargo or providing technology that are not subject to regulation under the List rules but do fall under certain regulatory requirements (application requirements, consumer requirements and/or informed requirements).

Not only export of cargo but also provision of technology will be subject to the regulation by the Foreign Exchange Law. When providing a “List rules” technology to nonresidents or providing it in a foreign country, prior permission for provision is required. ”Provision of technology” includes not only providing technical information such as design drawings, specifications, manuals, samples, and prototypes via storage media such as paper, mail, CD, USB memory, but also providing work knowledge and technical assistance at seminars through technical instruction, skill training etc. Researchers should be aware that there may be case in which technologies subject to regulation by the Foreign Exchange Law are involved when mentoring foreign students and/or joint research activities with oversea groups.

8. Approximate Number of Fellowship Awarded and Terms of Award

The amounts of the Awards are subject to change for budgetary reasons.

9. Procedure after awarded

Candidates (invited overseas researchers), host researchers and host institutions should check the “Program Guidelines” enclosed with the award letter for their obligations under the program, procedures to be carried out, and rules to be followed (e.g. on the conditions for taking a temporary leave of absence, on using the Research Support Allowance). As past Program Guidelines are given public access, please refer them.

10. FAQ

FAQ on this program are provided on the following websites. Please refer to them if there is something unclear to you with regard to making an application or procedures to follow after you are selected.

Postdoctoral Fellowships:



The host researchers, candidates (invited overseas researchers) and host institutions should bear the following ten points in mind when applying for the program, and should observe them if selected for a fellowship. After selection, they will be expected to observe the regulations and procedures stipulated in the Program Guidelines for the JSPS International Fellowships Program. If either the candidates (invited overseas researchers) or host researcher should fail to do so, the fellowship may be withdrawn, allowances (including airfares) stopped, and already-paid allowances (including research grants) reclaimed.

  1. So as to allow the smooth progress of the candidate’s research in Japan, before submitting an application, the host researcher shall fully inform the candidate of conditions at the host laboratory, including his/her status under the fellowship, and will ascertain the candidate’s acknowledgement to accept those conditions.
  2. The host researcher will, in cooperation with the administration office of the host institution, provide a suitable arrangement for the candidate to pursue his/her joint research and other research activities. The host researcher will also assist the candidate, when needed, with immigration processing (including applying for a “certificate of eligibility”), securing domicile and other matters related to his/her stay in Japan.
  3. During fellowship tenures, the host researcher is advised not to commit such acts of discrimination or abuse with regard to his/her candidate, and should be particularly careful of what s/he says or does cannot be interpreted as committing such acts. If a researcher should commit such an unethical act and be punished via measures imposed by the host institution, s/he will be restricted from applying for the JSPS International Fellowships Program for a period of five years starting from the day that the punishment is administered.
  4. During their tenures, candidates shall not, either in or outside the host institution, infringe in any way on the human rights of others, including racial or gender discrimination or other forms of abuse.
  5. As a rule, fellows shall stay in Japan continuously during the tenure of their fellowships and concentrate on their research at the host institution. Candidate may not engage in other work, neither paid nor unpaid, during their tenures. Candidates may, however, suspend their fellowships for the purpose of childbearing or infant nursing. Candidates may not receive any remuneration for their research activities carried out under the JSPS Fellowship Program for Research in Japan.
  6. The host researchers and candidates shall follow the rules established by the host institution and JSPS prohibiting acts of research misconduct, e.g., fabricating or falsifying research results.
  7. The candidate and host researcher must submit a research report using separately prescribed format before the deadline set by JSPS.
  8. When presenting or publishing the content or results of research conducted under the fellowship, the JSPS fellowship should be acknowledged.
  9. The host institution shall inform both the host researcher and the candidate of the rules that it and JSPS have established to prevent research misconduct and misuse of research funds and of the penalties for violations.
  10. The host institution shall take first responsibility for the candidate’s actions, so must be proactive in preventing any discrimination, misconduct or misuse on the part of the candidate during his/her tenure. If any such problems should occur, the host institution will endeavor to resolve them.


1. Cooperation in carrying out site surveys and questionnaires

Site surveys are carried out on host institutions for the purpose of verifying the program’s implementation system and the management, execution and auditing of program funding. Host researchers and candidates are asked to cooperate in these surveys. Also,

questionnaires are carried out for the purpose of improving JSPS programs. Host researchers, Candidates and host institutions will be asked to fill out these questionnaires.

2. Promotion of “Open Access” to the research papers supported by JSPS International Fellowships for Research in Japan

JSPS endorses general policy of promotion of open access of publications of research results funded by public grants including KAKENHI. Note that open access is not mandatory if there are justifiable reasons for deferral such as copyright-related issues, or insufficient repository infrastructure at the research institution. The open access implementation policy of JSPS is given on the following webpage: URL:

  1. [Reference 1: What is “Open Access”]
    Open access refers to the basic idea that research papers published in peer-reviewed journals should be made freely accessible by anyone.
  2. [Reference 2: Different Routes to Open Access]
    There are 3 main ways of open access implementation 1) to 3) below)
    1) A way to make open the access to the article which is published in the conventional subscription fee type academic journal after a certain period (Embargo) (* 1) (for example 6 months later) by opening the final manuscript to an Institutional Repository (* 2) established by the research institution to which the author belongs, or by opening the final manuscript to the website etc. established by the researchers (self-archiving)(* 3).
    2) A way to make the article open access by posting the article on the Web established by the research community or public institution.
    3)A way to make the article open access immediately by paying the publication fee (APC: Article Processing Charge) by the author of the article.

*1: “Embargo”

The predetermined period from the time of publication of an article in an academic journal to the time of release so that it can be posted on an online open access archiving system (repository).

*2: “Institutional Repository”

An online archiving system created by university or research institution for storage and dissemination of the intellectual products. Institutional repositories play important roles in the reform of academic information distribution by enabling the researchers register their own articles, such as the transmission of research and education achievements of the research institution, PR for both the research institution and the researcher, guaranteeing the accountability of research and education activities towards society, and the long-term conservation of intellectual products.

*3: “Self-archiving”

“Self-archiving” refers to online posting of articles published in academic journals, dissertations, or data by those other than the publisher, (the researcher or research institution) generally on their institutional repositories.

3. Registration of the Researcher Information in researchmap

“researchmap” ( is, as a general guide to Japanese researchers, Japan’s largest researcher information database. Registered information on research results can be openly disseminated over the Internet. As research map is linked to e-Rad and many university faculty databases, it allows registered information to be accessed by other systems. Furthermore, the Japanese Government has planned to utilize further the researchmap, please register researcher information in researchmap.