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Effective Tips and Tricks for Studying

No matter how old you are, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to studying. Whether you’re taking the biggest exam of your life or you know your teacher or professor is going to give a pop quiz soon, efficient studying is a great way to be prepared.

Create a Routine

One of the best things you can do for yourself, whether you’re in fifth grade or college, is to make studying a habit. One helpful way to do that is to find a way to incorporate it into your daily routine at the same time every day. Perhaps it’s after dinner or right when you get home from school. Find the time that works for you, and make yourself sit down to study and handle any homework you have at that time every day or on as many days as possible.

Break It Up

Everyone’s been there. You wait until the very last minute to study, and you do it all in one sitting. Not only is it exhausting, but you probably also don’t even remember half of what you study. This is why it can be better to break it up and do a little bit each day. If you have a big project coming up in a few weeks, break it down into steps, and take on one of the steps every other day until everything is complete. If you have plenty of reading to do, break it down into chapters or pages, and read one section each day.

Get Some Sleep

While it can be tempting to stay up all night studying before a big exam, you’re better off getting sleep. Your brain and memory function better when you’re rested, so you can retain more of the information and do better on your test. If you didn’t get a full night of sleep, consider napping briefly during the day to help catch yourself up on sleep.

Clear Your Mind

Before you sit down to study, make sure you have a clear mind and that you’re not focused on something else. Take a walk, listen to some music, read a book or do some stretches. Try meditation. Do whatever it takes to get your mind in the right mood for study time. Be sure to take breaks while you study too. Resting for five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes may help you retain the information.

Create the Right Environment

Finally, create a good study environment. It can be hard to pay attention when the TV is on or when you’re constantly receiving texts from friends. Turn off your devices. If you don’t do well with quiet, use a fan for background noise, or turn on a radio. You may find it more effective to study to music that doesn’t have lyrics. Make sure you’re comfortable and organized. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of water and a few healthy snacks on hand if you’ll be studying for a while.


field of study and research plan mext sample

Get Involved in a Research Study

When you take part in a research study, you may be one of many participants—dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people—who are partnering with scientists to learn more about cancer. Both people with cancer, survivors, and healthy volunteers can get involved in many types of research studies, ranging from a study that tests a new drug treatment to a study that simply involves donating tissue samples over a five-year period.

Before you get involved in a study, it is valuable to learn all about what it means to be a participant, including the potential benefits and risks, how long the study is, whether it costs money, whether travel will be required, and more.

field of study and research plan mext sample

Childhood Cancer Data Initiative: Sharing, A Life Lesson

Drs. Douglas Lowy and Brigitte Widemann discuss the importance of expanding access to data from children and AYAs with cancer. Learn more about how sharing and aggregating data can help doctors, researchers, and scientists improve future outcomes for children and AYAs with cancer. 

Why should I take part in a research study?

Getting involved in cancer research is important because it helps scientists find new ways to make progress against cancer. Your participation offers hope for many people and is an opportunity for researchers to find better treatments for others in the future. Depending on the research study, there may also be direct benefits such as

These benefits might take the form of getting access to test therapies like individual counseling or using a new device to monitor the impact of certain habits on your cancer. You may receive a free advanced test like a biomarker test (a genetic analysis of tumor tissue) and personalized cancer treatment recommendations based on the test results. Any payments you receive might cover the cost of travel to the clinic or be in the form of a gift card.

What are the risks of taking part in a research study?

Different research studies involve different levels of risk. If the study involves testing a new drug treatment, researchers may expect physical side effects. Other research studies that only involve donating tissue samples or answering surveys are generally considered to be very low risk. In all research studies, the research team carefully assesses and communicates any risks, in consultation with the Institutional Review Board (IRB), to help you decide whether you would like to take part. The IRB is a group of scientists, doctors, and patient advocates that reviews the study protocol to make sure it follows all legal, ethical, and safety guidelines.

What if I join and then want to leave a study?

Joining a cancer research study is always voluntary. You may also choose to leave the study at any point in time.

What questions should I ask?

Before you sign up for a study, researchers will walk you through the informed consent process. During this time, you will have the chance to ask questions so you can fully understand what taking part in a study means for you. This decision can affect your health, time, and quality of life, so be sure to ask questions about the study, the risks and benefits, your rights, how the trial will impact your daily life, and about the costs. Some sample questions include

How to get involved in a research study

You can get involved in research studies in many ways:

Headshot of Carol

“Helping others has been important to help me cope. I believe that my participation in clinical trials might benefit future patients, even if I am too early for a cure.”

—Carol, cancer survivor

field of study and research plan mext sample

Janessa Roque | October 08, 2020

field of study and research plan mext sample

In this article, MEXT Scholar Janessa Roque shares her own Field of Study and Research Plan. She also includes important information about this document based on her insights about the educational system in Japan.

So you are applying for the MEXT (Monbukagakusho) Research Student Scholarship, and now you have reached a crucial point: you need to write a Field of Study and Research Plan. Well, I was also in your position not so long ago. I am currently studying abroad in Japan and am about to start my studies at the Tokyo University of the Arts here in Tokyo after successfully receiving the Embassy Recommended MEXT Research Student Scholarship.

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Indeed, one of the trickiest parts of the application process was writing the “Research Plan.” We have a general impression that the Japanese are very thorough and detail-oriented. Most of the application documents for the MEXT Scholarship have a form that we can follow, with specific instructions on how to fill them out. However, this is not the case for the “Field of Study and Research Plan.” In this article, I will share with you the document that I submitted as well as the process that I went through when writing my research application. 

Before jumping to the research plan sample, let me share some background information about graduate school applications in Japan. Here I hope to give you an idea on how graduate school applications might be different from graduate schools in your country and why the research plan plays a crucial role in this process. 

Types of MEXT Research Student Scholarship: Non-Degree, Master’s, Doctoral 

field of study and research plan mext sample

First, let’s discuss what this scholarship is for. The MEXT Research Student Scholarship covers Non-Degree Research Students, Master’s Students, and Doctoral Students. Most of us are familiar with Master’s and Doctoral Students, but what are Non-Degree Research Students? It’s important to understand this because for the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Research Student Scholarship, the applicants are actually applying first as Non-Degree Research Students. Scholars can then “move up” as Master’s and/or Doctoral Students after passing the entrance examination of their intended graduate school. 

Here it will be helpful to learn a little about the Japanese words related to higher education. Pay close attention to the kanji or the Chinese characters because it will help you understand the idea behind the terms. 

In Japan, a Non-Degree Research Student is generally a student who is enrolled in a university and is associated with a specific graduate school and department but will not earn a degree after the kenkyusei period. They report to an academic adviser who supervises their research and enrolls in classes that they would need for their research. Even though they will not earn a degree after the kenkyusei / research student period, they may continue to become a graduate student (master’s level or doctorate level) provided that they pass the entrance examination and screening of their graduate school and university. 

Research Students usually pursue their master’s or doctorate degree after finishing their kenkyusei period, but some students opt to become graduate students depending on the timeline of the entrance examination and screening of their graduate school. The kenkyusei period can be from 6 months to 2 years. I was also a kenkyusei for 6 months. I wrote more about research students in these two articles: Monbukagakusho Scholarship for Research in Japan (Part 1: What is a Research Student?) and (Part 2: Stories from Research Students) . Check those out to better understand the Japanese higher education system and hear about the experiences of MEXT scholars.

The Research Plan: Graduate School Applications

field of study and research plan mext sample

In Japan, most graduate school programs, for both non-degree students (kenkyusei) and degree-seeking students (daigakuinsei), require a Research Plan or proposal. A good way to think about applying for graduate schools in Japan is that you are not just applying to a university. You are actually applying to a department or graduate school in a university, and you are looking for an academic advisor in that department who can supervise your research.

The Research Plan is one of the most important documents that academic advisors take into consideration when accepting students. Hence, the Research Plan is not unique to the MEXT Research Students Scholarship application and is actually required in graduate school applications as well. The general rule is that your research plan must include the following: Purpose of your research, Background, Significance of your Study, Research Methodology, and References. JASSO’s student guide to Japan lists that graduate schools usually consider the following key examination points when evaluating research plans: Research ambition, Ability to find a topic, Ability to analyze things, Ability to think logically, and Knowledge relating to major/specialty.

If you pass the screening of the Embassy of Japan in your country, the next major step you will do is to request for a “Letter of Provisional Acceptance” from your target graduate schools. Hence, you will eventually submit your research plan to prospective research advisers. You must write your proposal with this in mind. I will get back to this point later.

Research Plan Sample for the MEXT Scholarship

field of study and research plan mext sample

Each year, MEXT releases new information about their requirements. Note that I submitted my research plan in 2018. In 2019, MEXT included in their guidelines that the Research Plan should not exceed more than two pages. However, applicants are still allowed to include additional attachments (such as a list of references, and a research timeline). For the formatting, simply follow the format of the original Microsoft Word document form. You may view and download my Field of Study and Research Plan here .

Now, my research plan is very specific. My field is in the arts, particularly in theater and performing arts and you are probably in a different field. So here are some of my tips for you as you write your research plan, whatever field of study you may be in.

Tip #1: Check the Research Plan style of your target universities and graduate school departments  

field of study and research plan mext sample

Like I mentioned earlier, after passing the first screening of the Embassy of Japan in your country, you will have to request for a “Letter of Provisional Acceptance” from your target graduate schools. You will send your research plan to your prospective advisor and they will evaluate if they can supervise your research and thus, accept you in their department as a kenkyusei. Graduate schools will have different formatting requirements such as word count, font, etc. You do not need to follow this kind of formatting. Instead, analyse the style of what they require. This will give you an idea of what the department is looking for. If you write your research plan with your intended graduate school in mind, you increase your chances of getting accepted into the program and the university of your choice.

Tip #2: Do a thorough research of advisers to make sure there’s an advisor who can supervise you 

field of study and research plan mext sample

As mentioned above, when applying for graduate schools in Japan, you may find it useful to think of the process this way: the essence of the application process is that you are asking for a professor in a graduate school to accept your research proposal. 

