Jointly organised by the United Nations University and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is designed to provide promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research in sustainability in co-operation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions.
The UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS, Tokyo) acts as the nominating authority for the JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme. This fellowship is aimed at candidates who have completed their doctorates in the past six years and also have professional and/or research experience. UNU-IAS will assist in securing acceptance from host researchers for shortlisted candidates.
Fellowships are awarded for a period of 24 months. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree (received on or after 2 April 2014) when the fellowship begins, or be scheduled to receive a doctoral degree before the fellowship begins. Japanese nationals are not eligible, nor are those of dual nationality if one is Japanese. In addition, those who have permanent residency in Japan are not eligible. Those who have previously been awarded a Standard or Pathway Fellowship under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan are not eligible.
Terms of the Award
Under this programme fellows conduct research relevant to one or more of the main thematic focus areas of UNU-IAS: sustainable societies, natural capital & biodiversity, and global change & resilience.
Research proposals for JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowships should relate clearly to one of the specific research areas of UNU-IAS listed below. The proposed research must be policy-relevant and incorporate gender issues within the research agenda:
This programme will implement activities in the thematic area “Water & Resource Management” (WRM). It aims to lead policy research to transform water management systems by promoting decarbonized, circular economy, enhancing resilience through decentralized natural resource management, and developing an integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach. It will promote smart, innovative, and community-based sustainable water management by strengthening research collaboration between local researchers and practitioners to explore alternative water resources. The WRM programme will strengthen results-based management of research and project activities through development of KPIs on multiple-use water services, supporting local actions and development plans. It will also contribute to the UN World Water Development Report, and enhance outreach through partnerships with other UN organizations.
This programme will implement activities in the thematic area “Innovation &Education”. It will reinforce evidence-based policy advice to translate global goals into innovative Education for
Sustainable Development (ESD) programmes by creating a consolidating reporting system for valid data collection and analysis. It will also provide policy advice on ICT-supported lifelong learning that promotes ESD. The programme will strengthen the capacity of UNU-IAS regional and global networks including Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research (ProSPER.Net) and Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE), enhancing partnerships with other UNU institutes as well as other UN agencies. It plans to design and deliver inclusive education contents and curriculums using digital technology.
The selected Fellow will conduct research on social-ecological systems to contribute to policy relevant discussions on biodiversity conservation and landscape management. The research should be linked to the concept of the Satoyama Initiative which aims to realize societies in harmony with nature by promoting sustainable production activities and natural resource management. The focus includes multiple benefits of production landscapes and seascapes and their linkages with human well-being, and solutions to various challenges they are facing from social, economic and environmental perspectives. The research is also expected to contribute to the Satoyama Initiative’s efforts in supporting global initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as enhancing local and regional management practices for sustainability.
Strategic Programme is a new flagship programme implemented by the Strategy and Management Office (SMO) in collaboration with Units of Thematic Programmes of the Institute as well as multi-stakeholders such as local governments and the private sector under its Strategic Period 2020-2024. The Strategic Programme implements a research project on the governance on the SDGs, including monitoring and evaluation on the multiple benefits related to SDGs delivered from implementation of major environmental actions, procurement for SDGs, and sustainable finance. The Strategic Programme also implements policy-oriented research activities related to 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development such as synergies between climate change and SDGs.
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