Frequently Asked Questions: Japan Foundation Indo-Pacific Partnership Program (JFIPP) Research Fellowship

Applicant Criteria

1. I am not a citizen of Japan, Australia, India, nor the U.S.A. Can I still be eligible?

  • If you have at least five years of strong and serious professional experience at an institution in one of these four countries, you can still be eligible.

2. I am researcher at a think-tank. Am I eligible?

  • If you hold a Ph.D. or the highest academic degree in your field of expertise or have a total of seven or more years of work experience in a field related to your proposed research, you are eligible.

3. I am a government employee. Am I eligible?

  • Yes, with the provision that you would not be violating any laws or regulations of your country by receiving a fellowship from the Japan Foundation.

4. Are joint research projects eligible? If so, can we apply as a group?

  • Yes, joint research projects are eligible, but we only accept applications from individuals. The JFIPP Research Fellowship is intended to support an individual researcher, regardless of whether that individual is working alone or in collaboration with others.

5. I have read the JFIPP Research Fellowship Guidelines and FAQ, but I still have questions. How can I contact JF?

  • You can reach us via email at .
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6. The guidelines state that "Applicants... must have at least five years of strong and serious professional experience", if I have retired from a full-time position and only have part-time status, am I still eligible? New!

  • In the guidelines, the criteria you are referring to is : “Applicants... must have at least five years of strong and serious professional experience at an institution in one of these four countries.” This means that applicants with citizenship/nationality other than Japan, India, Australia, and the U.S. must have a research or activity base of at least five years in one of the four countries to be eligible for the fellowship. So, applicants with citizenship/nationality other than those of Japan, India, Australia, and U.S. must have an actual research or activity base in one of those four countries for a minimum of five years. If the applicant has citizenship from one of these four countries, they have met that particular criteria regardless of their status (full-time or part-time). (Please refer to the guidelines to see all of the criteria in their entirety.)

7. Do you have guidance for applicants who do not fit squarely in either the researcher and practitioner categories? For example, in my case, my job title is “researcher”, I hold a Master’s degree, and I have 7 years of work experience as a researcher, would I fit in the practitioner category or the researcher category? New!

  • In principle, applicants for this fellowship who are working as a researcher should hold a doctorate (or the highest degree in their field of expertise). If you have been involved in your field as a practitioner (for example, in a company or at think tank) for more than seven years, you are qualified to apply as a practitioner. Please prepare your application documents in a way that meets either of these criteria.

Application Process

1. I am unable to fill in Application Form (Form A).

  • Please use Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete this form. Using other applications may cause incompatibility issues.

2. How should I fill 6. Collaborators in Application Form (Form A), if I will not be able to complete arrangements for local collaborators and/or host institutions by the submission deadline? Does the Japan Foundation help applicants make arrangements for local collaborators and/or host institutions?

  • Please provide the current status of your local collaborator/host arrangements in the Application Form by selecting the applicable answer in the form. Fellows are responsible for making the arrangements for local collaborators and/or host institutions in their destination countries.

3. What kinds of evidence will be acceptable if I am asked to submit additional documentation to prove adequate language proficiency to complete the project?

  • Acceptable evidence includes: a copy of the certificate of language proficiency, an evaluation (free format) by a person who is professionally qualified to assess your language competency to carry out the research project.

4. Can I insert figures, images, etc. and/or change the formatting of the Project Information Form? New!

  • Please refrain from changing the formatting on any of the application forms, including the Project Information Form. However, you may insert images or other information that help explain your research plan within the current format; you may also include any additional information in a separate appendix, if necessary.

5. Is there a page limit for the Applicant CV/Résumé? New!

  • There is no page limit for CVs/Résumés.

6. Are there any requirements for the two references? New!

  • There are no specific requirements regarding the references/referees. However, the Reference Letters are an important part of the application and an effective referee will have familiarity with the applicant’s research activities and have sufficient knowledge of the applicant’s proposed research plan to make a recommendation. Please select referees who can evaluate your research plan and its probability of achieving successful results.

7. Can the Reference Letters be from researcher(s) at the host institution(s)? Or do they need to be based outside the host institution(s)? New!

  • Researchers at the host institution(s) can serve as referees.

Research Collaborators, Research Host Institutions New!

1. Do I need to obtain official confirmation from the host institutions abroad that they will prepare IDs (for access to libraries, etc.) and otherwise support my research activities by the application deadline (August 18)? New!