Thus, looking for a research advisor who can supervise your research and your studies is one of the most crucial steps in your application. Most websites of  graduate schools in Japan, especially top universities, publish up-to-date information about research advisors and their field of research. Sometimes graduate schools also publish information about the theses of previous students and the professors who supervised them. This will give you a good idea of what kinds of research plans these advisors can supervise and what their interests are. 

Tip #3: Write your plan early and request for feedback from peers or superiors. If you know a MEXT scholar, ask for their feedback.

field of study and research plan mext sample

Finally, a tried and tested way of improving your work is by asking for feedback. Do not be afraid to let other people see what you have been working on. Brainstorm with current or former teachers, discuss your idea with your colleagues. Write a draft of your research plan and let others read it. Asking for feedback from people whose opinion you respect and value helps you get one step closer to producing the best work that you can do. If you know any MEXT scholars, especially scholars who are in the same field as you, don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback on your work. 

I am speaking here from experience. I talked to my colleagues about the research that I was interested in doing and I asked them if they thought that this was relevant to our field. I asked a MEXT scholar about what they thought of my proposal. I further refined my research plan by sending early drafts of my work to some of my superiors. Another advantage to doing all of this is that I also got to prepare for the MEXT interview. I had to answer other people’s questions about my plans and ideas. By the time I was printing out my research plan, I was already confident that I wrote the best version of the research plan that I could possibly write. 

field of study and research plan mext sample

I hope that these points will help you in your application. If you have further questions, especially about my Field of Study and Research Plan, please contact me at [email protected]

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TranSenz: MEXT Scholarship and Visa Information for Moving to Japan

University-recommended mext scholarship field of study and research program plan.


Need help with your Field of Study and Research Program Plan? How to Write a Scholarship-Winning Field of Study and Research Program Plan will walk you through choosing a field, developing a research question, and completing the final report to give you the best chance of success!

Field of Study and Research Program Plan for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship

MEXT updated the format of the Field of Study and Research Program Plan for the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship in April 2019. The University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship still uses the format described below, but if you are applying for the Embassy Recommended MEXT Scholarship Application process, you can find information about that version here . Both versions contain the same content, it’s just organized differently and there are different limitations in place regarding the form itself.

The Field of Study and Research Program Plan is the single-most important part of your MEXT Scholarship application at the graduate level. Whether you’re applying for a research student status, Master’s Degree, or PhD, this is the single most important element that you have any control over. I’ve discussed that in a previous article , but I constantly get people asking for more details, so here it is.

So, it’s understandable that most applicants get more anxious about this form and what it should include than anything else in the application process.

Downloading the Form

First things first: If you don’t have the original form yet, the links below are direct to the files on MEXT’s website, so you can download it without having to puzzle through their Japanese website:

Purpose of the Field of Study and Research Program Plan

In Japan, the Field of Study and Research Program Plan (研究計画書 kenkyukeikakusho ) is part of any graduate school application, regardless of MEXT scholarship. There is a set format and elements that Japanese universities are looking for.

As a foreigner, you wouldn’t necessarily be expected to know all of the elements of the Field of Study and Research Program Plan, but if you do hit them, you’re going to stand out in a good way.

I’ve researched several universities’ guidelines for what they’re looking for, professors’ blogs, and prep school websites to put together the elements below. I hope they help. ( My sources are available at the bottom of the article, but they’re all in Japanese).

Disclaimer: This is all only my own research and conclusions. It has not been formally vetted by any MEXT officials, Embassy staff, or grad school admissions committees, yet.

Field of Study and Research Program Plan: Formatting Notes

As of the 2018 application, the format for the Embassy-recommended MEXT Scholarship application and University-recommended MEXT Scholarship application are different, so I’ll keep the differences straight as much as possible below.

Font Size: The default font size in the Field of Study and Research Program Plan that you download from the MEXT website is 7.5 pt, which is ridiculously small and unreadable. Feel free to change it to a reasonable Times New Roman 12 pt.

Titles and Formatting: Feel free to format your Field of Study and Research Program Plan to make it more readable. I recommend titling each of the sections mentioned below and breaking it into paragraphs to make it easy on the professors. Nobody likes a big old wall of text.

If you have to add extra pages to account for the formatting, that’s OK. But don’t go overboard.

Tables, Graphs, and Diagrams: If they add to the document and are necessary to answer the questions below, go ahead and include them. But again, keep it within reason.

References: Include a list of references on an attached page. I’ll get to it below, but it’s a good thing to have.

Completing the Field of Study and Research Program Plan

1. present field of study.

This question previously only existed in the Field of Study and Research Program Plan format for the Embassy-recommended application process, but was added to the form for the University-recommended MEXT application process in 2018.

Research Background

Recommended Heading: Research Background Recommended Length: 3-4 sentences Recommended Content: Describe what you have researched in the past that led to your interest in the topic you will pursue in Japan. Since MEXT requires that you study a topic that you majored in in the past, this is your opportunity to show the connection.

Make sure that you describe your interest in terms of what it will contribute to the field. This is not a personal statement. “I am interested in microfinance because my family was poor” is not a good explanation. “Based on my past research into microfinance in developing countries, I think a systematic examination of the impact of microfinance-supported entrepreneurial ventures in former agricultural areas of developed countries has impacted population movements and rural revitalization is necessary to apply effective practices both in Japan and abroad” is better.

To strengthen the statement above, you could go into more detail about why your research would be beneficial to the field in general, perhaps with an emphasis on how it could dovetail with your desired advisor’s research.

2. Your Research Topic in Japan

This section is where you will cover the academic aspect of your research (as opposed to the practical process of research, which we’ll get to later).

Research Title

Recommended Heading: None. Simply center the text at the top of this section. Recommended Length: Title and Subtitle, like it would be on a completed thesis. Recommended Content: This is your sales copy. It needs to grab attention so your reviewers read further.

The main title is your overall theme and the subtitle is how exactly you plan to study it. For example:

The Contribution of ‘Outsider’ Expertise to Rural Revitalization Projects: An Exploration of the Yuzu Industry in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture

You are not locked into using this title. Like almost everything else in your Field of Study and Research Program Plan, it will probably change once you begin your research under your advisor. But it’s still important to have a solid idea at this stage.

Detailed Theme

Recommended Heading: Research Theme Recommended Length: One-two sentences Recommended Content: This should take a format like “I intend to research [SPECIFIC FIELD] from [METHOD] perspective in order to [OUTCOME].” It does not need to be exact, but it does need to cover those elements.

It is important to include the intended outcome of your research. Research itself is not the goal – you should have something you intend to accomplish through it. Returning to JAIST’s example from the previous section:

This study will elucidate how specialist knowledge held by outsiders to rural revitalization projects can contribute to those projects, by examining the example of Yuzu farmers in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture’s contributions to local efforts by way of surveys and interviews, in order to advance the effectiveness of rural revitalization projects across Japan.

Yes, the original Japanese is a horrible run-on sentence.

Previous Research in the Field

Recommended Heading: Previous Research Recommended Length: Two-three sentences Recommended Content: Describe the research that exists in the field and past approaches briefly.

This should be concise and just enough to establish that you understand the state of the field. If you can state “It is generally accepted in the field that . . .” or cite the prevailing theory with an author, that’s perfect. (Make sure that author makes it into your references).

Problems with the Previous Research

Recommended Heading: Problems in the Field Recommended Length: Two-four sentences Recommended Content: Evaluate the past research in terms of problems or opportunities for further exploration. Don’t be harsh or overly critical, but point out conflicts in research, examples that have not been fully explored that could alter understanding of the field, etc. Make sure you also discuss how your research will contribute to solving the problems you identify.

This section is where you establish how your research will be original.

Research Goal/Outcome

Recommended Heading: Research Goals Recommended Length: One to two paragraphs Recommended Content: Your first paragraph should cover the research question you intend to answer and how – an expansion of your detailed research theme. The second paragraph should outline the possible academic and practical benefits of your research.

Remember that not everyone is an expert in your field, so try to keep the jargon out of it. You want your research to have value outside of your narrow field, so you have to be able to describe that to non-exerts.

When discussing the benefits, it would be beneficial to mention specifically how they apply to Japan, your home country, and/or bringing the two closer together.

Page 2: Study Program in Japan

Your research program plan should be a detailed, step-by-step description of how you will go about the research you described in the previous section. This is where you establish that your research is viable, especially given the time restraints of your degree.

Research Approach Introduction

Recommended Heading: Research Approach Recommended Length: 2 paragraphs Recommended Content: In the first paragraph, explain your research methodology (theoretical, statistical, etc.) in 2-3 sentences and why you chose this method in another 2-3 sentences.

In the second, shorter paragraph, describe how you expect your method to solve your research problem.

Specific Research Plan

Recommended Heading: Research Timeline Recommended Length: Table/timeline long enough to cover the content below Recommended Content: Detailed explanations of the steps you will go through in your research program (2 years for Masters, 3 for PhD).

For each step, you want to go into detail. So, “literature review” is not sufficient. What kind of sources do you plan to review? They should be in your references section already.

This is also a good place to mention specific coursework you want to take (and why), especially if you have your goal narrowed down to a single university or there are similar courses at each of your target universities.

If you plan to do field research (and you absolutely should) then “collect examples” is not enough detail. You should propose a more specific approach, including the type of examples, where you will get them, and why that approach is best. For example, are you going to do a survey study or interviews? Where? Why?

One Keio professor mentioned in his blog that he expects his advisees to do field research twice during their degree. For example, students would do a survey study first then return later for interviews to go into more detail, or do field studies in two places for comparison purposes.

Your Research Program Plan is a strategy, not a concrete plan. You are not locked in to doing things exactly this way, but having a solid plan at this point makes you look like a more responsible and dedicated applicant.

Attachment: References

This isn’t a section of the form, but you should attach a list of references nonetheless.

Include all the books you read while preparing your Field of Study and Research Program Plan as well as the books and articles they led you to that you intend to read in the future.

List your references in alphabetical order, using the format most common to your field of study.

