The Nippon Foundation and the Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation launched a new grant program in April 2018 designed to support the development of contemporary Japanese Studies in the Nordic countries. The program will be administered by the Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation, with funding from The Nippon Foundation.
Japanese Studies programs and departments at institutions of higher learning in the Nordic countries have been assuming an important role in cultivating experts on various aspects of Japan. They have also been playing key roles in advancing the understanding of Japanese culture and society in the Nordic countries. However, budget constraints have meant that departments and institutes offering Japanese studies have not been able to expand into new areas of teaching and research on Japan, as desired. This new grant program will offer the possibility of strengthening and enhancing the provision of contemporary Japanese studies in the Nordic countries.
Purpose of the grant program
The purpose of the grant program is to promote Japanese studies in the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the regional pool of expertise on Japan by cultivating the next generation of Japan scholars. The grant program will operate for a period of five years starting from April 2019. It consists of two parts: 1) the establishment of lectureships in contemporary Japanese Studies, and 2) the provision of research grants for PhD candidates in contemporary Japanese Studies.
- Establishment of lectureships in contemporary Japanese Studies
The program provides grants to establish lectureships (teaching and research) in all subjects within the broad field of contemporary Japanese studies, at selected degree-awarding institutions and universities in the five Nordic countries. Contemporary Japanese Studies are defined as fields within the humanities, social sciences, art, architecture, law, education and history, and the interdisciplinary study and research of various aspects of Japan, its society, history and culture with a view to deepening and enhancing an understanding of the country.
Grants will be awarded on an annual basis, for up to five years; however, continuation of funding is dependent upon submission by the grantee of a satisfactory annual achievement report. The purpose of the grant is to offer an incentive for institutions/universities to create new posts, which are to be maintained by the institutions/universities after the termination of the initial five-year funding from the foundations.
Costs covered by the grant: direct salary costs (salary and social welfare) for lectureships.
Grant period: The grant period in the first year is from April 2019 to December 2019. The foundations will commit funding to continue for a maximum of five years, pending successful annual reviews.
Eligibility: Applications should be submitted by institutions/universities within the Nordic countries; applications from individuals are not accepted. Applicants are required to submit in writing their intention to sustain the post after the initial five-year funding of the program has ended.
- Research grants for PhD candidates in contemporary Japanese Studies
The program provides research grants for PhD candidates enrolled at Nordic institutions/ universities in all subjects within the broad field of contemporary Japanese studies, to enable them to conduct research activities in Japan for a period from one month to one year. Contemporary Japanese Studies are defined as fields within the humanities, social sciences, art, architecture, law, education and history, and the interdisciplinary study and research of various aspects of Japan, its society, history and culture with a view to deepening and enhancing an understanding of the country. The research grant program may also accommodate exceptional cases, e.g., research activities in Japan in such areas as science, technology, health and medicine, or any other subjects outside of social science and humanities, if there are compelling reasons why the PhD candidate must go to Japan during his/her PhD studies.
The research grants will be awarded on an annual basis; continuation of funding is possible, but priority will be given to those who are applying for the first time.
Costs covered by the grant: The grant is towards the cost of conducting research activities in Japan only. Typical costs that can be covered are those for: travel and accommodation, access to research databases or research materials, other direct costs for procured services necessary to perform the research. The maximum amount awarded is EUR10,000 per person.
Grant period: The grant period for the first year is from April 2019 to March 2020. Continuation of funding is possible, pending a successful year-end review, but priority is given to those who are applying for the first time.
Eligibility: The applicant should be enrolled as a PhD student at one of the Nordic institutions/ universities, within any academic field, but focused on studies of contemporary Japan. The applicant should submit a project plan (proposal) for his/her research activities, a specified budget plan for the planned research activities in Japan, a recommendation letter by his/her supervisor, or head of institution/university, and a letter of invitation from the hosting Japanese institution/university.
For the current application period covering January – December 2020, see the page: Japanese Studies PhD Research Grants 2020
Enquiries should be made by e-mail, to the Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation, to Marie Tsujita Stephenson or Edvard Fleetwood at the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the foundations
The Nippon Foundation was established in 1962 as a non-profit philanthropic organization, active in Japan and around the world. Focusing initially on the maritime and shipping fields, the foundation has since then expanded its range of activities to education, social welfare, public health, and other fields in over 100 countries. Together with more than 20 partner organizations in Japan and worldwide, The Nippon Foundation funds and assists community-led efforts aimed at realizing a more peaceful and prosperous global society.
The Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation was established in 1984 with an endowment from The Nippon Foundation to promote friendly relations between the peoples of Japan and the Nordic countries by giving grants and scholarships to private individuals, companies, institutions and organizations, to further research, development, education and training within medicine, the humanities, social and natural sciences and technology. Since its inception the Foundation has provided some 7,000 grants to recipients in the Nordic countries and Japan.