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MEXT Scholarship (Research/Graduate students) 2019

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Since I've just seen all the messages for people who got in for 2018 (congrats to everyone!) I thought it might be helpful to already start a new thread for people who want to apply for the next period (so applying Summer of 2018) for the MEXT Scholarship! I'm hoping to apply for the next deadline but I still have a lot of information to go through and I probably will ask around a lot as well.

mext-jpg.25863



Questions, information and so on. Let's help eachother out!
 
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Good idea to start a new thread!

Since I've been through the process myself I've updated my blog with some new information and posted about my interview experience:
MEXT research scholarship information and advice | ジョジーナ
MEXT research scholarship interview experience | ジョジーナ

Here are some blogs from other recipients with useful information for applicants:
Going to Graduate School in Japan on a Monbushō Scholarship – Dave’s Logs
How I got the Monbusho Research Scholarship (Part 1 of 4) – Lars Martinson: Cartoonist
How to get Monbukagakusho Scholarship | Urban User Experience and Interaction Design

Good luck to those applying this year :emoji_smile:
Courtesy from another member who posted some informative links in the previous thread which I'd also like to mention.
 

Chima Vin

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Yes, the application process is just around the corner, we need to start preparing. I want to know if it is advisable to make contacts with the supervisor or prof of the universities i'm applying for before even applying?
 
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Yes, the application process is just around the corner, we need to start preparing. I want to know if it is advisable to make contacts with the supervisor or prof of the universities i'm applying for before even applying?
Hi Chima Vin, well I´ve read about it and some people have made contact once they have their project done . It is a way of introducing yourself and your project to future supervisors before applying.. Other have waited to pass the first screening. Greetings ....
 

Chels

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Hi, everyone. I plan on applying for the research scholarship in April (fashion/costume focus). I already got my research plan made and edited now I'm just nervous about the interview.
 
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Hello everybody,

Hope you guys are still doing well with your MEXT journey.

Myself Santanu Saha and my friend Minh Truong have created a new blog like site about MEXT scholarship applying experience. We have divided the content into 8 differenttopic about MEXT. In each topic, it is comment box below so that you guys could ask question or discuss with other people who is planning to apply MEXT. Hope our site will help you guys in MEXT journey.

Sincerely,
MEXTipedia Team
www.mextipedia.wordpress.com
 

Chels

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Does anybody know the chances or statistics of getting the research scholarship?
 
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Yes, I'll reply to questions in upcoming threads, as this forum is one of the source I used to succeed it is a way to give something back. As for blogging though, I prefer to own my content and I think I wrote everything I had to tell about the MEXT scholarship already.
 

RBZ

Kouhai
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Hi guys! I'm also planning on applying this year. I'm a bit anxious because my Japanese language skills are non-existent and apparently they're tougher when you're applying for a social science course.
 

Nadia_25

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Yes, I'll reply to questions in upcoming threads, as this forum is one of the source I used to succeed it is a way to give something back. As for blogging though, I prefer to own my content and I think I wrote everything I had to tell about the MEXT scholarship already.
I have read your blog about your MEXT test for the scholarship experience. it's very useful for those will apply this like me. Thank You!
 

Dave44

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I made an application for a postgraduate MEXT scholarship last year via the Japanese embassy in London. I've already forgotten a lot of the process but I'll share what I can remember. Blogs like these were helpful for me when I applied so it might benefit somebody else out there too.
I won't go over all the details of the application requirements and timings etc as there's already a lot of info available, but I'll try to give a quick review of my experience.

I started preparing several months in advance. I wanted to study on a masters program in a chemistry related field. I hammered out a fairly specific idea of what my thesis would be and then searched for suitable programs in Japan. After a lot of online research I narrowed down 4 or 5 options. I was actually living in Japan at the time so I visited two open days of the programs I was interested in.

After meeting a couple of potential supervisors in person and discussing the research they were carrying out I chose my first choice university and wrote a detailed and researched thesis proposal. The problem I encountered at this stage was writing a proposal that would be flexible enough to be submitted to three different departments with slightly differing research programs.

I was lucky that the professors at my first choice university seemed interested in me and my proposed research. They were very receptive to my emails and even invited me to attend a seminar and visit their laboratory, which I did.
Unfortunately I had real difficulty contacting potential supervisors at the other universities. It seems that many universities are not on the ball when it comes to updating their websites. After several weeks of trying to contact staff members via telephone and email, I was told that one of them had retired the previous year (they hadn't removed his research program from their website) and another had decided he didn't want to accept any more foreign student on his program (again their website stated otherwise).

Anyway, I made my application to the embassy, and a few weeks later I received an invitation to an interview. In terms of the application, I would say you need to have a clear, detailed and well written proposal. I spent several months researching and preparing mine. I included a reading list and a full reference list with citations. I included a gantt chart to show a time line for my research. I also sent my proposal to friends with postgraduate experience, so they could give me feedback. I researched the relevant industries in Japan and the UK and tried to explain why Japan was a suitable place to do my research and how I could apply what I had learned back in the UK. I discussed specific examples of Japan’s role in shaping the industry in the past and how I might be able to use my experience in the future.


I don’t know exactly how your application is judged, but I worked on the basis that they’re looking for someone to make an investment in, who will be able to build industry/academic relations between Japan and their home country. I have no idea if that’s why my initial application was successful, but I’d say it’s probably a good way to think while preparing your application. If they spend thousands of pounds on sending you to university, what are they going to get in return?


