Watanabe Trust Fund strengthens academic ties between Iceland and Japan | University of Iceland Skip to main content
18/11/2020 - 10:34

Watanabe Trust Fund strengthens academic ties between Iceland and Japan

The Watanabe Trust Fund at the University of Iceland is now accepting grant applications for study and research in Japan and Iceland in the academic year 2021-2022 .

The application deadline is January 15, 2021.

The objective of the Watanabe Fund is to strengthen the academic ties between Iceland and Japan. The Watanabe Fund supports students and staff of the University of Iceland to study and work in Japan, and the same applies to Japanese students and researchers who can apply for grant for a stay at the University of Iceland.

On one hand, there are scholarships available for a study abroad period for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Iceland or at a Japanese university, and on the other hand, travel and subsistence grants for postdocs and academic staff for a research period in Japan or at the University of Iceland. Students and academic staff from all disciplines can apply for a grant.

Travel and subsistence grants are available for up to nine months. Subsistence allowance amounts to up to ISK 200,000 per month for stays in Iceland and up to 150,000 JPY per month for stays in Japan. For stays exceeding one month a travel grant for up to ISK 200,000 is also available. Tuition fees or other costs are not funded. Postdocs and academic staff can also apply for a grant for up to ISK 500,000 for a shorter stay, up to one month for research work or research collaboration between the University of Iceland and universities or research institutes in Japan.

The Board of the Watanabe Trust Fund evaluates the applications and selects recipients. The Board reserves the right to reject any grant application.

Final reports of former grantees can be found on the fund's website.

Application forms can be found on the fund's website. Please submit the filled in application form together with supporting documents by e-mail to watanabe@hi.is by midnight on 15 January 2021.

Inquiries about the Watanabe Scholarship Fund and the application process can be directed to the e-mail address watanabe@hi.is, or to Hafliði Sævarsson, project manager, tel. 525-4311.

Please note that the grants in the next academic year will be awarded conditionally due to COVID-19 and possible travel restrictions.

The Watanabe Trust Fund was founded at the University of Iceland in 2008 with the generous endowment gift of $3 million from Mr. Toshizo (Tom) Watanabe. The fund has provided its grantees with a unique opportunity to study and/or conduct research in Iceland or in Japan. Students and academic staff from all disciplines can apply for a grant.

About the Watanabe Trust Fund

The Watanabe Trust Fund was founded at the University of Iceland in 2008 with the generous endowment gift of $3 million from Mr. Toshizo (Tom) Watanabe.

The Watanabe Trust Fund has provided eligible applicants with unique opportunities to study or conduct research in Iceland or in Japan. This will be the 11th allocation of grants from the Fund. In 2019-2020 a total of 28 students and academics were funded, a record number of grants.

Mr. Toshizo Watanabe is currently the president of the Toshizo Watanabe Foundation and chair emeritus and former president and CEO of Nikken Global, an international wellness products company based in the USA. Mr. Watanabe received financial support from the Wien International Scholarship Program (WISP) at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, U.S.A. At Brandeis he met and became friends with Mr. Geir H. Haarde who was also a Wien Scholar and later the Prime Minister of Iceland and Ambassador of Iceland to the USA.

Mr. Watanabe, inspired by gratitude for receiving scholarship for his valuable education wanted to offer students similar opportunities and at the same time, promote goodwill between Japan and Iceland. Following the recommendation of his fellow Brandeis classmate, Geir H. Haarde, the fund was set up at the University of Iceland with endowment gift of $3 million from Mr. Watanabe. In 2018 he generously endowed additional $2 million.

The current Board members are Dr. Fridrika Hardardottir, Director International Office at University of Iceland, chair, Mr. Toshizo Watanabe, founder of the Fund, and Dr. Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, Assistant Professor of contemporary Japanese studies at the University of Iceland.

Further information and application forms are available at the Watanabe Trust Fund website. 

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