UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowship Programme

Deadline: 29 November 2019
Open to: candidates from developing countries
Benefits: USD 10,000


UNESCO designed the project “UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme” (UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowship Programme) in the framework of the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Capacity-Building of Human Resources which was established in November 2000 by the Government of Japan to enable UNESCO to give impetus to research in four areas under UNESCO’s Priority Programme Areas.

The Government of Japan offers 10 fellowships, to be awarded to deserving candidates from developing countries, special attention will be given to those who may wish pursue their research studies in Japan, to women, candidates from LDCs, Africa and SIDS countries who are eager to undertake research on one or more of the topics listed below. The aim of the fellowships is to support innovative and imaginative post-graduate research in four areas of development of particular interest to UNESCO.


Applicants, a maximum of TWO from each applying National Commission, must meet the following general criteria:

  1. Candidates under this Programme must be post-graduate researchers, already holding either an M.A. or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) and wishing to pursue research work abroad (preferably in their own region) with a view to enhancing knowledge in one of the four specific fields:
  2. i) Environment (with particular emphasis on disaster risk reduction (DRR);
  3. ii) Intercultural Dialogue;

iii) Information and Communication Technologies; and

  1. iv) Peaceful Conflicts Resolution.

Thus, those who are in the process of completing their Master’s degree must have completed it PRIOR to taking up their Fellowship.

  1. Candidates must be persons of high intellectual promise who may be expected to make significant contributions to their country on return.
  2. Candidates must be no more than 40 years of age. Thus, applicants born before 1 January 1978 will not be considered under the Programme.
  3. The selected Fellow must carry out the research under the auspices of an academic supervisor in a host institution. Confirmation of acceptance from the academic supervisor is imperative.
  4. Priority attention will be given to:

* Women candidatures

* Candidates from least developed countries (LDCs) and SIDS

* African researchers

* Those who may wish to pursue their research studies in Japan

  1. Candidates must be proficient in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study/research


The Fellowships financed by Japan and administered by UNESCO will consist of the following:

  1. A Lump sum contribution of USD10,000 will be awarded to selected candidates. The amount, to be paid in two or three installments, is intended to cover research costs only, and will not be negotiable.
  2. No other costs will be considered and grants will be neither extended nor renewed.

The Fellowship will cover a minimum of 3 months and maximum of 9 months of research in one or two countries. A possible date of commencing the research is any time from June 2020 and with a deadline termination of research at end of February 2022. The research must be carried out under the auspices of an academic supervisor in a host institution.

How to apply?

All applications must be submitted with the required documentation on the UNESCO Fellowship Application Form. Each Member State may nominate a maximum of two (2) candidates. It is the National Commission’s responsibility to select the two candidates whose applications it wishes to submit to UNESCO.

The application must include the following attachments:

  1. The UNESCO Fellowship application form duly completed in duplicate. Two recent photographs (obligatory) should be included with the form.
  2. Certified copies of degrees or diplomas (including transcript of grades) in duplicate. Proof of having obtained a Master’s Degree must be included.
  3. A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the candidate’s work.
  4. A host institute’s letter of acceptance (i.e. the institute that has accepted the candidate for work should she/he be selected for a Fellowship). This letter of acceptance must indicate that the host institute confirms its willingness to provide the relevant research facilities required by the candidate in the chosen field of specialization.

The certificate of language proficiency (on the UNESCO form) duly completed in duplicate for the language of the country of study (should this be different from the candidate’s mother tongue) issued by an official authority.

A detailed description, one to two page(s) (maximum), in either English or French, of the research work for which the candidature is being put forward.

In order to apply, please fill the application.

For more information, please visit the official web page.