United Nations University (UNU) - IAS PhD Scholarships, Japan
United Nations University

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Scholarship Overview

United Nations University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) invites applications for UNu-IAS PhD Scholarships, Japan 2021 from students who wish to pursue a three-year PhD program in Sustainability Science. The program seeks to equip students with comprehensive and multidisciplinary knowledge of sustainability problems and deepen their understanding of the role of environmental sustainability to address current issues of global change. Students shortlisted for the scholarship will receive a full tuition fee waiver along with a monthly stipend of JPY 120,000.


The students selected for the scholarship will receive the following benefits:

  • Full tuition fee waiver
  • A monthly allowance of JPY 120,000 for living expenses for a maximum of 36 months

Note: It must be noted that expenses like travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees and health/accident insurance costs must be handled by students themselves.


Candidates need to submit the following documents while applying:

  • Application form
  • Document validating the candidate's legal name, nationality and residence status (Passport, Birth certificate, etc)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Research proposal (including 300 words of abstract)
  • Letters of reference (3)
  • Copy of official transcripts
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Proof of awarded degree with the date received
  • Proof of expected graduation date and student registration certificate (If applicable)

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based on eligibility criteria.

Terms and Conditions

  • Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email after approximately 6 to 8 weeks.
  • The PhD programme starts in September.
  • By July of the third year, the students are expected to complete all of the course requirements, obtaining at least 14 credits.
  • The students will also be interacting with leading scholars and policymakers through lectures, conferences, and workshops.
  • All application forms must be typed and filled in English.
  • All the documents submitted with the application will become the property of UNU-IAS and cannot be returned.
  • Admission will be revoked in case any falsification is discovered in any of the documents.


To be eligible for this scholarship, an applicant must:

  • Have a strong interest in sustainability studies
  • Be a Master's degree holder in sustainability studies or related disciplines
  • Demonstrate a commitment to study and understand global issues
  • Have a GPA of 3.5 or above on a scale of 4.0 during the Master's degree
  • Fulfil the minimum English language proficiency requirements:
    • 600 on TOEFL – Paper-Based Testing (PBT) OR
    • 100 on TOEFL – Internet-Based Testing (IBT) OR
    • 7.0 on IELTS – Academic format
  • Have at least 2 years of practical field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes OR
  • Have two completed Master’s degrees, at least one of which must be in a discipline related to sustainability studies

How To Apply

Follow the below steps to apply for the scholarship:

Step 1: Click on the 'Apply Now' button below and read all details. 
Step 2: Before accessing the application, the candidate must egister or log in on the website.
Step 3: Fill the application form and provide applicant details, educational background, references, health, and financial declaration, etc.
Step 4: Upload the required documents.
Step 5: Submit the application.