Japan Foundation for UNU PhD Scholarship in Sustainability Science (2022)

Applications are welcome for the Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU) PhD Scholarship in Sustainability Science (2022).

The PhD programme in Sustainability Science is a three-year programme that aims to produce scholars who will become key researchers in the field of sustainability science. The programme takes an innovative approach to sustainability, seeking to promote a better understanding of the issues by incorporating global change perspectives, specifically those related to climate change and biodiversity.

The programme will equip graduates with comprehensive, multidisciplinary knowledge of sustainability problems, and deepen their understanding of the role of environmental sustainability in addressing current issues related to global change.

Nevertheless, the programme provides students with unique opportunities to interact with leading scholars and policymakers through lectures, international conferences, and workshops. Students undertake problem-oriented research by playing an active role in UNU-IAS research projects and acquire the quantitative and qualitative analytical skills necessary to understand the underlying principles of various systems involved in sustainability issues and debates. Through coursework and research, PhD students gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the technical literacy required to address sustainability problems.

Duration: 3 years


The UNU-IAS Postgraduate Programmes in Sustainability provide a fully waived scholarship for its recipients.


The UNU-IAS Postgraduate Programmes in Sustainability / Sustainability Science seeks students with the following qualities:

  • A firm academic interest in the pressing global issues on the UN agenda, in particular those of sustainability, and
  • A strong desire to contribute to the solving of problems concerning global environment and society through a transdisciplinary approach;
  • Adequate research skills and clear questions related to global issues as well as a strong desire to engage in research in UNU-IAS thematic areas with the potential and motivation to succeed in the programmes;
  • Intention to proactively apply academic research findings to policymaking, and aim to pursue careers in international fields in public service or private organisations, including United Nations, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organisations as well as research academic institutions.
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 However, they must meet all of the following requirements by the application deadline:

  • A completed Master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognised university or institution of higher education in a field related to sustainability;
  • A minimum of 2 years of professional field experience relation to UNU-IAS research themes acquired after obtaining a university degree;
  • English language proficiency;
  • A GPA of 2.8 or above on a 4.0 scale for at least one of the Master’s degrees earned.

Application Process

In applying for the Japan Foundation for UNU PhD Scholarship in Sustainability Science, applicants must take note of the following:

  • All application forms must be typed and filled out in English. No handwritten or incomplete application documents will be considered.
  • All materials and documents submitted as part of an application become the property of UNU-IAS and cannot be returned.
  • If any falsification is discovered in any of the documents presented for application, admission will be revoked.
  • Unsuccessful applicants of previous years who reapply for admission must submit a completely new set of application documents, including letters of reference.

Deadline: March 28, 2022.

For more information, visit the official site.

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