I put this article together based on several Japanese faculty blogs, university websites, and prep school pages. You can find those sources below:

How to Research and Craft a Research Plan

KALS Graduate School Application Prep School application advice article

Keio University Professor’s Blog

JAIST (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) Application Advice Page

Study Channel Research Plan Writing Guide

Five Steps to Writing a Lousy Research Plan (University of Tokyo Professor’s Blog)

Before asking any questions in the comments, below, I recommend reading through the Field of Study and Research Program Plan FAQ . You can ask your questions in the comments here, on the FAQ page, or by email and I will answer them by updating the FAQ and letting you know when the answers are available.

For tips on getting your questions answered faster (and an explanation as to why I can’t always answer quickly), please read the MEXT Scholarship Application FAQ top page .

I’d also recommend signing up for my mailing list, below, to get notified whenever I have updates to any of the FAQs or new articles about the MEXT scholarship!

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How to Apply for the Embassy Recommended MEXT Scholarship in 2020/2021

Embassy Recommendation MEXT scholarship 2019 application process

How to Apply for the 2019 Embassy Recommendation MEXT Scholarship

eligibility criteria checklist

MEXT Scholarship Eligibility Criteria – 2020 Embassy Recommendation MEXT Scholarship


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Thank you for offering such detailed advice and guides on this blog – they have been an immense help throughout my MEXT application process. As someone without advanced Japanese proficiency, I am writing to ask a question regarding the research plan: what are some common strategies to overcome language barriers in research interviews/accessing information, especially for field-specific terminologies? Is it reasonable to write about hiring a translator who is fluent in English and familiar with the field through connecting with the university’s library or one’s supervisor? What other strategies will you recommend?

Many thanks in advance!

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Thank you for your kind words! If you are not fluent in Japanese, then I recommend trying to find a university that teaches the degree that you want to follow in English. If they offer the degree in English, then your advisor will be able to speak English, including technical terms related to the field (if you want to be doubly sure, then make sure you select an advisor who has experience publishing in English, too). The university library should also have, or be able to obtain, any necessary resources in English.

The only time I can think of that you might need to avail yourself of a translator or interpreter would be during fieldwork, if necessary for your field, such as interviews. For written documentation, the Google Translate app is pretty good, but I’ll admit that I haven’t tried it for anything more technical than Japanese government documents. For interpretation, you might be able to work with another student in your lab/program with the necessary language ability and trade favors. Honestly, most of the research proposals I see that include interviews don’t discuss how they are going to overcome the language barrier at all (though I usually recommend they think about it before the interview).

I hope that helps. Good Luck! – Travis from TranSenz

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I’m not quite sure about what to write in the field of study section of the research plan. I have a degree in system engineering and my degree project was a gamified e-health application, but the topic I want to investigate now in Japan is related to deep learning. However, I have never done research in deep learning and I don’t know how to explain the relationship between my interest in that topic and my research background.

Could you give me some suggestions?

I would also like to ask if you think it is a good idea to write the research plan in both English and Japanese. Since the official language at the graduated school of the university I want to apply to is English, I think writing it in english is enough. But it’s stated to write in Japanese if I have enough Japanese language ability, which I do have, and I thought it might be an opportunity to stand out from other applicants. What do you think?

Thank you so much for your time

HI Quismagi,

I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with your fields of study to be able to give any detailed suggestions as to how you could connect them. Is there something in the gamified e-health app that motivated you to study deep learning, for example to investigate something that you couldn’t solve yet? Even if the fields are not directly connected, if you are the new research topic to explore an interest that grew out of the last one, that could be a connection.

I recommend that you write your FSRPP in the language that you plan to pursue your degree in. I would only recommend writing it in Japanese if you are going to study in Japanese or, maybe, if you feel you can write just as fluently and clearly in Japanese as in English. A poorly-written Japanese plan would probably not be helpful to your application.

Good Luck! – Travis from TranSenz

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Hay travis! I am in final year of my high school, can I apply for mext scholarship as an undergraduate for 2023?

As long as you will graduate from high school before the end of March 2023, you can apply this year. (The scholarship would start in April 2023, so you would need to be finished with your degree and ready to go to Japan at that point). However, at this point, I think the application deadline for 2023 has already passed in most countries, so you’ll want to check the dates with the Japanese embassy in your area.

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It seems the 2022/23 research plan and field of study forms don’t have a ”previous research” and ”problems with previous research” field(s) . Does that mean we shouldn’t include them? My embassies deadline is 27th Jun and I’m hoping to start in April 2023.

Many thanks Thabang

Hi Thabang,

Sorry I wasn’t clear enough in the article. “Previous Research” and “Problems with Previous Research” were never part of the official form. However, those are topics that you would be expected to cover in a research proposal, so I suggest adding those headers yourself to the appropriate section of your FSRPP.

By the way, this article is about the FSRPP for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship. The FSRPP for the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship is different and I have a separate article about that form, so I recommend checking that one!

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Hi, I wanted to ask you about “problems with the previous research”, so under this heading is the previous research done by other researchers or the previous research by the candidate should be included?

“Problems” with the previous research should refer to the field as a whole, not research by the candidate. And you should avoid criticizing past researchers, just point out where research has not yet been conducted, or where there is no conclusion and more research is required.

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Hi Travis, thank you so much for your information! I am applying to mext this year, and for my consulate general, the deadline is in the first week of June. Which means I have about 2weeks to prepare, but I haven’t contacted any professors yet. I know this is a silly question, but do you think it’s too late to email them? Thank you so much for your help.

It isn’t mandatory to contact professors prior to the embassy’s deadline. You should certainly research them and decide what professors you want to study under to fill in the Placement Preference Form , but with only two weeks, I don’t think it makes much sense to contact them at this point. You can wait until after you pass the Primary Screening and then contact them when it is time to apply for a Letter of Provisional Acceptance .

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Hey Travis thanks a lot for the work you are doing and i cannot get enough of what you always provide. My exact question is i did write a thesis about soil contamination and pollution brought about by Petroleum drilling in an oilfield in China. Now i am in my home country and want to conduct exact similar soil pollution research in Japan now how do i get to know the practical areas to conduct research in Japan while i am drafting the plan and i have never set foot in Japan? I wish to conduct this research in relation to my own country which is fast growing in petroleum drilling but it will be better suited in Japan

Hi Kambesha,

It sounds like you need to do some more research on the state of soil contamination in Japan. If you refer to current research in the field, you should be able to find sources that show the practical areas to conduct research in Japan.

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Hello Travis.

My university graduation thesis supervisor said that, my thesis’ quality is good enough to be used as Master Degree thesis. In more correct way, the methodology, data, etc.. used is way above university level. The only problem is it lacks details since I only have 4 months to write thesis. I found his Master Degree thesis done in Keio Univ., and it was almost the same as mine. Now I plan to reuse the research theme and methodology, collect and analyze more data and use it for my research plan for MEXT. In short term, bring my university graduation thesis to its full power as my supervisor said and use it for MEXT. However I got a problem, in which I may got refused in document screening when they see my previous research and planned is almost the same. I want to tell them that the theme may look the same, but there will be much more detail into it, and my supervisor said that it can be qualified for Master Degree. How can I tell them that in this research plan document? (I know that I can tell them in the interview, but it will be nothing if I can’t make it to the interview)

When you describe your past research and your research plan in Japan, you need to establish the difference in the two research projects. Of course, you can’t just write up the same research again in more detail, even if it was Master’s quality. Your plan should include all new research to be conducted during your Master’s Degree. If you can show that you will be doing all new research as a MEXT scholar, and explain in the “Past and Present Field of Study” that you conducted similar research in undergrad and want to do additional research to further explore an area of the topic, then there should be no issues with the two research projects being related.

Hi Travis, Thank you for your reply. I want to ask one more thing please. Is there any chance I will get rejected by the university if my research theme does not match their style? (There are professors there that can supervise my theme) I plan to apply to Waseda University, and my supervisor said that I should change research theme to match their style. However doing so my theme will contribute nothing to the connection between two countries, which does not suit MEXT’s vision.

Yes, there is a good chance that the university will reject your application for a Letter of Provisional Acceptance if the faculty member is not willing to supervise your research. I’m not sure what you mean by style, but if the faculty member has told you to change your research approach in order for them to supervise you, then you should choose between changing it or applying to a different professor/university. Do not expect the professor to accept your application if they told you to change it and you didn’t!

If you really want to work with that professor, then try to be creative in coming up with a way that the revised research proposal will contribute to Japan, your country, or the relationship between the two.

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Hey Travis, Thanks for all your effort in guiding us through this process, it’s so so helpful! I’ve a pretty silly question – do I have to mention expected results of my research in field of study and research plan? (or are goals of research enough?)

Hi Prathyusha,

You should mention the expected impact of your research and your goals, but in most fields, it is not necessary to mention your expected results or hypothesis. As long as you can describe the data you will obtain and how you will analyze it to answer your research question, that should be enough.

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Good day sir! Greetings with peace! can I ask if is it okay to transfer to another university within our country when you are applying to mext? I am currently a freshman at a university but I want to transfer to a university nearby.

thank you so much for big help.

Hi Melanie,

If you are expecting to leave your home country next April to start your MEXT Scholarship, then it seems like a lot of effort to change universities in your home country, when you’re just going to drop out, anyway. But there is no rule against it! There should be no problem with your application if you transfer during the application process. Just be sure that you can give the reviewers a good reason for the transfer if they ask.

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Thank you so much sir! <3 I want to transfer to a university just within our city because I have no assurance to pass the Specialized Training College but this is a preparation if im going to apply again for thank you so much <3

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Example Field of Study and Research Plan Monbukagakusho/MEXT Scholarship



Field of Study and Research Plan

Contoh atau Example Field of Study and Research Plan MEXT Scholarship

Proposed study program in Japan (Outline your field of study on this side and the specific of your study program on the reverse side of this sheet. This section is one of the most important references for selection. The statement must be typewritten or written in block letters. Additional sheets of paper may be attached if necessary. If plagiarism or fraud is discovered after selection, the selection will be cancelled retroactively.)


