Intellectual Exchange

Abe Fellowship Program

  • Proposal deadline: September 1st, Annually
  • Funding opportunity: Individual funding
  • Funding period: Between 3 months and 12 months over a 24-month period
  • Funding maximum: Varies

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 individuals conducting contemporary, transnational and/or comparative, policy-relevant research on topics of concern to the United States and Japan. Fieldwork in Japan or the US is required. It is open to those in the Japanese and American academic and professional communities.
The Abe Fellowship Program is carried out in cooperation with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).


  • Successful applicants, citizens of the United States and Japan as well as to nationals of other countries, must be able to 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 positions.

Please note the following:

  1. Past recipients of the Abe Fellowship are ineligible.
  2. Fellows are not allowed to hold the Abe Fellowship and the Japan Foundation Fellowship concurrently.


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 months and maximum of 12 months of full-time support over a 24-month period. Part-time residence abroad in the United States or Japan is required.


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 four themes below:

  • Threats to Personal, Societal, and International Security: Especially welcome topics include food, water, and energy insecurity; pandemics; climate change; disaster preparedness, prevention, and recovery; conflict, terrorism, and cyber security.
  • Growth and Sustainable Development: Especially welcome topics include global financial stability, trade imbalances and agreements, adjustment 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 exclusion, expansion of STEM education among women and under-represented 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.

Across the Program's four 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 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 intellectual terrain.

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.

Application Process

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