If you are a working professional who dreams of contributing to your country and are seeking for further pursuit of education in Japan, the Asian Development Bank–Japan Scholarship Program can be a golden key to unlock the door to your dreams.

What is the Asian Development Bank Scholarship?

The Asian Development Bank–Japan Scholarship Program (ADB–JSP) offers approximately 140 scholarships a year for excellent individuals in order to pursue graduate and doctoral studies in a wide variety of fields related to development. Some of these fields include economics, management, science, and technology.

The ADB scholarship includes full tuition fees and academic expenses; a monthly allowance for living expenses, housing, books, and instructional materials; medical insurance fees; and costs for travel. An additional special grant may be available for scholars who conduct research in order to prepare for their thesis. Besides the components given above, the scholarship may also include courses on computer literacy, preparatory language, and other similar courses in special situations to best prepare scholars during their studies and research in Japan.

Who Can Apply?

In order to be eligible for the program, applicants must be citizens living and working in a country from this list. Applicants must have gained admission to a graduate course at a participating academic institution. Applicants are required to be 35 years old or younger, in good health, and have completed a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent with an outstanding academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholarship recipients are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Those who are ineligible to apply include the following: staff members of participating academic institutions; Executive Directors, Alternate Directors, management and staff of ADB, consultants, and relatives of the aforementioned; and applicants living or working in a country other than their home country.

How to Apply

First of all, when individuals prepare the documents for the admission application process at the higher education institution they are interested in, they should demonstrate their interest to be considered for the ADB–JSP Scholarship. 

Applicants are required to submit the completed institution application form and required documentation, including the ADB–JSP application sheet form. In addition, they also need to submit their latest income tax return or certification of their annual salary/monthly salary, as well as certification of family income (parent’s income) in order to show their financial situation. 

Applicants are required to send the completed application forms together with all copies of academic records to the university they wish to enroll in at least six months before the start of the intake of that year. Furthermore, only candidates who have been offered admission by the universities will be considered for the scholarships by the ADB.

Which Japanese Universities Are in the Program?

The ADB-JSP enrolls about 300 students annually in academic institutions located in 9 countries: Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. In Japan, several well-known universities from all over the nation are available to offer scholarship endorsement for applicants.

A comprehensive list of Japanese universities is as follows. For more information on the specific degrees and programs that are offered, please check the ADB website.

  1. Hitotsubashi University 
  2. International University of Japan
  3. Keio University 
  4. Kobe University
  5. Kyoto University 
  6. Kyushu University 
  7. Nagoya University 
  8. National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
  9. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
  10. Ritsumeikan University
  11. Saitama University 
  12. Tokyo Institute of Technology 
  13. United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
  14. The University of Tokyo 
  15. University of Tsukuba
One of the most recognisable buildings on the University of Tokyo Campus, the Clocktower

Who Will Be Selected?

While the university examines and ranks the applicants’ documents based on its selection criteria for admission, it also takes into consideration the criteria set by the ADB. Applicants do not have to submit a separate application besides their admission application in order to be considered for the scholarship. During the evaluation process, the academic institution may contact the candidates for further information.

Once the university finishes its internal judgment, it will then submit its ranked list of applicants to ADB with the scores and the basis for the ranking. ADB will then review the submission from all the universities and recommend awardees based on the selection criteria of ADB to the Executive Director of Japan, who will formally approve of the official scholarship recipients. After the Executive Director of Japan has given the formal approval, ADB will inform academic institutions on the successful candidates.

The universities will announce to applicants who have successfully been admitted and offered the ADB scholarship. In addition, there will also be an arrangement for the signing of the acceptance of scholarship awards by scholars. The ADB scholars are required to agree that after the completion of their study, they will return to their home country. ADB will send an appropriate congratulatory letter to scholars through the university.

For candidates with family members, it is important to note that the ADB-JSP does not cover expenses for the scholar’s dependents. Aside from that, if scholars plan to undertake additional extra-curricular courses or training, go on field trips during their study duration, or choose to participate in workshops, seminars, or internships, these costs are not covered by the scholarship. Therefore, candidates who plan to come to Japan with their families are advised to take this point into consideration.


The ADB-JSP scholarship is a great opportunity for professionals who have had working experience in the field and aim to deepen their expertise for the development of their home country. Many ADB-JSP alumni have placed an important role in the development of their countries, and future generations of scholars are expected to continue with the ongoing contributions.