The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship for Japanese Grant Aid (JDS)

1. Program Overview

The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship by Japanese Grant Aid (JDS) (former Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)) is to support human resource development of the Japanese grant aid recipient countries. JDS Project targets the highly capable young officials (mainly government) who are expected to engage in implementing social and economic development plans as a future leader.

JDS Fellows are also expected to contribute to the enhanced bilateral relations between their countries and Japan, with well-rounded knowledge of Japan.

Through the JDS program, young leaders are also able to understand the Japanese society, learn about common interests and work towards common goals. The JDS program creates a system where academic exchanges, which include immersion and exposure to various fields, become a tool for strengthening international relations.

JDS Project offers 2-year Master’s courses and 3-year PhD course at Japanese Universities in English. JDS Fellows will get a special opportunity for directly learning the forefront knowledge in the technological environment as well as for building the wide human networks.

2. Target Countries and number of accepted students

The JDS program, which started in 1999, initially targeted Asian countries transitioning into a market economy. However, target countries gradually increased to cover other Asian countries with strong bilateral relations with Japan, who requested for support in human resource development. The JDS has been implemented in 15 partner countries since 1999, with Nepal as the newest member and Ghana as the first African country to receive the program.

In 2016, 266 young leaders from 13 countries have been accepted to the program, making the total number of JDS scholars to 3700.

3. Procedure

The JDS program is under the Grant Aid scheme that works under a government-to-government framework. Under this scheme, the target country’s government, together with representatives from the Japanese government and JICA conducts a preparatory survey to determine the (1) implementation policy, (2) program schedule, (3) priority fields of study, (4) accepting universities in Japan, (5) selection process and (6) appropriate number of JDS fellows. During this preparatory survey, the program design is formulated in line with the target countries’ priority development issues and Japan’s country strategy.

4. Accepting Universities and Academic programs

The JDS program spans 6 years, covering 4 batches. The result of the preparatory survey becomes the basis for the JDS program design for the 4 batches covered within the 6-year program period. This process ensures that the program remains highly relevant, with its program design uniquely tailored to the needs of each target country.

The JDS program offers Master’s Degree in various fields in social science depending on the priority development issues of each target country. A limited number of Doctoral Degrees is available for Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Eligible candidates for the Ph.D program are limited to students from these countries that have successfully completed their Master’s degree under the JDS program. JDS students from other countries will be invited to apply for the Ph.D program from 2017, depending on the results of the needs assessment in each respective target countries.

The medium of instruction for all JDS academic programs is English.

5. References/ other information

From 2016, JICA invites applicants who have completed the JDS Master’s program from Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for the Ph.D program. For other countries, a feasibility study will be conducted to explore the needs for Ph.D on those countries.

Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) (external link)

Japan Development Service (JDS) (external link)

6. Beneficiaries of JDS

For the participants (JDS Fellows)

JDS Fellows will have a great opportunity to learn the expert knowledge for policy making and institutional building for the country’s development as well as systems in the world-leading technological country. Also the Fellows will benefit from the wider human network.

For the organizations (The Fellows’ workplace)

The Fellows’ workplace will attain the highly-capable & motivated returnees who would effectively contribute to the organizational missions

For the country (The Fellows’ country)

The Fellows’ country will improve institutional capability, which leads to foster the development

– Returned JDS Fellow

“With all positive aspirations gained in Japan, my inner sense gave me a strong confidence to come back to my country as a newly born public manger and drive the mechanism of public sector in my country to achieve the aspirations of its people.”

– Returned JDS Fellow

“Studying in Japan is such a unique experience: not only meeting new friends from all over the world, but also experienced learning from a diverse mixture of professors, which widen my view on my work in the government.”

– Department head of returned Fellow

“We highly evaluate JDS returned Fellows in our organization. All of them made a significant change during 2 years study in Japan, and it brings positive effect to others in our workplace, too.”

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