Visiting Research Scholars Program at Osaka Institute of Social and Economic Research

The Institute administers a Visiting Research Scholars (VRS) Program, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to promote international collaborative research in economics and related disciplines. To implement its Visiting Research Scholars Program, the Institute maintains two rotating faculty positions, carrying the title Visiting Research Scholar.

Japanese citizens are not eligible for a Visiting Research Scholar’s post.

The academic residency requirement for a Visiting Research Scholar is a minimum of three months and a maximum of twelve months at the Institute.


A VRS applicant must demonstrate an established record of research, preferably with publications in refereed academic journals, and must hold a position at least equivalent to Assistant Professor at the applicant’s home institution. A VRS applicant may be asked to submit reference letters. Japanese citizens are not eligible for the VRS post.


The VRS Program provides monthly stipends, paid on the 17th day of each month. Any fraction of a month of residency will be paid on a pro-rated basis. The stipend amount is determined by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Salary Schedule that governs all faculty appointments at the Institute. The Salary Schedule classifies faculty appointments into salary classes and grades based on academic seniority, years of academic career, level of education (degrees received), and age. That will be more or less 486,000 to 722,000 Japanese Yen.

The VRS Program normally covers one round-trip economy class (coach class) air fare between Osaka and the city of the VRS’s home institution.

In addition to the travel grants and monthly stipends, a VRS is provided with a discretionary research fund which may be used to purchase equipment, books, software, and various consumable supplies that the VRS needs to conduct research.

The VRS Program does not provide medical insurance coverage. A VRS may enroll in National Health Insurance, administered by the  Government of Japan, and pay a monthly Visiting Research Scholars Program premium. The VRS Program does not have its own housing program and Osaka University does not provide special residence facilities for VRS. Housing is ultimately a VRS’s own responsibility although the Institute will do its best to assist its VRS in finding suitable housing.

Application deadline

The Institute accepts applications to the VRS Program throughout the year. Because a minimum six-month lead time is required to complete approval procedures both at the University and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Institute cannot fill a VRS post on short notice. If a VRS post remains unfilled, however, the Institute will accept applications to the vacant post until the lead-time requirement makes the appointment administratively infeasible. Ideally, the Institute should receive an application at least twelve month prior to the intended starting date. No application will be formally reviewed until the 18th month prior to the proposed starting date.


The appointment of a VRS is on a competitive merit basis. Since the purpose of the VRS Program is to promote collaborative research, at least one faculty member must be willing to serve as the host for a prospective VRS and conduct joint research. An Institute member may nominate VRS applicants to the Institute Committee on Visiting Research Scholars. A prospective VRS need not identify or communicate with potential research collaborators prior to applying. A prospective VRS is encouraged to apply directly to the Institute. Decisions regarding VRS appointments are by vote of the Institute faculty members. The Director will notify each applicant of the selection outcome as soon as a decision has been reached.

Fellows' Duties and Obligations

Besides conducting research, a VRS’s obligations include the authorship of at least one ISER Discussion Paper. The Discussion Paper must be the VRS’s own research paper, but may be co-authored, as long as it is original and unpublished. At least one ISER Discussion Paper must be submitted preferably during residency or within twelve months of the VRS residency starting date. The Institute Discussion Paper Series has an established worldwide distribution list and a VRS may supplement it with an individualized mailing list. A VRS may contribute as many papers as he/she would like as long as they are submitted to the Institute within three months after the VRS residency expires.

In carrying out research functions, a VRS has the same privileges as regular Institutefaculty members in terms of access to office use, library, computing, secretarial services, supplies and facilities. A VRS is expected to observe general and specific rules that govern the everyday conduct of the Institute staff employees and faculty members. A VRS’s appointment may be terminated in case of gross misconduct unbecoming a research scholar.

3-12 months
Asia Japan
Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
Up to ¥ 8.664.000 + travel + research allowance