Abe Fellowship in Research, The Social Science Research Council, USA, Japan

Publish Date: Feb 27, 2022

The Abe Fellowship was created to promote international transdisciplinary study on urgent global issues. The program aims to support forming a new generation of researchers passionate about policy-relevant long-term problems and eager to contribute to a bilateral and worldwide research network centered on these issues. It aims to foster a new level of intellectual cooperation between Japanese and American academic and professional groups committed to and skilled in global problem resolution and understanding.

Individual research support is at the heart of the Abe Fellowship Program. Scholars and non-academic research professionals are encouraged to apply. The program's goals are to promote high-quality research in the social sciences and associated areas. It aims to create new collaborative partnerships of researchers around the program's four thematic fields, bring new data and resources to those researchers' attention, and elicit a commitment from them to pursue a comparative or transnational line of inquiry.

Individuals whose work and interests align with the program's objectives are successful applicants. Abe Fellows must participate in program activities to demonstrate a long-term commitment to these ideals throughout their careers.

The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership supports the Abe Fellowship Program with funding. (http://www.cgp.org/)

The Abe Fellowship Research Agenda

Applicants are requested to submit research projects in the social sciences and associated areas that address one or multiple themes listed below. Themes include the following:

Threats to Personal, International, and Societal Security

Topics and areas of particular interest include: 

  • Food, water, and energy insecurity

  • Pandemics

  • Climate crisis

  • Disaster preparedness, prevention, and recovery 

  • Conflict, terrorism, and cyber security

    Long-Term Growth and Development

    Topics and areas of particular interest include:
    • Global financial stability

    • Trade imbalances and agreements

    • Globalization adjustment

    • Climate change and adaptation

    • Poverty and inequality

    Changes in Social, Scientific, and Cultural Trends

    Topics and areas of particular interest include:

    • Expansion of STEM education among women and depreciated populations

    • Aging or other demographic change

    • Benefits and dangers of reproductive genetics

    • Gender and social exclusion

    • Migration

    • Rural depopulation and urbanization

    • Impacts of automation on jobs

    • Poverty and inequality

    • Community resilience

    Governance, Empowerment, and Participation

    Topics and areas of particular interest include:

    • Challenges to democratic institutions

    • Participatory governance

    • Human rights

    • The changing role of NGO/NPOs

    • The rise of new media

    • Government roles in fostering innovation

Projects should contribute significantly to academic and/or policy debates and break new theoretical or empirical ground across the program's four key themes. Priority is given to research initiatives that aid in formulating solutions that promote a more peaceful, stable, and equitable global society or alleviate the issues that communities around the world confront. Applicants must demonstrate how their proposed study expands on earlier work on the topic and builds on existing talents to venture into new intellectual territory.

Please keep in mind that the goal of this Fellowship is to fund research. As a result, programs with the sole purpose of travel, cultural interaction, or language training will be rejected. Nevertheless, if the proposal includes specific justification for such activities, funding for language mentoring or refresher courses supporting research aims will be included in the grant.

Policy-Relevant, Contemporary, and Comparative or Transnational Research

The Abe Fellowship Program supports comparative or worldwide research rather than promoting a broader understanding of a specific country, such as Japan or the United States. The program encourages cross-cultural study that is contextualized.

The Abe Fellowship Program Committee is looking for proposals for research that is expressly focused on policy-relevant and contemporary issues from a comparative or international perspective and that incorporates the study of the US and Japan into larger disciplinary or theoretical discussions.

Policy Importance

Program participants should carry out research according to the below criteria:

  • The study of existing public policies to gain a better understanding of such policies and their repercussions.

  • Developing more effective policies

Research questions relevant to understanding public debate on contemporary issues of interest to diverse sectors of society can also be found to be policy-relevant. All submissions are intended to address policy relevance for project description and structure directly.

Focus on the Present

The program is focused on current events and debates. As a result, proposals in history or with a historical component must show how the research will be used to address current issues.

Perspectives that are comparative or transnational

The Abe Fellowship Program does not support the study of a specific country. Process, challenge, and difficulty comparisons across time and geography are prioritized. Successful proposals will detail how the project's design and aims will be comparative or worldwide.

Typically, programs entail data collection in multiple countries or multiple periods. Only data from a single country may be obtained under the Fellowship's supervision if the data's goal is explicitly comparative or global. Single-country submissions that merely hint that the data has broader relative value will be disqualified from consideration for the Fellowship. Additionally, because of the widespread or global distribution of the phenomenon under study, it is not sufficient for a proposal to merely imply a comparative perspective. 


  • Citizens of the United States and Japan and nationals of other countries who can demonstrate strong and serious long-term affiliations with research groups in Japan or the United States are eligible to participate in this competition.

  • At the time of application submission, applicants need to have a Ph.D. or a terminal degree in their discipline or have equivalent professional experience.

  • This Fellowship does not require any prior language training. If the research project involves language skills, the applicant must demonstrate proficiency enough to finish the study.

  • Applications from non-academic researchers are encouraged to intend that the Fellowship's outcome will contribute to the larger body of knowledge on the selected topic.

  • Nonpartisan perspectives must be reflected in projects that propose to address important policy issues or strive to generate a tangible policy solution.

Please keep in mind: Previous Abe Fellowship holders are ineligible. During each Japanese fiscal year, which runs from April 1 to March 31, you can only hold one Fellowship supported by the Japan Foundation, including the Abe Fellowship. Current Japan Foundation Fellowship grantees and those who will begin their Fellowship by March 31 of the following year are not eligible to apply for an Abe Fellowship. Fellowships are subject to the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership providing funding.

Fellowship terms

The fellowship terms are variable, and they are meant to fit the needs of scholars at various phases of their careers. Abe Fellows receive full-time support for at least three and a maximum of twelve months throughout 24 months. The Fellowship begins between April 1 and December 31 each year. Fellowship tenure does not have to be continuous, but it must be completed within 24 months after the Fellowship's initial activation.

  • The Fellowship is designed to assist a single researcher, whether that researcher is functioning alone or in cooperation with others.

  • Candidates should plan to spend at least a third of their fellowship time living in Japan or the United States. The Abe Fellowship Committee may suggest additional international networking possibilities.

  • Abe Fellows will be expected to join a university in the United States or Japan relevant to their research. As appropriate to individual projects, fellowship funding may also be used for extra residency and fieldwork in third countries.

  • Specific Abe Fellowship Program events will be required of fellows.


Each year the application deadline is September 1. For further information, don't hesitate to contact the program directly at abe@ssrc.org. 

For further information, please click the "LINK TO ORIGINAL" button below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

Similar Opportunities


Conflict Studies



Food Science

Migration Studies



Social Sciences

Water Science

Study Levels


Opportunity Types



Eligible Countries


Host Countries


United States