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* The Graduate Fellowship will not be offered for 2015-2016. Please check back with us later.*



The KCC Japan Education Exchange Graduate Fellowships Program was established in 1996 to support qualified graduate students for research or study in Japan. The purpose of the fellowship is to support future American educators who will teach more effectively about Japan. One fellowship of $30,000 will be awarded. Applicants may affiliate with Kobe College (Kobe Jogakuin)for award year, if selected.

Completed applications and all supporting materials must be submitted to the KCC Japan Education Exchange email address: no later than December 20, 2013. For those documents that must be mailed, please send them to KCC Japan Education Exchange, 540 W Frontage Road, Suite 3335, Northfield, IL 60093.

Before sending the completed application form and supporting materials, an applicant should be certain that s/he meets all conditions for being a fellow. Applications that are not received by the deadline will not be eligible for consideration. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.


Fellowships are for one academic year, nonrenewable, and are intended to cover both academic and living expenses. Fellowships carry a maximum stipend of $30,000. To be eligible, you must be a United States citizen at the time of application.


KCC Japan Education Exchange will award a graduate fellowship to a graduate student who has a record of teaching effectively about Japan, or who shows promise to do so in the future. There are no restrictions as to place of study or research in Japan, field of study or age of the applicant. Preference will be given to applicants who have documented interest in Japanese studies, which could include (but is not limited to) the arts, culture, education, language, history, journalism, or business. Preference will be given to applicants who provide written confirmation of their research or study site in Japan. Preference will also be given to applicants who have not yet conducted dissertation research in Japan. Applicants must have completed their qualifying examinations and advanced to candidacy; they must also demonstrate research level Japanese language competency.


Applications are reviewed by a panel of Asian Studies scholars and should be prepared accordingly. The Graduate Fellowships Program review panel will evaluate each application on the following items in order of importance:

  1. Scholarly excellence of applicant (e.g., publications, conference presentations).
  2. Quality of proposal.
  3. Quality of preparation to undertake the proposed fellowship plan, including evidence of research level Japanese language competency.
  4. Plan for teaching upon completion of degree.
  5. Indication of interest in women's education.
  6. Feasibility of project and proposed schedule.


KCC Japan Education Exchange regards the acceptance of the fellowship as a contract requiring the completion of the following requirements:

  • The fellowship is for one academic year, July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. No partial fellowships will be awarded, and they are not renewable.
  • The stipend is intended to cover living and academic expenses for the recipient for full-time study or research during the fellowship year. If the recipient plans to be accompanied by a family member or members, expenses for them must be covered by other sources of funding and must be noted in the application budget.
  • Upon completion of the fellowship year and after returning to the U.S., recipients are required to present the results of their study to the annual meeting of KCC Japan Education Exchange or another designated meeting.
  • KCC Japan Education Exchange fellowship recipients may accept supplemental funding as long as the KCC Japan Education Exchange fellowship stipend is larger than any other single funding received during the fellowship year and is acknowledged as the major award. Recipients must inform KCC Japan Education Exchange before accepting other awards.
  • Recipients must obtain prior written approval from KCC Japan Education Exchange for any major changes in the plans for the fellowship.
  • KCC Japan Education Exchange must be notified promptly of any change in the status of the application resulting from the acceptance of another award.
  • KCC Japan Education Exchange does not provide the Fellow with a visa. Fellows must obtain a Japanese visa through their own means (e.g., University affiliation, etc).
  • Stipend checks are made out to fellows and not to institutions.
  • Fellows may work up to 10 hours per week with the prior notification to KCC Japan Education Exchange.
  • Fellows are responsible for reporting the fellowship income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and their state of residence.
  • Fellows are required to obtain health insurance for the entire grant year; stipend funds may be used to cover the premium. KCC Japan Education Exchange does not provide health insurance for Fellows.
  • It is the fellow's responsibility to find an institution or research site and to obtain the required permission for the proposed plan of study.
  • It is the fellow’s responsibility to obtain a passport and visa for the proposed plan of study or research.

Fellowships may not be used for:

  • Japanese language study;
  • research assistants;
  • publication costs;
  • repayment of student loans or other personal obligations (fellowships are not retroactive); or
  • expenses for dependents.

    The following items constitute a complete application and must be submitted together in a single pdf file unless otherwise indicated. If any item is missing, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be presented to the Review Panel.

    1. Application Form. Note: The budget information requested is required for administrative and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) purposes. KCC Japan Education Exchange records are subject to IRS audit and must reflect appropriate planned use of funds.
    2. Statement of Study or Research Project.
      1. Format: Statement not to exceed two pages, single- or double-spaced (a one-page bibliography may be attached to the proposal, but lengthy bibliographies and articles will not be considered). Do not attach an entire thesis proposal.
      2. b. Information to be included in statement: (1) Description of proposed coursework or project, design, research methodology, and time line. (2) Outline of present state of degree program or project and schedule for completion. (3) Name(s) of the university, institution, or other location where study or research will be carried out, and the authorities with whom the work will be done. (When applicable, letters indicating permission, invitation, or arrangements for the work must be included.)
    3. Transcripts: one official of all undergraduate and graduate study. These should be sent directly to KCC Japan Education Exchange (address given above) in their original sealed envelopes.
    4. Resume or CV.
    5. Autobiographical Statement (one-page) covering pertinent information not included in the application or resume.
    6. Three letters of recommendation by the applicant's advisors, colleagues, or others well acquainted with his or her work should be submitted on forms provided with the application. One letter must be from the applicant's academic advisor. These references may be returned to the applicant in sealed envelopes and sent to KCC Japan Education Exchange or submitted electronically directly to KCC Japan Education Exchange.
    7. Institutional Certification Form.
    8. Language Competency Evaluation Form.
    9. Applicants will be notified as soon as the application is complete.

    Handwritten applications will not be considered. KCC Japan Education Exchange cannot comment on successful or unsuccessful applications. Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of KCC Japan Education Exchange and will neither be returned nor held for another year. If the applicant is awarded a fellowship, these instructions will become part of the fellowship contract (please retain). KCC Japan Education Exchange reserves the right not to award the fellowship if there is no qualified applicant.


    KCC Japan Education Exchange Phone: 847/386-7661
    Graduate Fellowships Program Fax: 847/386-7662

    Appliction Forms