If you have Japanese language ability, write in Japanese. (相当の日本語能力を有する者は,日本語により記入すること。)

1  Present field of study (現在の専攻分野)

In 2016, I won a Full-Funded scholarship and graduated from Universitas Pertamina in 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering. My final project is “Design of Auto Floating Garbage Collector (AFGC) in Pesanggarahan River, South Jakarta, Indonesia”. The project is about making tools to reduce waste in the Pesanggrahan River, mainly plastic waste, although the floating cube has been used as a garbage collection tool in the river, it is not effective in reducing waste because there is still waste that escapes with the purpose to design an AFGC that is efficient in the aspects of manufacturing cost and effective from the aspect of waste removal and collection as well as knowing the AFGC specifications in the Pesanggrahan River, Jakarta. The data from this project was collected from Joint Research About “Environment Dynamic Analysis: Estimation of Plastic Emission to The Ocean in Indonesia”, Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) between Universitas Pertamina and Toyohashi University and Technology. Expected, the results of this final project will become a reference for the Special Capital Region of Jakarta Government to provide an efficient and effective floating garbage collector to save the aquatic environment.

For the next study and research, my proposed field of study is still about the aquatic environment but focusing on the coastal zone. With basic of environment, the research theme is about Numerical Simulation of Coastal Ecosystems Changes Due to Changes in Coastlines and Relation with Sediment Transport Model.  

  2  Your research topic in Japan: Describe articulately the research you wish to carry out in Japan.


Research Theme:

Numerical Simulation of Coastal Ecosystems Changes Due to Changes in Coastlines and Relation with Sediment Transport Model

1. Introduction

Communities are facing many challenges in today’s world. Sediment transport, for a long time considered for civil engineering (polders, ports, breakwater, jetty, groin, etc.) has now very sensitive issues for society, by the growing needs for sand resources, for environmental issues or safety, through extreme events that violently affect inhabited coastlines CITATION Oui18 \l 1033   (Ouillon, 2018) . As a valuable resource in coastal areas, coastlines are not only vulnerable to natural processes such as erosion, siltation, and disasters, but are also subjected to strong pressures from human processes such as urban growth, resource development, and pollution discharge (Sui et al.,2020). On the other hand, extreme events, such as tsunami waves and storm surges, can cause severe changes to coastal morphology (Rasyif et al., 2019).

  The sediment transport processes and the resulting morphodynamics of the nearshore coastal zone are quite complex. Besides field measurements, complex behaviors can be investigated with the help of numerical models. Hydrodynamic and sediment transport modelling lead us possible to know and estimate hydrodynamic behavior and quantify erosion, deposition, and sediment transport for the given period over a large or tight area (Fattah et al., 2018). Even today highly simplified formulas and models are applied, when the development of the coastline is to be calculated. It would be of great advantage to have a two-dimensional model that describes all the different modes of transport in a natural process-based manner. Because a large fraction of the sediment is transported along the bar, it is desirable to incorporate the bars in the simulation system.  

Understanding the dynamics of sediment transport and erosion-deposition patterns in the locality of a coastal structure is vital to evaluating the performance of coastal structures and predicting the changes in coastal dynamics caused by a specific structure. The nearshore hydro-morphodynamic responses to coastal structures vary widely, as these responses are complex functions with numerous parameters, including structural design, sediment, and wave dynamics, angle of approach, the slope of the coast, and the materials making up the beach and structures. Sediment transport in coastal areas is mainly influenced by dynamic nearshore processes and site-specific environmental conditions, including sediment characteristics, wind, currents, waves, tides, and the exchange processes between estuaries and nearshore regions (Fitri et al., 2019).  

This case happened at Lampuuk beach which coastlines transformation because of sediment transport that changes the coastal ecosystem. The tsunami in 2004 has resulted in coastline shifts along the west coast of Aceh. One of the beaches in the western region that undergoes a major coastline change, the results show that coastline changes occur very significantly during the 2004 tsunami and persisted until 2005, but after 2010 the coastline was back to normal. In 2005-2018 the sedimentation process at Lampuuk Beach was more dominant, these changes are gradually recovered by the presence of sedimentation assisting to adjust the shape of the coastal profile as before the 2004 tsunami (Adela et al., 2019).  

In this research, I will develop a Depth-Averaged Two-dimensional Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Model. A depth-averaged two-dimensional (2-D) numerical model for the simulation from the models and to provide confidence in the simulations of the current, waves, and patterns of suspended sediment concentration. The numerical model will develop with Phyton or Fortran.  

2. Objectives

3. Methodology

a. Data Collection

In this study, field-measured and secondary data were collected and analyzed to understand the hydrodynamic and sediment transport patterns. Field-measured data include sediment sampling along the research coastline; fine resolution bathymetry data survey along the coastline; measurement of current, waves, water level fluctuations, suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and sediment bed characteristic near the research sites; water samplings near the research sites; and monitoring of coastal sea-bed profiles. The secondary data included the weather data consist of wind and wave data, rainfall data, tide data, and bathymetry data for offshore zones.  

b. Monitoring of Sea-Bed Elevation

The sea-bed elevations in the region were monitored using a total station (theodolite) and bed-profiler for a period. The sea-bed elevation monitoring was mainly concentrated at more significant sea-bed level changes was expected, like Structure (Jetty, groin region, breakwater, and seawall) or Mangrove Degraded Area (MDA). We make several profile lines to obtain accurate bed surface data. The profiling outcomes used to analyze the erosion-deposition patterns in the locality of the monitoring structure/area by determining the elevation differences between the bed profiling measurements obtained and the initial sea-bed elevations.  

c. Numerical Modelling

Accurate prediction of hydrodynamic and sediment transport characteristics under the influence of wave-current interactions in coastal regions is a challenging task due to multifaceted nearshore dynamic process which are varying on both temporal and spatial scales. In this study, Phyton or Fortran will use for simulating the flow hydrodynamics and cohesive sediment transport for the case study. The modelling approach adopted for study is based on the numerical solution of the two-dimensional incompressible Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equation with the assumption of Boussinesq and hydrostatic pressure.

Example  Contoh Field of Study and Research Plan

1.      Model Setup

The numerical model is used to investigate the impact of Structure or MDA on the hydrodynamics and sediment transport patterns in the locality of the jetty, groin region or mangrove degraded area. In this study, the hydrodynamic characteristics, including currents and waves, were simulated in presence of the Structure or MDA and without Structure or MDA to quantify the impact of the Structure or MDA on the nearshore processes. Separate models were developed to simulate the conditions for the neap and spring tides. The suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) were also simulated in the vicinity of the Structure or MDA for both seasons and tidal conditions. The numerical results were compared to the data obtained from field measurements, for calibration and validation purposes.  

2.      Model Input

Model input data consisted of bathymetry data; climate data, including wind characteristics, water level and wave characteristics; sediment data, including sediment characteristics, SSC and TSS; and water discharge from research sites. The bathymetry data obtained from previous research. These data were further integrated with bathymetry data. Following successful model calibration and validation, the model was set up by using the dominant wind and wave characteristics and the average SSC.  

3.      Computational Domain

The computational domain was developed with the use of bathymetry data and by adopting a flexible mesh technique. The computational domain developed for hydrodynamic and sediment transport modelling. This study set the computational domains beyond the study area. Therefore, the computational domain developed for the simulation. To improve the cost-e ffi ciency of the modelling, smaller computational domain was generated for the sediment transport model. The computational domain developed for hydrodynamic, wave and sediment transport modelling.  

4.      Model Calibration and Validation

To check the accuracy of the simulation results from the models and to provide confidence in the simulations of the current, waves, and patterns of suspended sediment concentration in the locality of the existing detached jetty, groin region, or mangrove degraded area, the simulation results obtained from the models were calibrated initially against measured conditions.

The calibration of the hydrodynamic model was carried out by adjusting the values of the bed roughness/Manning number over the whole computational domain. The calibration of the wave model was carried out by adjusting the values of the wave breaking parameters, bottom friction parameters, and white-capping (deep water wave breaking) parameters. The calibration of the mud transport model was carried out by adjusting the values of the erosion coefficient, power of erosion, settling velocity, and critical shear stress for deposition and erosion. To check the accuracy of the simulation results, the Theil’s inequality coefficients, R Squared (R2), and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) were calculated.

Now, compares the simulated and measured water level, current characteristics, wave characteristics, and SSC at each station. Make the result table to the values of Thiel’s coefficient, R2 and RMSE obtained during the model calibration and validation. Based on the standard error allowed by Guideline for Hydrodynamic Modelling from Government Department, for hydrodynamic and sediment transport modelling, to prove that the models we calibrated and validated are correct.

  BIBLIOGRAPHY Adela, I., Nugraha, G. S., Irham, M., & Syahreza, S. (2019). Spatial Analysis of Post Tsunami 2004 Coastline Changes in Lampuuk, Aceh Besar. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 273 . doi:10.1088/1755-1315/273/1/012046

Fattah, A. H., Suntoyo, Damerianne, H. A., & Wahyudi. (2018). Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Modelling of. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science .

Fitri, A., Hashim, R., Abolfathi, S., & Maulud, K. N. (2019). Dynamics of Sediment Transport and Erosion-Deposition Patterns in the locality of Detached Low-Crested Breakwater on a Cohesive Coast. Water . doi:10.3390/w11081721

Ouillon, S. (2018). Why and How do We Study Sediment Transport? Focus on Coastal Zones and Ongoing Methods. Water . doi:10.3390/w10040390

Rasyif, T. M., Kato, S., & Syamsidik, T. O. (2019). Numerical Simulation of Morphological Changes due to the 2004 Tsunami Wave around Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Geosciences . doi:10.3390/geosciences9030125

Sui, L., Wang, J., Yang, X., & Wang, Z. (2020). Spatial-Temporal Characteristics of Coastline Changes in Indonesia from 1990 to 2018. Sustainability.  


