JAPAN: UNESCO / Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme


Programme outline

The Government of Japan, through Funds-in-Trust Project and the UNESCO Co-Sponsored Fellowships Programme, is offering research fellowships to conduct research in Japan in identified fields. The fellowships foster research and knowledge sharing between people across the world and enable capacity-building between UNESCO member states.

Degree level

- Candidates who have completed Master's degree and intend to conduct research

Fields of Study

- Environment with particular focus on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

- Intercultural dialogue

- Information and Communication Technologies)

- Peaceful conflict resolution

No other research topic will be considered unless it addresses the above mentioned fields.

Who can apply?

- Postgraduate candidates already holding either an MA or MSc degree or equivalent who wish to pursue research work abroad (preferably in their own region) with a view to enhancing knowledge in one of the four specific fields mentioned above

- Candidates must have high intellectual capability and have potential to make significant contributions to their country on return.

- Candidates must not be more than 40 years age. Applicants born before 1 January 1978 will not be considered

- The selected Fellow must carry out the research under the auspices of an academic supervisor in a host institution. Confirmation of acceptance from the academic supervisor is compulsory

- Candidates must be proficient in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study/research

Candidates who are in the process of completing their Master's degree must have completed it PRIOR to taking up their Fellowship.

Preference will be given to women candidatures, candidates from least developed countries (LDCs) and SIDS, African researchers and those who may wish pursue their research studies in Japan.

Application process

Applicants must complete the UNESCO / Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme Application Form Information sheet and Check list and submit them together with following required documents:

- The UNESCO Fellowship application form duly completed in duplicate. Two recent photographs should be included.

- Certified copies of degrees or diplomas including transcript of grades in duplicate. Proof of having obtained a Master's Degree must be included.

- A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the candidate's work.

- A host institute's letter of acceptance (i.e. the institute that has accepted the candidate for work should she/he be selected for a Fellowship). This letter of acceptance must indicate that the host institute confirms its willingness to provide the relevant research facilities required by the candidate in the chosen field of specialization.

- A certificate of language proficiency (on the UNESCO form) duly completed in duplicate for the language of the country of study (should this be different from the candidate's mother tongue) issued by an official authority.

- A detailed description, one to two page(s) (maximum), in either English or French, of the research work for which the candidature is being put forward.

All applications must be submitted with the required documentation on the UNESCO Fellowship Application Form.

Applications from South African applicants must be submitted by email to Mafale.r@dbe.gov.za no later than 20 November 2018. No late applications will be considered.

More information is available on the Guidelines on how to apply and the UNESCO / Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme webpage.

Applicants from other countries should contact the UNESCO National Commissions in their own country.


20 November 2018


For enquiries and questions about the Fellowships Programme or application submission, please contact the South African National Commission for UNESCO by email at Mafale.r@dbe.gov.za or telephone: +27 12 357 3505.

Documents and links

- UNESCO / Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme webpage

- UNESCO / Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme Application Form

- Information sheet and Check list

- Guidelines on how to apply


Please note that this opportunity is not offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Applicants are required to undertake their own research into programmes and institutions and are responsible for ensuring that the qualifications will be recognised in South Africa. If there are any discrepancies in the details provided, the information given by the sponsor supersedes the details provided above. No additional financial support will be provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training