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JSPS RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program, Japan


August 20, 2015


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Outline of JSPS RONPAKU Program

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 countries of Asia and Africa or other specified countries 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 an advisor in Japan 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 advisors in Japan. The advisor in Japan 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.

Eligible Fields

All fields within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are included.

Applicable Countries

Candidates must be a researcher whose university/institution is in one of the following countries: ASIA (including Middle East countries) Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, UAE, 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 EUROPE (specified countries) Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan JSPS also treats Taiwan and Palestine in this manner.

Eligibility of RONPAKU Fellow

The candidate must be a researcher

(1) Who has not obtained a PhD degree from a university

(2) Who wishes to obtain a PhD degree from a Japanese university through the submission of a dissertation

(3) Who has already achieved substantial research results and is likely through dissertation research under the program to successfully obtain a PhD degree, as well as is nominated by a home advisor and the president of his/her affiliated university/research institution.

(4) Who has nationality in an applicable country (listed in section 3)

(5) Who is employed full time at a university or research institution in his/her home country or will be appointed to such a position by April 1, 2016

(6) Who is 45 years of age or younger as of April 1, 2016

Regarding (1), if, during the period of JSPS support, the fellow obtained his/her PhD degree through other program, JSPS takes the prescribed measures, including the discontinuation of the allowance.

Number of Fellowships to be Awarded

Approximately 25

Fellowship Tenure

Maximum of 3 years from 1 April 2016

JSPS Financial Support

(1) Total funding provided to Japanese host university Maximum of 3.6 million yen (Up to 1.2 million yen per fiscal year)

(2) 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 advisors in Japan; 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.

(3) Details 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.

Notes: These terms are subject to change.

Application Procedure and Deadline

Prospective advisors in Japan will be required to use JSPS’s online application system to apply for the program. For detailed procedures, please refer to the online application system guide at (in Japanese).

RONAPKU candidates are to prepare Forms 2 and 3 and send them to their prospective advisor in Japan. Then, the advisor is to fill out Form1 and submit it with all the other forms to JSPS through his/her university.

Application Deadline

August 20, 2015 – August 26, 2015 (JSPS will accept applications through the advisors’ universities in Japan by August 26, 2015.)


a. The date stipulated above is the submission deadline for the advisor’s university in Japan.

b. Candidates must send their application documents to their prospective advisor in Japan well in advance of this deadline. (As some universities have their own deadline, candidates should consult their prospective advisor in Japan with regard to the time frame.)

Selection and Notification of Results

(1) Selection process Screening is conducted by JSPS’s selection committee based on the three criteria listed below.

Selection Criteria

(i) Based on their record of scientific results (e.g., publication of international journals, record of awards), candidates must be seen as “mature” researchers.

(ii) The candidate’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 candidate will obtain a PhD degree within a maximum of 3 years.

(iii) The advisor in Japan must be suitable for supervising the candidate’s research; sufficient advance communication must have been carried out between the advisor and the candidate; the research supervision plan must be well-prepared and specific.


Overseas Fellowship Division

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083


Telephone: +81 (0)3 3263 2368, 9094


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