I would like to start as Research Student at Coastal Engineering Laboratory at Department of Environmental Engineering, X University , under guidance of Professor X in October 2021. I plan to start as Research Student first, because during the Research Student Program I can do some preparation before taking Master Degree. I plan to study the researches at X Laboratory first so that I can know more about the detail of the researches, the research working environment, the people at the laboratory and their works. During the Research Program, I also plan to study and prepare myself for winter examination for taking Master Degree, and to study Japanese language which is really important for daily lives during my stay in Japan. I would like to take the winter examination for taking Master Degree which is around January-February 2022, and start my Master Degree in April 2022. I plan to take the courses which support my research in every semester. Generally, the plan is shown as time table below.  

Contoh atau Example Field of Study and Research Plan MEXT Scholarship

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Field of Study and Research Plan Sample for MEXT

study plan japan scholarship mext

Present field of study

Research and Art Background (What lead you to this specific interest)

I am interested in transdisciplinary studies, and transcultural studies with a particular focus on Asia, due to my art practice as a performance-maker and actress, especially as part of the contemporary performance company, Sipat Lawin Ensemble. In particular, my work in festival curation (Karnabal Festival 2016 – Idea Exchange Platform) and as a dramaturg of a global cross-cultural collaborative performance about governments (Gobyerno 2014-present) involves research into understanding current threads of politics, cultural production, and contemporary life. These works, including my participation in different fellowship programs, have piqued my interest in exploring socio-political perspectives beyond my undergraduate background in Philippine literature and culture toward global and transnational cultures. My fields of interest are contemporary culture, decoloniality, feminism, and performativity.

Your research topic in Japan

(Describe articulately the research you wish to carry out in Japan)

Research Theme: Cross-Cultural Performance Collaboration

I intend to investigate current trends and practices on cross-cultural collaborative performances in Asia from aesthetic (i.e., performing contemporary Asia) and socio-cultural-political perspectives (i.e., forming regional imagination for regional integration). By examining long-term, cross-cultural performance projects funded by the Japan Foundation Asia Center from 2014 to 2020, I seek to assess the extended impact of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and its soft power in the production of Asian cultures, with a particular focus on projects that involved the Philippines.

Previous Research: Cultural Diplomacy

A similar research is Baskett’s Japan Film Festival Diplomacy in Cold War Asia (2014). In his investigation of the founding of the Southeast Asian Film Festival in the 1950s until its succeeding years, Baskett examined the ideological struggles of post-Imperial Japan and, ultimately, the decline of its participation in the festival following the conflict.

Recently, literature on the cultural function of film festivals has been increasing. Studies range from perspectives on nation-building, its export market impact, and its economic and technological significance. However, scholarship on the impact of performance festivals and performance co-productions is limited. In his article, Baskett says that “[t]he significance of the Southeast Asian Film Festival as an event lies in its capacity to bring intersecting and conflicting vantage points over these legacies and their politics into conversation with one another.” The same can be said for performance festivals and cross-cultural performance collaborations. By looking at the creation of the Japan Foundation Asia Center in 2014 and several programs that its supports, we can also investigate ‘festival diplomacy’ outside the context of the film.

Other related studies are Clark & Turner’s paper, Cross-cultural Exchanges and Interconnections from the 1980s and 1990s: ARX and the APT (2016), which explores the impact of Australian cultural exchange programs in Asia. A similar master’s thesis is Morizet’s The Role of the Arts in International Cultural Exchange from the Perspective of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (1994).

Research Goals: Impact of Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Japan Foundation Asia Center describes that it aims to “connect people and expand networks in Asia through promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields ranging from arts, film/moving images, music, and dance, performing arts, sports, intellectual and people-to-people exchanges.”

I intend to answer the research question, “What is the impact of long-term, cross-cultural performance collaborations supported by Japan Foundation Asia Center in the development of the Asian region?” in three ways. The first is through dialogue with artists and art practitioners. I intend to understand what drives artists and art practitioners who propose and conduct cross-cultural collaborations to explore this kind of work and what they have learned through these projects. The second is by closely reading existing projects’ outputs and collaboration processes to examine the performativity of contemporary imagination in Asia. The third is through an analysis of these long-term projects’ socio-cultural, political, and economic impact, including Tokyo 2020’s role in Japanese cultural diplomacy.

This research aims to provide recommendations about cultural policy and international relations in the performing arts and related fields, as well as a broader perspective to artists, curators, and other art practitioners on the impact of their projects in cultural production and the social, political, and economic development in Asia.

Research plan in Japan

(Describe in detail and with specifics — particularly concerning the ultimate goal(s) of your research in Japan)

Research Approach: A Transdisciplinary Approach

Using content analysis and close reading, I will investigate themes and trends of cross-cultural performance collaborations. I will read souvenir programs, reviews, posters, and other materials related to past events. I will also interview artists, curators, art managers, producers, audiences, and other art practitioners to better understand their perspectives and experiences on long-term cross-cultural collaborations. I will limit the study to programs that involve the Philippines as collaborators. For upcoming projects, I will conduct observations with different performance companies (studio visits), volunteer and intern for festival management and curation, watch performances, and attend conferences.

I will start my research through these events, but I intend to expand my network to other programs that I have not participated in but am involved in in the Philippines, such as Dance Dance Asia and Next Generation: Producing Performing Arts, among others.

I plan to weave these qualitative data with historical, sociological, and political analysis. Through my studies in Japan, I seek to learn more research methodologies outside of the humanities to analyze these events’ socio-cultural impact better. The goal of the research is to implement transdisciplinary methodologies in the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences to capture better the impact of cross-cultural performance collaborations on performing Asia and forming regional imagination.

Research Timeline

1st year, 1st Semester: • Coursework: Social and Cultural Diversity (Linguistics, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Area studies) International Interdependence Between Nations Research Methodologies Asian History • Contact Japan Foundation Asia Center and Japan Foundation Manila to partner for the research • Establish network and contact persons to be interviewed in Japan through JF Asia Center • Further Develop Research Plan • Literature review: (see References)

1st year, 2nd Semester • Develop interview questions • Studio visits, watch rehearsals and performances • Individual, series of interviews with artists and art practitioners, critics in Japan whom I’ve worked with before (Chikara Fujiwara, Riki Takeda, Natsuki Ishigami, Keiko Yamaguchi, Jun Tsuitsui, etc.) • Attend international performance festivals and conferences to observe and conduct interviews, internship (e.g. Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting (TPAM) – Yokohama) • Develop research methodology for investigating socio-cultural / political and economic impact of these events • Present research plan and progress to art community (artists, curators, etc) and practitioners for feedback

2nd year 1st semester • Interview • Studio visits, watch rehearsals and performances • Individual, series of interviews with new set of artists and art practitioners, critics in Japan • Attend international performance festivals and conferences to observe and conduct interviews • Gather quantitative data on these events (ticket sales, budget, mobility of artists, etc) • Gather quantitative and qualitative data on economic, socio-cultural impact of Tokyo 2020 Olympics • Present findings to art community for feedback

2nd year, 2nd semester • Final revisions • Adjustment for changes in plan • Defense

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A Complete Guide to MEXT Scholarship

field of study and research plan mext sample

Topic 5. How to write good Research Proposal

For people who have never done a research project or made a research proposal before, it may seems little weird and complicated at the very first stage.And research proposal is the most important part of the entire application procedure. And 70% of acceptance chance of MEXT Scholarship depends on your research proposal. Well, we should know what exactly a research proposal is and what are the key features of a research proposal later on I will give some sample.


A research proposal is a concise,coherent and compact summary of your proposed research. It gives an brief outlines the general area of study within which your research falls. The GOAL of a research proposal is to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the proposed study should be conducted.

Here are some points to understand about the research proposal


Well, if you’ve done your Bachelor/Masters then you must have some basic idea regarding any project (may or may not included your syllabus) related topic, you may extend it.


Before you begin, follow some assignments below carefully and if anything seems unclear, please discuss with your professor.

Now to begin is to ask yourself a series of questions:

In general, a good research proposal should document your knowledge of the topic and demonstrate your enthusiasm for conducting the study. Approach it with the intention of leaving your readers feeling like “WoW, that’s an exciting idea and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!”


In general your proposal should include the following sections:.

Your title provides the first impression for your audience of your proposal, your title should provide the focus of your investigation. Be sure that the title includes the key ideas and gives a glimpse of your research.

(ii) Abstract

To present the essential meaning of the proposal , the abstract should summarise the significance of the work, the hypothesis and major objectives of the project, the procedures to be followed to accomplish the objectives, and the potential impact of the work

(iii) Background and Significance

This is where you explain the context of your proposal and describe in detail why it’s important. Approach writing this section with the thought that you can’t assume your readers will know as much about the research problem as you do. Note that this section is not an essay going over everything you have learned about the topic; instead, you must choose what is relevant to help explain the goals for your study.

(iv) Preliminary Suppositions and Implications

The purpose of this section is to argue how and in what ways you believe your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the subject area under investigation. Depending on the aims and objectives of your study, describe how the anticipated results will impact future scholarly research, theory, practice, forms of interventions, or policy making. Note that such discussions may have either substantive , theoretical, or methodological significance.

When thinking about the implications of your study, ask yourself the following questions:

(v) Conclusion

This section should be only one or two paragraphs long, emphasising why the research problem is worth investigating, why your research study is unique, and how it should advance existing knowledge. Someone reading this section should come away with an understanding of :

(vi) Citations

As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your proposal. In a standard research proposal, this section can take two forms, so consult with your professor about which one is preferred.



Krathwohl, David R. 1988. How to Prepare a Research Proposal: Guidelines for Funding and Dissertations in the Social and Behavioral Sciences . Syracuse University Press.

Recent National Science Foundations Guidelines for Research Proposals can be found on the NSF website, .

Chamberlain, T.C. “The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses”, reprinted in Science , Vol 148, pp754-759. 7 May 1965.

Platt, J. “Strong Inference” in Science , Number 3642, pp. 347-353, 16 October 1964.

Strunk and White The Elements of Style

Turabian, Kate. 1955 (or a more recent edition) A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations , University of Chicago Press.

Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. 1940 (’67, ’72 etc). How to Read a Book . Simon and Schuster Publishers. New York City, NY.

