What You Need to Know About the MEXT Scholarship
MEXT stands for Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. The MEXT Scholarship is an initiative by the Japanese government to support international students who study in higher education institutions in Japan. MEXT Scholarship is given to international students from all around the world from multiple routes, based on the recommendation of the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General, the university or other authorities.
The MEXT Scholarship is a comprehensive scholarship sponsored by the government of Japan, in which Japanese universities recommend individual applicants to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (known as the “Monbukagakusho” in Japanese or by its English language acronym “MEXT”) for a scholarship. After a subsequent review of those students recommended for a scholarship, awardees are selected by MEXT.
In short, applicants will directly apply to a Japanese university and undergo the admissions process of the school, After which the university will recommend the candidates to MEXT.
Benefits of MEXT Scholarship
As the MEXT scholarship is very generous and prestigious, it is no surprise that the selection process is rigorous and competitive. The benefits that the scholarship entails is as follows:
- Exemption from paying tuition, entrance examination, and matriculation fees.
- Monthly stipend:Research Students: JPY 143,000/month; Master’s Degree/ Professional Degree Students: JPY 144,000/month; PhD Students: JPY 145,000/month; Undergraduate Students: JPY 117,000/month
- Cost of Living Adjustment: JPY 2,000 – 3,000 in selected areas
- Round-trip flight ticket to Japan (covered by MEXT or the university). You have to fly in and out of your home country to the closest airport to your university in Japan.
How to Write a Successful Research Proposal
In your MEXT application to graduate schools in Japan, unlike the undergraduate level, your success depends greatly on your research proposal. Hence, it is very important that you pay a lot of attention to this part.
First of all, we need to understand what a research proposal is, and why it matters. To put it simply, a research proposal is a summary of your research topic that you want to dive into. It should be concise and coherent and contain all necessary outline information one needs to know about your proposed research. A research proposal gives a brief outline of the field that your research belongs to.
Once you have understood what it is, it is important to understand the purpose of it as well. A research proposal serves to demonstrate your rationale behind choosing an issue to do research about, as well as your methods that you plan to use to bring your research topic to life. Through research, you aim to find a solution to an issue through a scientific approach that will bring tangible results.
Research Topic in Japan covers the academic aspects of research. Typically, a successful Research Topic section will include a research title, a research theme described in detail, previous research that the applicant has conducted in the field, problems with the research, and the research goal/ outcome. It is recommended that a connection between Japan and your home country is mentioned and why specifically you need to conduct your research in Japan. This will make the reason why you chose your research topic stronger in reasoning and more convincing.
What is a Research Proposal Made up of?
First of all, you would want to give your proposal a meaningful title — it creates the first impression on your reader! Make the research topic extremely clear right from the title. Don’t forget to include the necessary keywords that are most relevant to the topic right from the start.
Following the title is the abstract, which gives you the essential gist of the proposal. The abstract summarizes the importance of your research, your hypothesis and main objectives, steps that you plan to take in order to test your hypothesis and reach your objectives, and finally, the potential results of your research.
The third part is when you give your readers the literature review of your field. It also can be thought of as the context of your proposal. What research has been conducted before in the field, and how is that linked to your proposed research now? You have to give a concise yet thorough context, assuming that your readers are laymen in the topic. You only need to include the part of the literature review that will be relevant to what you will research into.
The fourth part is about the implications of your study. In this part, you will have to argue on why your research is needed. What contribution will your research make to the field of study? Will it add up to, adjust, or improve the existing research results in the topic? The contribution can come in the form of an impact on the theories themselves, other research or practice in the future, scientific approaches, or policies. You can also consider the target groups or individuals that might be affected by your study as well.
The fifth part is the conclusion and typically lasts one paragraph or two paragraphs at most. In this part, you simply summarize the research topic that you have elaborated on earlier and the gist of the impact of your research. This section will help your readers capture the overall purpose of your research, the research methods that you chose to adopt, the anticipated results, as well as its possible influence on the existing knowledge.
Last but not least, don’t forget to wrap up your paper with proper and accurate citations of all the sources that you chose to refer to in your research paper. Citations can take the form of either references or a bibliography, which you should choose from after asking your supervising professor on the preferred method to proceed.
Writing a research proposal for this scholarship is effort and time-consuming, almost like a mental child of yours. It is important that the research proposal is a crucial part of your MEXT scholarship application, and hence, it is vital to pour your heart into it. It can be a tough journey, but the rewards at the end of the road are very rewarding.