The Japan Foundation Endowment Committee - Types of Funding Available

Types of Funding Available

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The Committee offers a Research Grant scheme for staff in UK HE institutions in accordance with the guidelines given below. This includes partial support for the work of doctoral research students.

Note that the Committee does not fund coursework, Master's dissertations, or course development.

All applications must be made by a member of staff: direct applications from students are not considered.

Grants are made formally to the institutions concerned, which are required to administer the grants on behalf of the grant holder.

Definition of Japanese Studies for the purpose of considering applications
The Committee will consider requests for grants only towards research projects essentially related to Japan: it is not able to consider requests which have only tenuous connections with that country, or requests to support work in other academic fields which will not further the subject of Japanese Studies. In this context, the Committee interprets "Japanese Studies" broadly, as covering research on any aspect of Japan within the humanities or social sciences (including comparative studies).

Applications of a scientific or technological nature should be addressed to other bodies (e.g. the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science).

Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation Endowment Committee is a separate body from the Japan Foundation itself, which has a wider remit and offers a range of funding programmes.
Prospective applicants to the JFEC wishing to check whether the Japan Foundation can more appropriately support their work should contact it at Russell Square House, 10–12 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EH (Telephone +44 (0)20 7436 6695, Fax +44 (0)20 7323 4888) or visit

General purposes for which JFEC grants may be used
The Committee is willing to consider requests for funds to cover travel and subsistence in or between the UK and Japan, the purchase of research materials and the partial support of doctoral research students. However, the Committee cannot enter into long-term commitments and requests for finance to support the establishment of permanent posts or for the erection of permanent or temporary buildings are not considered.
It is a condition of any grants that they will be additional to any expenditure on Japanese Studies already made or planned by the applicant's institution. The Committee takes careful note, in considering applications, of the extent and nature of institutional contributions.

Value of awards
The resources available to the Committee are limited, and the Committee will not necessarily support the whole cost of a project. Grants in excess of £5,000 are unlikely, and in practice most awards are less than this.

Support for doctoral research students
Applications will be considered on behalf of doctoral research students for supplementary funding towards additional costs arising from their research, such as those associated with fieldwork in Japan. An application for other partial support of a doctoral student may be made, when the student's research is at an advanced stage and further funding is required, for a few months to bring the work to a successful conclusion.
NB. Applications from individual students are not accepted, and the Committee cannot support coursework at any level.

Language training
Grants may be given towards the cost of essential but otherwise unfunded Japanese language training for postgraduate students undertaking doctoral research within the broad area of Japanese Studies as defined above. (If a visit to Japan is involved in this context it is not necessary to submit a prior application to the Japan Foundation.) It is, however, at present unlikely that the Committee will be able to fund any significant period of language training in its entirety.

Books and other library materials
Applications may be made for funds to assist with the purchase of books and other library materials provided that these are needed specifically for defined research purposes and that an adequate case is made for purchase rather than borrowing. If the library materials requested are already available in a reasonably accessible place, they are unlikely to be funded by the Committee. Any books or other library materials, videos, etc purchased with JFEC grants must normally be deposited in the grant-holder's own institutional library (or in another library capable of handling Japanese language texts if the grant-holder's own library is unable to do so).
Applications must include a list of the materials to be purchased and a statement of the provision currently made by the applicant's institution for similar materials relating to Japanese Studies. It should be noted that:
a) the Committee perceives itself as providing "pump-priming" funds for particular lines of research, and institutions should not rely on regular funding from the Committee for the provision of materials;
b) therefore, the Committee will not provide funds for the purchase of serials, which by their nature represent such a commitment.

The Committee is able to consider applications for funding to support contributions to Japanese Studies research (subject to the conditions set out on this website) by staff and doctoral students in UK universities, in categories including the following:

Unfortunately the Committee cannot consider requests for funding to support:
  • long-term commitments such as the establishment of permanent posts or the erection of permanent or temporary buildings
  • course development, student coursework or research towards Master’s dissertations
  • salaries or payments for teaching replacement/buy-outs, secretarial assistance or translation work
  • copying expenses
  • the purchase of computer hardware and/or software.

The JFEC’s resources are limited, and a grant may be made as a contribution towards a project without necessarily providing the full amount requested.
Most grants are around £1,000 – £2,000, and a grant exceeding £5,000 is unlikely to be awarded.
Preference will normally be given to applicants who have not received recent support from the Committee, and a second award within two years may be considered unlikely. (This restriction does not apply to applications on behalf of students.)

Travel and Subsistence
The Committee needs to satisfy itself that all awards can be justified in terms of actual (and realistic) costs and value for money and operates with the following standard rates:
The Committee will contribute towards the cost of a return airfare for Japan-related research. If the airfare is between the UK and Japan, the maximum contribution will normally be £700. For fieldwork in an overseas location other than Japan, for which the airfare may be lower, the contribution will be correspondingly less.
Rates for subsistence (including accommodation and local travel) in Japan are limited to maxima of £60/day for periods of up to 28 days and £40/day thereafter for not more than a further 56 days, making a maximum of 84 days in all. Where applicants are able to stay with family or friends, and hence not claim the maximum subsistence rate, the Committee would much appreciate the resulting conservation of funds. If a grant is made towards subsistence for fieldwork in an overseas location other than Japan, the above rates are likely to be varied.
Any grant made for overseas fieldwork will provide only for the travel and subsistence costs of the researcher concerned and any associated research costs approved by the Committee; funding cannot be provided for dependants.

(C) Japan Foundation Endowment Committee 2011-9.
All photos courtesy of Christopher Hood, no copying without permission.