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US-Japan Policy Studies Grant

Grants to USA and Japan Nonprofits for Studies
and Initiatives Addressing Bilateral Policy

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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United States-Japan Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/31/19 Receipt


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Grants to USA and Japan nonprofit organizations for initiatives, exchanges, and studies related to US-Japan policy. LOIs are due by July 15, 2018. The purpose of this program is to respond to policy-related needs as identified by practitioners and experts in the US-Japan policy studies field. The Foundation is open to innovative projects.

Policy projects the Foundation supports:

Emphasize research over dialogue:
Although the Foundation recognizes that frank and frequent dialogue among US-Japan policymakers and specialists is important for the bilateral relationship, the Foundation favors proposals containing a strong original research component. Research has a broad meaning in this context. It often includes a structured analysis of data or policies that yields a publishable result and makes a contribution to the body of evidence in support of viable solutions to problems of common US-Japan interest. It could also include visiting fellowships in particular policy areas, study groups or other formats. Collaboration between US and Japanese institutions is encouraged.

Have lasting impact and practical relevance to US-Japan policymakers:
The Foundation favors projects that offer practical tools and information of lasting value to policymakers for current and emerging US-Japan-related issues. There is an important balance to be struck between idealistic, long-term planning approaches and the development of practical, short-term policy recommendations.

Encourage growth, education and interaction of younger scholars and policymakers in both countries:
The Foundation is always looking for opportunities to help build institutional and human links between American and Japanese organizations, but favors projects that bring new voices from younger generations into these networks.

Disseminate results widely:
The Foundation gives to a variety of US and Japanese institutions in different regions and disseminating project results broadly to policymakers and the general public in both countries (or third countries as appropriate).

Focus on the long term as opposed to addressing the “issue of the moment.” Areas of current interest are:

1. National Interest / Foreign Policy – topics include the US and Japan vis-à-vis the Korean Peninsula and/or China; regional security issues; Confidence Building Measures; controlling weapons proliferation; bilateral security arrangements and policies (with a particular emphasis on US military bases in Japan / Okinawa); managing environment-related threats or crisis; regional peacekeeping; and other related issues that can either threaten or help enhance regional peace and stability.

2. Nationalism(s)/National Identities – projects under this area aim to identify the ways in which national identity intersects with foreign policy making choices facing the United States and Japan as well as the ways in which issues surrounding national identities impact relations between the US and Japan with other countries in Asia.

3. Energy and the Environment – the Foundation is interested in projects that support innovative research on the ways in which the US and Japan can work together to improve local and global environmental issues. In addition, the Foundation seeks proposals that address long-term energy issues facing both nations.

4. Managing Globalization – despite the potential benefits of growing economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, adverse externalities are likely unless effectively planned for and mitigated. The issues are both technical (harmonization of rules and standards, developing efficient and impartial structures for oversight and management of finance and trade, forums for conflict resolution, etc.) and more abstract (maintaining cultural and bio-diversity, just and fair agreements for such issues as resource extraction or regional pollution, and managing the clash of different value systems, etc.). The US and Japan have a unique opportunity to be a strong positive influence regarding these issues.

5. Understanding Institutions – both in terms of multilateral (e.g. WTO, APEC, ARF, etc.), bilateral (e.g. US-Japan Common Agenda) and those within the US and Japan (e.g. legislative, bureaucratic, non-governmental, etc.). Studies can be comparative and descriptive: to help each country understand the other and improve communication, trust and institutional cooperation. The research can also be analytical with an eye toward institutional reform or institution building, but there must still be a clear link to the Foundations mission.

6. US-Japan Trade and Economic Relations – emphasis is on Japanese and Americans working together to understand and seek common solutions to potentially contentious issues (e.g. trade imbalance, trade agreements, tax treaties, etc.) and develop policies for mutual and/or regional economic stability and improvement.

The Foundation actively seeks out the best quality projects in service to the Foundation’s mission, regardless of issue area. Therefore, the above Policy Program Description is not meant to be exhaustive or exclusionary. The Foundation is always looking for unique approaches to improving the US-Japan relationship.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150595

Term of Contract:

The Foundation only makes grants on an annual basis. Proposals can indicate an interest in multi-year funding, but should focus on one year at a time. Approved projects that initially indicated an interest in multi-year support would need to submit renewal proposals for future support.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation only funds nonprofit organizations legally incorporated in the United States and/or Japan. The Foundation does not consider or respond to inquiries made from entities outside of these countries.

The following types of projects fall outside of the Foundation’s guidelines: undergraduate education, sports exchanges, publication subsidies (unless directly related to a current USJF project), and scientific research.

Grants cannot be made to individuals or for-profit organizations.

Foundation grants may not be used for lobbying or to support election to public offices.

The Foundation does not award grants as contributions to capital campaigns, endowment funds, deficit operations or for the construction or maintenance of buildings or other physical premises.

Pre-Application Information:

The Foundation welcomes Letters of Inquiry anytime during the year, but not later than December 15 for the Spring Grant Cycle and July 15 for the Fall Grant Cycle. The Foundation cannot guarantee that Letters of Inquiry received after these dates will be considered for the current grant cycle. Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed and decisions to invite a Full Proposal will be sent as soon as possible.

Full Proposals must be received by January 31 for the Spring Cycle and August 31 for the Fall Cycle. The USJF Board meets in April and October when funding decisions are made. Funding decisions are announced shortly after these meetings.

April Funding Cycle:
-By December 15: Suggested submission date for Letters of Inquiry.
-December 15 - January 15: Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed and responses sent as soon as possible.
-January 31: Deadline for receipt of Full Proposal (only invited Full Proposals will be considered)
-February/March: Internal/External review of Full Proposals
-April: USJF Board of Trustees meet to review Full Proposals, make funding decisions
-May: Funding decisions announced

October Funding Cycle:
-By July 15: Suggested submission date for Letters of Inquiry.
-July 15 - July 31: Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed and responses sent as soon as possible.
-August 31: Deadline for receipt of Full Proposal (only invited full proposals will be considered)
-September: Internal/External review of Full Proposals
-October: USJF Board of Trustees meet to review Full Proposals, make funding decisions
-November: Funding decisions announced

Application Process:

Proposal Guidelines:


A look at the Foundation’s recent grant activity will help potential applicants understand the diversity of projects supported under this program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

David Janes, Director of Foundation Grants
(212) 481-8757

The United States-Japan Foundation
145 East 32nd Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10016

(212) 481-8753

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.