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Application and Selection Process for the Japan Scholar Fellowship

Responsibilities of Japan Scholars

This is a residential fellowship based in Washington, and the selected scholar will be committed to full-time research on the topic outlined in the submitted research proposal. The scholar will also be expected to participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences organized by the Center's various programs including the Asia Program, and in other ways to participate in the intellectual life of the Wilson Center and the larger community of Asia observers in Washington. Japan Scholars are expected to publish their work in U.S. and Japanese publications.

Period of Residence

The scholar will be based at the Wilson Center in Washington DC for up to 12 months from April 2024 to March 2025. The minimum appointment period will be for six months.

Cost to be covered by the program

  • Reimbursement of round-trip economy class airfare for up to $5,000
  • Monthly stipend including healthcare cost for up to $8,800 per month1


The competition is open to citizens and legal permanent residents of Japan who are in academia, business, journalism, government, or other related professions. Candidates must currently be engaged in research on key public policy issues of interest to Japan, including U.S.-Japanese relations and political, security, and economic issues confronting East Asia.

Applicants must have a terminal degree in their field. For academics, this generally means a Ph.D., but other appropriate qualifications will be considered for other professions. At least eight years of professional or research experience is also expected. Preference will be given to applicants who have a track record of publishing in academic journals or in the news media.

Scholars must have a valid passport and will need to qualify for a U.S. J-1 visa.

Selection Criteria

  • significance and quality of the proposed research, including the originality of the project;
  • capabilities of the applicant to meet the proposed objective;
  • relevance of the project to contemporary policy issues pertaining to Japan;
  • willingness to participate in the broader Wilson Center community;
  • ability to contribute to the exchange of ideas in Washington’s foreign policy community and beyond.

Selection Schedule

Selection will be made by document review as well as an online interview.

All dates are shown based on Japan Standard Time.

  • Application submission deadline: August 31, 2023
  • • Notification to applicants selected to interview with the selection committee: Mid-September 2023
  • • Final selection of scholar: September 30, 2023

Primary Selection: Document Screening

The following documents must be submitted by August 31, 2023. All documents must be written in English. Professional fluency in both written and spoken English is a prerequisite for the fellowship.

  • cover letter including name, address, e-mail address, research theme, name of two referees, as well as the anticipated appointment period between April 2024 and March 2025
  • C.V. with details of research activities
  • description of proposed research project (maximum five pages) detailing its scholarly contribution as well as policy relevance. Project descriptions should include:
    • detailed explanation of the research topic;
    • discussion of the project's originality;
    • discussion of the methods, approaches, sources, and materials to be used, and, where appropriate, the importance of Washington-area resources; and
    • discussion of the significance of the project as well as its relevance to contemporary Japan-related policy issues.

Application letters should be submitted via e-mail to the following address:


Detailed information for the interview will be provided separately to the candidates. Two letters of recommendation will be required before the interview.

1The Wilson Center does not provide healthcare coverage for visiting fellows. It will instead offer a fixed monthly fee to cover healthcare insurance for the Japan Scholar to administer him/herself. The Japan Scholar will also be responsible for administering their own taxes while income tax is deducted at source in the United States despite the U.S.-Japan tax treaty.

2Recommendation letters should address the quality of the research proposal; the significance of the proposed research; the capabilities and achievements of the applicant; and the relevance of the project to contemporary Japan-related policy issues.