About Fellowship

The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leader Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Program was launched in 1987. It is a collaborative effort of the Nippon Foundation and the Tokyo Foundation. While the Nippon Foundation provides the grants for the successful running of the fellowship programme the Tokyo foundation is responsible for the administration of the fund. As of April 2004, there were 69 SYLFF endowed institutions in 45 countries in the world.

Under this programme SYLFF endowed institutions receive an amount of US$1 million each. Under the terms of the endowment, the fund amount remains intact and only the 'interest proceeds' are used for awarding scholarships to students enrolled in the Masters and/or at the doctoral level. Fellows are selected from humanities, social sciences and performing arts.

The objective of the program is to support the education of students enrolled in doctoral degree programs in the schools and centers of humanities and social sciences [School of Social Sciences, School of International Studies, School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Centre for the Study of Law & Governance and Centre for Sanskrit Studies]. It is aimed at identifying and encouraging students with high potential for leadership in national, regional and international affairs, in public life as well as in private endeavors, by awarding fellowships. These fellowships will be awarded to outstanding students in social sciences and humanities whose studies focus on the theme "Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Socio Economics, Political and Cultural Dimensions of Human Development".

The ultimate objective of the SYLFF is to select fellows who have attained excellence in academics besides having potential leadership qualities, which will be reflected in their professional and personal lives. While doing so, they should have the capacity to transcend geo-political, ethnic, cultural, religious and other borders for the betterment of all humankind.

The responsibility of selecting the SYLFF Fellows lies with the SYLFF Steering Committee of the respective institution. The Steering Committee further acts as a link between the SYLFF Fellows and the Nippon and the Tokyo Foundation. The Steering Committee prescribes criteria for selection of SYLFF Fellows, which has to be in consonance with the ultimate objective of SYLFF.

Various programmes under the fellowship

SYLFF Fellows Mobility Programme (FMP)

The primary purpose of the SYLFF Fellows' Mobility Program [FMP] is to contribute to and enrich the academic and cultural learning of SYLFF fellows by providing SYLFF/FMP awards for non-degree study and research at another participating SYLFF institution that is directly related to the master's or doctoral degree work at the home institution. The secondary purpose of the FMP is to strengthen the linkages among SYLFF institutions and fellows.

Experience of SYLFF fellow in JNU under FMP programme


In addition to these awards, the Tokyo Foundation shall provide a grant in the amount of up to US$500 per year as minimum maintenance grant for local associations that have completed three years of activities under the SNP. The grant is intended to sustain local associations main function as facilitator and nexus of SYLFF fellows networking.


This program provides awards to teams of individuals comprised of at least two graduated SYLFF fellows to conduct joint academic research within the parameters of social sciences and humanities or to support joint social action projects consistent with the humanitarian mission of the SYLFF Program. The JIP focuses on contemporary issues of social relevance approached from regional or transnational (international) and trans-disciplinary (interdisciplinary) perspectives.


This program is designed to give staff at SYLFF institutions the opportunity to initiate and/or activate student exchange programs at the graduate level with other SYLFF institutions. The focus on student exchange include activity such as the development of joint degree and so called sandwich programs at the master's and doctoral levels within the parameters of the Social Sciences and humanities.


Applicants must be full time staff, with or without faculty rank, at a SYLFF institution. All applicants must have designated responsibility for the proposed activities. Awards of up to US$10,000 each are awarded to cover transportation, accommodation and meals as determined by the Scholarship Division. Approximately 10 awards are available each year. An independent, international panel of reviewers and the Foundation conducts selection.

SYLFF Prize Programme Announcement

This prize is intended to recognize SYLFF fellowsâ€"recipients of SYLFF fellowshipsâ€"who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in line with the fundamental purpose and spirit of the SYLFF Program. The SYLFF Prize is awarded every three years to up to three SYLFF fellows. The winners will be invited to Japan for two weeks to receive the prize in the amount of US$5,000 and a commemorative plaque, to become familiar with the country, and to pursue individual activities.


Jawaharlal Nehru University received the prestigious SYLFF endowment fund of US$1 million in June 2003. JNU has further instituted "Jawaharlal Nehru Young Leaders Fellowship Programme" to be operated out of the interest generated from the endowment to support the research of outstanding students enrolled in M. Phil./Ph. D. in the Schools and Special Centers of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The fellowship holders enjoy the Fellowship for a period of 3 years at the rate of Rs.15000/- per month. Since 2003, ten fellowships have been granted till date. Every year two students from the doctoral level are selected for fellowship. There are plans to increase the number of fellowships from the third year onwards.

Following procedure is being followed for selection of SYLFF Fellows

►Inviting application from interested persons pursuing doctoral research.

►Such applicants must be enrolled in any of the following Schools/Centres. School of Social Sciences, School of Arts and Aesthetics, School of International Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Center for the Study of law and Governance, Special Center for Sanskrit Studies.

►Applicants must have either got their Ph.D. confirmed (Submission of the synopsis and the passing of the same by the School), or must have submitted their synopsis and are expecting to receive confirmation soon.

►Applicants are required to fulfill any other criteria as set by the Steering Committee from time to time.

►Application should be made along with a copy of the Synopsis, recommendation from the Supervisor as well as from the Dean of the School.

►Each Centre shall recommend one student for preliminary screening and consideration at the School level.

►On receipt of application the university shall intimate the applicants about the date of interview.

►After a thorough interview, SYLFF Fellows shall be selected.

Probable time for inviting application: September to October.
Probable time for calling interview: Within first two weeks of November.
Probable time for announcement of result and commencement of fellowship: Mid of November to first week of December.