The Japan Foundation Endowment Committee - Application Procedures and Conditions

Application Procedures and Conditions

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1. The Committee normally meets twice each year, in late May and late November. Relevant closing dates for receipt of applications are in April and October respectively.
2. Applicants must be members of staff of UK degree-awarding institutions; applications may not be made directly by students.
3. Applications must be made on the appropriate Application Form.
4. The application must be countersigned by the applicant’s Head of Department and by an identified “Administrative Authority”. The latter must be empowered to commit the applicant’s institution to the management of any grant awarded, and is normally the Director of Finance/Head of Research Office, or nominee. (In formal terms, grants are awarded to institutions for use for specified purposes by named individuals.)
The Administrative Authority should note that the award of a JFEC grant entails an advance financial commitment by the institution concerned. A grant will be reimbursed to the institution in arrears, after completion of the project for which it was awarded and after approval by the Committee of a written report from the staff member concerned and a financial statement.

Supporting Evidence and Documentation
5. An application for a grant must include a background description of the research project concerned, including the research questions which it is designed to answer, the methodology used and the publications or other outputs expected, together with a full statement of the planned programme of work for which the grant is sought and how this fits into the overall project.
6. The application should also indicate the extent of any contribution which the institution is to make to the project concerned. It is a condition of any grant awarded that it will be additional to any other 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 as described on the application form.
7. All material submitted in applications must be typed. To provide a common framework against which bids can be judged, the Committee requires a brief curriculum vitae from each applicant, and for all other persons fundamentally involved in the project proposed (including doctoral students). A curriculum vitae should give background information relevant to the bid, but must not exceed two A4 sides.
8. Applications will be considered on behalf of doctoral research students for supplementary funding to help meet additional research costs, and in particular, those arising from fieldwork in Japan. All applications for grants for doctoral research students must be submitted through the supervisor or tutor concerned, using the application form (form A), and must be accompanied by a confidential statement of support. Brief curricula vitae must be provided for both student and supervisor.
9. Partial support to enable a doctoral student to complete their thesis can be considered in exceptional circumstances but an award would normally be made only after completion of at least three years full-time research on the project concerned. An application for support in such circumstances would be considered on its merits, having regard to quality, the promotion of Japanese Studies in the UK, and the availability of funds.
10. 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. A list of the materials proposed must be included, together with a statement of the provision currently made by the applicant’s institution for similar materials relating to Japanese Studies. Materials purchased with JFEC grants must normally be deposited in an appropriate institutional library after completion of the research concerned. Institutions should not rely on regular funding from the Committee for the provision of materials: recurrent acquisitions, such as periodicals, cannot be funded.

Submitting an Application
11. Applicants should submit the following to the JFEC Executive Secretary:
a) An electronic version of the completed sections A and B (or C, as appropriate), together with the relevant CVs sent as email attachments to to arrive by the specified closing date. (This will be circulated to the committee for assessment purposes).
b) A hard copy of the full completed application form, including section D signed by the appropriate financial authority, to follow by post to the JFEC Executive Secretary. This must arrive no later than two weeks after the closing date and will constitute the definitive version of your application for the JFEC’s records.
All applications will be acknowledged, and the reference number given in the acknowledgement must be quoted in all subsequent correspondence.
Late applications will be deferred to the next meeting. Early application is welcomed in case additional information has to be sought.

The Committee’s Decision
12. Following the JFEC selection meeting, applicants will be notified of the decision. The decision of the Committee is final and the JFEC is unable to discuss unsuccessful applications. (The hard copy application, including Section D with the signatures of the institutional financial authority, MUST be received by JFEC before any grant award can be fully confirmed.)
13. A grant is awarded specifically for the programme of work outlined in the application and it is expected that there will normally be no change in that programme for the duration of the grant. It is recognised, however, that circumstances may arise in which some change in the use of funds is required and, in such a case, the Committee would be prepared to consider a request to amend the terms of a grant.

Prior permission must be sought from the Committee in writing for any change in the use of funds.
In cases where a substantial change is sought - to provide for an additional trip to Japan, for example, or to fund what could be deemed a separate project – grant-holders may be required to submit a new application for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting. The Committee reserves the right to refuse any such request, and will settle only those claims which relate to the use of funds which it has approved. Advice on the most appropriate course of action in particular circumstances may be obtained from the Executive Secretary of the Committee.

Reporting Back
14. A grant-holder is required to submit a textual report on the work undertaken with the aid of the grant not more than twelve months after the award (or twelve months after confirmation/approval of any revised start date). A reminder letter will be sent at the appropriate time. A template for the Final Report should be downloaded from this website, and when completed, should be approximately three pages of A4, single-spaced. Where the grant has been made on behalf of a student, it is the responsibility of the supervisor (i.e the grant holder) to write the report on the use made of the grant.
15. A Financial Claim (but NOT an invoice) should also accompany the textual report. A standard Financial Claim Form is provided on this website for the ‘statement and breakdown of expenditure’, which must be counter-signed by the Administrative Authority in the grant-holder’s institution.
If the project has not been completed, a further report will be required at an appropriate later stage. Failure to submit a report may lead to the applicant’s institution as a whole being excluded from further grants until the report is received.

Acknowledging JFEC
16. Any material published by successful applicants as a result of having obtained a JFEC grant must include an acknowledgement of the support received. A copy of the publication details, and of the page which includes the acknowledgement of the Committee’s support, should be sent to the Executive Secretary.

Delays to projects
17. Grants are awarded for projects to be undertaken within the time frame specified in the application. It is accepted that there may occasionally be good reasons for a delay in the work. However, in order to ensure the currency and relevance of projects for which awards are made, it is a condition of JFEC grants that the work for which they are awarded must be completed, and funds claimed, within a maximum of three years of the notification of award. Any request for a delay in starting within that period should be sent to the Executive Secretary no later than one year after an award is made. The request should include the reasons for the delay and the expected new start date. A grant will lapse three years after the date of award (or the date of approval of a deferment) and it will not be possible to submit claims for reimbursement against it. If funding is still required for the project in such a case, it will be necessary to re-apply in accordance with the above procedures.

Re-imbursement of Expenditure
18. Expenditure is normally reimbursed in arrears. The Executive Secretary will ask the appropriate Administrative Authority in the institution concerned to submit an invoice for reimbursement of a grant after approval by JFEC of a Final report from the grant-holder. The grant number must be quoted on the invoice, and the claiming institution’s bank details should be given, as payment will be by BACS transfer. It should be noted that the Committee will not reimburse bank charges incurred by a grant-holder in connection with a project, and claims for reimbursement should therefore not include such charges.

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