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JSPS-SI Fellowships

Through a partnership between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Smithsonian Institution (SI), pre- and post-doctoral researchers are invited to conduct cooperative research with leading research groups at Japanese institutions through the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for U.S. Researchers (Short-term).



For the more than 80 years, JSPS has initiated and carried out a vast array of programs that are essential to promoting the advancement of science in all fields of natural science, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities. JSPS’s operation is supported in large part by annual subsidies from the Japanese Government.

Established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” SI is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research facilities.

The intention of this program is to strengthen the lines of communication between SI and Japanese institutions with a particular focus on:

  • Museum Studies: encompassing the ideas and issues involved in the museum profession; from the practical, day-to-day skills needed to operate a museum to theories on the societal role of museums.
  • Conservation Biology: encompassing the complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.
  • Materials Conservation: encompassing the knowledge of materials and the history of technology with state-of-the-art instrumentation and scientific techniques to provide technical research studies and interpretation of artistic, anthropological, biological, and historical objects and collections.


How It Works

The SI-JSPS Selection Committee will informally discuss research prospects with candidates and work with those invited to apply to make contact with prospective research hosts in Japan. After receiving all applications, the SI-JSPS Selection Committee will make a final selection and nominate those applicants to JSPS Washington. JSPS Washington will then make the final determination on whether to nominate the endorsed applicants to JSPS Tokyo. JSPS Tokyo will award the fellowships.  (See How To Apply for dates.)

SI researchers (fellows and staff) who currently have a particular research interest based in Japan are encouraged to inquire with a member of the Selection Committee to discuss eligibility and application requirements.

SI-JSPS Selection Committee:

COMIZZOLI, Pierre, Reproductive Physiologist. D.V.M. (1994) Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort; M.Sc (1997) University of Paris VI; Ph.D. (2000) University of Tours. Research specialties: Reproductive physiology and biotechnologies in Ungulates and Carnivores (domestic and wild). Contact:

ULAK, James T., Senior Curator of Japanese Art. B.A. (1968) Maryknoll College; M.Div. (1976) Maryknoll School of Theology; Ph.D. (1994) Case Western Reserve University. Research specialties: Japanese narrative painting of the 14th and 15th centuries. Contact:

GRAHAM, Eileen, Partnerships Manager, SI Office of Fellowships and Internships. Contact:



Applicants must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada
  • Be affiliated with SI, either as a Smithsonian Fellow or a Smithsonian staff member.
  • Hold a doctorate, completed on or after April 2, 2012, or be enrolled in a doctoral course and be scheduled to receive a Ph.D. within 2 years from a non-Japanese university.
  • Be able to spend 1 to 12 consecutive months in Japan conducting research, beginning no later than 31 March 2021.

Please note, the visa process may alter the selected start date. If a visa is acquired early enough, start dates may be moved earlier after their selection.


How To Apply

Application materials include a CV, a Research Proposal, a Letter of Reference/Recommendation from a current supervisor and a Letter of Support/Invitation from your prospective host researcher. Please contact Eileen Graham ( for submission instructions.

SI Application Deadline: 12 January 2020

Awards will be announced on a rolling basis after application submission to JSPS. Deadlines above represent the latest dates for applications – early applications are encouraged!

If you are interested in applying, please contact one of the selection committee members for more details.