JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2020 (Water for Sustainable Development)

United Nations University (UNU)

Tokyo, , JP

Jointly organized by the United Nations University and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is designed to provide promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research in sustainability in co-operation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions.

The UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS, Tokyo) acts as the nominating authority for the JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme. This fellowship is aimed at candidates who have completed their doctorates in the past six years and also have professional and/or research experience. UNU-IAS will assist in securing acceptance from host researchers for shortlisted candidates.

Fellowships are awarded for a period of 24 months. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree (received on or after 2 April 2014) when the fellowship begins, or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before the fellowship begins. Japanese nationals are not eligible, nor are those of dual nationality if one is Japanese. Also those who have permanent residency in Japan are not eligible. Those who have previously been awarded a Standard or Pathway Fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan are not eligible.

Terms of the Award

  1. A round-trip air ticket (based on JSPS regulations)
  2. A monthly maintenance allowance of JPY362,000
  3. A settling-in allowance of JPY200,000 (based on JSPS regulations)
  4. Overseas travel, accident, and sickness insurance coverage, etc.


  • The amounts of the awards indicated above are subject to change by JSPS.
  • In the case that a Fellow is already residing in Japan before his/her fellowship starts or obtains resident status before his/her fellowship is designated to begin, the above-mentioned air ticket to Japan and settling-in allowance will not be provided.
  • A research grant, “Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research”, is available to cover cooperative research-related expenses. Application for these grants is made by the host researcher through his/her institution.

JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2020

Under this programme fellows conduct research relevant to one or more of the main thematic focus areas of UNU-IAS: sustainable societies, natural capital & biodiversity, and global change & resilience.

Research proposals for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowships should relate clearly to one of the specific research areas of UNU-IAS listed below. The proposed research must be policy-relevant and incorporate gender issues within the research agenda:

Governance for Sustainable Development

The selected fellow will work at the forefront of applied research relevant to Governance for Sustainable Development. One focus of the project is governance related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes implementation mechanisms and governance of the SDGs at global, regional, national and local levels, comparison of implementation among different countries and various actors, science–policy interface, interlinkages between the SDGs and other international agreements as well as synergies and trade-offs between targets.

Required qualifications:

  • A PhD degree (no ABDs) in a related field, including but not limited to political science, sociology, economics, legal and other social sciences, civil engineering (including socio-economic modelling), and science, technology and innovation (STI)
  • Demonstrated research skills in similar areas
  • Ability to design and implement research involving fieldwork
  • Fluency in English is essential, and a working knowledge of other languages is desirable

Water for Sustainable Development

Water for Sustainable Development (WSD) is a research and capacity development project that aims to (1) establish a comprehensive framework to evaluate the role and value of water in selected locations in Asia, (2) identify current and future inter-sectoral water demand, and (3) develop analytical tools and policy options to improve water efficiency and environment in the region–thereby contributing to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal(SDGs) 6.3 (water quality) and 6.4 (water efficiency) in particular.

The selected Fellow will work at the forefront of this applied policy research, and contribute to solving water-related challenges faced by international community. The Fellow will work independently but closely with other Research Fellows on the topics such as, but limited to, economic and environmental value of water, inter-sectoral water demand, water policy analysis, and water and regional development, among others.

Required qualifications:

  • A PhD degree (no ABDs) in a related field, including, but not limited to environmental/resource economics, economic policy, quantitative economics, or related field;
  • Ability to design, implement, and summarise desk work and field research;
  • Excellent command of English, both oral and written
  • Strong organisational skills and a team-player ethos

Education for Sustainable Development

The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme at UNU-IAS is focused on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using ESD as a mechanism for the enactment of the goals. The selected fellow will work with an interdisciplinary team on research related to the assessment and implementation of ESD curriculum and practices at local, sub-national, national, and global levels. The selected fellow is encouraged to work with the two flagship initiatives, Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development, which are networks of ESD organizations which operate at sub-national and local levels, as well as ProSPER.Net – the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network, which is a network of leading universities in the Asia-Pacific region that are committed to integrating sustainable development principles into postgraduate curriculum and research.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD degree (no ABDs) from a range of disciplines including but not limited to education and/or environmental policy, as well as experience in working with the social sciences and environmental sciences
  • Demonstrated research and communication skills in similar areas
  • Preferred research focus on biodiversity, climate change, and/or sustainable consumption and production in education and/or institutional and organisational challenges to incorporate ESD into higher education activities
  • Ability to design, implement, and summarise research involving both desk work and fieldwork
  • Fluency in English writing and speaking is essential; a working knowledge of other languages is desirable with a preference for French, Japanese, and/or Spanish.

International Satoyama Initiative

The selected Fellow will conduct research on social-ecological systems to contribute to policy relevant discussions on biodiversity conservation and landscape management. The research should be linked to the concept of the Satoyama Initiative which aims to realize societies in harmony with nature by promoting sustainable production activities and natural resource management. The focus includes multiple benefits of production landscapes and seascapes and their linkages with human well-being, and solutions to various challenges they are facing from social, economic and environmental perspectives. The research is also expected to contribute to the Satoyama Initiative’s efforts in supporting global initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as enhancing local and regional management practices for sustainability.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD degree (no ABDs) in a field related to applied social or environmental sciences, including but not limited to environmental policy, development studies, ecosystem management, and landscape planning;
  • Demonstrated research skills and a sound record of publication in similar areas;
  • Ability to design and implement research involving fieldwork;
  • Fluency in English is essential, and a working knowledge of other languages is desirable





You ad could be here!