UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme on Sustainability

UNU-IAS offers Postdoctoral Fellowships to recent PhD graduates to provide them with the opportunity to put the knowledge and expertise acquired during their doctoral research to practical policy-relevant use. The purpose of the UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship is to provide young scholars and policymakers, especially from the developing world, with a multidisciplinary context within which to pursue advanced research and training that are of professional interest to the applicant and of direct relevance to the research agenda of UNU-IAS.

Two Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded each year for a period of 12 months, starting in April. The Fellows are resident at UNU-IAS in Japan for the full term of the fellowship. (Eligibility for a second 12-month appointment may be considered based on the Fellow’s performance.)

The UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme begins on 1 April 2016 and the selected fellows are required to be in Japan by this date.

The following research project is accepting applications for the UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme:

Water and Urban Initiative

Urban water pollution is a critical issue for sustainable development in developing nations due to excessive disposal of untreated or inadequately treated wastewater, lack of environmental awareness, ineffective policy and implementation measures. The Water and Urban Initiative (WUI) of UNU-IAS is working towards improving urban water environments with case studies on selected rapidly developing Asian cities. Major research activities of the WUI consist of evaluating current water environment conditions, reviewing different wastewater management interventions, modelling changes in water environment parameters, and comparing environmental, social and economic benefits for different interventions. In addition, the initiative develops models and evidence-based policy tools which can be used elsewhere.

The WUI is seeking postdoctoral fellows to conduct academic research on the below three topics.

  • Economic evaluation of urban ecosystem services
  • Health risk assessment of waterborne infectious diseases in urbanized areas
  • Hydrologic and water quality modelling

Eligibility and conditions

Applicants must have obtained a PhD (or at least successfully defended their doctoral dissertation), in an area broadly associated with the UNU-IAS thematic focus, prior to the application deadline. Language proficiency in English is essential. Applicants from developing countries and women are particularly encouraged to apply.

UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded for a period of 12 months. Residency in Tokyo for the full duration of the fellowship is required.

The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of JPY300,000–360,000 (depending on experience). A one-time-only settle-in-allowance of JPY 80,000 will be granted to each Fellow at the beginning of the programme for relocation, adjustment expenses, ground transportation and incidental costs. UNU-IAS provides Fellows with a return air ticket between his/her country of residence and Narita Airport. Settle-in-allowance and air tickets are, however, not provided for Fellows already residing in Japan before the commencement of the fellowship.

Eligibility for a second 12-month appointment may be considered based on the Fellow’s performance.


Application date
31 Jan 2016
Date of residence
1 Apr 2016
12 months
Asia Japan
Social sciences Economics Environmental Sciences
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 5 years
Award granted
Up to ¥ 4.400.000