Sasakawa postgraduate studentships in Japanese studies

Further information

The Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship Programme was launched by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and is now in its 11th year. Up to three studentships will be available for the academic year 2024/25. 

These scholarships are available for students proposing to pursue either MA Film Studies with a focus on Japanese cinema, MA by Research in Japanese Studies or a PhD in Japanese studies, starting in October 2024. For the taught MA programme in Film Studies, the successful candidate(s) must take the module on Transnational East Asian Cinemas and their MA dissertation needs to be focused on Japanese film.
The Sasakawa Postgraduate studentships are open to both UK and international students. In general, non-UK nationals intending to do a MA or a MAR are eligible only if they are settled in the UK or have been ordinarily resident for at least three years immediately preceding the start of their MA or MAR course. This does not apply to PhD studentship candidates.

The Studentships are worth £15,000 and they are tenable for one year only. If the programme is extended, it will be possible to reapply to the competition the following year, for up to a maximum of three years (for those studying for a PhD) or four years (for students pursuing MA or MAR, and then PhD). The studentships cannot be held together with other full or partial funding. 

Any aspect of Japanese studies or any discipline subject where the primary focus is on Japan will be considered, though applications in politics, international relations, literature, cinema and anthropology are encouraged. Prior knowledge of the Japanese language is not a condition.

How to apply

Applicants wishing to be considered should apply for a place to study (the relevant MA, MAR or PhD) no later than 15 March 2024. Please note on your application form that you are applying for the Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship in Japanese Studies. Once you have submitted your application to study you need to provide a personal statement and a detailed CV by e-mail to Dr Irena Hayter (, also by 15 March 2024.

The personal statement should be written in Arial point 11, single-spaced, and should not exceed two pages of A4. Applicants should include the following:

•    reasons for application: please suggest reasons why you are a suitable candidate for the studentships;
•    extent of funding from other sources: the funding/scholarships you are in competition for, or have secured already;
•    research to be undertaken: research interests, extent to which the research is Japan-related,
•    anticipated dissertation title and a 300-word research proposal for students intending to undertake a MAR or a PhD (students already enrolled in a PhD programme should include a progress report on their project);
•    future academic or career plans;
•    any other relevant information in support of your application.

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of their applications early to mid-June 2024.