  • Applicants do not need to secure official confirmation of facility access from the collaborators/host institutions by the application deadline. On the Application Form, we ask applicants to note the “Status of request” with regard to the Collaborators/Host Institution; applicants should select from Confirmed/In negotiation/Not decided, as best fits the status at the time of application. If you would like to provide additional context on your specific situation, for example, you are currently in the process of requesting support but it will be difficult to get official confirmation by the application deadline, you may do so in the “Project Information Form”. Please be aware that JF may contact the collaborators and/or host institutions to confirm the "Status of request”. The research collaborators and collaborating/host institutions are an important factor in evaluating the effectiveness of the applicant's research plan.

2. Is it necessary for me to be affiliated with a research institution abroad (host organization) in addition to having a research collaborator? New!

  • It is not strictly necessary for applicants to be affiliated with host organizations in the destination countries as long as they have the collaborators necessary to complete their research plan successfully. Any research collaborator(s) (and/or host institution(s)) considered necessary to ensure the feasibility of the research plan is acceptable. In your application materials, please explain in detail, to the extent possible, how you will be able to realize your research goals, including information on methods and collaborators.

Application Results New!

1. How will I be informed of the results of my application?

  • Notification will be sent to the email address indicated in Form A in November 2023. The Japan Foundation will not inform your referees and/or collaborators of the results of your application.

2. What are the next steps after being awarded a Fellowship?

  • The awardee will be contacted by the Japan Foundation and asked to submit some additional documents (documents/ forms JF will provide, passport copy etc.) Keep in mind that you may not be notified about the results of your application until November 2023; please make sure that your travel plan is feasible under this timeline.

3. Is the estimated 20 awardees the total number, including both Japanese and non-Japanese applicants? New!

  • The estimated 20 awardees includes both Japanese and non-Japanese applicants.

Conditions for receiving the fellowship and how funds can be used (e.g., in relation to salary, other grants, etc.) New!

1. Am I allowed to receive other scholarship(s) and/or fellowship(s) concurrently?

  • Fellows may not receive any other scholarship or fellowship covering expenses for the same period(s) supported by the JFIPP Research Fellowship. But fellows are allowed to divide the JFIPP Research Fellowship period in two blocks and receive other fellowship(s) if the other support does not overlap with periods supported by the JFIPP Research Fellowship.

2. If my home institution does not allow me to take a leave of absence for the fellowship and I would need to resign to conduct the fellowship research, is it possible for me to receive the fellowship even though I will no longer have a home institution affiliation? New!

  • In principle, the lack of a principal place of work does not preclude an applicant from receiving a fellowship. However, since the place of work is an important factor in determining the applicant's base of activities, in such cases, even if the applicant resigns, the organization where the applicant worked until immediately before the resignation will be used when determining the applicant's base of activities.

3. Can I receive other grant(s) concurrently with the fellowship if these other grant(s) do not support travel and accommodation expenses? For example, I am considering applying for other grants (e.g. Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research) with the same research topic. New!

  • In principle, other grants concurrent with the fellowship are allowed if they do not support the same expenses for the same purposes.

4. Can I receive the fellowship while I am on paid leave from work (for example, during the university summer and/or winter breaks)? Is it necessary to take an unpaid leave of absence while I am on the fellowship? New!

  • The Fellowship is not contingent on being unpaid. Therefore, you can receive the fellowship even if you are receiving a salary.

5. Are there any research activity expenses that are not permitted? New!

  • The “Accommodation and Research Allowance” is provided on a per diem basis, and there are no specific guidelines on research activity expenses. If you have specific concerns, please reach out to us to discuss.

Fellowship period, country of stay, etc. New!

1. Am I allowed to conduct research in destinations other than Japan, Australia, India, and the U.S.A.? Is there a list of allowed destinations?

  • JFIPP Research Fellowship requires non-Japan based fellows spend at least half the fellowship tenure period in Japan; Japan-based fellows must spend at least half of their tenure in one of the other three destinations (Australia, India, and the U.S.A.). Fellows are allowed to conduct research in other destinations for the remainder of their JFIPP Research Fellowship. Please see Appendix A, Table of regional categories for the other eligible destinations.

2. In the guidelines, it says that “...proposals must include at least two countries for research activities other than the applicant’s country of origin”, for example, if I stayed in the U.S. for six months and only stayed in India for one week, would that fulfil the requirement? New!

  • There is no minimum length of stay for the multi-country requirement, such as one month in each country. However, this program aims to establish a new international intellectual network by inviting applicants to conduct research in two or more countries. When reviewing the applications, we will consider whether the locations and durations of stay are necessary and reasonable in the context of the proposed research plan and goals.

