2018-19 Reischauer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships in Japanese Studies

Reischauer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships Cover Sheet
Reischauer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships Application Instructions

The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RI) at Harvard University will offer several Postdoctoral Fellowships in Japanese Studies to recent Ph.D. graduates of exceptional promise, to provide the opportunity for postdoctoral fellows to turn their dissertations into publishable manuscripts. The fellowship is for 10 months, commencing September 1, 2018.

1. Stipend of $50,000, health insurance coverage for the grantee, and up to $5,000 in research/travel funds.
2. Postdoctoral fellows will be provided office space and access to the libraries and resources of Harvard University.

Residence in the Cambridge area and participation in RI activities are required during the appointment. Postdoctoral fellows will be expected to give a presentation at the RI Japan Forum lecture series. During their term of appointment, postdoctoral fellows may have the option to teach one undergraduate course during the fall or spring semester of the academic year, or co-teach an existing course with a current faculty member. Areas of particular interest for 2018-19 tentatively include Japanese popular culture; Japanese imperialism/war memory; gender and politics in East Asia; political economy of Japan; and Japanese Americans in history, culture, politics, and/or society. Broader courses that include, but are not limited to, Japan are especially encouraged. Teaching is neither required nor assured, but may be possible. Decisions on what particular courses may be taught by an RI Postdoctoral Fellow will be made in conjunction with both the RI and the academic department.

Applicants must have received their Ph.D. degree in 2013 or later, in Japanese studies in any area of the humanities or social sciences. Those who are chosen to receive fellowships must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. degree by July 1, 2018.

DEADLINE: Complete application AND two letters of recommendation must be received by: January 5, 2018 (Friday), 5 pm EST

Applicants may either email application materials to rijspostdoc@fas.harvard.edu OR send via WETRANSFER (a free file transfer platform). Please indicate “RI PD APP” and Applicant’s Name in the subject line of your email, or in the message line if using WeTransfer.

Please submit materials as PDF files. Each application should consist of the following materials in the order listed below:

  1. Name (first, last), Citizenship, and Email Address
  2. Educational/Professional Background
    1. University & Department (of Ph.D.)
    2. Field of Study
    3. Thesis Title
    4. Date Ph.D. Received/Expected (if pending, give specific timeline)
    5. Have you previously applied for a Harvard postdoctoral fellowship? If yes, when?
    6. Are you currently applying for other postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard? If so, which?
  3. Names of 2 Recommenders
  4. Short summary of research plan at Harvard (do NOT exceed 40-50 words)
  5. Brief statement of teaching interests (do NOT exceed 40-50 words)
  6. Do you have a continuing teaching position? If yes, where? If teaching, have you obtained approval from your department to accept a postdoctoral position for 2018-19 (if selected)?


  • Plan of Research (on separate sheet, up to 2 pages): What do you plan to do at each stage of your research during the fellowship? What particular resources do you intend to use at each stage? What are the advantages of doing your postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard; are there specific individuals you hope to seek out while in residence?
  • Statement of Teaching Interests (on separate sheet, up to 1 page): Your ideas about a few undergraduate courses you might teach, with a sentence or two on how you might approach each if you were to offer it. See above for areas of possible need in 2018-19. In addition, we are especially open to courses that are framed more broadly and that are not limited to Japan (e.g., Warriors; Literature and Environment; Depressions; East Asia in the International Political Economy). Because arrangements will need to be negotiated with the relevant departments or programs, applicants are encouraged to list several course titles, in the event that their preferred topic does not correspond with departmental priorities. Successful applicants will be asked to submit course descriptions at a later date.
  • Curriculum Vitae: Please include citizenship, current and permanent addresses, telephone number(s), email address; academic degrees with dates of conferral, discipline, and institution.
  • List of Publications (this may be included in your CV)
  • Dissertation Abstract and Table of Contents (on separate sheet, up to 3 pages): Please indicate your name at the top of each page.
  • Official Transcript of Grades: Please submit an official electronic transcript, or OPEN your official paper transcript to scan as part of your complete application.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: These must be emailed directly to rijspostdoc@fas.harvard.edu by the application deadline. In the email subject line, indicate “RI PD REC” and Applicant’s Name.


Application materials (as a complete file) are accepted as:

(1) Email attachment to rijspostdoc@fas.harvard.edu. Indicate “RI PD APP” and Applicant's Name in the subject line of the email.
(2) File transfer via WeTransfer (https://wetransfer.com/), a free file transfer platform, to rijspostdoc@fas.harvard.edu. Indicate “RI PD APP” and Applicant's Name in the message line.

DEADLINE: January 5, 2018 (Friday), 5 pm EST

Direct inquiries to: rijspostdoc@fas.harvard.edu.