Intellectual Exchange

Abe Fellowship Program for Journalists

  • Proposal deadline: September 15th, Annually
  • Funding opportunity: Individual funding
  • Funding period: 6 Weeks
  • Funding maximum: $23,500 but restrictions apply

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Abe Fellowship Program is temporarily suspending the 2020 Abe Fellowship and Abe Fellowship for Journalists competitions. We are carefully monitoring the situation and working with current scholars to ensure that they will be able to complete their projects. Please check at here or contact program staff of Social Science Research Council at or for updates.

This program supports in-depth coverage of topics of concern to the United States and Japan through individual, short-term, policy-related projects. Supports up to 6 weeks of fieldwork in Japan or the US. Fellows are expected to produce an analytical article or feature story that will inform public debate or a policy community.
The Abe Fellowship Program for Journalists is carried out in cooperation with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).


  • The competition is open to citizens of the United States and Japan. Nationals of other countries must be permanent residents of the United States or Japan, or have a long-term affiliation with the American or Japanese journalistic communities.
  • Applicants must have at least five years of professional journalistic experience in newspapers, news magazines, wire services, or on-line news organizations. Freelancers are also eligible.
  • U.S.-based applicants with no previous journalistic employment in Japan have priority; Japan-based applicants with no previous journalistic employment in the United States have priority.
  • Proposals must be non-partisan.


  • Fellows are expected to produce an analytical article or feature story that will inform public debate or a policy community. The Fellow and his/her news organization will decide when to run the article.
  • The program provides support for six weeks in Japan or the United States. The term may be divided between the principal destination and another country. For example, for Americans, four weeks in Japan and two weeks in another country in the region, and for Japanese, four weeks in the United States and two weeks in Canada or Mexico.
  • The maximum stipend is $23,500, which includes one roundtrip air ticket, funding to prepare for overseas fieldwork, and support for interpretation based on requests. Fellows may receive salary from their employers, but cannot carry out assignments while on the award.
  • Fellows are required to attend the Abe Fellows' Retreat in January. The fellowship tenure must begin between April 1 and December 31.


Applicants are invited to submit proposals on one of the four components of the Abe Fellowship Research Agenda:

  • Threats to Personal, Societal, and International Security: Especially welcome topics include food, water, and energy insecurity; pandemics; climate change; disaster preparedness, prevention, and recovery; and conflict, terrorism, and cyber secruity.
  • Growth and Sustainable Development: Especially welcome topics include global financial stability, trade imbalances and agreements, adjustments to globalization, climate change and adaptation, and poverty and inequality.
  • Social, Scientific, and Cultural Trends and Transformations: Especially welcome topics include aging and other demographic change, benefits and dangers of reproductive genetics, gender and social excludion, expansion of STEM education among women and underrepresented populations, migration, rural depopulation and urbanization, impacts of automation on jobs, poverty and inequality, and community resilience.
  • Governance, Empowerment, and Participation: Especially welcome topics include challenges to democratic institutions, participatory governance, human rights, the changing role of NGO/NPOs, the rise of new media, and government roles in fostering innovation.

Application Process

For information on how to apply to the Abe Fellowship Program for Journalists, please refer to the Abe Fellowship for Journalists page on the Social Science Research Council website.