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Japanese-South African Cooperative Research Scholarship Program for Japanese Students







Closing Date: 28 September 2012

Please view the attached documents for more information

Japanese applicants should contact the following for further information:

Dr. Takeshi Usami, Ms. Emi Kaneko

Department of International Affairs

Japan Science and Technology Agency

Tel. +81(0)3-5214-7375

Fax +81(0)3-5214-7379

South African applicants should contact the following for further information:

Programme related queries

Mr. Teuns Phahlamohlaka

Tel: +27(0)12 481 4385

Fax: +27(0)21 481 4044


Grant related & technical queries

Ms. Lee Anne Seymour

International Research Grants

Tel: +27 (0)12 481 4121
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Closing Date: 28 September 2012
In accordance with Article IV of the Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter
referred to as “MOU”) signed on 22 July 2008 between Japan Science and Technology
Agency (hereinafter referred to as “JST”) and The National Research Foundation of
South Africa (hereinafter referred to as “NRF”), these Joint Guidelines provide methods
of implementation of the Program between the two Parties.
I. General Description
I-1. New Scheme for Joint Funding of Japanese-South African Research Cooperation
Based on the MOU, JST and NRF have agreed to establish a new scheme for joint
funding of Japanese-South African cooperative research projects. After consultations
between JST and NRF, “Life Sciences” has been selected as the field of research to
which the joint funding scheme will be applied.
I-2. Aim of Program and Research Field
The aim of the program is to strengthen the collaboration between Japan and South
Africa within the field of “Life Sciences” to achieve world-class scientific results,
leading towards new innovative technologies.
JST and NRF will define “Life Sciences” as all sciences that have to do with
“organisms”, like plants, animals and human beings, and it will encompass scientific
fields such as biotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, biomedical technologies,
biomedical devices, genetics, molecular biology, etc.
”Life Sciences” is currently undergoing remarkable development and is considered
important by both JST and NRF in order to achieve steady growth and sustainability
in the long run. JST and NRF will jointly support collaborative research projects
which will contribute to the advancement of “Life Sciences”. In addition, the research
projects should have definitive merit by the collaboration between researchers in
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Japan and South Africa. Priority areas to be considered for funding within the field of
Life Sciences are:
1. Medical Research with Particular Emphasis on Infectious Diseases; and
2. Plant Biology, Marine Biology and Microbiology;
Other areas of “Life Sciences” would also be considered on merit; however
application in prioritised areas will enjoy the first preference.
Please note: Application for clinical trials WILL NOT be considered. Public health
research or survey will be considered as a part of research plan if it contributes to
the advancement in Medical Research.
NB. Research activities including human capital development (vocational &
research training/exchanges, science education, women in science) will receive
favourable consideration.
The specific area of cooperation will be agreed between JST and NRF every year.
The current plan is to issue the announcement of a joint call for proposals in June
2012. A maximum of three projects will be selected for funding, and each selected
project will be funded for a period of three years.
I-3. Prospective Applicants
JST and NRF invite researchers in Japan and South Africa to submit proposals for
cooperative research projects in the research areas described above. All applicants
must fulfill national and institutional eligibility rules for research grant application.
An important criterion of the proposed collaboration is that it should build on and
reinforce already on-going research activities in each research group and contribute
significant added value to these. Japanese researchers from industry may participate
in the joint collaboration, but not researchers in South Africa. South African Principal
Investigator must be in possession of at least a Master’s degree preferably a PhD and
be affiliated with a recognised higher educational or research institution.
I-4. Financial Support
JST and NRF plan to support cooperative research projects including exchange of
researchers to the counterpart country.
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In the case of meetings, research visits and exchanges of scientists, personnel and
experts, as well as reciprocal visits undertaken as part of joint research projects and
the attendance of seminars, symposia and other meetings funded under this agreement,
the sending party will be responsible for financing international travel, while the
receiving party will be responsible for financing the accommodation and subsistence
of their international visitors. Local travel and fees relating to the organization of
events (venue, catering, audiovisual equipment etc.) will be the financial
responsibility of the investigator representing the country in which the event is held,
to be paid from his/her allocation of the joint funding accorded.
II. Support by JST/NRF
II-1. Budget for a Cooperative Research Project
II-1.1 JST
Budget of a project may differ in each year, depending on the content of activities, but
the total budget for the Japanese researcher over a full 3-year period (i.e., 36 months)
should not exceed 15 million yen in principle. (Example: a proposal may envisage a
budget of 4 million yen for the first year, 6 million yen for the second year and 5
million yen for the final year.)
Due to budget limitations of this program, amounts will be adjusted each year.
Expenses for facilities and equipments may be requested, in principle, only for the
first fiscal year.
II-1.2 NRF
Budget of a project may differ in each year, depending on the content of activities, but
the total annual budget for the South African researcher (i.e., 12 months) should not
