Scholarships and Fellowships for Global Ocean Issues

Almost daily, we receive queries about obtaining scholarship funding from The Nippon Foundation. While, we do not conduct any such programs on our own, we do fund several programs through different organizations. Some of those that we support in the maritime field are listed below. If you are looking for such funding, please feel free to peruse them to see if there is a program that fits you.

Further, at the bottom of some of the descriptions is a link to a list of scholars that are receiving funding through that program. Please click these links if you are interested in seeing what kind of research projects the fellows are pursuing, or what kinds of people have studied under these programs.

Finally, if you are looking for a scholarship in a non-maritime field, please feel free to visit the scholarships listed in our International Affairs section.

WMU Sasakawa Fellowship

Program WMU Sasakawa Fellowship
Established 1988
Organization World Maritime University (Sweden)
Description WMU was established in 1983 by the IMO as a specialized agency of the United Nations. It offers high level courses in maritime affairs, mainly to students from developing nations. We have been supporting WMU since 1988 and presently offer fellowships to around 25 scholars per year to participate in a Masters course that runs for approximately 14 months. In addition, we are offering four full-time teaching posts (Nippon Foundation Chairs) within the university in Maritime Administration, Marine Environment Management and Maritime Education and Training.
Fields Interdisciplinary Scientific Prediction of the Future State of the World's Oceans
Grant Size Approx. 300,000USD
Length of Program 14 months

Capacity Building and Network Development at IAMU

Program Capacity Building and Network Development at IAMU
Established 2000
Organization International Association of Maritime Universities (Japan)
Description The International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) was founded by seven universities, representing five different continents, in November 1999. These seven member universities shared a recognition of the significance of maritime education and training in the era of rapid globalization of the international shipping arena.
We have two projects with IAMU: one is aimed at standardizing and improving education at maritime universities around the world to respond to the increasing internationalization of the shipping industry, while the other focuses on enhancing the networking activities of IAMU.
Fields Capacity Building and Network Development for Maritime Universities
Grant Size Approx. 55,000,000JPY
Length of Program -

NF-IMLI Fellowship Program

Program NF-IMLI Fellowship Program
Established 2003
Organization International Maritime Law Institute (Malta)
Description The International Maritime Law Institute was established in 1988 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. It provides opportunities for high level education for administrators dealing with maritime and ocean-related regulation, mainly in developing nations.
Around 10 students are provided with fellowships to complete a nine month LL.M. program. In 2009, we established one Marine Environmental Law professorship post and one International Maritime Security Law lectureship post in addition to the fellowship program.
Fields Maritime Law/ Law of the Sea
Grant Size Approx. 345,000EUR
Length of Program 8 months

NF-GEBCO Training Project

Program NF-GEBCO Training Project
Established 2004
Organization GEBCO Guiding Committee (United States)
Description The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) series plotting the world’s sea floors was initially started in 1903 under the leadership of Prince Albert I of Monaco. Presently, the work continues through the collaborative efforts of IHO and UNESCO and is guided by the GEBCO Guiding Committee.
Around six students are selected every year to participate in a one year postgraduate course at the University of New Hampshire focused on the creation of GEBCOs. Collaborative surveying projects conducted by graduates are also supported.
Fields Ocean Floor Mapping
Grant Size Approx. 600,000USD (for the year of 2014)
Length of Program 1 year

NF-POGO Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanographye

Program NF-POGO Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography
Established 2004
Organization Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (UK)
Description The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans was established in 1999 by the leaders of the world’s most prominent oceanographic research institutions to further the global integration of ocean observation systems.
From 2004 to 2007, we sent six visiting professors to provide training at six research institutions worldwide. Since 2008, about 10 young researchers have been granted fellowships each year to participate in a 10 month training program in ocean observation. The training program was hosted by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences until 2012, and currently is hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany).
Fields Global Ocean Observation
Grant Size Approx. 500,000USD
Length of Program 10 months

NF-SIRC Fellowship

Program NF-SIRC Fellowship
Established 2004
Organization Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University (UK)
Description Established in 1995, SIRC is part of the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. With a view to conducting research on seafarers, it has a particular emphasis on issues of occupational health and safety from a social science perspective.
Since 2004, NF has been offering fellowships to about three researchers each year to enter a one year Masters program followed by a three year PhD program.
Graduates mainly enter jobs at universities or research institutions addressing maritime affairs.
*We are no longer taking new fellows for this program.
Fields Wellbeing of Seafarers
Grant Size Approx. 250,000GBP
Length of Program 4 years

NF-UN Partnership Training Program on Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea

Program NF-UN Partnership Training Program on Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
Established 2005
Organization Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs (United States)
Description DOALOS is a specialized body of the UN responsible for assisting the practical implementation of laws and regulations in countries around the world in accordance with the guidelines of UNCLOS.
Since 2005, this program has been providing fellowships to approximately ten administrators and researchers from mainly developing nations each year. Fellows participate in a nine month course which focuses on practical training and coordinated research with partner institutions around the world.
Fields Global Ocean Governance
Grant Size Approx. 1,000,000USD
Length of Program 9 months

NF-ITLOS Fellowship Program

Program NF-ITLOS Fellowship Program
Established 2007
Organization International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Germany)
Description The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was inaugurated in 1996 under the precepts of UNCLOS as a permanent international judicial body.
Around eight scholars are offered nine month fellowships each year in order to receive advanced legal training on the peaceful resolution of international maritime disputes following the legal procedures under UNCLOS and mechanisms for external negotiations between countries.
Fields International Maritime Dispute Settlement
Grant Size Approx. 230,000EUR
Length of Program 9 months

Nereus Program

Program Nereus Program
Established 2010
Organization University of British Columbia (Canada)
Description UBC has been one of Canada’s leading universities since its establishment in 1908. The Nereus Program is a joint project which tries to predict what the world's oceans will be like in 50 years from now in a scientific and interdisciplinary manner. Nereus is not limited to UBC and the Nippon Foundation, but also features the participation of Princeton, Duke, Stockholm, Cambridge and Utrecht Universities. Fellowships are given to researchers in doctorate programs jointly administered by the above universities, as well as post-doctorate researchers. The program's activities are not limited to academic research but also include public awareness raising activities.
Fields Interdisciplinary Scientific Prediction of the Future State of the World's Oceans
Grant Size Approx 4,800,000USD (2014-2017)
Length of Program 2~4 years


Program NF-IHO CHART Program
Established 2010
Organization International Hydrographic Organization (Monaco)
Description The International Hydrographic Organization is an international organization established in 1967 under the IHO Convention to contribute to making navigation safer and easier throughout the world by improving nautical charts and documents.
Since 2010, we have offered six to seven fellowships each year to participate in a 15 week training course where fellows study how to make electronic nautical charts. The United Kingdom Hydrographic Organization hosts the training program.
Fields Maritime Law/ Law of the Sea
Grant Size Approx. 1,000,000EUR (2014-2016)
Length of Program 4 months