10 April 2020



(Partially Funded)


PhD in Sustainability Science (2020)

The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is offering scholarships for developing countries, these opportunities are offered for pursuing a PhD programme in Sustainability Science.

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The PhD programme in Sustainability Science aims to produce scholars who will become key researchers in the field of sustainability science, this 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.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • The United Nations System and Sustainable Development
  • Global Change and Planetary Boundaries
  • Natural Capital and Biodiversity
  • Resilience and Adaptation Science
  • Frontier of Sustainability Science

Required Languages


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

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

Eligible Countries


Program Period

Three years

The programme starts in September, and by July of their third year students are expected to complete all of the course requirements, obtaining at least 14 credits.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

  • 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 want to pursue a second PhD degree at UNU-IAS are not eligible for the scholarship.
  • A strong interest in sustainability studies.
  •  A demonstrated commitment to study and understand global issues.

  • A completed Master’s degree in disciplines related to sustainability studies.

  • A minimum of 2 years of practical field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes which was acquired after obtaining a university degree (full-time equivalent) OR 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 – September 2020 – may also apply.)

  • A GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for at least one of the Master’s degrees earned.

Opportunity Cost

(Partially Funded)

  • The tuition fees are fully waived for the scholarship recipients.
  • The JFUNU scholarship provides a monthly allowance of 120,000 JPY for living expenses for a maximum of 36 months.
  • Travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be covered by the student.

How to Apply

The award of the scholarship is based on application selection results. Only applicants that are accepted for enrolment in the UNU-IAS PhD in Sustainability Science programme can be considered as candidates for the scholarship. There is no separate application form for the scholarship as it is a part of the online application for admission. Interested applicants must provide necessary information and documents for the scholarship together with the required documents for admission to the PhD degree programme.

First Step: Make an account to be able to see the form from here.

Second Step: Choose the course you want from the list of courses.

Third Step: Fill the online application and upload the required documents:

1- Document validating your legal name, nationality and residence status (such as: Passport, Birth certificate, or Residence card).

2- Essays: (Statement of Purpose & Research Proposal).

3- THREE letters of reference.

4- Copy of Official Transcripts.

5- Proof of English Language Proficiency.

  • Exemptions:

a) Applicants whose language is English.

b) Applicants who graduated from a university or a postgraduate school located in an English-speaking country.

c) Applicants who completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme where the language of instruction and examination was English. In this case, an official statement from the academic institution will be required, confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination.

6- Proof of Awarded Degree with Date Received.

7- If the applicant expects to earn a Master’s degree or higher no later than the end of August 2020, she/he must submit: Proof of Expected Graduation Date AND Student Registration Certificate (official letter scanned in PDF format).

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

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To learn how to write CV, Essays, Personal statement,  and know about recommendation letters click here:

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This Scholarship Published by:
Nedaa Megahed/ Egypt

Reviewed by” Wahiba El Zayat/ Egypt
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team