International Multidisciplinary Research on Topics of Pressing Global Concern
Open for applications, next deadline is September 1st 2012. Apply Now
The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Japan Foundation
Center for Global Partnership (CGP), and the American Council of
Learned Societies (ACLS) announce the annual Abe Fellowship Program
competition. Funding for the Abe Fellowship Program is provided by
The Purpose of the Fellowship
The Abe Fellowship is designed to encourage international
multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern. The
program seeks to foster the development of a new generation of
researchers who are interested in policy-relevant topics of long-range
importance and who are willing to become key members of a bilateral
and global research network built around such topics. It strives
especially to promote a new level of intellectual cooperation between
the Japanese and American academic and professional communities
committed to and trained for advancing global understanding and
Research support to individuals is at the core of the Abe Fellowship
Program. Applications are welcome from scholars and non-academic
research professionals.The objectives of the program are to foster
high quality research in the social sciences and related disciplines,
to build new collaborative networks of researchers around the three
thematic foci of the program, to bring new data and new data resources
to the attention of those researchers, and to obtain from them a
commitment to a comparative or transnational line of inquiry.
Successful applicants will be those individuals whose work and
interests match these program goals. Abe Fellows are expected to
demonstrate a long-term commitment to these goals by participating in
program activities over the course of their careers.
The Abe Fellowship Research Agenda
Applicants are invited to submit proposals for research in the social
sciences and related disciplines relevant to any one or any
combination of the three themes below. The themes are:
Traditional and non-traditional approaches to security and
diplomacy: Appropriate research topics include transnational
terrorism, internal ethnic and religious strife, infectious diseases,
food safety, climate change, and non-proliferation, as well as the
role of cultural initiatives in peace building.
Global and regional economic issues: Suitable topics include
regional and bilateral trade arrangements, international financial
stability, globalization and the mitigation of its adverse
consequences, sustainable urbanization, and environmental degradation.
Social and cultural issues: Appropriate topics include demographic
change, immigration, the role of civil society and media as champions
of the public interest, social enterprise, corporate social
responsibility, and revitalization of multi-cultural urban areas.
Across the Program’s three dominant themes, projects should
demonstrate important contributions to intellectual and/or policy
debates and break new theoretical or empirical ground. Within this
framework, priority is given to research projects that help formulate
solutions that promote a more peaceful, stable and equitable global
society or ameliorate the challenges faced by communities worldwide.
Applicants are expected to show how the proposed project goes beyond
previous work on the topic and builds on prior skills to move into new
Please note that the purpose of this Fellowship is to support research
activities. Therefore, projects whose sole aim is travel, cultural
exchange, and/or language training will not be considered. However,
funds for language tutoring or refresher courses in the service of
research goals will be included in the award if the proposal includes
explicit justification for such activities.
Policy-Relevant, Contemporary, and Comparative or Transnational Research
Rather than seeking to promote greater understanding of a single
country – Japan or the United States – the Abe Fellowship Program
encourages research a comparative or global perspective. The program
promotes deeply contextualized cross-cultural research.
The Abe Fellowship Program Committee seeks applications for research
explicitly focused on policy-relevant and contemporary issues with a
comparative or transnational perspective that draw the study of the
United States and Japan into wider disciplinary or theoretical
The Program defines policy-relevant research as the study of existing
public policies for the purpose of: a) deepening understanding of
those policies and their consequences; and b) formulating more
effective policies. Policy-relevance can also be found in research
questions that are pertinent to understanding public dialogue on
contemporary issues of concern to various sectors of society. All
proposals are expected to directly address policy-relevance in theme,
project description and project structure.
The Program is concerned with present day issues and debates. Thus,
proposals in history or with a historical component must demonstrate
how the research is specifically intended to inform contemporary
Comparative or Transnational Perspectives
The Abe Fellowship Program does not support research on a single
country. Priority is accorded to comparisons of processes, problems
and issues across time and space. Successful proposals will explicitly
address how the project will be comparative or transnational in
construction and goals.
Typically projects involve data collection in more than one country or
across several time periods. Data from a single country may be
collected under the auspices of the fellowship only if the purpose of
collecting that data is explicitly comparative or transnational.
Single country proposals that merely imply that the data have broader
comparative relevance will be eliminated from the fellowship
competition. Further, it is not sufficient for a proposal to
implicitly suggest a comparative perspective because of the pervasive
or global distribution of the phenomenon being studied.
This competition is open to citizens of the United States and
Japan as well as to nationals of other countries who can demonstrate
strong and serious long-term affiliations with research communities in
Japan or the United States.
Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or the terminal degree in their
field, or have attained an equivalent level of professional experience
at the time of application.
Previous language training is not a prerequisite for this
Fellowship. However, if the research project requires language
ability, the applicant should provide evidence of adequate proficiency
to complete the project.
Applications from researchers in professions other than academia
are encouraged with the expectation that the product of the fellowship
will contribute to the wider body of knowledge on the topic specified.
Projects proposing to address key policy issues or seeking to
develop a concrete policy proposal must reflect non-partisan
Please Note: You may hold only one fellowship sponsored by the Japan
Foundation, which includes the Abe Fellowship, during any one Japanese
fiscal year, which runs from April 1 through March 31. Current
recipients of a Japan Foundation Fellowship and those who will
commence that fellowship by March 31, 2013 are ineligible to apply for
an Abe fellowship in 2012. Fellowship awards are contingent upon
receipt of funding from the Japan Foundation Center for Global
Terms of the Fellowship are flexible and are designed to meet the
needs of researchers at different stages in their careers. The program
provides Abe Fellows with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 12 months of
full-time support over a 24 month period. Fellowship tenure must begin
between April 1 and December 31 of a given year. Fellowship tenure
need not be continuous, but must be concluded within 24 months of
initial activation of the Fellowship.
The Fellowship is intended to support an individual researcher,
regardless of whether that individual is working alone or in
collaboration with others.
Candidates should propose to spend at least one third of the
Fellowship tenure in residence abroad in Japan or the United States.
In addition, the Abe Fellowship Committee reserves the right to
recommend additional networking opportunities overseas.
Abe Fellows will be expected to affiliate with an American or
Japanese institution appropriate to their research. Fellowship funds
may also be spent on additional residence and field work in third
countries as appropriate to individual projects.
Fellows will be required to attend specific Abe Fellowship Program events.
The application deadline is September 1 annually. Applications must be
submitted on-line at http://soap.ssrc.org. For further information,
please contact the program directly at [email protected].
In the US
Abe Fellowship Program
SSRC Tokyo Office
c/o Japan Foundation
Center for Global Partnership
Tokyo 160-0004, Japan
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 3-5369-6072 / Fax: 3-5369-6042
Mary B. McDonnell
Fellowships Manager; Assistant Director
Program Manager, Tokyo