UNESCO is now accepting applications for UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme” (UNESCO Japan Young Researchers Fellowship Programme 2019 in Japan. The Duration of the UNESCO Research Fellowship is from 3-9 months. The selected young researchers will do research in one or two countries. The UNESCO fully funded fellowship will commence in June 2019 and end in February 2021. 

The aim of the fellowships is to support innovative and imaginative post-graduate research in four areas of development of particular interest to UNESCO.

The Government of Japan will be awarding 10 fellowships this year to deserving candidates from developing countries. The UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme (UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowship Programme) funded under the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the capacity-building of Human Resources.

Host Country:

  • Japan

Host Organisation:


Fellowship Duration:

  • Minimum: 3 months
  • Maximum: 9 months

Fellowship Dates:

  • Start any time from June 2019 onwards
  • End in February 2021

Research Areas:

The Research Areas of the 2019 Fellowship Program is given below: 

  • Environment (with particular emphasis on Disaster risk reduction (DRR))
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Intercultural Dialogue
  • Peaceful Conflicts Resolution

Fellowship Award:

The Japan Fellowship Program financed by Japan and administered by UNESCO will consist of the following:

  • A Lump sum contribution of US$10,000 will be awarded to selected candidates. The amount, to be paid in two or three instalments, is intended to cover research costs only, and will not be negotiable.

No other costs will be considered and grants will be neither extended nor renewed.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants, a maximum of TWO from each applying National Commission, must meet the following general criteria:

  • Candidates under this Programme must be post-graduate researchers, already holding either an M.A. or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) and wishing to pursue research work abroad (preferably in their own region) with a view to enhancing knowledge in one of the four specific fields mentioned in paragraph D.1 below. Thus, those who are in the process of completing their Master’s degree must have completed it PRIOR to taking up their Fellowship.
  • Candidates must be persons of high intellectual promise who may be expected to make significant contributions to their country on return.
  • Candidates must be no more than 40 years of age. Thus, applicants born before 1 January 1978 will not be considered under the Programme.
  • 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 imperative.
  • Priority attention will be given to:
    • Women candidatures
    • Candidates from least developed countries (LDCs) and SIDS
    • African researchers
    • Those who may wish pursue their research studies in Japan
  • Candidates must be proficient in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study/research.

Eligible Regions: 

  • Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African, Republic Chad, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea, Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,  Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint- Vincent and the Grenadines, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Required Documents:

Please insure that the following documents are attached to the application:

  • The UNESCO Fellowship Application Form duly completed in duplicate ENDORSED BY YOUR
  • Two recent photographs (obligatory) should be included with the form
  • 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. The research proposal should cover the following points:

    • Why?  The concrete nature of the proposed project’s contribution to the fields listed in paragraph D.1 above; its innovative, original aspects; and the scope and purpose of the research project. The candidate should demonstrate the reasons the theoretical and practical knowledge or training acquired at the host institution would be beneficial to her/his on-going research project.
    • What?  The expected results or impact of the research project being undertaken.
    • How?  Describe the proposed arrangements for conducting the research.
    • Where?  The proposed country where research will be undertaken (one to two countries maximum) and the name and address of the host institute.
    • When?  The timeframe explicitly stating the proposed starting date and the suggested duration of research which should be of three months minimum and nine months maximum.
    • How much? A detailed budget estimate indicating the resources required for the candidate to undertake the proposed research. The amount should be determined according to the proposed duration and place of research. The amount should not exceed US$10,000. All figures must be shown in US dollars and must be included on a separate page. The amount indicated should cover, exclusively, the international or domestic travel costs for the approved itinerary and personal subsistence abroad, etc. (The object of this Programme is to provide research fellowships so it is considered that in most cases tuition fees will not apply). Applicants should be realistic in compiling their proposed budgets, and consider that an average of US$1,000/US$1,800 per month for accommodation and meals (including local transportation and incidentals) should not be exceeded. Applications where funds requested are judged to be excessive in relation to the objectives and importance of the project are likely to be considered for a smaller grant.
  • A detailed budget estimate (no more than 10,000 US$)
  • A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the candidate’s work
  • Certified copies of degrees or diplomas (including transcript of grades) in duplicate. Proof of having obtained a Master’s degree
  • Letter of acceptance from the host institution (1 or 2 countries ABROAD)
  • The 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.

How to Apply UNESCO Japan Young Researchers Fellowship Programme?

Step 1:

Read announcement letter English/French/Spanish

Please check in ANNEX III, if your country is among the 140 Invited Member States and Associate Members invited to participate in the Programme. If not, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to consider candidatures from your country.

Step 2:

Read carefully ANNEX I and ANNEX II to understand the requirements for eligible candidatures and the procedures for the submission of application.

Step 3: 

If you comply with the conditions spelled out, you are invited to contact the National Commission for UNESCO of your country to enquire the application procedures at national level. Click here for the Directory of National Commissions for UNESCO.

Step 4:

To obtain the acceptance letter from the host institution, candidates are encouraged to contact in advance the host institutions and potential research supervisors.

Candidates must prepare their application documents (in English or French) properly as prescribed in ANNEX I.

Attachments to be downloaded:

  •  Application form (English or French)
  •  Information sheet duly completed (EnglishFrench or Spanish)

Step 5:

Submit your application to the National Commission for UNESCO of your country.

NOTE: As the National Commissions for UNESCO of the invited countries will select and transmit the applications of nominated candidates to UNESCO Paris Headquarter by 30 November 2018 at the latest, applicants are advised to submit their application to the National Commissions as early as possible.

Step 6:

As soon as you are informed by the National Commission for UNESCO of your country that you are nominated as a candidate for this programme, you can submit an advanced copy of your complete application to s.bantchev@unesco.org with a copy to l.zas-friz@unesco.org and v.lopy@unesco.org

Note: Hard copies of application documents are required and should be sent to the Participation Programme and Fellowships Section, UNESCO, 7, Place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP either by the National Commission or the candidates.

Application Deadline:

  • The application deadline for the UNESCO Japan Young Researchers Fellowship Programme 2019 is November 30, 2018.


Deadline is November 30, 2018