Funai Overseas Scholarship
Funai Foundation for Information Technology (FFIT) was established on April 25, 2001 with an endowment by Tetsuro Funai, the founder of Funai Electric Co., Ltd. Currently, the Foundation has two types of awards: grants and scholarships. The grant program recognizes outstanding achievements of young researchers at Japanese universities, while scholarships support tuition and living expenses of students while they pursue Ph. D. degrees at overseas universities. Applications for both programs are open to the general public, and successful candidates are chosen by a Selection Committee.
Let us take a closer look at the Funai overseas scholarship program. Today there are far fewer Japanese students pursuing Ph. D. degrees at world-class overseas universities than there are Chinese, Korean, and Indian students, and the Funai overseas scholarship program was set up specifically to encourage greater numbers of Japanese students to study abroad and earn a Ph. D. at foreign universities.
Funai overseas scholarships cover two full years of tuition plus a stipend of $2,500 a month for living expenses. From the third year until the conferral of the Ph. D. degree, students receive an annual scholarship of $10,000.
Funai offers scholarships within its funding priorities, which focus on science and engineering, life sciences, and economics.
The program was launched six years ago with scholarships awarded to two students, but today the foundation supports about ten successful applicants per year. We start accepting applications in June, and the deadline is in mid October. After reviewing the application documents, the Selection Committee conducts interviews around November 10, and the successful candidates are chosen by mid November. Ph. D. program applications have to be submitted to overseas universities in December, so we try to give the students plenty of time to get their applications in.
The success rate for the scholarship has been around 15% for the past few years. The majority of scholarship seekers are graduates from Japanese universities, but occasionally we get an applicant who is currently studying abroad. A significant fraction of applicants|at least 50%|comes from the University of Tokyo. We also see a good number of candidates from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Keio University, and Tohoku University. The number of successful candidates seems to roughly approximate the percentage of applicants from each university.
Most of those serving on the Selection Committee have earned their Ph. D. 's in the United States and Canada, and are currently professors at the University of Tokyo, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Keio University.
Click on Recipients to see a complete roster of all successful applicants from 2009 to 2014, together with the overseas universities where they pursued their higher degrees.