The UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme (UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowship Programme) funded under the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the capacity-building of Human Resources will aim, in particular, to impact on capacity-building and research activities in the following areas: Environment (with particular attention to Water Sciences); Intercultural Dialogue; Information and Communication Technologies; and Peaceful conflict resolution. No other research topics will be considered.


Applicants, a maximum of TWO from each applying National Commission, must meet the following general criteria:

  • Candidates under this Programme must be post-graduate researchers, already holding either an M.A. or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) and wishing to pursue research work abroad (preferably in their own region) with a view to enhancing knowledge in one of the four specific fields mentioned below. Thus, those who are in the process of completing their Master’s degree must have completed it PRIOR to taking up their Fellowship
  • Candidates must be persons of high intellectual promise who may be expected to make significant contributions to their country on return
  • Candidates must be no more than 40 years of age. Thus, applicants born before 1 January 1972 will not be considered under the Programme
  • The selected Fellow must carry out the research under the auspices of an academic supervisor in a host institution. Confirmation of acceptance from the academic supervisor is imperative
  • Priority attention will be given to:

* Women candidatures
* Candidates from least developed countries (LDCs)
* Palestinian researchers

  • Candidates must be proficient in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study/research
  • Applicants must be in good health (both physically and mentally).

Eligible Countries in Africa

  • •Angola* •Benin* •Botswana •Burkina Faso* •Burundi* •Cameroon •Cape Verde •Central African Republic* •Chad* •Comoros* •Congo •Côte d’Ivoire •Democratic Republic of the Congo* •Djibouti* •Equatorial Guinea* •Eritrea* •Ethiopia* •Gabon •Gambia* •Ghana •Guinea* •Guinea-Bissau* •Kenya •Lesotho* •Liberia* •Madagascar* •Malawi* •Mali* •Mauritius •Mozambique* •Namibia •Niger* •Nigeria •Rwanda* •Sao Tome and Principe* •Senegal* •Sierra Leone* •Somalia* •South Africa •Swaziland •Togo* •Uganda* •United Republic of Tanzania* •Zambia* •Zimbabdwe

For a list of eligible countries from other continents, please visit their website through the link below:

Conditions for Application

1. Domains of research:

» Environment (with particular emphasis on Water Sciences, Water Issues, Climate Change, Engineering Capacity Building in the Developing World)
» Intercultural Dialogue
» Information and Communication Technologies
» Peaceful Conflicts Resolution

2. Duration of proposed research: minimum: 3 months and maximum: 9 months

3. Possible date of commencing research: Any time from September 2012 onwards
4. Deadline for termination of research: end of December 2013
5. Place of study: In one or two countries abroad

It should be understood that at the end of the Fellowship, the beneficiary must agree to return to his/her home country so that knowledge acquired may be put to good use in local research and training programmes.

6. Study arrangements:

Research must be carried out under the auspices of an academic supervisor in a host institution

7. Application Procedures:

All applications must be submitted with the required documentation on the UNESCO Fellowship Application Form. Each Member State may nominate a maximum of two (2) candidates. It is the National Commission’s responsibility to select the two candidates whose applications it wishes to submit to UNESCO


The application must include the following attachments:

(i) The UNESCO Fellowship application form duly completed in duplicate. Two recent photographs (obligatory) should be included with the form.

(ii) Certified copies of degrees or diplomas (including transcript of grades) in duplicate. Proof of having obtained a Master’s Degree must be included.

(iii) A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the candidate’s work.

(iv) A host institute’s letter of acceptance (i.e. the institute that has accepted the candidate for work should she/he be selected for a Fellowship). This letter of acceptance must indicate that the host institute confirms its willingness to provide the relevant research facilities required by the candidate in the chosen field of specialization.

(v) The certificate of language proficiency (on the UNESCO form) duly completed in duplicate for the language of the country of study (should this be different from the candidate’s mother tongue) issued by an official authority.

(vi) A detailed description, one to two page(s) (maximum), in either English or French, of the research work for which the candidature is being put forward. See their website for a detailed guidance on writing your proposal.
Worth of Awards by UNESCO/JAPAN

The Fellowships financed by Japan and administered by UNESCO will consist of the following:
• A maximum amount between US$6,000 to US$10,000 will be awarded to selected candidates. The amount, to be paid in two or three instalments, is intended to cover research costs only, and will not be negotiable.
• No other costs will be considered and grants will be neither extended nor renewed.

Selection of Beneficiaries

A Selection Committee made up of experts in the four areas listed above will make recommendations for the final decision of the Director-General of UNESCO. Applications will be judged on the basis of the merit of each application and of its pertinence to the UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowship Programme

Selected candidates will receive a Letter of Award.

Candidates who have not been informed of their selection by 1 September 2012 should consider that their applications have not been approved in the selection process.
Deadline: January 13, 2012.

For more information, and to apply, visit their website by clicking here.

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