Grants for Japanese

Below is an English translation summary of the official information provided in Japanese. For the complete information, please refer to the Japanese version.

The Japan-United States Educational Commission (JUSEC) offers approximately 40 to 50 Fulbright grants for Japanese citizens to study or conduct research in the U.S. in the fields listed below.

All awards are subject to budget appropriations from the governments of Japan and the United States. Grants are for the 2020-2021 JUSEC program year.

A Fulbright award cannot be held simultaneously with another grant intended for the same purpose, nor can it be postponed in order to first accept another grant intended for the same purpose.

Fields of Study

The Commission will give priority to the social sciences and humanities, particularly the issues listed below, as they relate to the U.S. and Japan and broader global society.

Any proposals related to the natural and applied sciences must be interdisciplinary in nature with a primary focus on the social sciences and humanities, having policy, social or ethical implications.

1. The United States

Study of the society and culture of the U.S. through such fields as history, government, economics, law, journalism, literature, intellectual history, sociology, and cultural anthropology.

2. Pacific Rim Relations

Study of contemporary political and economic relations between Japan and the U.S. with a third country or countries in the Pacific such as Northeast and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Up to two months of the grant may be spent in a third country but only if the grant is for 9 months or more and with prior approval of JUSEC.

3. Critical Issues of Contemporary Society

Study of contemporary social issues in Japan and the U.S. Subjects of particular interest include the impact of rapid technological development, risk or crisis management, ethical and other issues related to the expanding information technology, environmental issues, urbanization, the family, issues relating to an aging society, public law, criminology and journalism.

4. Issues of Global Society

Study related to transnational issues. Subjects of particular interest include public health and health policy, security, international trade, labor and mobility, migration, environmental policy, energy and demographic issues.

5. Education

Study related to educational systems (all levels) of Japan and the U.S. with particular focus on contemporary issues. A comparative perspective is strongly encouraged. Areas of study may include, but are not limited to, all aspects of internationalization, structural and curricular reform, and the role of education in society.

Eligibility requirements for ALL applicants

  1. Citizenship: Applicants must be citizens of Japan. Persons holding dual Japan-U.S. citizenship or permanent U.S. residency are NOT eligible for Fulbright grants to the U.S.
  2. Residency in Japan: Applicants must be residing in Japan at the time of on-line registration.
  3. English proficiency: Sufficient English proficiency to pursue proposed activities in the U.S. In principle, interviews will be conducted in English. If judged necessary, successful candidates may be required to pursue language study at their own expense before departure.
  4. Applicants must have interests in American culture and society in the broad sense, not limited within their proposed fields of study.
  5. Health Condition: Submitting a health report and obtaining medical clearance is required for all successful candidates; however, submitting the report at the time of application is unnecessary.

*The following persons are NOT eligible:

  • Individuals who are currently studying (including language study), researching or lecturing at U.S. universities.
  • Individuals who plans to start studying (including language study), researching or lecturing at U.S. universities as of July 31, 2019 and before 2020 fall term.
  • Induviduals who have resided in the U.S. for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the date of application (July 31, 2019). For the purpose of this section, an individual who has lived in the United States for nine months or more during a calendar year is deemed to have resided in the U.S. for that year.
  • Individuals who plan to stay overseas for longer than 90 days within the period from July 31, 2019 to the grant start date.
Two-year home-country residency requirement

An exchange visitor (J-1) visa will be provided to all Fulbright grantees and will be required to return to Japan upon completion of their academic project and to reside in Japan for an aggregate of two years. Unless this requirement is fulfilled, they are not eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, for permanent residence, or for a non-immigrant visa as a temporary worker ("H" visa) or trainee, or as an intra-company transferee ("L" visa) to re-enter the United States. This does not preclude the individual from going to the United States on other visas during the two-year period. This U.S. law is under section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Second Fulbright Scholarship

As a general matter, preference for Fulbright student opportunities will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright student grant.

Grant Categories

1. Graduate Study

This grant is intended to provide an opportunity for students who have outstanding academic and personal traits, and fully understand the purpose and objectives of the Fulbright Program, to study at a U.S. institution of higher learning for the purpose of obtaining a Doctoral or a Master's degree.

2. Doctoral Dissertation Research

This grant is intended to provide an opportunity for outstanding students and researchers who are seeking a doctoral degree from a Japanese university to conduct doctoral dissertation research at a U.S. institution of higher learning.

3. Research

This grant is intended to provide an opportunity for non-degree research in Social Science and Humanities for university faculty and professionals of non-profit organizations to develop their academic and professional expertise in collaboration with American colleagues and through auditing of graduate seminars.

4. Journalist

This grant is intended to provide an opportunity for non-degree research to practicing journalists who wish to enhance their professional expertise at a U.S. institution of higher learning or research facility, in one of the fields of study as outlined previously. This grant is NOT for the study of journalism techniques or theories. Upon returning to Japan, grantees are expected to publish articles in Japanese newspapers/periodicals relating to their U.S. experience.

5. Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA)

The grant is intended to provide an opportunity for potential teachers of English to refine their teaching skills, increase their English language proficiency and extend their knowledge of the society and culture of the U.S., by serving as teaching assistants or primary instructors in the Japanese language classes at university in the U.S. FLTAs are required to enroll in two courses per semester.

6. Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (FSIR) Program

This program is for U.S. colleges and universities to host Japanese scholars, preferably on a name requested basis, to teach and internationalize their campuses, curriculum and communities. U.S. institutions apply to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (IIE/CIES) to host a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for either one semester or an academic year.

Schedule (for the Grant Categories 1-4 above)

Applicants must submit the required documents in accordance with the schedule outlined below.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to Tokyo for an interview conducted in English by a panel of experts. Based on the recommendations made by the selections panel, the Commission selects the candidates and submits their names for final approval to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) in the United States. Grants become effective when the commission confirms the candidate's university or institutional affiliation in the U.S.

March 2019 Competition announcement
April 2019 Registration begins
May 31, 2019 Registration Deadline
July 31, 2019 Application Deadline
September - October 2019 Documentary screening by specialists
October - November 2019 Interviews in English at JUSEC office in Tokyo
December 2019 Notification of candidacy
After July 2020 Departure for the U.S.