The interview:
It goes without saying, but arrive on time and dress formally. There were about five of us there when I arrived. I got the impression they staggered the interviews and saw about 10 people a day (that’s guess work). I arrived quite early and my interview stared about 20 minutes early.
Based on what I’d read online about other people’s experiences I’d prepared myself for a not too difficult interview, but I was expecting questions about my research and the opportunity to talk about my future goals. I think in the email they told me the interview would take about 30 minutes so I was prepared to go into some detail and try to explain my research.

The interview was not what I was expecting. The gentlemen who interviewed me were very friendly and polite and I felt at ease right away. But frankly they seemed uninterested in my research. Obviously they're not scientists so I didn’t expect them to ask in depth questions, but I got the impression they had skimmed my proposal a few minutes before I walked in. They asked me one or two very generic questions each (Why this university? What do you think you will do after you graduate? Etc.), and a few questions about my time in Japan. I tried my best to really give them some detail and explain the benefits of my research, but I got the impression they were not interested, and they quickly seemed to run out of things to ask me and ended the interview after about 10 minutes. I could think of about 10 good questions they could have asked me in the extra time, so I felt like an opportunity had been wasted. Maybe I’m just exceptionally boring and they didn’t want to talk to me…

You’ve probably guessed I didn’t get any further, which is fair enough, there were probably just candidates there who were better. I’m sure the interview experience varies greatly with location and from year to year. I suppose based on my experience, my advice is be prepared to steer the conversation and, though I hate to say it, sex up your research and make it sound exciting and interesting as well as worthwhile. I assumed they wanted to hear an academic style and detailed proposal, but they probably have to sit through dozens of those in a week or two, so maybe the ones that stand out are the ones that are more exciting. Good luck with that if like me your research sounds very dull to the layman! I was also planning to ask some questions in the interview (it’s usually a good opportunity to make a good impression), but was not invited to, which seems very odd to me.

There’s also the Japanese exam. Most people in my sitting left immediately (presumably they didn’t know any Japanese). If you do speak Japanese, you can choose the level of the test. I forget if there were two of three levels. The first level, which I tried, is broadly similar to N5/N4. You need to be able to read hiragana and katakana and some kanji, and there’s a writing section too.
 
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Hey all! I'm ready to start contacting professors, but it seems like all schools on spring break now...should I wait until April when classes start again, or should I just go ahead and reach out to the professors now? I'm worried that if they don't check their email during break, my email might get lost/overlooked in the mountains of emails I'm sure they'll have waiting in their inboxes.
 
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Hi Sheermule,

It depends on the professor and the university, but over the next few weeks, many should be checking their emails or in the office to prep for the new semester. If you're contacting just for the purpose of relationship building and laying groundwork, then it's not a bad time to get started.

Last year, I compiled my tips for reaching out to universities and professors in my rundown of the 2018 Embassy Recommendation application process. I'll update it when the 2019 guidelines come out, but for now, here's that article in case it helps:
Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship 2018: How to Get Started | TranSenz: Expat Living in Japan

Good Luck!
- Travis from TranSenz
 
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I've actually just checked the website of the Embassy here and I noticed that they haven't updated the guidelines or deadline dates to 2018 yet. Is it common that this will be done in a later stadium?
 

Domino369

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I've just stumbled across this forum in the nick of time. I'm looking to apply this year and have already started gathering documents. My biggest worry, being out of academia for 4 years now, is showcasing myself, really advertising myself, in an academic bent. Truly, I only now just started considering MEXT because of a research plan between me and a friend that would benefit from study in Japan as I find Japan's facilities rather accommodating and market rather receptive.

We'll see though. Masters of Science in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence specialization. I have my eyes on Tokyo University, Kyoto University, and Tokyo Institute of Technology (for the 3 choices anyways). I find these three are Japan's strongest when it comes to Computer Science on the graduate level. If I don't get picked, I'm not all that worried given I know I'm choosing from some rather coveted schools. I want the best education I can get and I refuse to settle else it's not worth leaving my company, so we'll see how this goes.

Fingers crossed.
 

sinqbad

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I'm doing my honours in Philosophy/Japanese studies and I would like to do my PhD in Japan. What's the best way to start looking up universities and professors?
 
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Hi,
I got the scholarship for 2018 and wrote about my experience on my blog. In particular, I cover the interview and the research proposal. I hope it helps in your project.
Yoshi, thanks for the tips and tricks. I 'tweaked' my research a little deleting the 'timetable' (which I only included in the first place because of internet examples)...:emoji_cold_sweat:
When really understanding what they ask, it is more of an specific plan of research an not a time based schedule. I just got rid of it and it looks much more professional now.

I wondered if it was necessary or even really "required" to include one , as most (all) of the examples I found had one.:emoji_spy:

Merci et bonne chance.
 
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Yegane

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Apr 9, 2018
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Hi everyone,
Hope all are doing well.
I have applied for Mext scholarship 2018- kobe university- University recommendation for Phd.
I had chosen my supervisor and passed the interview and application. Recently i got informed that i have been selected by the university for the course and scholarship and got introduced to the government for the scholarship final selection.
My question is, how much is chance to pass the final selection at the scholarship institute ( or government?) ??
Does anyone have similar experience?
 
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The application period just started in the Philippines. Anxious, excited, and just really hustling to get everything done before the deadline (May 18). :D

Good luck to everyone!
 

RBZ

Kouhai
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Oct 22, 2017
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The application period just started in the Philippines. Anxious, excited, and just really hustling to get everything done before the deadline (May 18). :emoji_grinning:

Good luck to everyone!
Also in Belgium, but we get until June 1st. Good luck to you too!
 
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