One nicely written Proposal Example shared by Abdul Studio


Well in the above we’ve discussed about the general Research Proposal, now let me notify the columns in MEXT Embassy Requirement in Research Proposal .

(I) Present field of study (現在の専攻分野)

Here in this column you need to mention about the field in which you are working or you’ve studied.

(II) Your research topic in Japan: Describe articulately the research you wish to carry out in Japan. (渡日後の研究テーマ:日本においてどういった研究がしたいかを明確に記入すること)

This is a brief discussion of your willing research proposal i.e. you have to give details of your plan of study with your desired Prof and Desired University with which you want to develop such research area.

(III) Study program in Japan: (Describe in detail and with specifics — particularly concerning the ultimate goal(s) of your research in Japan) (研究計画:詳細かつ具体に記入し、特に研究の最終目標について具体的に記入すること。)

 Well, technically the first four words of column (II) and (III) seems to be same but in this section what I did in my application, I gave a description of some past works on my proposal and their negative parts which was not described yet. (For an example of my area, if fluid flows through a nano channel, a effectively high efficient of heat is generated, it may cause several issues. I’m not going in details btw ). And also give an idea how to minimize that. Along with this things you have to mention the outcomes of your  i.e. the ultimate goal(s) of your research plan of which the home country and the donor country will be benefited.

I guess these are enough to write a good proposal for MEXT application. And I’m repeating again don’t prepare the research proposal at the last stage, give the maximum time on it. Frankly speaking, when I was at my stage of preparing the research proposal I did’t have this much knowledge and I can rate my proposal 3 of 10. Though my proposal survived. So don’t worry and do it. It will be fine ! Good Luck ! 😊

Well this is the comment cum question-answer section. If you have any query please feel free to comment here, any of our admin will try to help you. . . .

41 thoughts on “topic 5. how to write good research proposal”.

There is need to clarify how does one cascade the elements of general research proposal to that of MEXT Requirements in presenting the Research Proposal.

Hey Gomito, thank you so much for your valuable comment… Actually this section is still under editing, so we will keep your comment in mind and edit it asap.

Hey I’m just wanted to ask you

I have a bachelor in accounting and I want to pursue the ma in business administration

Does my research need to be related to my major I intend to study in japan ( ma in business administration) ?

And do i need to complete to whole research before applying or just submiting my overview or abstract of the research would be enough ?

Dear Mohammad,

This is ad Minh Truong from Mextipedia. I have received your question.

In principle, the research proposal must be related to the major you intend to study in Japan. For example, If you study Master of Business Administration, your research topic must be relevant to Business Administration. However, in Business Administration area, there are many things cover such as Marketing, Accounting, Human Resource, etc. You can choose one of that area to focus in the research, not necessarily management. Therefore, you can do accounting research while you want to apply to MBA. It is no problem (well as long as there is professor willing to take you). In my case, I also want to pursue MBA in Japan. My research topic is related to Marketing and I am still get accept from MBA graduate schools in 3 universities.

“And do i need to complete to whole research before applying or just submiting my overview or abstract of the research would be enough ?”: No, please don’t complete whole research before applying (if you can do it by yourself without help from professor, so you don’t need apply MEXT anymore, LOL). The research activity will start after coming to Japan. You only need to submit the research plan.

Hope my answer helps u,

Like Liked by 1 person

Hi dear administors First i would like to thank you for creating this blog and sharing your valuable informations. i have quite a few questions so i would be pleasured if you could answer them. I’m actually studying industrial engineering but i would like to specialize in finance in the future.that s why i m planning to postulate for mext next year for a finance my question is :do I stand a chance in getting mext and how should I organize my research plan in order to write a good one? Looking forward for your answer.

Dear Meryem,

This is admin Minh Truong. We are glad to know that the site is useful for you. Regarding your issue, I am also not sure that whether can you apply for Master of Finance because it will depend on which universities do you want to apply – whether they accept it or not. So in this case, I think that contacting directly to the university is the best solution. Also don’t forget to read the Mext application guideline.

Actually, in my case, I study bachelor of Marketing and in Japan I want to pursue Master of Business Administration. Marketing is small area included in Business Administration – that’s why I am approved. So in my thinking, the major u want to take in Japan should be somehow relevant to one you took in undergraduate. Anyway, asking directly to school is necessary.

Hope my answer help,

dear admin Minh Truong, thank you for your reply, I will take your advice into consideration and contact the universities. looking forward to your guidance in the future . Meryem

Hello Mextipedians ! I am an engineer in energetic systems and clean technologies and I want to study the master degree in Japan in the field of environmental engineering which is highly related to my current major. I have contacted a professor who gave me a topic to work on in the laboratory with the rest of the group . So if I am gonna write a research proposal about this topic , should I mention that I am not going to work on it alone and should I tell that the supervisor gave me the topic and the tasks that I should do ? Salma.

Dear Chaouali Salma,

Thank you for your question. This is ad Minh Truong from Mextipedia.

Regarding the issue, in my opinion (just my opinion), I think that you should not mention that it is the topic that supervisor gave you. The reason is, MEXT scholarship is the most reputable scholarship granted by Japanese Government. With such a reputable scholarship like that, if I am government, I will rather give scholarship to research idea that the candidate has spend time to think by themselves. If you mention that the topic is not your idea, just the professor give me, you are no different than a manual worker – who just follow other instruction. MEXT scholarship is for people who has their own creative idea that contribute to society, they no need the one who is just received tasks from other people to finalize it.

Hope my answer helps.

Like Liked by 2 people

Dear MINH TRUONG, Thank you for responding me very quickly. I am afraid that when writing the research proposal, they will pay attention that someone in a lab is working on this topic , so what to do ? And where is the problem if I will contribute in a research already started because i am still a young engineer and this is my first experience in the research … I found it a little bit complicated to propose a research by myself so the professor told me that for the master degree I can work on an available research and by the second year of my courses I will propose a topic by myself.

Well, regarding your issue, can you please clear my doubt ? You told you ‘re in contact with a Prof. , is he from Japan ?

Regards, Santanu

Yes, I am in contact with a japanese professor that have accepted me to work in his lab.

Good morning admins ! I want to ask if I should describe with details what I studied previously ? And in the next part should I mention the lab i wnat to work in to prove that it matchs with my research proposal

Hello, Thanks for all the tips. I’ve never done research before and I’m struggling with finding a good idea for my proposal because every “good” idea I come up with is an applied idea, it’s like my brain is not programmed to do research yet. do you have any advice on what should I do about that? Thanks again

Hi everyone, My major is computational fluid mechanics. it’s very big field, with a lot of subdomains that can be seen as specializations, like acoustics, turbulence models, Because computational fluid dynamics is a field that mostly deals with methods. so the same methods can often be applied for wind turbine as well as for wing of an airplane and other physical configurations. I am wondering if my research proposal is for example on wind turbines, can I still apply for other applications (aerospace and meteorology) of the computational methods.

Yes you can. Cheers Saha

hi!! thanku for such a wonderful article. i have recently given my interview in june 2019. in describing my reserach proposal, i didn’t made so many subtitles as you decribed. but rather i made my proposal rather brief of only 7-8 lines describing what my research is about and what will be its benefit. so what do you think is the fate of my application?

Dear Sharma San, I’m happy that you found the article helpful. Hope your interview went good and will be happy to see you in Japan. Regarding your doubt, as you told your proposal is brief in 7-8 lines. I will not say it’s perfect and it doesn’t mean you will not get selected but as we mentioned that proposal is one of the most important key to get the scholarship, coz it goes through lots of procedure and checking and obviously with a big competition! If you get selected in the interview doesn’t mean you get the scholarship ! You need to Take acceptance letter from your desired Prof. in that case you’ve to convince them (convince means proposal). I will ask you to make some good proposal these days so after you get selected in interview you can convince Prof. easily. Hope my answer helps you. Fell free if you still have any doubt.

Best, Saha (admin)

so basically, our response during the interview is the only criteria for selection?

Thanks for this Articles and participatory response has been so helpful for me

Laurent san, Thanks and pleased that you find it helpful. All the best. Regards, Sanu

I’m about to apply for the scholarship but I’m struggling with the research proposal, although the tips that you given were very helpful, i’m still unsure … I read in the application guideline, that i can submit the abstract only of my pervious research proposal of B.A Is that possible?

Hello there,

I think my research idea has been researched before, do i have to create a new idea? Can i have the same idea with different details or the whole idea has to be changed? Applying for a masters research student.

Thank you in advance

Hello Fatma San, I believe not a single topic in any research field has been fully researched to close the chapter. And hence you can find the research gap. It doesn’t matter wheater your idea is already studied earlier you can do more with it. I guess it’s better to keep the topic unchanged with some modification and I’ll suggest you go through some of the publications where your topic is related to, so you can find some innovative modes. Hope it helps. Best, Sanu (admin)

Hello, This site is very useful! I am planning to apply for MEXT Scholarship 2021. My Masters Degree is Science Education, any suggestion of what program I may be applying for? My Undergrad is Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Biology…but I intend to apply as a research student in any field such as Biology, Technology, or in Education. Thank you very much.

Are 5 weeks enough to prepare for research proposal?

Dear Ajeti San, I think 5 weeks are more than enough. The more you revise it, the more you get ideas. All the best. Sanu (Admin)

do you attach your research proposal when mailing a prof for supervision or you only send a body mail to him seeking for opportunity to his research student

…………to be his research student rather

Can you please inform me how to fill out the preference for Universities and Profs given at the end of the Preliminary Form for the Embassy recommended MEXT. I have confusion over whether it is required to have three different universities in the field or is it alright to give names of two Profs from two different departments at the same University?

The thing is, I find the research of one of the Prof very interesting and can write a nice proposal for a work relating to that, while for the other Prof, even if his area is a little different, he has a higher ranking position and so would have more funding opportunities for me. Both of them work in the Division of Physics and Astronomy.

Further, is the data filled up in the preliminary form final? Can changes to the actual advisor and the research proposal not be made at a later date?

Could you please let me know the page limit of the entire Project Proposal regarding MEXT

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Lars Martinson: Cartoonist

Updated every monday., research proposal.

