Abe FAQ

1. When is the application deadline?
Applications must be completed online by 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on September 1, 2014. The reference and language evaluation must also be submitted online by the deadline. Eight copies of the writing sample must be sent to the SSRC office in New York by mail and received by September 1, 2014. This is NOT a postmark deadline.

2. How can I obtain an application packet?
No paper applications are used in this application process. The application is to be filled out online and can be accessed at https://soap.ssrc.org/. Program staff may be contacted at abe@ssrc.org or by phone at (212) 377-2700 in New York. The Tokyo office may be contacted at ssrcABE@gol.com; fax: 03-5369-6142; or phone: 03-5369-6085.

3. Is there a citizenship requirement?
This fellowship opportunity is available to American and Japanese citizens, as well as to nationals of other countries who can demonstrate strong and serious long-term affiliations with the research communities of the United States or Japan.

4. Can I apply for this fellowship if I am not an American citizen or a Japanese citizen?
You are welcome to apply if you can demonstrate that you are part of a US or Japanese research community.

5. Do I have to be a Japan specialist to be eligible for this fellowship?
No.

6. Is there an age limit?
No.

7. Is there a degree requirement?
Applicants must hold a PhD or terminal degree in their field or have the equivalent level of professional training at the time of application.

8. Can I reapply for the fellowship if I have applied before but was unsuccessful?
Yes.

9. Can I reapply for the fellowship if I was awarded an Abe Fellowship in a previous year?
No.

10. How many months of support will the fellowship provide?
The fellowship will support a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months over a period of 24 months.

11. Does the fellowship period need to be continuous?
The period of the fellowship need not be continuous, but must be concluded within 24 months of initial activation.

12. Can I conduct my research during the fellowship period in countries other than Japan and the US?
Yes.

13. How much time do I have to spend conducting field research in Japan or in the US?
Members of the American research community must spend at least one-third of the fellowship tenure in Japan. Members of the Japanese research community must spend at least one-third of the fellowship tenure in the US.

14. Does my field research have to focus on either the US or Japan?
The research topic itself does not necessarily have to involve either the US or Japan, but there must be clear justification in the proposal for time spent conducting research in either the US or Japan.

15. How will I know if my topic is within the scope of the program?
See the Abe Fellowship Detailed Application Criteria on the Abe Fellowship Program website under the headings The Abe Fellowship Research Agenda and Policy-relevant, Contemporary and Comparative or Transnational Research or contact program staff. Information about the program can be found online at http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/abe-fellowship/.

16. What is the dollar amount of the award?
The amount of the Abe Fellowship is not fixed. It varies widely, depending on the details of the research plan and on whether the award includes salary replacement.

17. Does the award include supplemental support for family members?
Only if family members are your financial dependents and only if they will be accompanying you overseas for a minimum of three continuous months.

18. When may I activate the fellowship?
Abe Fellows must activate the fellowship between April 1 and December 31, 2015.

19. What are the selection procedures?
Abe Fellows are selected by the members of the Abe Fellowship Program Committee, who use established peer review procedures. The Abe Fellowship Program Committee includes distinguished members of the academic and research communities of the United States and Japan. For a list of current committee members, please see our website.

20. How many applications are submitted in a given year?
Over the last five years, annual applicant pools have averaged 80 applications.

21. How many awards are offered in a given year?
Approximately 13 awards are made in a given year.

22. Are historians eligible for this fellowship? How successful have they been over the years?
Yes. Eighteen historians have won Abe Fellowships in the history of the Program; three of these awards were made within the last five years. Historians must make explicit in their project statements the link between contemporary, policy-relevant issues and historical inquiry.

23. May Abe Fellows accept other support while holding the Abe Fellowship?
Concurrent funding associated with a named grant or fellowship, such as the Fulbright or Guggenheim, is strictly prohibited. Moreover, with the exception of sabbatical pay, Abe Fellows may not accept salary support from a funding source other than the Abe Fellowship Program while an active Abe Fellow. Fellows may accept supplemental funds in small amounts for specific purposes such as research assistance or translation.

24. Does the fellowship provide income replacement?
The Abe Fellowship considers lost income based on primary employment when calculating the award. Typically these funds are not sufficient to replace fully salary for senior researchers.

25. Must I be formally affiliated with institutions at my research sites overseas?
Yes.

26. Must I demonstrate proof of an institutional affiliation in my application for this fellowship?
The Abe Fellowship Program does not require applicants to submit proof of institutional affiliation as a condition of the award. However, applicants who have already arranged for institutional affiliations should provide details on the online application form.

27. Does the SSRC sponsor Abe Fellows for visas?
No. With respect to overseas visits to the United States, our expectation is that the institution with which you are intending to affiliate will sponsor your visa. Typically, CGP will issue a letter of guarantee for fellows requiring a visa for Japan.

28. How many references do I need and whom should I ask to write for me?
One. The reference may come from someone who is familiar with your research or from someone who may not be familiar with your research but knows you very well and can speak to your capability to carry out productive research. Follow the instructions on the Reference section of the online application to send an electronic request to the person who will submit your reference. The referee must submit the reference using the online system by 5:00 p.m. on September 1, 2014.

29. Should I submit the optional language evaluation?
If proficiency in your non-native language is necessary for the completion of your research project, a language evaluation is required. If more than one foreign language is required to complete your research project, submit a language evaluation for each language. Non-native speakers of English who have a degree from an English-speaking institution need not submit an English language evaluation form. Anyone who is professionally qualified to judge your language competence may submit the language evaluation(s) on your behalf, e.g., a language faculty member, a faculty member in your own department, or someone else who is qualified to evaluate your language competence in the language(s) needed to carry out your research. Follow the instructions on the Language Evaluation section of the online application to send an electronic request to the person who will submit your evaluation. The evaluator must submit the language evaluation using the online system by 5:00 p.m. on September 1, 2014.

30. When are applicants notified of decisions?
Decisions are announced by the end of November.

31. May I submit my application by fax or e-mail?
No. Applications sent by fax or e-mail will not be accepted. Applicants must supply the necessary information by using the online application system at https://soap.ssrc.org. The reference and language evaluation must also be submitted online by the September 1 deadline. In addition, eight copies of the writing sample must be mailed separately to the SSRC office in New York. These copies must be received by September 1, 2014. This is NOT a postmark deadline.

32. How can I find out whether the program has received my application?
We will acknowledge receipt of your application via e-mail by September 30. If you do not hear from us by then, please contact program staff at abe@ssrc.org or (212) 377-2700 immediately.

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