exceed 200 000 Rand in principle. The NRF reserves the right to adjust the budget as
submitted with the application, as well as subsequently in response to the submission
of obligatory annual progress reports.
The following may not be funded from the NRF allocation:
• consultant’s fees,
• insurance and medical care,
• project management fees,
• salaries and temporary staff fees,
• bursaries for students.
II-2. Cooperative Research Period
The cooperative research period shall be 3-years (i.e., 36 months) in total, counting
from the start date.
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II-3. Details of Support
This program is designed to support additional expenses related to cooperation with a
South African counterpart for a Japanese researcher or with a Japanese counterpart for
a South African researcher, such as expenses for travel and/or conducting
seminars/symposiums, with the precondition that the main research infrastructure is
already ensured by each research group.
II-3.1 Contract between Japanese Applicant and JST
Support will be implemented according to a contract for commissioned research
entered between JST and a university or research institute, etc. (hereinafter referred to
as the “institution”).
The contract for commissioned research will be renewed each year over the
cooperative research period.
Since the contract is concluded on condition that all administrative procedures related
to this project are handled within the institution, the research leader should consult
with the department in charge at his/her institution.
As for the contract between the Japanese institution and JST, it stipulates the Article
19 of the Industrial Technology Enhancement ACT (Japanese version of the
Bayh-Dole Act) and the Article 25 of the ACT on Protection of the Creation,
Protection and Exploitation of Content (tentative translation) will be applied to all
intellectual property rights belong to Japanese institution generated as a result of this
project, and that these can be the properties of the institution with which the research
leader is affiliated.
II-3.2 Contract between South-African Applicant and NRF
No contract will be required between the NRF and South African researchers, but
successful applicants will be required to sign a document stipulating their acceptance
of, and pledged adherence to, a number of institutional conditions of grant to be
contained in the document.
II-3.3 Contract between Researchers
If a contract for cooperative research is necessary for implementing actual research
cooperation, such a contract should be concluded between the Japanese institutions
and the South African institutions. It is strongly advised, though not required, that
appropriate discussions of the issue of rights regarding intellectual properties among
the concerned parties take place, in order to ensure good collaboration. If an
agreement is concluded, it should be reported in the application or annual progress
reports .
II-3.4 Funded expenses
Funding provided within this call is intended to enhance the capacity of the applicants
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to collaborate. Funding will therefore be provided mainly in support of the
collaboration vectors and of the local research that is necessary for the collaboration.
Projects will be funded for up to three years.
For Japanese researchers, funding can be provided for:
(1) Stipend for a PhD student, stipend or salary for a post-doctoral fellow (i.e. a
temporary position for up to 3 years);
(2) Consumables;
(3) Small equipment;
(4) Travel and visiting costs; and
(5) Joint seminars and workshops;
(6) Overhead expenses up to 10% of the total research expenses.
For South African researchers, funding can be provided for:
(1) Consumables
(2) Small equipment (not to exceed 15% of expenses paid from the
total NRF allocation)
(3) Travel and visiting costs.
(4) User charges for facilities.
III. Application
The Japanese and South African applicants shall write applications that shall be
handed in both to JST and NRF in parallel. The South African application shall be
written in English, using the authorised application form to be provided. For the
Japanese applicants, both English and a Japanese version of the application are
The application shall include:
a) Project description including how collaboration will be carried out, with clear
statements of what roles Japanese and South African researchers will play
respectively in the project as well as the role of students;
b) Description on the expected outcome of the proposed project, scientifically as well
as in terms of its relevance for the industry and society;
c) Description on the ongoing activities and specific advantages of the South African
and Japanese groups respectively, which form the basis for the proposed joint
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d) Description on the expected added value from the proposed joint project, including
how the competence, technology and other resources in each group complement
each other;
e) Description of how the project is expected to help strengthen research cooperation
between Japan and South Africa over the longer term;
f) Description on the added value expected from the multidisciplinary approach in the
proposed joint project; and
g) Description on how the proposed joint project compares with other comparable
activities worldwide.
The onus is on the applicant to find their own research partner. Proposals must be received in both
Japan and South Africa. Proposals which have only been received in either South Africa or Japan,
but not both, will not be considered for funding. The call process is highly competitive therefore
application does not guarantee funding. The evaluation of applications from both countries
should have positive ratings before consideration for funding. Neither the NRF nor JST will be held
responsible for non-submission of the application in the partner country.
III -1. Application Forms
(For Japanese Researchers)
Application forms for Japanese applicants may be downloaded electronically from the
JST website. Japanese applicants are required to submit the Japanese version of the
application forms in addition to the English forms which are common with NRF,
