JFUNU Developing Countries PhD Scholarships in Japan, 2020


The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is going to offer PhD scholarships for developing countries.

The PhD programme in Sustainability Science aims to produce scholars who will become key researchers in the field of sustainability science. 

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The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is a leading research and teaching institute based in Tokyo, Japan.

JFUNU Developing Countries PhD Scholarships in Japan

Application Deadline: 

April 10, 2020

Course Level:

PhD degree at United Nations University.

Study Subject: 

Sustainability Science.

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Scholarship Award:

The JFUNU scholarship provides following:

Monthly allowance of 120,000 JPY* for living expenses for a maximum of 36 months.

Note: Travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be covered by the student. The tuition fees are fully waived for the opportunity recipients.

*The amount of monthly allowance has been changed to 120,000 JPY effective 2020.

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Eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates from developing countries can apply for this application .List of Countries: Afghanistan, Gambia, Mozambique, Bangladesh, The Guinea, Myanmar, Benin, Guinea-Bisau, Nepal, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Niger, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Cambodia, Korea, Dem Rep., Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Kyrgyz Republic, Somalia, Liberia, Tajikistan, Comoros, Madagascar, Tanzania, Malawi, Togo, Congo, Dem. Rep, Eritrea, Mali, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Albania, Indonesia, Samoa, Armenia, India, São Tomé and Principe, Belize, Iraq, Senegal, Bhutan, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Bolivia, Kosovo, South Sudan, Cameroon, Lao PDR, Sri Lanka, Cape Verde, Lesotho, Sudan, Congo, Rep., Marshall Islands, Swaziland, Côte d’Ivoire, Micronesia, Fed. Sts., Syrian Arab Republic, Djibouti, Moldova, Timor-Leste, Egypt, Arab Rep., Mongolia, Tonga, El Salvador, Morocco, Ukraine, Fiji, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Nigeria, Vanuatu, Ghana, Pakistan, Vietnam, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, West Bank and Gaza, Guyana, Paraguay, Yemen, Rep., Honduras, Philippines, Zambia, Angola, Ecuador, Palau, Algeria, Gabon, Panama, American Samoa, Grenada, Peru, Antigua and Barbuda, Iran, Islamic Rep., Romania, Argentina, Jamaica, Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Serbia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Seychelles, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, South Africa, Botswana, Lebanon, St. Lucia, Brazil, Libya, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Suriname, Chile, Macedonia, FYR, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Tunisia, Colombia, Maldives, Turkey, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Mexico, Tuvalu, Dominica, Montenegro and Uruguay)
  • Entrance Requirements: 
    1. Applicants must be from developing countries* who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
    2. Applicants who are currently living in Japan under a working visa are not eligible for the opportunity .
    3. Applicants who want to pursue a second PhD degree at UNU-IAS are not eligible for the opportunity .

    *Developing countries included in the latest OECD DAC list.

    Applicants for the PhD in Sustainability Science are required to have met ALL of the following requirements by the application deadline in order to be considered:

    1. A strong interest in sustainability studies;

    2. A demonstrated commitment to study and understand global issues;

    3. A completed Master’s degree in disciplines related to sustainability studies and a minimum of 2 years of practical field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes which were acquired after obtaining a university degree


    Two completed Master’s degrees, at least one of which must be in a discipline related to sustainability studies;

    *Those who expect to receive a second Master’s degree before the entrance period – September 2020 – may also apply.

    4. A GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for at least one of the Master’s degrees earned; and

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  • English Language Requirements: The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:
    • 600 on TOEFL – Paper-Based Testing (PBT) OR
    • 100 on TOEFL – Internet-Based Testing (IBT) OR
    • 7.0 on IELTS – Academic format

    Candidates who except for the cases below, must submit original TOEFL or IELTS score reports (from a test taken within the last two years) to the Admissions Office at the time of application:

    1. Candidates whose native language is English.
    2. Candidates who graduated from a university or a postgraduate school located in an English speaking country.
    3. Candidates who completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme where the language of instruction and examination was English. In this case, an official statement from the academic institution will be required, confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination.

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Application Procedure:

UNU-IAS needs online applications to be considered. There are several things you can do if your internet access is limited. You can:

  • Work on part of your application and return to it at any time before submitting it. Just remember your login.
  • Use computers provided at school, libraries, internet cafes, or by a friend.
  • Print out a SAMPLE online application form and find the answers to the questions while you are offline.
  • Store your answers online or in a portable external hard drive (or USB stick) and cut and paste your answers into the application.

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Note: During the admission selection process, outstanding applicants from developing countries with financial need will be automatically considered as candidates for the award of scholarships at UNU-IAS. Thus, no separate application is necessary.

   Scholarship Link


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