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Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship

With the goals of further strengthening the fundamentals of international research into and deepening understanding of Japan, the Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.

Eligible research

  • Japanese language
  • Japanese language education
  • Japanese literature
  • Japanese culture

Eligible researchers

Researchers working in the fields of Japanese language,Japanese language education, Japanese literature or Japanese culture who reside outside Japan and meet all of the criteria below.

  • Affiliated with a higher education or research institution (including postdoctoral scholars, adjunct professors and part-time lecturers), or have equivalent research and educational background.
  • Researchers with a doctoral degree (including degree to be granted on or before December 31, 2019) OR an equivalent level of research or education background.
  • Sufficient Japanese language proficiency to be able to conduct research in Japanese.
  • Non-Japanese national residing outside of Japan or Japanese national who has resided outside Japan for 10 years or more and been active in the academic community ,etc. of the country of their residence.
  • Able to stay continuously in Japan for the duration of the Fellowship period and participate in research reporting sessions arranged by the Foundation.

Applications are not sought from those whose purpose is to write a doctoral thesis.

As research reporting and communications with the Fellowship secretariat on various procedures will be conducted in Japanese only, a suitable level of Japanese language ability is required.

Those who have previously received support for residential research in Japan may also apply.

Fellowship content

  • Invited fellows will have their airfares, living and research expenses, housing and other expenses necessary for conducting research in Japan covered.
  • Long-term (12-month) and short-term (6-month) fellowships are available.
  • Around 15 fellows will be invited each year.

Receiving organizations

Fellows will conduct their research with the cooperation of one of the following receiving organizations:

  • International Research Center for Japanese Studies
  • The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute,Urawa
  • Kyoto University
  • National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics
  • Ochanomizu University
  • Ritsumeikan University
  • Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
  • Waseda University

Fellows will conduct research activities through research partnerships and exchanges of information with researchers at various institutions, using the facilities and equipment of their receiving institutions.

Research advisors will be assigned by the receiving organizations after the fellowship is confirmed. The assigned advisor may differ from the advisor requested.

If necessary for research purposes, Fellows may also interact with institutions and researchers other than their receiving organization and its researchers.

Fellowship period & number of fellowships offered

To accommodate various research topics and researcher circumstances, long-term (1-year) and short-term (6-month) fellowships are offered. Applicants must be able to stay in Japan continuously for the duration of the applicable period below. A total of around 15 fellows will be invited per year.

  • Long-term: September 1, 2020 ‒ August 31, 2021
  • Short-term: September 1, 2020 ‒ February 28, 2021 (Round 1), or March 1 ‒ August 31, 2021 (Round 2)

Due to tax considerations, the period of stay must be less than 1 year, including the date of arrival and departure.

Applicants are asked to confirm their availability during the Fellowship period with their current organizations before applying.

The Fellowship period is fixed at the time of application and as a rule cannot be changed after an applicant has been accepted.

Fellowship content

Fellows will have the following expenses necessary for conducting residential research in Japan covered.

  • Airfares : Return economy class air tickets

Note : Fellows who are already present in Japan prior to the beginning of the Fellowship period will not receive inbound tickets.

Likewise, Fellows who remain in Japan after the end of the Fellowship period will not receive outbound tickets.

  • Relocation allowance: 350,000 yen
  • Living and research expenses : 350,000 yen per month
  • Housing subsidy : Up to 150,000 yen per month (actual cost; subject to provision of receipts each month)
  • International travelers’ illness and injury insurance

In addition, Hakuho Foundation will pay the receiving organization a hosting cooperation fee for use of facilities, etc. by the Fellow.


Fellows are required to report on their research at sessions arranged by the Foundation during the Fellowship period, as follows. The research reporting sessions will be conducted in Japanese.

  • Short-term Fellows will present one final report prior to the end of their Fellowship period (Round 1: around February 25; Round 2: around August 25)
  • Long-term Fellows will present one interim report and one final report (around February 25 and August 25)

In addition, Fellows are required to submit to the Foundation a research outline (within their Fellowship period) and a report on their research findings (within one month of the end of their Fellowship period). Research outlines will be published on the Foundation’s website. Fellows may also be requested by the Foundation and/or their receiving organization to make their research findings public. This may involve writing for a publication, presenting a lecture/s, speaking at a symposium or other means of making the findings public.

Selection process

Fellows will be selected by a specially formed judging panel which will examine applicants’ previous research and plans for research in Japan.

The following points will be given weight in the selection process.

  • Whether the proposed research has clear objectives and an appropriate research topic, and whether the pursuit of the research at the receiving organization is appropriate
  • Whether the research plan is concrete and worthwhile, and whether its objectives are likely to be able to be met within the timeframe of the Fellowship period
  • Whether the researcher has achieved outstanding results in research into the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature or Japanese culture, and can be expected to contribute to the deepening and advancement of research in that field
  • Whether the proposed research can be expected to yield advanced and unique results by being conducted residentially in Japan
  • Whether the proposed research can be expected to strengthen and develop the fundamentals of Japanese language and Japanese culture research and education in other countries, and act as a bridge with Japan

Applicants may be asked questions about the content of their applications directly by receiving organizations during the preliminary evaluations

Written notification of results will be sent in April 2019 (tentative)

Note that the Foundation cannot respond to individual inquiries about selection results.

How to apply

Applicants should complete the two application documents below and mail them together to the secretariat (to arrive by no later than October 31, 2019).

  • Application Form (Complete in Japanese, except where otherwise indicated)
    • Applicants must complete all pages of the Application Form
    • A separate sheet of paper may be used for the title and synopsis of a major thesis (in Japanese, around 800‒1,000 characters in length)
    • Handwritten signature required. Be sure to mail the originals.
  • Letter of Recommendation (If the Letter of Recommendation is written in a language other than Japanese, please provide both the signed original and a Japanese translation.)
    • Written recommendation of the head of the organization to which you belong (required)
    • A written recommendation from a previous research supervisor, Japanese research institution or similar organization may also be added (optional)
    • Submit originals by post including a Japanese translation if the original is written in a language other than Japanese. Letters of Recommendation must include the handwritten signature of the recommender.
Application date
6 or 12 months
Asia : Japan
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 99 years
Grants available
Ca. 15
Award granted
¥ 350.000/month + relocation allowance + housing subsidy + travel cost + health insurance