except a list of peer reviewers.
(For South African Researchers)
Application forms for South African applicants may be downloaded electronically from the NRF
website (
III-2. Preparation of Application Forms
Applicants should fill in the particulars in all the application forms listed in above III
III-3. Application forms for both Japanese and South African applicants should be
submitted by 28 September 2012.
(For Japanese Researchers)
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Japanese applicants shall send their application forms by online application system
e-Rad” ( by 5:00 pm (Japanese Standard Time) on
28 September, 2012.
(For South African Researchers)
South African applicants shall submit their application forms bearing their
institution’s official stamp electronically via e-mail to:
Ms Lee-Anne Seymour,
e-mail address:
Applications must be signed electronically or scanned. Only applications endorsed by
the research office or its equivalent at higher education or research institutions
will be accepted.
NO HARD COPIES ARE ALLOWED! A soft copy (max 1.44mb file size) of the South African team’s
project proposal and the scanned signature page should be emailed, in English, to: Ms. Lee-Anne
Seymour; Kindly insist on an acknowledgement of receipt when your
submission is complete as the NRF will not be held responsible for the loss/non submission of
IV. Evaluation of Project Proposals
IV-1. Evaluation Procedure
Committees/panels consisting of experts selected by JST and NRF respectively will
evaluate all proposals. Based on the results of the evaluation, JST and NRF will make
a common decision regarding funding of selected proposals.
The members of the program committee in Japan and South Africa will be selected
after the proposals have been received.
IV-2. Evaluation Criteria
The following general evaluation criteria will apply to each proposed project:
(1) Conformity with Program Aims and Designated Research Fields
The proposed activity shall conform to the aims and the designated research fields
of the program. In addition, the applicants shall have the enough research
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infrastructures to pursue the proposed activity.
(2) Capability of Research Leaders and Current Research Activities
The research leaders in both countries shall have the vision and the experiences (or
the potential for younger researchers) to reach the project goals during the period
of support.
(3) Effectiveness and Synergy of the Joint Research Activity
The proposed research activity shall be advanced, novel and internationally highly
evaluated. The activity shall have a significant impact on the science and
technology development or shall contribute to solve the internationally common
issues. The activity shall create the innovative technological seeds to trigger the
new industrial needs in the future.
The activity to produce the synergy effects from the collaboration is especially
desirable. For example, the activity which can acquire the knowledge, skill and
application form the counterpart, the activity which can utilize the special
resources and the geographical features of the counterpart, and so on.
(4) Validity of Research Plan
The research activity and the expense for it, including the sharing of research
activity with the counterpart research institute, shall be appropriately planned.
(5) Effectiveness and Continuity of Exchange
The proposal shall contain activities to enhance sustainable research exchange.
The followings are examples.
- Nurturing of the young researchers through the exchange stay.
- Sustainable development of the research exchanges initiated by this activity.
- Expanding the international research networks among the researchers including
the researchers other than the research leader and members of this activity.
- Improving the presence of Japanese or South African science and technology
respectively in the counterpart country.
(6) Validity of Exchange Plan
The research exchange activity and the expense for it shall be appropriately
In addition to the above, the agencies may also impose specific national and/or
institutional evaluation criteria on applications received by them and according to
which their final selection will be made.
V. Responsibilities of Research Leaders / Principal Investigators After Proposals
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are Approved
After the proposal has been approved, research leaders and their affiliated institutions
shall observe the following when carrying out the cooperative research and utilizing
supported expenses:
V-1. Annual Progress Report
At the end of each fiscal year, the research leader shall promptly submit a progress
report on the status of research exchange, and the institution with which the research
leader is affiliated shall promptly submit a financial report on supported expenses.
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V-2. Final Report
(For Japanese Researchers)
After completion of the cooperative research period, the research leader shall promptly
submit to JST a final report, in addition to a financial report, on the research exchange
activities. The report shall include a general summary (maximum five A4 pages)
compiled jointly by both the Japanese and the South African research groups.
(For South African Researchers)
After completion of the cooperative research period, the Principal Investigator shall
submit progress and final reports using the appropriate NRF documentation prepared
for that purpose and which will be provided to him/her.
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Japanese applicants should contact the following for further information:
Dr. Takeshi Usami, Ms. Emi Kaneko
Department of International Affairs
Japan Science and Technology Agency
Tel. +81(0)3-5214-7375 Fax +81(0)3-5214-7379
South African applicants should contact the following for further information:
Programme related queries Grant related & technical queries
Mr. Teuns Phahlamohlaka Ms. Lee Anne Seymour
Science and Technology Agreements Fund International Research Grants
Tel: +27(0)12 481 4385 Tel: +27 (0)12 481 4121
Fax: +27(0)21 481 4044 Fax: +27 (0)86 639 9571

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