|Application deadline||Applications are closed|
|Funding opportunity||Individual Funding|
|Benefits||Terms of fellowship are flexible; minimum of 3 months and maximum of 12 months of full-time support over a 24-month period.|
This program supports individuals conducting contemporary, transnational and/or comparative, policy-relevant research on topics of concern to the United States and Japan. Fieldwork in Japan or the US is required. It is open to those in the Japanese and American academic and professional communities. The Abe Fellowship Program is carried out in cooperation with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
Applications were accepted from 1991 to 2019. Fellows who had to suspend their fieldwork due to the coronavirus outbreak have started to resume their projects. Please contact program staff at SSRC if you have specific questions about your project.
- This competition is open to citizens of the United States and Japan as well as to nationals of other countries who can demonstrate strong and serious long-term affiliations with research communities in Japan or the United States.
- Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or the terminal degree in their field, or have attained an equivalent level of professional experience at the time of application.
- Previous language training is not a prerequisite for this Fellowship. However, if the research project requires language ability, the applicant should provide evidence of adequate proficiency to complete the project.
- Applications from researchers in professions other than academia are encouraged with the expectation that the product of the fellowship will contribute to the wider body of knowledge on the topic specified.
- Projects proposing to address key policy issues or seeking to develop a concrete policy proposal must reflect non-partisan positions.
Please note the following:
- Part-time residence abroad in the United States or Japan is required.
- Past recipients of the Abe Fellowship are ineligible.
- Fellows are not allowed to hold the Abe Fellowship and the Japan Foundation Fellowship concurrently.
Applicants are invited to submit proposals for research in the social sciences and related disciplines relevant to any one or any combination of the four themes below:
- Threats to Personal, Societal, and International Security: Especially welcome topics include food, water, and energy insecurity; pandemics; climate change; disaster preparedness, prevention, and recovery; conflict, terrorism, and cyber security.
- Growth and Sustainable Development: Especially welcome topics include global financial stability, trade imbalances and agreements, adjustment to globalization, climate change and adaptation, and poverty and inequality.
- Social, Scientific, and Cultural Trends and Transformations: Especially welcome topics include aging and other demographic change, benefits and dangers of reproductive genetics, gender and social exclusion, expansion of STEM education among women and under-represented populations, migration, rural depopulation and urbanization, impacts of automation on jobs, poverty and inequality, and community resilience.
- Governance, Empowerment, and Participation: Especially welcome topics include challenges to democratic institutions, participatory governance, human rights, the changing role of NGO/NPOs, the rise of new media, and government roles in fostering innovation.
Across the Program’s four dominant themes, projects should demonstrate important contributions to intellectual and/or policy debates and break new theoretical or empirical ground. Within this framework, priority is given to research projects that formulate solutions that promote a more peaceful, stable, and equitable global society or ameliorate the challenges faced by communities worldwide. Applicants are expected to show how the proposed project goes beyond previous work on the topic and builds on prior skills to move into new intellectual terrain.
Please note that the purpose of this Fellowship is to support research activities. Therefore, projects whose sole aim is travel, cultural exchange, and/or language training will not be considered. However, funds for language tutoring or refresher courses in the service of research goals will be included in the award if the proposal includes explicit justification for such activities.
Policy-Relevant, Contemporary, and Comparative or Transnational Research
Rather than seeking to promote greater understanding of a single country—Japan or the United States—the Abe Fellowship Program encourages research with a comparative or global perspective. The program promotes deeply contextualized cross-cultural research.
The Abe Fellowship Program Committee seeks applications for research explicitly focused on policy-relevant and contemporary issues with a comparative or transnational perspective that draw the study of the United States and Japan into wider disciplinary or theoretical debates.
The program defines policy-relevant research as the study of existing public policies for the purpose of (a) deepening understanding of those policies and their consequences and (b) formulating more effective policies. Policy relevance can also be found in research questions that are pertinent to understanding public dialogue on contemporary issues of concern to various sectors of society. All proposals are expected to directly address policy relevance in theme, project description, and project structure.
The program is concerned with present day issues and debates. Thus, proposals in history or with a historical component must demonstrate how the research is specifically intended to inform contemporary concerns.
Comparative or Transnational Perspectives
The Abe Fellowship Program does not support research on a single country. Priority is accorded to comparisons of processes, problems, and issues across time and space. Successful proposals will explicitly address how the project will be comparative or transnational in construction and goals.
Typically projects involve data collection in more than one country or across several time periods. Data from a single country may be collected under the auspices of the fellowship only if the purpose of collecting that data is explicitly comparative or transnational. Single-country proposals that merely imply that the data have broader comparative relevance will be eliminated from the fellowship competition. Further, it is not sufficient for a proposal to implicitly suggest a comparative perspective because of the pervasive or global distribution of the phenomenon being studied.