This page contains the research proposal I submitted with my 2007 Monbusho Research Scholarship application. It is intended to compliment a blog entry I wrote about it, which can be found here . I’m posting it only for instructional purposes, in the hopes that it might be of some help to future applicants as they write their research proposals. But please don’t assume that this is necessarily the “right” way to go about writing/formatting a research proposal for the Monbusho Scholarship, it’s just one way to do it (see these disclaimers ).

My research proposal was made up of three pages, but only the second page has graphical elements to it. So to save bandwidth, I’ll just display the first and third pages as text, and only page two as a scanned image.


1 Field of Study (専攻分野)

Research Theme:

The Japanese Mastery of Line:

An Exploration of Traditional Japanese Ink Brush Techniques


At the age of seventy-three, the great Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai wrote on the subject of his artistic development. He predicted that when he reached the age of 110, his skills would be so great that “every line will surely have a life of its own.”

Hokusai may have been overly optimistic about his own life span, but he still achieved a supreme mastery of line nonetheless. And he isn’t the only Japanese artist to reach these heights. Throughout history the Japanese have used the ink brush to create the world’s greatest line art, in the form of calligraphy, drawings, and paintings.

I have a great appreciation for this school of art because lines play such an important role in my work as well. I am a cartoonist. I believe that comics are a serious artistic medium, and my goal is to create comic books that move people and change the way they see the world. I’ve been drawing comics for fifteen years, and during that time I’ve studied many techniques specific to comic books. This focus on comic book techniques has had a positive influence on my artistic development, but I think it’s important to explore other disciplines as well if I am to further improve the quality of my line work.

It is for this reason that I would like to study traditional Japanese ink brush techniques. I feel confident that through an exploration of the Japanese methods, I can come closer to the ideals of Katsushika Hokusai—of creating lines that are bursting with life.

My exploration of Japanese ink brush techniques will focus on calligraphy and calligraphic styles of drawing. My time will be divided into three main areas:

The first section will be devoted to Japanese Calligraphy, with a focus on the Kaisho, Gyōsho, Sōsho and Edomoji styles. The second will be devoted to Ink Drawings, with a focus on the Suibokuga style. And the third section will be a final project that encompasses all that I’ve learned.

I am a self-motivated, self-disciplined person. I look forward to the guidance and instruction of my advisor, but I will work hard to ensure that I’m not a burden on his or her time. I will also strive to play an active role at my university and in my community, to help promote international exchange.

Detailed Description of Study (continued from previous page):

Section One: Japanese Calligraphy

The study of Japanese Calligraphy will help me develop a basic understanding of Japanese ink brush techniques, and provide a good foundation for the rest of my studies. This section will be divided into four subsections:

1-A) Preparation and Research: In order to help me put the rest of my studies into a context, I will begin with a brief study of the history of traditional Japanese line art, with a focus on calligraphy. I will also use this time to research extracurricular study opportunities in the community surrounding my university.

1-B~D) Calligraphy: I will begin with the basic style of calligraphy, the Kaisho style [1-B], and then move on to script styles of calligraphy such as Gyōsho and Sōsho [1-C], and finish my exploration with decorative styles such as Edo-moji [1-D].

Section Two: Ink Drawing

Building on the basic brush techniques learned from Section One, I will continue with an exploration of representational line art. I will focus on the Suibokuga style, emphasizing the careful application of line, with little or no use of color or shading. Section Two will be divided into three subsections:

2-A) Preparation and Research: Expanding on the historical study conducted in subsection 1-A, I will continue my historical research on traditional Japanese line art, this time focusing on representational line art. As with subsection 1-A, I will also use this time to research extracurricular study opportunities in the community surrounding my university.

2-B) Basic Composition: In an effort to gain a good understanding of some of the basics of the Suibokuga style, I will begin with a constrained approach to composition. Subject matter will be limited to close-ups of plants and animals, as well as portraiture.

2-C): Advanced Composition: Expanding on what I learn in subsection 2-B, I will continue with more ambitious compositions and subject matter. This will include figure drawings and landscapes.

Section Three: Final Project: Manga Sketchbook (Modeled after Katsushika Hokusai’s work)

3-A) Final Project: In his “Manga Sketchbooks,” Katsushika Hokusai was able to capture the Japan of his day, from the profound to the mundane, the serious to the silly. These are my favorite works of Japanese art, and I often look to them for inspiration. So for a final project, I would like to produce my own “Manga Sketchbook” collection modeled after Hokusai’s work. I will venture out into the community and create line drawings of present day Japan using the techniques I have learned over the previous months. I will try to show what Japan looks like through the eyes of a foreign resident. This sketchbook would be printed and bound in a limited run, and distributed to interested parties, such as international organizations. It is my hope that it might facilitate a dialogue on multiculturalism and to help promote international understanding.  

I just thing you proposal too much personal, you talked too much in the first person looking like a composing rather than a reseach plan, maybe in other coutries a proposal like this wouldn’t have the same success you had. Anybody agree?

Thanks for your opinion, Anonymous. This is the first (and so far, only) research proposal I’ve ever written, so it may not be formatted in an ideal way. Potential applicants take heed!

Thanks for publishing your experience. It is of greatr help.

Never seen a research proposal b4. This seems good 2 me (if you’d cnsider the opinion of an amtateur. Is it the same as the study program?

am really pleased to find honest and resourceful persons like you.posting this proposal is of great assistance to somany that’s including me.i’ve never written a proposal b4 but dis serves as a stepping stone.God bless u.

Your entire site is very useful for those of us wanting to apply for the Monbusho. Thank you very much. Your spongebob comic made me laugh very hard as I had exactly the same discussion in Tokyo before. I’m currently living in Tokyo – do you have any idea how I go about taking the exams etc. to get in? Thanks again, are you enjoying your research?

Hello Adam,

Sorry, I’m not really sure, but the answer to your question MIGHT be somewhere in here:

And I’m enjoying my research very much, thanks.

this site is very useful to future monbusho research applicants. Of course, different research fields have their own characteristics of research proposals. Your proposal is very specific and detailed. For me, your field “cartoonist” is much more involved in human activities making your proposal too much personal is just fine. Your research plan is outlined well as contrary to some comment. Anyway, Great EFFORT!!!

wowh, in first place thanks for the help, man! i’m a spanish art student also and i’m planning my research project.In my case i’m gonna make aproject about animation in japan, but i still dont know how to make it an specifically project, i mean, i just want to study animation tactics there and also the japanese way of seeing things. I just dont know how to do it! i founded yet the university and the teacher i want, but i find it so so hard…. do you think that can i just propose it like i wanna study animation there cause you are amazing? (of course well said, with respects, with study planinngs and so one) that’s because i don´t know if i have t be more specific in that, like for example i want to study the animation of X person, or something. my project is basically focused in three parts 1 observation and theory (examples, one) 2 skills and materials 3my own animation

that is a little bit like your project, but in you think that is possible to be accepted? and another question.The staff about the teacher contact: do i have to contact and send my project to “my future teacher”? and, when? before or after sending it to the embassy??? everything is so confusing!!!

im sorry if bored you. hanks for any reply.

your friend Marina, from Madrid, Spain

Hey Marina,

Okay, again I’m no expert on the Monbusho in general; I’m just one guy that applied and got one. So please don’t think of me as an ultimate authority on it or anything. But here are my thoughts:

Did you do your undergrad in animation? If not, it might be hard to get a Monbusho scholarship in that field. Also, art-related grants are harder to get than those related to science or medicine, so it might be an uphill battle for you. (Though I got an arts related grant, so obviously it’s not impossible).

You should be careful not to sound too much like an “otaku”; I’ve heard that they aren’t so interested in funding people who are just fans of Japanese pop culture, so you should make sure you emphasize the academic aspect of your proposal, and exactly what you hope to accomplish.

I think you should start contacting professors just as soon as you have an almost final version of your research proposal done. I wrote more about contacting professors here:

wowh! thanks for the information, that page of universities is reallu helpfull!! I am graduated in fine arts, i explain my situation: in my university we touch every stuff, photo, sculpture, design, paint, illustration…so is not especific so, what i wanna do is to make my speciallization there in japan. well, in fact the monbusho scholarships are not publisher yet for 2009-2010, so i think i’m being quite cautiuos with it, i mean, i have many time to do it, but many things to do…. But the question is, in that pages and links, how do i get the specific teacher’ adress? cause i can´t find them! Do i have to write the university asking for a list or something? so u think is better to ask as many universities as i can, dont u? ok, i’ll be following that steps, organize my mind, create the pre-project, and then send it to every university wich has this field of study… sincerelly, you are very helpfull for me, imagine! i even didn`t founded any page like this in spanish!

thanks Lars, thanks a lot.

its a good proposal. thanks and keep it up

This is the ONLY Monbusho research proposal I have found online to date – absolutely invaluable. Thanks!

I have a couple of questions though: 1) Now that you have been in Japan studying for a while, has it changed your outlook on your research topic? If you were writing this proposal again, is there anything you would do differently? 2) My dilemma is that the course I really want to get into is quite individual – I am worried that my proposal may not work well for universities number 2&3 on my list. Obviously I am going to tailor it to the uni I really REALLY want to get into, but would you suggest keeping my timeline more broad when it comes to subjects to be studied in case they are very different between universities? Or just zone in on uni number 1?

Thanks again for the awesome advice so far – it’s really helped.

Hey “A.A.”,

To answer your questions:

1) Now that you have been in Japan studying for a while, has it changed your outlook on your research topic? If you were writing this proposal again, is there anything you would do differently?

Yes, my studies have had a dramatic impact on how I view my research topic. I’ve come to realize just how shallow my understanding of it was when I wrote my proposal. Once I got here and started talking to my advisor about the specifics of my course of study, they changed quite a bit.

As for if I would do anything differently with the research proposal itself, not really. I actually figured it would change once I got here, and saw it almost more as a symbolic gesture to those who would be reviewing my application. I wanted to demonstrate to them that I had given the matter a great deal of thought, and had a plan in place for when I got here. Since my research proposal helped me to get the scholarship, I figure it did its job, so there’d be no reason to alter it now, even though what I would actually do in Japan changed quite a bit.

