Applications open: Fully-Funded Japan-IMF Scholarships Program for Asia 2021-2022

Applications open: Fully-Funded Japan-IMF Scholarships Program for Asia 2021-2022
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Partnership-track: September 1 – December 1 (subject to change)
Open-track: April 1 – June 1 (subject to change)

Applicants for the partnership track are required to state their choice of preferred universities in the application. Please read the JISPA e-brochure for detailed information on the partnership university programs, eligibility and application procedures. 

The selection process may involve an interview and a mathematics test. Only those who are shortlisted will be invited for the interview.  

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia (JISPA) supports graduate studies in macroeconomics or related fields in leading universities in Japan. It provides educational opportunities to promising junior officials from central banks, ministries of finance and other economic agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, aiming to build their capacity in economic policymaking to support sustainable growth and development in their own countries and the region.

The program was first introduced in 1993, and is funded by the Government of Japan and administered by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

More than 770 officials have graduated since its inception, and many alumni play a key role in policymaking in their countries.

Download JISPA Brochure

Two-Track Scholarship

The program offers a partnership track with tailored master’s programs in several partner universities, and an open track with graduate programs, including PhD degrees, in any university in Japan. About 30 new scholarships are awarded every year for the partnership track, and only a small number of scholars are selected for the open track.

Partnership Track

The JISPA partnership track allows scholars to study specially designed master’s courses in macroeconomics at one of the few IMF partnership universities. Currently four partnership universities offer the following programs:

Detailed academic programs at each partner university can be found in the JISPA e-brochure.

Open Track

The open track provides support for graduate studies in macroeconomics or a related field at either the master’s or PhD level at any leading university in Japan. Priority is given to PhD candidates.


The scholarship covers tuition-related costs and most living expenses for the scholar herself/himself.[1] Benefits include:

  1. Full university admission and tuition fees
  2. Annual book allowance and monthly living allowance
  3. Medical insurance
  4. A round-trip airfare and travel allowance
  5. Computer/software allowance (master’s program only)
  6. Orientation Program tuition fees (partnership track only)
  7. Annual field trip fees (partnership track only)
  8. Research related fees, including field research fees (open-track PhD program only)

No expenses incurred by accompanying family members of the scholar are covered. No other scholarship can be accepted by JISPA scholars.

 [1] Disbursement of scholarships is made through the university in which scholars enroll.


To be eligible for the scholarship, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. A national of one of the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pacific Island Countries, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam
  2. Working for a key economic agency such as central bank, ministry of economy, ministry of finance, or financial regulatory agency[1]
  3. A Bachelor’s degree
  4. Fluent in English[2]

In addition, for the open track, applicants are expected to be studying at, have been admitted into, or be applying to a graduate program in economics in Japan.

[1] The program will also consider officials working in other areas of government that have a significant impact on the formulation or implementation of macroeconomic policy.

[2] An applicant must present either a TOEFL or IELTS score report. Kindly register the JISPA institution code as listed below when applicants take the test. 

               TOEFL: “C626 – Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia”
               IELTS: “JISPA: Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia” 

Selection Criteria

Scholarship awards are made on the basis of the candidate’s academic record and work background, mathematical and statistics skills, English language proficiency, and potential for contributing to the macroeconomic and financial management and economic development of their countries. The assessment also includes qualities such as the candidate’s commitment to public service, willingness to learn, and openness to new ideas. For the final selection, regional balance and gender balance are also taken into consideration.

Activities for JISPA Scholars

New incoming scholars are invited to a two-and-a-half-month orientation program before the official commencement of their academic programs. Throughout the duration of the scholarship, JISPA scholars are offered opportunities to attend various exclusive events and activities, including a series of seminars, workshops, welcome and farewell receptions, roundtable discussions with officials of the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Finance, and a thesis presentation. An annual field trip is arranged for the scholars by the partnership universities. In addition, the IMF occasionally extends an invitation to JISPA scholars to participate in public seminars and high-level regional conferences. 

Voices from Scholars

Follow-up Activities for JISPA Alumni

More than 700 Asian officials have benefited from the scholarship program since its inception in 1993. The JISPA graduates are invited to alumni gatherings in various countries and encouraged to maintain friendship and professional dialogue on an online alumni networking site. Selected alumni are also offered a two-week alumni training course, Continuing Education Program (JISPA-CE), to brush up macroeconomic management and analytical skills.

Those who are interested in the scholarship program must submit an application form with supporting documents during the set application periods. 

Source / More information / Applications: Official Website.

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