Fulbright Scholar Award

All Disciplines (Research)


Activity Type
Research includes activities involving scientific research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and practice-based research, including artistic research. Research can take place in locations such as the laboratory, the field, the archives, or an artist residency. It can be experimental, clinical, or applied. It can include examining policies, systems, theories, methods, interactions, and works of art and music, with the objective to evaluate or develop new knowledge or works. Quantifiable (tangible) outcomes can include publications (books, journal articles, scripts, etc.), conference presentations, artistic and musical compositions, exhibitions, performances, films, and patents.
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Career Profile
Early Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for no more than seven years.
Mid-Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.
Senior Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than 13 years.

Number of recipients

Up To
Award Start Period
July 2023 - May 2024
Award Length
3 months, or 4 months, or 5 months, or 6 months, or 7 months, or 8 months, or 9 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Projects are sought in all disciplines
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Advise and/or mentor students
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
Conduct a professional and/or artistic project

In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities‎.

Award Activity

Conduct research in area of specialization. Grantees are expected to submit a publishable report about their research within six months after the end of the grant. Applicants must demonstrate how their research will contribute to the Japan-U.S. relationship in their field and to their own professional development.

Prospective candidates should be aware that they will need to be flexible in terms of program activities due to possible COVID-19-related adjustments to the 2023-24 academic year. Program adjustments may include the necessity for grantees to stay in a designated hotel for post-arrival quarantine and to attend virtual orientations during the quarantine period.

Locations Detail

Any appropriate institution. The Japan-U.S. Educational Commission will finalize all affiliation arrangements.

Award Length and Period

Three to nine months

Grants must begin between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.

Flex Description

The Serial (Flex) Grant is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over short segments, preferably during the fall and/or spring semesters. Interested applicants must clearly indicate plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline.

Serial (Flex) grant parameters:

  • Minimum length of the total grant is six months
  • Grant cannot be divided into more than two segments
  • Grant segments may be spread over two consecutive years with a half or more of the total grant period completed during the first academic year
  • The second segment must resume within one year after the completion of the first segment; and
  • Only offered for research grants. 

The Flex Award is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over two or three short segments. Applicants must select Flex in the application form, and clearly describe their plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline. Flex grantees may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host-country academic community.

Grant segments are allowed to be conducted in summer months (June, July, and August)
Areas of Interest

While this award is open to any disciplines, the Commission prioritizes projects in the social sciences and humanities, to promote research and study in the following five fields of study as they relate to the U.S.-Japan and broader global society.

1. Study of Japan

Study of the society and culture of Japan through such fields as history, political science, economics, law, journalism, literature, and sociology.

2. Japan-U.S. Relations in the Indo-Pacific

Study of contemporary social, political, economic, and security issues between Japan and the United States in relation with the Indo-Pacific region.

3. Critical Issues of Contemporary Society

Study of contemporary social issues in Japan and the United States. Subjects of particular interest include risk or crisis management, ethical and other issues of rapid technological development, urbanization, the family, aging society, economic disparity, and criminology.

4. Global Issues

Study of issues occurring on a global scale. Subjects of particular interest include public health, trade, labor and mobility, migration, environment, energy, diversity and inclusion, demographic issues and other related topics to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

5. Education

Study of contemporary issues for all levels of educational systems in Japan and the United States. A comparative perspective is encouraged. Subjects of particular interest include all aspects of internationalization, global skill competency development, foreign language acquisition, structural and curricular reform, and the role of education in society.

Special Features

Fulbright East Asia Pacific Regional Travel Program

As conditions allow, Fulbright Scholars in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region may have the opportunity to apply for funds to support short-term (3-14 days) travel to other countries in the EAP region for activities such as lectures, workshops, graduate or faculty seminars, master classes or recitals, curricular advising or panel presentations. EAP Regional Travel Program funding covers transportation only. Regional Travel Program activities/host sites should not be included in the initial Fulbright application. Scholars may start the process of seeking out invitations for short-term activities in other EAP countries once notified that they have been selected for a Fulbright grant, but will only be able to apply for travel program funds, conditions permitting, once they have actively started their Fulbright grant in their host country. Scholars on Flex grants are not eligible for the regional travel grant.

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Dual citizens of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Permanent residents of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is required.
Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient. However, feasibility of conducting the project must be demonstrated in the project statement.
Additional Language Requirement

Japanese language fluency sufficient to complete the research project is required. Research applicants must submit the Language Proficiency Report: Self Evaluation and Language Proficiency Report: External Evaluation. Native speakers need only to complete the Language Proficiency Report: Self Evaluation. Applicants without Japanese language skills should explicitly address the issue in their discussion of the feasibility of the project in their project proposal.

Additional Qualification Information

Applicants may be Japan specialists or nonspecialists who wish to pursue comparative research in their fields.

Academics must be three years beyond their terminal degree at the time of application.

Applicants in the arts, including creative writing, must have an institutional affiliation in the United States.

Individuals who are living in Japan are not eligible to apply.

Additional Comments

As arranging housing can take a while, applicants are welcome to contact their prospective host institutions regarding the availability of institutional housing at the time of application. However, applicants should not expect that housing will be arranged by the host institution or the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission.

Special Award Benefits

Honoraria for guest lecturing may be accepted under the terms of the award.

Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

Japan is one of Asia's most successful democracies and largest economies. 

Japanese universities are on the forefront of several new education-based “globalization” initiatives that aim to develop a new globally aware and skilled generation. Other key areas of bilateral interest include economic trade, regional security and reconciliation, women's empowerment, increasing educational exchanges, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and research on aging.

The academic year for Japan's approximately 800 universities typically commences in April.

More information on programs for Japan can be found on the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission website. 

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.