Why Acquiring PhD in Sustainability Science at The UN University In Japan Is Critical? 

The United Nations University is the academic and research arm of the UN. Located in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, the university was set up as a UN institution with a mission to help resolve global issues related to human development and facilitate welfare through collaborative research and education. 

The PhD programme in Sustainability Science is a three-year programme that aims to produce scholars who will become key researchers in the field of sustainability science. 

The programme takes an innovative approach to sustainability, seeking to promote a better understanding of the issues by incorporating global change perspectives, specifically those related to climate change and biodiversity. 

It will equip graduates with comprehensive, multidisciplinary knowledge of sustainability problems, and deepen their understanding of the role of environmental sustainability in addressing current issues related to global change. Not only that, the programme provides students with unique opportunities to interact with leading scholars and policymakers through lectures, international conferences and workshops. 

Throughout the coursework and research, PhD students can gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the technical literacy required to address sustainability problems. One of the benefits of the programme is that students can select courses from those offered by UNU-IAS, while also enjoying the privilege of taking courses at other leading universities in Japan such as the University of Tokyo, Sophia University and International Christian University. 


Applicants for the PhD in Sustainability Science are required to meet all the following requirements within the application deadline to be considered: 

A completed Master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized university or institution of higher education and demonstrated ability to link course work and activities to principles of sustainability; 

A minimum of 2 years of practical field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes, to be gained after obtaining a university degree (full-time equivalent) 

Or the students with two completed Master’s degrees, at least one of which must be in a discipline related to sustainability studies (those who expect to receive a second Master’s degree before the entrance period of September 2022 may also apply); 

 A GPA of 2.8 or above on a 4.0 scale (equivalent to 70% on a 100 % scale) for at least one of the Master’s degrees earned. 

Funding Details 

The JFUNU scholarship provides a monthly allowance of 120,000 JPY as living expenses for a maximum of 36 months. 

However, travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be borne by the student. The tuition fees are fully waived for the scholarship recipients. 

Interested applicants can apply for the programme through this link. 

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