Information Session Research

Report: Information Session on Funding Opportunities and Research Collaboration in Japan

Author: Gerhard van Niekerk

On the 14th of August 2023, Stellenbosch University Japan Centre (SUJC) co-hosted with SU’s Division for Research Development (DRD), an information session on research collaboration and funding opportunities with Japan. The event hosted experts and officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation (NRF). These are among the primary agencies tasked with the administration of collaborative research funding under the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between South Africa and Japan (for more information on this Agreement and its bilateral schemes, see the following link).

During the information session, three major funding programmes were showcased and eligibility criteria and application processes outlined.

The SA-Japan (JSPS) programme was formed following an MoU between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS) and South Africa’s National Research Foundation in 2005 to advance research exchange. The programme funds collaborative research projects in the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Humanities and supports researchers, scientists, postdocs and doctoral students within joint projects. Funding is provided for mobility, including for research fieldwork, small equipment and consumables, and workshops, seminars or network events held alternatively in South Africa and Japan.

An application should designate two principal investigators, one in South Africa and one in Japan. Eligible proposals from South Africa involve a PI based at a historically disadvantaged institution (HDI) or should have a research partner from an HDI as co-applicant.

The Africa-Japan Collaborative Research (AJ-Core) programme is administered by the NRF and JST and supports collaboration between South Africa, Japan, as well as the 17 participating African countries of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) (See the following link).

AJ-Core seeks to promote innovation and research in Africa in collaboration with Japan, with a particular focus on Environmental Science and promotion of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) is a synergistic programme funded by JST and JICA to enhance international cooperation and find solutions to global problems in science and technology. Funding is provided for research in the fields of Environment and Energy, Bioresources, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and Infectious Diseases Control. Budgets of approximately JPY 100 million per year per project are considered.

More details can be found with the respective presentations:

NRF Presentation

JST Presentation

JICA Presentation

DSI Presentation