February 25, 2024
Kyoto U offers full ADB-Japan scholarships for international grad students, covering tuition and living costs. Apply now for a funded master's or PhD.kyoto university adb scholarship

The Asian Development Bank – Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP) offers fully-funded scholarships for graduate studies at Kyoto University, one of Japan’s most prestigious universities.

The ADB-JSP provides opportunities for individuals from ADB’s developing member countries to pursue postgraduate studies in economics, management, science and technology, and other development-related fields. The program aims to develop capacity and skills to contribute to the economic and social development of Asia and the Pacific.

Kyoto University is ranked among the top universities globally, with particularly strong programs in science and technology. The university offers cutting-edge research facilities, beautiful campuses, and a welcoming academic community. Scholarship recipients will be immersed in the rich intellectual and cultural heritage of Kyoto.

The ADB-JSP scholarship covers full tuition fees, a monthly stipend, travel costs, medical insurance, and other expenses. It represents an outstanding opportunity for high-achieving individuals to access world-class education with financial support. Graduates can utilize their Kyoto University qualifications and networks to become leaders in their home countries and internationally.


To be eligible for the Kyoto University ADB Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Nationality: Citizens of ADB borrowing member countries are eligible to apply. This includes citizens from countries in Asia and the Pacific region.
  • Academic Requirements: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with an excellent academic record. Those applying for a master’s degree must have a GPA of 2.2 or higher. Applicants for a doctoral degree must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • English Proficiency: Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS test scores. The minimum TOEFL score is 90 for the internet-based test, or 575 for the paper-based test. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
  • Graduate School Acceptance: Applicants must first apply and gain admission to their desired graduate program at Kyoto University before applying for the scholarship.
  • Age Limit: Applicants must be under 35 years of age at the time of application.
  • Work Experience: At least 2 years of full-time work experience is required for doctoral program applicants. Work experience is not required for master’s program applicants.
  • Other Criteria: Applicants must agree to return to their home country after graduating to contribute to its economic and social development. They must also be of good health.

Fields of Study

The Kyoto University ADB Scholarship covers a wide range of subjects and degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the undergraduate level, ADB scholars can pursue bachelor’s degrees in fields such as economics, business administration, international relations, political science, law, engineering, life sciences, medicine, agriculture, environmental studies, and more.

For graduate studies, the ADB scholarship is open to master’s and PhD applicants across Kyoto University’s broad range of graduate schools and research centers. This allows scholars to specialize in diverse subjects including public policy, education, science and technology, economics, Asian studies, informatics, government, anthropology, and beyond. Some of the most popular graduate programs for ADB scholars are in Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Economics, Graduate School of Management, and Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies.

Overall, the ADB scholarship provides students an opportunity to gain a world-class education at Kyoto University in their chosen field. From traditional disciplines like law and business, to emerging interdisciplinary majors like applied mathematics and life sciences, ADB scholars can tap into the university’s strengths across a vast range of academic subjects and research areas.

Scholarship Coverage

The Kyoto University ADB Scholarship covers a substantial amount of costs to support international students for the duration of their degree program. This includes:

  • Full tuition waiver for the duration of the degree program
  • A monthly stipend of 150,000 JPY for living expenses
  • Basic health insurance coverage
  • Round-trip airfare ticket from a student’s home country
  • Moving and relocation costs
  • Japanese language training for students who do not already have proficiency
  • Additional support for student events, field trips, research materials and equipment

The scholarship is intended to cover most of the major expenses international students face when studying in Japan, so they can focus on their academics and research. The stipend in particular is very generous compared to many other scholarships and allows students to live reasonably comfortably while studying at Kyoto University. The university aims to remove financial barriers through this scholarship program.

Application Process

The application process for the Kyoto University ADB Scholarship consists of several steps.

  • Key Dates: The scholarship is offered once per year. The application period is typically open from mid-December to early February for admission in September of the same year. Applicants are notified of results around mid-April.
  • Required Documents: Applicants must submit online application forms, a statement of purpose, an official academic transcript, two confidential letters of recommendation, certified copies of diplomas/degrees, and proof of English proficiency (if applicable).
  • Selection Process: Applications are evaluated based on academic excellence, research ability/potential, the feasibility of the proposed research topic, and overall suitability for the scholarship and University.
  • Selection Criteria: The key criteria considered during the scholarship evaluation are:
  • Academic performance and grades
  • Quality of research proposal and statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Relevance of research interests to department
  • English language skills (if applicable)
  • Application Review: The first round of review focuses on paper screening. Shortlisted applicants are then interviewed online or in-person before final selections are made.

The application process is highly competitive with a limited number of scholarships available each year. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee selection. Candidates should put together a strong overall application to stand out.

Number of Scholarships

The ADB-JSP scholarship program awards approximately 300 scholarships per year for studies in Asia and the Pacific. This includes around 35 scholarships allocated for applicants from Japan specifically to pursue development-related studies in the region.

