Q&A

1. General matters concerning the fellowship programs


Q: Why is the support amount provided different for each fellowship program?
 
A: The “Hiroshima University Graduate School Research Fellowship” is subsidized under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s (MEXT) “Project for Establishing University Fellowships for the Creation of Innovation in Science and Technology”. The “Program for Developing and Supporting the Next-Generation of Innovative Researchers at Hiroshima University” is subsidized under the Japan Science and Technology Agency’s (JST) “Support for Pioneering Research Initiated by the Next-Generation” program. The “Hiroshima University Fellowship for Female Graduate Students in Science and Technology” is subsidized under MEXT’s “Initiative for Realizing Diversity in the Research Environment (Specific Correspondence Type)”. Each fellowship program is thus subsidized under a different national program, and is not unified in terms of the support provided. Therefore, the fellowship programs vary in the support they provide and the way they operate. We apologize for any confusion this may cause for students, but we hope that you understand that the University is utilizing multiple programs to support as many students as possible.


Q: It is stated within the “Support Details” webpage that, “For international students and others who are currently overseas and are provisionally selected for the Research Fellowship, as a general rule, the stipends and research funds will begin to be provided once the Fellow has entered Japan and is able to commute to the University Campus.” Does this mean that Fellows who are conducting fieldwork outside of Japan cannot receive financial support until they return to Japan?
 
A: This statement is intended to apply to international students who have been unable to come to the University and conduct research activities due to various entry restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other circumstances. Therefore, students who have already entered Japan will continue to be eligible for support, regardless of whether they are conducting fieldwork outside of Japan or not.


Q: What should I write for the acknowledgments when presenting research results which were obtained by utilizing the research funds of a fellowship?
 
A: Please write the acknowledgements as follows to indicate that you have obtained the research results with the support of the relevant fellowship program.
 
Research Fellowship
【English】This work was supported by JST, the establishment of university fellowships towards the creation of science technology innovation, Grant Number JPMJFS2129.
【Japanese】本研究はJST 科学技術イノベーション創出に向けた大学フェローシップ創設事業 JPMJFS2129の支援を受けたものです。
 
Next-Generation Fellowship
【English】This work was supported by JST SPRING, Grant Number JPMJSP2132.
【Japanese】本研究は、JST 次世代研究者挑戦的研究プログラム JPMJSP2132の支援を受けたものです。
 
STEM Female Research Fellowship
【English】This work was supported by Initiative for Realizing Diversity in the Research Environment (Specific Correspondence Type).
【Japanese】本研究はダイバーシティ研究環境実現イニシアティブ(特性対応型)の支援を受けたものです。


2. Matters concerning the application requirements


Q: Regarding the income requirements, does the income here mean the total amount of salary paid before tax is withheld?
 
A: Yes, it does.


Q: Regarding the income requirements, it is stated that income from part-time jobs is not included within the income calculations. In saying that, is income from part-time work undertaken on a regular basis included?
 
A: That explanation is intended to state that irregular income such as part-time work is not included in the calculations. In saying that, a judgment will be made for each individual contract type, so please contact us before applying.


Q: Regarding the income requirements, is rent income from real estate included within the calculations?
 
A: Each case will be judged on whether or not the income is recognized as stable, so please contact us before applying.


Q: Can I receive a salary, etc. for my work as a TA or RA, or for work undertaken within a joint research, while receiving a fellowship?
 
A: Yes you can, as long as such work does not hinder your own research activities or your participation in the initiatives offered by the University. Also note that this kind of income is recognized as an “unstable/irregular source of income”, so it is not included in the calculation of income requirements.


Q: Can I receive support or a grant intended to reduce the burden of tuition fees (a tuition fee exemption or a scholarship paid from the University’s funds or other sources to help students cover tuition fees) while receiving a fellowship?
 
A: The fellowship programs are aimed at “establishing an environment where students can concentrate on their research”, instead of providing assistance for tuition fees. Therefore, you can receive other support or grants in addition to a fellowship. However, some organizations that provide such support/grants may prohibit recipients from receiving other support/grants, so please make sure to check with the support/grant provider as well.
Also, please contact us if you receive a grant which provides assistance for your living expenses, as opposed to tuition fees.


3. Matters concerning the stipends (equivalent to living expenses)


Q: Are there any restrictions on the use of the stipends?
 
A: You can use the stipends for any purpose you like. Furthermore, you will not be asked to report what you have used the stipends for.


Q: I believe that regular scholarships are exempt from income tax, but what about these fellowships?
 
A: The stipends, which are provided as a part of the fellowships, are taxable as a miscellaneous income, and are therefore subject to income tax and the inhabitant tax, which means a tax return is required. Also, please note that tuition fees and research expenses may be deducted as necessary expenses when filing your tax return, so make sure to keep the relevant receipts.


Q: Who should I consult about tax returns?
 
A: Since the situation varies per person, please contact your local tax office about the tax return procedures, what is treated as necessary expenses, etc.


Q: Must Fellows be excluded from their dependents (parents, etc.)?
 
A: If you, as a Fellow, have dependents (parents, etc.), please inform them that the stipends you receive will be treated as a miscellaneous income under the Japanese tax law. For the procedures required to change your health insurance or dependents, please contact the person in charge at the workplace of your dependents (parents, etc.).
In addition, for information about the management of dependents for income tax purposes, please contact your local tax office.


4. Matters concerning the Next-Generation Fellowship


Q: What does “the achievement of the SDGs + Beyond”, which appears in the application guidelines, relate to?
 
A: This program aims to develop human resources who can not only achieve the SDGs in 2030, but also conduct research activities with an eye on the future society, which is represented by “the achievement of the SDGs + Beyond” statement.


5. Matters concerning HU SPRING (former name: Ph.D. Society)


Q: Is participation in the HU SPRING limited to students who are selected as Fellows in the “Program for Developing and Supporting the Next-Generation of Innovative Researchers at Hiroshima University”?
 
A: As a general rule, all those selected as Next-Generation Fellows in the “Program for Developing and Supporting the Next-Generation of Innovative Researchers at Hiroshima University” will participate in the HU SPRING, however, HU SPRING welcomes active participation from students outside this particular Fellowship as well. Therefore, please feel free to contact us regarding this.


Q: I certainly understand that interactions between researchers from different fields is very important, but I am concerned that the HU SPRING group work, events, etc. may reduce the time available for my research.
 
A: We believe that the top priority of Ph.D. students is to devote themselves to their research, hence why any activities conducted will be at a level that will ensure that the time available for research will not be reduced. We believe that interactions and discussions with other students in specialized fields other than your own will help you to develop as a researcher, so we hope that you will participate actively in the HU SPRING activities. On the other hand, if you feel that the activities are overly demanding, please contact us accordingly.