The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is offering RONPAKU fellowships for international students from Asia (including Middle East countries) and Africa to pursue PhD degrees from Japanese universities through the submission of a dissertation without matriculating a doctoral course. Approximately 30 fellowships are awarded for maximum 3 years commencing from 1 April 2014. Fellows are required to conduct their dissertation research under the joint supervision of a Japanese advisor and an advisor in their home country. The Japanese advisor may also visit the RONPAKU fellow’s home university or research institution when deemed necessary to supervise the fellow’s research together with his/her home advisor.
Study Subject (s): All fields within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are included.
Course Level: Fellowships are available for pursuing PhD degree at Japanese universities.
Scholarship Provider: The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Scholarship can be taken at: Japan and the applicant’s home country
Eligibility: The candidate must be a researcher
- Who has not obtained a PhD degree from a university
- Who wishes to obtain a PhD degree from a Japanese university through the submission of a dissertation
- Who has already achieved substantial research results and is likely through dissertation research under the program to successfully obtain a PhD degree
- Who is employed full time at a university or research institution in his/her home country or will likely be appointed to such a position by April 1, 2014
- Who is 45 years of age or younger as of April 1, 2014.
Scholarship Open for International Students: Candidates must be a researcher whose university/institution is in one of the following countries: ASIA (including Middle East countries): Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyz, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen. AFRICA: Algeria, Angora, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Scholarship Description: The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has been carrying out the RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program since 1978. The aim of this program has been to provide tutorial and financial support for promising researchers in Asia and Africa who wish to obtain their PhD degrees from Japanese universities through the submission of a dissertation without matriculating a doctoral course. Grantees under the program (RONPAKU fellows) are required to conduct their dissertation research under the joint supervision of a Japanese advisor and an advisor in their home country, and are expected to obtain their PhD degrees within a maximum period of three years. RONPAKU fellows are allowed to visit a Japanese university to conduct research under the direct supervision of their Japanese advisor. The Japanese advisor may visit the RONPAKU fellow’s home university or research institution when deemed necessary to supervise the fellow’s research together with his/her home advisor.
Number of awards (s): Approximately 30 fellowships are awarded.
Duration of award (s): Fellowships are offered for Maximum 3 years from 1 April 2014.
What does it cover? Total funding provided to Japanese host university
- Maximum of 3.6 million yen (Up to 1.2 million yen per fiscal year).
- The following expenses can be covered by the above funding: Travel expenses between Japan and RONPAKU fellow’s home country, and within Japan by the fellow and his/her Japanese advisors; expenses incurred in conducting research in Japan and fellow’s home country; and other expenses related to the fellow’s dissertation submission (based on Japanese host university’s regulations), etc.
- Each fiscal year, at least 70% of total funding must be used for travel expenses.
- JSPS will contract the Japanese host universities, conclude a contract with them to commission the RONPAKU program operation, and provide them with funding of up to 1.2 million yen per fiscal year. RONPAKU fellows will receive travel expenses and other necessary expenses through the Japanese host universities based on its regulations. As this program is administered based on the annual budget for each Japanese fiscal year (from 1 April to 31 March), JSPS cannot carry over the remittance of any allowances or other payments to the following fiscal year.
Selection Criteria: Under JSPS’s RONPAKU Program, a two-step procedure is used for selecting RONPAKU Fellows. Applications are first screened through a document review. Taking into account these results, a category-based panel review is held on the applications. Selection criteria for JSPS review:
- Based on their record of scientific results (e.g., publication of international journals, record of awards), applicants must be seen as “mature” researchers.
- The applicant’s research proposal should be suited to pursuing a PhD degree through submission of a dissertation without matriculating a doctoral course. The feasibility should be very high that the applicant will obtain a PhD degree within a maximum of 3 years.
- The Japanese advisor must be suitable for supervising the Fellow’s research; sufficient advance communication must have been carried out between the advisor and the applicant; the research supervision plan must be well-prepared and specific.
Notification: Notification of the selection results will be made in writing through the head of the applying institution to RONPAKU candidates by the end of January 2014. Regarding unsuccessful candidates, their Japanese advisors will receive a notice of their approximate ranking among all the applicants.
Non-selected applicants will be ranked in the following three tiers.
Non-selected A (upper tier)
Non-selected B (middle tier)
Non-selected C (lower tier)
All notifications will be made via sealed letter.
How to Apply: RONAPKU candidates are to prepare Forms 2 and 3 and send them to their prospective Japanese advisor. Then, the advisor is to fill out Form 1 and submit it with all the other forms to JSPS through his/her university.
Step 1: Eligible researchers wishing to receive a RONPAKU fellowship must contact a prospective Japanese advisor and discuss applying for the program with him/her.
Step 2: RONPAKU candidates must fill in Form 2.
Step 3: A. RONPAKU candidates whose home institution come under the jurisdiction of a JSPS nominating organization must contact that organization in their home country (listed in the accompanying table) to be nominated to JSPS. B. RONPAKU candidates whose home institution does NOT come under such jurisdiction are not required to contact any nominating organization.
Step 4: RONPAKU candidates must have a Form 3 filled out by their home institution. After completing Form 2, they are to submit the application package (Forms 2 and 3) to their prospective Japanese advisor. PDF files are accepted when sending Form 2 and Form 3.
Step 5: Japanese advisors submit Form 1 via their university to JSPS along with the package of documents received from the RONPAKU candidate. Concurrently they take the necessary steps for application submission using JSPS’s online application system.
Scholarship Application Deadline: August 1, 2013 – August 7, 2013 (JSPS will accept applications through the Japanese advisors’ universities by August 7, 2013). The date stipulated above is the submission deadline for the Japanese advisor’s university. Candidates must send their application documents to their prospective Japanese advisor well in advance of this deadline. (As some universities have their own deadline, candidates should consult their prospective Japanese advisor with regard to the time frame.)