UNU-IAS PhD and Postdoctoral fellowships

Every year UNU offers PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowships to provide young scholars and policymakers, especially from the developing world, with a multidisciplinary context within which to pursue advanced research and training that are of professional interest to the successful applicant and of direct relevance to the research agenda of their selected UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) or UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) programme.

The Fellowship Programme provides the successful applicant with a unique opportunity to:

  • develop and advance their research under the supervision of a UNU-IAS or UNU-CPR faculty member and contribute to the overall research agenda of the Institute;
  • widen their research interests and professional networks by working in the international and multi-disciplinary context of UNU-IAS and UNU-CPR, and with their wider network of Japanese universities and research institutes, as well as international collaborators;
  • become exposed to the workings of international and multilateral policy processes and the broader UN system; and
  • link with other UNU-IAS and UNU-CPR PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows.
The Fellows are resident at UNU-IAS or UNU-CPR in Tokyo, Japan for the full term of the fellowship. This gives the PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows the opportunity to gain from the broader research programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences arranged by UNU-IAS and UNU-CPR. UNU's close institutional links with Japanese affiliated professors and researchers from key universities and think tanks in Japan and around the world also allow Fellows to link into the broader Japanese academic and research community. Since the start of the Fellowship Programme at UNU-IAS in 1996, more than 250 young scholars, 70% of whom are from the developing world, have benefited from collaboration with UNU-IAS/UNU-CPR and Japanese scholars in this way. Applications will be invited for the following three fellowship types:
Fellowship Type
UNU-IAS PhD Fellowship

1. Applicants must be at an advanced dissertation writing stage of the PhD with their research proposal accepted by their university.
2. Proficiency in English is essential.
12 months UNU-IAS, Tokyo, Japan
UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship 1. Applicants must have gained their PhD degree.
2. Proficiency in English is essential.
12 months (possibility of renewal for another 12 months) UNU-IAS, Tokyo, Japan
JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship 1. Applicants must have gained their PhD degree on or after 2 April 2008 for the 2014 Fellowships.
2. Proficiency in English is essential.
3. Applicants must be citizens of countries that have diplomatic relations with Japan. Japanese nationals are not eligible.
24 months UNU-IAS or UNU-CPR, Tokyo, Japan


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.  Final selection results of the 2014 Fellowships will be announced in June 2014.

Contact details 

Questions regarding the fellowships should be directed to:
UNU-IAS Fellowship Committee

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