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JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2019, Japan

Publish Date: Feb 11, 2019

Deadline: Mar 15, 2019

JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme

Jointly organized by the United Nations University and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is designed to provide promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research relevant to the main thematic focus areas of the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS, Tokyo) in cooperation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions. UNU-IAS acts as the nominating authority for the JSPS–UNU Programme. This fellowship is aimed at candidates who have completed their doctorates in the past six years and also have professional and/or research experience. UNU-IAS will assist in securing acceptance from host researchers for short-listed candidates.

Fellowships are awarded for a period of 24 months. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree (received on or after 2 April 2013) when the fellowship begins, or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before the fellowship begins. Japanese nationals are not eligible, nor are those of dual nationality if one is Japanese. Also, those who have permanent residency in Japan are not eligible. Those who have been previously awarded a Standard or Pathway Fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan scheme are not eligible.

Terms of the Award

  1. A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS regulations)
  2. A monthly maintenance allowance of JPY362,000
  3. A settling-in allowance of JPY200,000 (based on JSPS regulations)
  4. Overseas travel, accident, and sickness insurance coverage, etc.


  • The amounts of the awards indicated above are subject to change by JSPS.
  • In the case that a Fellow is already residing in Japan before his/her fellowship starts or obtains resident status before his/her fellowship is designated to begin, the above-mentioned air ticket to Japan and settling-in allowance will not be provided.
  • A research grant, “Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research”, is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application for these grants is made by the host researcher through his/her institution.

Research proposals for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowships should relate clearly to one of the research areas of UNU-IAS listed below, and also aim to be policy-relevant.

The following research projects at UNU-IAS are accepting applications for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services Assessment
  • Governance for Sustainable Development
  • International Satoyama Initiative
  • Water for Sustainable Development

Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services Assessment

The selected fellow in Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to ecosystem assessments and governance in the area of natural capital and ecosystem services. One focus of the project is ecosystem assessments undertaken by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This includes inclusive wealth accounting systems of natural capital and ecosystem services, synergies and tradeoff analysis across ecosystem services and scales, participatory future scenario building, scenarios analysis, integration of indigenous and local knowledge, localized implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), green growth, and policy and institutional analysis for building sustainable societies in harmony with nature.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD degree in a related field including but not limited to agriculture, landscape ecology, natural resources management, environmental management, and sustainability science
  • Demonstrated research skills in similar areas
  • Ability to design and implement research involving fieldwork
  • Fluency in English is essential, and a working knowledge of other languages is desirable

Governance for Sustainable Development

The selected fellow will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to Governance for Sustainable Development. One focus of the project is governance related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes implementation mechanisms and governance of the SDGs at global, regional, national and local levels, comparison of implementation among different countries and various actors, science–policy interface, interlinkages between the SDGs and other international agreements as well as synergies and trade-offs between targets. In terms of issues, the primary focus is on Goal 12 and Goal 17, including their linkage with other relevant goals, but is not limited to them

Required qualifications:

  • A PhD degree (no ABDs) in a related field, including but not limited to political science, sociology, economics, legal and other social sciences, civil engineering (including socio-economic modelling), and science, technology and innovation (STI)
  • Demonstrated research skills in similar areas
  • Ability to design and implement research involving fieldwork
  • Fluency in English is essential, and a working knowledge of other languages is desirable

International Satoyama Initiative

The selected Fellow will conduct research on socio-ecological systems to contribute to policy relevant discussions on biodiversity conservation and landscape management. The research should be linked to the concept of the Satoyama Initiative which aims to realize societies in harmony with nature by promoting sustainable production activities and natural resource management. The focus includes multiple benefits of production landscapes and seascapes and their linkages with human well-being, and solutions to various challenges they are facing from social, economic and environmental perspectives.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD degree (no ABDs) in a field related to applied social or environmental sciences, including but not limited to environmental policy, development studies, ecosystem management and landscape planning
  • Demonstrated research skills and a sound record of publication in similar areas
  • Ability to design and implement research involving fieldwork
  • Fluency in English is essential, and a working knowledge of other languages is desirable

Water for Sustainable Development

Water for Sustainable Development (WSD) is a research and capacity development project that aims to (1) establish a comprehensive framework to evaluate the role of water in small and medium-sized cities in Asia, (2) identify current and future inter-sectoral water demand, and (3) develop analytical tools and policy options to improve water efficiency and environment in the region–thereby contributing to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Required qualifications:

  • A PhD degree (no ABDs) in a related field, including, but not limited to, civil/environmental engineering, environmental economics, environmental policy, rural development, and agriculture and forest management
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement research in similar fields, including field surveys
  • Ability to act as a good team player
  • Excellent command of English, both oral and written


Interested and eligible candidates are invited to submit a completed application form and supporting documents to fellowships@unu.edu. If an applicant does not have access to the Internet, he or she should contact UNU-IAS. The form and the required documents indicated in the form must be in English. If supporting documents are not in English, English translations must be attached.

Review of applications by the Fellowship Committee will begin immediately after the application deadline. Short-listed candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview and to provide reference letters.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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