3. My permanent affiliation is with a research institute in Japan but I am currently temporarily with an institution in Australia. While I will be in Australia at the time of application, I will have returned to Japan by the start of the fellowship. Given these circumstances, would there be a need for me to stay in Japan for half of the period of the fellowship to satisfy the tenure requirements of the fellowship? New!

  • In principle, the country where you are based is defined as the country where your home institution is located. The fellowship covers activities conducted in the country outside of your home base. In your case, as your permanent position is with an institution in Japan and are only in Australia on a temporary basis, your base is Japan even if you happen to be in Australia at the time of application. So, based on the fellowship requirements, you would be required to stay in two countries other than Japan during the fellowship.

4. How is the total duration of the fellowship period calculated if it is divided into two blocks? For example, I am based in Japan, if I go to India from February through March 2024 and then to Australia from August through September 2024, would the fellowship duration be from February through September 2024 or would it only be for the times I am abroad (February – March and August – September)? New!

  • As stated in the guidelines, the fellowship is for activities outside the country in which you are based. Therefore, in your scenario, if your base is in Japan, and you will be in India for two months from February to March, in Australia for two months from August to September, and you return to Japan from April through July, the fellowship will be from February to March and from August to September; you will not be on the fellowship from April to July when you are back in Japan.

5. I have Japanese citizenship and am currently based outside of Japan. Regarding the requirement that “At least half of the fellowship tenure period must be in Japan for non-Japan-based fellows or in one of the other three countries (India, Australia, or the U.S.) for Japan-based fellows”, given my situation, can I stay in Japan for half of the fellowship? New!

  • Since you are based outside of Japan, in principle, the fellowship requires you to stay in Japan for at least half of your fellowship period and then stay in at least one other country, other than your current base, for the remainder of your fellowship. Japanese nationals may alternatively choose to stay in the United States, Australia, or India (excluding the country where they are currently based) for half (or more) of their fellowship period, if it is necessary for their research plan.

6. Is the maximum 12-month duration for the fellowship the total length of stay in two or more countries other than your home country? New!

  • Yes. This fellowship is for activities outside of your home/base country. If you divide the fellowship period into two periods (outside your home/base country), the two periods combined cannot exceed 12 months.

Research themes and activity plans New!

1. My research will focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Would a research plan that includes the Indo-Pacific and other parts of the world fit with the program’s objectives? New!

  • Such a project would still fit with the program’s objectives. Although we aim to build an intellectual network in the Indo-Pacific region, research themes are not limited to the Indo-Pacific region, and research plans combining other regions are also eligible, this can include global issues or issues shared by the Indo-Pacific and other regions of the world, e.g. Indo-Pacific and Europe.

2. Regarding “Field of Research,” do we have to conduct research on policies in which the four countries (Japan, Australia, India, and the U.S.) cooperate? For example, would it be acceptable to conduct research on relations among the four countries and analyze the implications for Japan's foreign policy in the future? New!

  • There is no requirement that projects focus on collaboration between the four countries, but one of the goals of this program is to promote regional connectivity and collaboration on current and future issues facing the region and the world, so some element of collaboration is expected.

3. If my research project covers the Indo-Pacific region, but not Japan, is it still eligible? Is it necessary to focus on issues that are also relevant to Japan? New!

  • The purpose of this program is to promote international research on shared or common issues in the Indo-Pacific region, including Japan, so please focus on issue(s) that are relevant to Japan.

Obligations of Fellowship Recipients

1. Who is responsible for obtaining all necessary visa(s)?

  • Fellows are responsible for obtaining all necessary visa(s). For Japan visas, the Japan Foundation shall provide supporting documents (either in English or Japanese) for visa applications but will not cover the cost of obtaining the visa(s) or submit applications on behalf of Fellows. Please check the requirements for each relevant country and allow sufficient time for the application process(es).

2. Will the Japan Foundation assist with making housing arrangements?

  • Fellows are responsible for arranging their own housing in consultation with their collaborators at each destination. JF is unable to serve as a guarantor for Fellows when renting apartments and houses.

Other general information about the program New!

1. What are the plans for this program beyond this first year? New!

  • This program was conceived with plans to continue beyond the initial year, but at this time we are unable to give an estimate for how long it might continue. We will consider and plan for the next fiscal year and beyond based on the experience and results from this year, including any revisions, as necessary.

2. Can applicants request comments on individual applications from the Japan Foundation before submission? New!

  • No. The Japan Foundation will not comment on individual applications beforehand.
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