• Country: Japan
  • Scholarship Type: Merit-based
  • Offered by: Honjo International Scholarship Foundation 
  • Institutions: Japanese graduate schools
  • Type: Monthly stipend
  • Degree Program: Master’s, Ph.D.
  • Scholarship Amount: 150,000 to 200,000 JPY (1147 to 1529 USD) per month
  • Deadline: 31st Oct 2024 (spring), 30 Apr 2025 (fall) 

Scholarship Description

Honjo International Scholarship Foundation awards funding to brilliant international students. Master’s and Ph.D. students are eligible for the scholarship. It covers accommodation charges, monthly expenses, and travel allowances for international conferences. 

This program is open to international students who intend to study in Japan for their master’s or doctoral degrees. All nationalities and fields of research are welcome to apply for the Honjo International Scholarship Foundation. 


Here are other criteria for selection:

  • Knowledge of conversational Japanese
  • Not in possession of a Japanese citizenship
  • Enrolled or applying for an academic course at a Japanese graduate school
  • Enrolment duration must last longer than a year
  • Ph.D. candidates must begin their program by the time they are 35 years old
  • Master’s students must begin their program by the time they are 30 years old
  • Strong desire to serve in their country of origin in the future
  • Possess an understanding of goodwill and friendship in an international context

Courses applicable

There are no required programs or research fields. Those who enroll in professional graduate schools are generally ineligible for the scholarship. However, the foundation provides exceptions for applicants who can craft a research plan.

How to apply

Follow these steps if you want to apply for the scholarship:

  1. Visit the online application system for the scholarship.
  2. Accomplish the form by filling in all the requested information. Upload required documents as PDF files.
  3. Receive an application number upon completion of the application procedure. Take note of this as it is unique to every applicant.
  4. Wait for the announcement on the official website, where they will post the application numbers of successful candidates. The first selection involves applicants who passed the screening of documents.
  5. Soon after that, the foundation will conduct interviews by video call or in person in Tokyo.

Documents required

Gather these documents to ensure a complete application:

  • Academic transcripts (in English or Japanese)
    • Undergraduate academic transcript
    • Graduate school academic transcript, if any
  • Research proposal (in Japanese) detailing the following:
    • Research topic
    • What and how you will help your country of origin after studying in Japan
    • What you have already achieved in terms of academic, social, and research activities
  • Recommendation letter by a supervisor describing the following:
    • Academic performance
    • Evaluation of personal characteristics
    • Future potential
  • Admission letter, letter of acceptance, or other documents proving admission
  • Certificate of enrolment, if already enrolled in a Japanese graduate school

For the research proposal, there is a template available on the website of the foundation.

The recommender may directly send the recommendation letter to the foundation via [email protected] on or before the deadline. The file name must include the name and application number of the candidate.

If you do not have the letter of acceptance or admission letter by the deadline, simply input the likely date that it will be available. Once you receive the actual file, email it to the HISF office.

Official Website


1.Are there responsibilities associated with the scholarship?

Awarded scholars must attend events hosted by the foundation and participate in its network after graduation.

2.How much Japanese should I know before applying for the scholarship?

Applicants must have conversational Japanese. The foundation will hold the interview in the language without any exceptions. On top of this, students should know enough Japanese to get by in the country as they pursue their graduate degrees.

3.Will the monthly stipend go on for the duration of the program?

Yes. However, the foundation will stop payment of the scholarship in the following circumstances:

  • Difficulty continuing research or studies because of illness and other factors
  • Recognition by the supervisor that the recipient is not eligible for the research or study
  • Academic failure or discovery of bad behavior
  • Discovery of false statements in the application
  • Behavior that hurts what the foundation stands for

In these cases, the foundation might even require the recipient to return the amount of money that they had already received prior.