Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowships

The call for applications is currently closed


The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), in association with the Australian Academy of Science, offers postdoctoral fellowships for Australian researchers to work in institutes affiliated with JSPS.

The JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers provides fellowships for Australian postdoctoral researchers to conduct, under the guidance of their Japanese hosts, cooperative research with leading research groups in universities and other Japanese institutions. The program aims to help such researchers advance their own research while contributing to the advancement of research in Japan and the counterpart countries.

To allow the smooth process of research in Japan, sufficient consultation should be made in advance between the candidate and their prospective host researcher. Mutual agreement regarding the research plan, conditions at the host laboratory and the candidate’s status under the fellowship should be established prior to application.

As a rule, the fellowship awardees (fellows) shall stay in Japan continuously during the tenure of their fellowships and concentrate on their research at the host institution. Fellows must not engage in other work, either paid or unpaid, during their tenure.

Host researchers in Japan must be employed full time or classified as being employed full time at a listed university or research institution.

Fields of research

Applications are invited from suitably qualified researchers in any field of the physical sciences, life sciences, engineering technology and medicine. Priority will be given to applications from areas of research that support the response to the COVID-19 emergency or pandemic support.

Strongly desirable research subfields:

  • Materials engineering
  • Biology
  • Clinical medicine
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Environmental biotechnology
  • Basic medical research
  • Electrical engineering

Desirable research subfields:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Fisheries
  • Veterinary science
  • Earth and environmental sciences

Please note that although JSPS accepts applications in the humanities and the social sciences under its broader program, the Academy is unable to accept applications in these two areas for this current round. 


Candidates must be Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents, living in Australia at the time of application. Australian permanent residents need to be citizens of countries that have diplomatic relations with Japan.

Persons of Japanese nationality, dual nationality where one is Japanese, or candidates who have permanent residency in Japan are not eligible to apply.

Candidates must hold a doctorate degree which must have been received on or after 2 April 2015 or be scheduled to receive a doctorate degree before the proposed fellowship commencement date.

If the doctorate degree has not been conferred at time of application, the candidate must obtain a letter from their institution stating that—at the time of application—the applicant has met all the conditions required for completion of the PhD degree. The letter must also include the specific date on which the degree will be conferred. This must be before the proposed fellowship commencement date.

Please note that specific completion requirements may vary between institutions. Candidates are strongly encouraged to clarify the requirements with their awarding institution prior to submitting the fellowship application. This may involve seeking advice from the institution's Office of the Registrar, for example.

MD (medical doctor) holders without a PhD are not eligible.

Candidates 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.

Duration and commencement of fellowships

Fellowships are awarded for a period of 12 (min 365 days) to 24 full months (max 730 days). Successful candidates must start the fellowship in Japan between 1 April and 30 November 2021.

COVID-19 travel restrictions

Should international travel restrictions remain in place in 2021, JSPS is able to extend travel departure dates by application from the candidate. Any proposed changes to travel dates should first be discussed with the Japanese research host to ensure the alternative arrangements are suitable for all.

Terms of award (fellows only)

The amounts of the awards indicated below are subject to change.

  • A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS regulations).
  • A monthly maintenance allowance of ¥362,000.
  • A settling-in allowance of ¥200,000.
  • Overseas travel accident and sickness insurance coverage.

If the fellow resides in Japan on the date their award letter is issued, the air ticket to Japan and settling-in allowance will not be provided.

A research grant ‘Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research’ (Tokubetsu Kenkyuin Shorei-hi) is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application for these grants is made by the host researcher through their institution.


The fellow and their host researchers must submit a final report to JSPS within one month of the completion of the fellowship tenure. A copy of the fellow’s report to JSPS must also be submitted to the Academy, together with an additional report to the Academy within three months of completing the fellowship. The Academy will provide a template to the fellow for the second report.

Awardees will be asked to participate in surveys aimed at improving the fellowship program.

Number of fellowships awarded

JSPS has advised that the quota has not been set for Australia for the 2021 round under this program. A quota may not be set until early 2021. The quota for the previous round was 14.

The Academy will assess and rank the applications and provide JSPS with a nomination list of recommended applicants, but the final selection of successful applicants will be made by JSPS.

How to apply

Applications are to be submitted online and must include the following attachments as pdf files:

  1. proof of Australian citizenship/Australian permanent residency
  2. completed JSPS application form. Read the JSPS application guidelines and instructions for the application form prior to completing the application form
  3. copy of doctoral degree certificate, or if not yet awarded, a letter from candidate’s institute as outlined in the ‘Eligibility’ section above
  4. copy of the signed letter of invitation from the candidate’s prospective host researcher. Read a sample letter of invitation.
  5. referee report from current or previous supervisor. Read information for referees.

Note: All documents must be in English.

Applications are considered carefully against the selection criteria by a committee of scientists with diverse expertise. The decisions of the committee are based on the assessed competitiveness of the proposal. The Academy is not able to enter discussion or correspondence regarding the reasons why an application is successful or not.

Eligible research organisations

The fellowships are open to Australian researchers from any of the following eligible research organisations (EROs):

  • Australian tertiary education institutions (as per the Higher Education Support Act 2003)
  • Australian cooperative research centres
  • Publicly funded research agencies
  • Australian state/territory-funded research organisations
  • Australian public research companies
  • Australian private research companies
  • Australian not-for-profit research organisations
  • Other Australian incorporated entities.

An ERO must be an organisation that is registered for GST and, if a university, is registered as exempt from income tax. An ERO must not be a non-corporate Commonwealth entity (as defined under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013).

Notification of outcome

It is expected that the Academy will notify applicants of its nominations in December 2020 and JSPS will then need to approve the Academy’s nominations.

Approximately three months after receiving the nominations, JSPS will advise the final selection decision to both the candidate and the Academy. Please take this period into consideration when arranging your proposed travel dates.

Further information

For further information contact:

Grants Administration Officer
International Programs
Australian Academy of Science
GPO Box 783, Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: 02 6201 9412
Email: grants@science.org.au

This project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Past participants

© 2021 Australian Academy of Science