The ADB offers scholarships across various levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate studies, as well as postgraduate diploma programs. The availability and number of scholarships may vary each year depending on the ADB’s budget allocation.

Priority in scholarship selection is given to applicants whose home countries are ADB members. The ADB coordinates closely with member countries each year to determine scholarship slots based on demand and national human resource development priorities.

The ADB is committed to providing opportunities for young, highly motivated professionals from Asia and the Pacific to contribute to the development of their home countries. The ADB-JSP scholarship program aims to continuously build the capacity of future leaders in the region.

Career Support

Kyoto University provides a number of career services and support initiatives to help ADB scholarship recipients excel in their future careers. This includes:

  • Career counseling: Students have access to one-on-one counseling with career advisers who provide guidance on career planning and development. Advisers assist students in identifying their skills, interests and values to determine suitable career paths.
  • Internship opportunities: The university has partnerships with companies in Japan and Asia to provide ADB scholarship students with internship opportunities. Internships allow students to gain work experience in their field and apply their knowledge.
  • Job search assistance: Kyoto University offers job search seminars, interview preparation training, resume review services and recruitment events to help students find employment after graduation. The university has strong connections with employers in Japan and Asia.
  • Alumni network: ADB scholarship recipients become part of an extensive alumni network after graduating from Kyoto University. Students can utilize the network to connect with alumni working in their industry for mentoring, career advice and job opportunities.
  • Language and skills training: Students have access to Japanese and English language lessons, as well as professional skills training in areas like communication, teamwork and leadership. This equips them with abilities valued by employers.
  • Entrepreneurship support: For students interested in startups and entrepreneurship, Kyoto University provides business plan competitions, mentorship programs, entrepreneur workshops and networking events.

Overall, Kyoto University provides extensive career support services to prepare ADB scholarship recipients for success after graduation. The university is committed to helping students launch their careers in Japan, Asia or globally.

Notable Alumni

The Kyoto University ADB Scholarship has produced many notable alumni over the years who have gone on to impactful careers after graduating. Here are a few standout profiles:

Akira Sato – After completing his PhD in Political Science and Economics through the ADB scholarship program, Dr. Sato went on to become the Vice President of Research at the prestigious Nippon Foundation think tank in Tokyo. His influential work on behavioral economics and public policy is frequently cited around the world.

Michael Chen – A recipient of the ADB scholarship in the 1990s, Michael Chen studied Computer Science and Engineering at Kyoto University before becoming one of the early engineers at Google. He led development on web search infrastructure and now serves as a VP at Google’s headquarters.

Dr. Maya Yamada – With her ADB scholarship, Dr. Yamada earned her degree in Biomedical Engineering from Kyoto University and went on to earn an MD from Harvard Medical School. She is now a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at Stanford, renowned for her research on cardiac health.

Peng Wu – After obtaining his Master’s in Public Policy through the ADB scholarship program, Peng Wu returned to China and rose through the ranks of the political establishment. He is now the Minister of Education in the Chinese national government.

The ADB scholarship has empowered these and many other accomplished individuals to gain a world-class education at Kyoto University and achieve professional success in diverse fields around the globe. The program takes pride in its many distinguished alumni making meaningful contributions.

Scholarship Conditions

Any recipient of the Kyoto University ADB Scholarship must agree to certain terms and conditions. Upon accepting the scholarship, students must commit to:

  • Maintaining strong academic performance and achieving satisfactory grades during their course of study. The minimum GPA required to retain the scholarship may vary by department.
  • Complying with the university’s code of conduct and avoiding any disciplinary issues. Any violations could result in scholarship withdrawal.
  • Participating in programs, events, or activities organized by ADB, Kyoto University, or the scholarship sponsors. This may involve presentations, cultural activities, conferences, or networking events.
  • Completing annual progress reports and allowing the university to share academic records with the ADB and other scholarship sponsors. This enables continued monitoring of the recipient’s performance.
  • Returning to their home country after completing their degree program. The scholarship aims to develop human capital that can contribute to Asia’s economic and social development.
  • Maintaining contact with ADB after graduation and informing them of any career developments or address changes. This allows the ADB to track the impact of scholarship recipients.

Any deviations from these terms may require the scholarship recipient to repay the full or partial value of the scholarship funding they received. Students must remain aware of these conditions and avoid any violation during their study.


The Kyoto University ADB Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for graduate students from Asia pursuing their Master’s or PhD degrees at Kyoto University. This fully-funded scholarship covers tuition, living expenses, and other costs to enable outstanding students to focus on their studies and research.

Throughout the scholarship program, students receive high-quality education from leading academics at one of Japan’s top national universities. The university provides strong career support services, opportunities to build professional networks, and access to cutting-edge facilities and resources.

Overall, the Kyoto University ADB Scholarship offers a life-changing experience for dedicated and talented individuals who will contribute to the future development of Asia. Graduates join an impressive alumni network and are prepared for leadership roles in their home countries. Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply for this competitive scholarship.

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