United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNAIS) 2023 PhD Scholarship Programme (Scholarships Available)

Application Deadline: 17 February 2023 (23:59 Japan Standard Time)

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.

The programme 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. 

Thematic Areas and Research Opportunities

The UNU-IAS postgraduate programmes are closely interconnected with the institute’s research activities. Students have opportunities to gain practical experience by engaging actively in the research projects in UNU-IAS thematic areas. The courses offered correspond to these thematic areas under the overarching theme of sustainability.

  • Governance for Climate Change and Sustainable Development (GSD)
  • Biodiversity and Society (BDS)
  • Water & Resource Management (WRM)
  • Innovation & Education (IVE)

Applicants are required to choose one of these thematic areas and propose relevant research to conduct at UNU-IAS. 

Admissions Requirements

Applicants for the PhD in Sustainability Science are required to have met ALL of the following requirements by the application deadline in order to be considered:

1. A completed Master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognised university or institution of higher education in a field related to sustainability in accordance with the UNU-IAS thematic areas, and a minimum of 2 years of professional field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes which was acquired after obtaining a university degree (full time equivalent);


1. 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 2023 may also apply);

2. 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; and

3. English language proficiency.

The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:

  • 600 on TOEFL – Paper-Based Testing (PBT) OR
  • 100 on TOEFL – Internet-Based Testing (IBT) OR
  • 7.0 on IELTS – Academic format


Japan Foundation for UNU (jfUNU) Scholarship

I. Coverage

The jfUNU scholarship provides a monthly allowance of 120,000 JPY as a support package for a maximum of 36 months. The tuition fees may be waived for the scholarship recipients.

II. Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must be from developing countries* who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
  • Applicants who are currently living in Japan under a working visa are NOT eligible for the scholarship.
  • Applicants who are already enrolled in other PhD programmes are not eligible. This includes those who have already obtained a PhD degree at an institution other than UNU-IAS.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNAIS 2023 PhD Scholarship Programme


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