2) My dilemma is that the course I really want to get into is quite individual – I am worried that my proposal may not work well for universities number 2&3 on my list. Obviously I am going to tailor it to the uni I really REALLY want to get into, but would you suggest keeping my timeline more broad when it comes to subjects to be studied in case they are very different between universities? Or just zone in on uni number 1?

This is just one guy’s opinion so please do take it with a grain of salt, but I would keep it fairly specific. If it gets too broad, the people reviewing your application might not think you have a plan in place, they might think you just have a vague idea. But it’s a difficult balancing act, I’ll admit…

Anyway, good luck to you! Lars

Thank goodness there are people like you! The things that are posted here really helped a lot especially when I don’t have a clear understanding of what is info is being asked by the application form. This really made things easier. Thank you very much.

Thank you for sharing this with us. But I also think the proposal was too personal, I dont know. It’s very hard for me to make a proposal so personal like you did, ’cause I’m used to write stuff like an article. I’m having a very hard time to do it. Thanks.

I red your proposal and i found it great. I would like to know if there’s a methodology in writing a research plan. I’m planning to enter a professionnal graduate school . If you have some advices helpful websites it woul great. Thanks!

Thanyou for your great help my field is far different from yours . I study control engineering and I hope I can possibly get this scholarship. but the thing is that I live in Iran and so you know somehow finding information is such a difficult task. I hope you can possibly help me if you know anyone in my field??? that would be great arigatogozaimashta

Love this page and have been using it a lot to prepare my MEXT application. If you’ve studied in grad school, you’d have a more formal outlook on ‘research proposal’ – but as you said it got the job done and it’s great that you’re sharing.

I’d like to apply for art but would rather get a degree… so I’m applying for a PHD program which – not yet speaking any Japanese – may prove difficult to get into…

Hey, Larry! Great job you did here. :-) By the way, did you major in when you were in Japan? Did you pursue a degree there? Thank you!

I was there on a non-degree research scholarship, studying East Asian calligraphy.

I would like to express my gratitude. This webesite helped me a lot on my journey to the monbusho preparation. I am a Composer, so i may enroll in japanese traditional arts as well.

Let´s hope it goes well. The examinations will begin in 12 days.

I am sure that many of us (newbies) first time candidates to the monbukagakusho grant highly appreciate your help.

I want to congratulate you because yes throught this type of work you are helping on the international relationship between Japan and other cultures.

One question I have regarding the “Present Field of Study” You did not paste it here? I am not sure if I missed it.

I am working on finishing the three main questions:

Present Field of Study: meaning to present my experience on the field and what I will be researching about? or present as what I am working on or studying if I was in college still?

Research Theme: Explain in details my theme with examples of how I will conduct my work with a good time line description very clear and planned.

And the last one, describe my goal and how I will achieve it?

Please any feedback will help. Thank you again for everything!

Hello Jairu,

“Present Field of Study: meaning to present my experience on the field and what I will be researching about? or present as what I am working on or studying if I was in college still?” When I applied in 2007, the application didn’t have a “present field of study”, but yeah, I’d think you’d put what you’re currently studying.

“And the last one, describe my goal and how I will achieve it?” Sorry, I don’t understand your question.

Thank you very much for your prompt answer, I know you will be updating your site today Friday so I am lucky =)

Here is the 2011 form with the questions I am trying to properly answer:

I think all I want to understand is what exactly are they asking for.

I look forward to your reply thank you again.

Hello: I’m really glad to have found your web page. I’m really worry about the form “field of study and study program”. About what Jairu said, the 2010 form has 3 parts 1-Present field of study (I think I’ll write about my degree and the thesis I did to graduate from university, so it has to do with my research proposal in Japan) 2-Your research theme after arrival in japan:clearly explain the research you wish to carry out in Japan(this part is what you post here). Here the part you didn’t understand in the last comment 3-Study program in Japan:(Describe this in detail and concretely-particularly about the ultimate goal of your research in Japan). I’m not a native english speaker so :D, I think I have to write about what Japan is doing about my reserch topic, the last advance in that field… so I should read papers and get more information about what is going on in Japan about my research.

I’ll appreciate if you can give your opinion one more time :) . Thanks in advance.

Hello Jairu & 戦争,

It’s been more than two years since I applied for a Monbusho, and obviously I’m not an official representative for them, so really your guess is as good as mine as to what they’re looking for.

Good luck to you!

I finally finished the application and the research proposal. I found this website very useful for people applying for first time to the monbukagakusho grant =>

Very very useful.

I was reading about your experience searching for a professor, and completely agreed. I just submitted my application (last week) I am waiting for any news, for example the date to go for the exams and interview.

However I am already looking for information about the institutions and professors.

The only concern I have is, how should I contact the professors? just prepare an email and let them know that I am applying for the monbukagakusho grant, with a research subject (Linux cloud computing and virtualization solution) then explain the professor that I am interested in research about this topic in his/her lab?

Or should I contact international student office on the university?

Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

All of my thoughts about contacting professors can be found here:

For anything not written there, your guess is as good as mine.

Lars, your series of articles are of great help not only for those seeking to study in japan, but in other places as well. Currently applying your wealth of experience to an art research/study scholarship in Italy. Thanks for all your help!

Francisco– Great! Best of luck to you!

Been reading your post about your monbugakusho and it really inspired me! I came from the Graphic Arts industry too and Ive been hearing things that the scholarship grants doesn’t prioritize Art related scholarships that much. But since you shared this beautiful step by step help on achieving this, you really inspire me :) I know as of the moment scholarships for 2012 will be closed but I will really prepare for this. Wish me luck! :) Will keep in touch! Thank you so much for this!

Cool site! Wish I saw this before I applied myself:)

I will be receiving a MEXT fellowship to study the relationship between music and migration in Japan at the Tokyo University of the Arts with Prof. Yukio Uemura starting this October. I ended up writing my research proposal in a completely different style that was more like a scientific research proposal with hypotheses, methods, references, etc. Both ways seem to have worked as far as getting the scholarship, so it seems like the key is to have a well-thought out plan, regardless of what format that plan is in.

Did you ever catch any flak for putting your proposal online? I’d be interested in sharing mine with others, but I’m worried it might be frowned upon…

Hey Pat: No, I’ve never gotten any flak about putting my proposal online whatsoever. Lars

Is the MEXT totally mentoring-research based? There seems to be other , traditional programs, like MBA, dental that are attached. How would these programs change the proposal/applicaation? The website for the traditional programs is:

hello Lars, Great proposal, and outline for how you got the mext scholarship! My question is though, did they require a transcript of your school grades? In your case, I assume you’ve graduated a while back and working already when you applied. So do they still concern about your grades from your undergraduate studies? And do you know how much are they basing ur chances on grades? I have a B-, and I am very worried. Thanks!

Bart– I’m pretty sure they require a transcript (it’s been a couple years since I applied now, so I don’t really remember). As for how concerned they are with your grades, I have no idea. Good luck! Lars

Hello Lars, This might be a silly question but I just wanna make sure. Are we allowed to change the format of the application forms (font size, font..etc) Coz I found this .doc format of the application forms and I was thinking of just typing in my proposal instead of writing it. Thanks!

Rui– I’m sure changing fonts/font sizes would be fine, as long as it looks neat and conservative. Lars

Thank you so much for the help. Am writing my first proposal and your introduction has been of great help. It has even made me interested in your field of study… however am more focused on animation. Thank you so much….!!!!

Thanks Lars! This site has been really helpful for me too. You are great man, If I get the Scholarship I promise I will share my experience like you to help others!

Thanks Lars! Helpful lot, I’m currently struggling for Monbukagakusho Scholarship too! Wish me luck and again thank you so much :)

Thank you for this example. I’m writing my research plan now for Japanese university. I was wondering whether yours was accepted. I mean, to me it looks perfect, however I remember reading that these things are supposed to be written in 3rd person. So I wonder since you wrote it from 1st person, did the accept it? Personally I find it hard to write in 3rd person lol.

it’s mia here.

i have been looking for any information that could guide me in filling the monbusho application especially the research program. and this is the only source i got. but too pity that i have just found you right now. i have been submitted my application last week. compare to yours, mine was not that detail. feeling so depressed right now knowing that my application will be useless.. hiks..hiks..hiks… T.T

well, the point is that i want to thank you for the great information. will use this as the guide for the next year monbusho scholarship.. wish me luck lars.. wana be in japan no matter what. i also love japan. alot. as you do.

hope that you dont mind if i ask you some question about the monbukagakusho scholarship later..

thanks alot mia

Hello Pat, I am applying for MEXT and am hoping to go to Tokyo University of the Arts. I would love to see your proposal, if it is at all possible so I can use this site and another reference to make my own. Thanks for your help!


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    No matter how old you are, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to studying. Whether you’re taking the biggest exam of your life or you know your teacher or professor is going to give a pop quiz soon, efficient studying is a gr...

  3. Get Involved in a Research Study

    You can take part in NCI research. Before you do, learn about what it means to take part in a study. When you take part in a research study, you may be one of many participants—dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people—who are partneri...

  4. Research Plan Sample for MEXT Scholarship, Tips from Scholars

    Research Plan Sample for the MEXT Scholarship · Tip #1: Check the Research Plan style of your target universities and graduate school departments · Tip #2: Do a

  5. University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship Field of Study and

    The Field of Study and Research Program Plan is the single-most important part of your MEXT Scholarship application at the graduate level. Whether you're

  6. Example Field of Study and Research Plan Monbukagakusho/MEXT

    Proposed study program in Japan (Outline your field of study on this side and the specific of your study program on the reverse side of this sheet.

  7. Field of Study and Research Plan Sample for MEXT

    The goal of the research is to implement transdisciplinary methodologies in the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences to capture

  8. Research plan for MEXT scholarship -Japan by Abdul Studio

    別紙) 専攻分野及び研究計画 Field of Study and Research Plan Name in ... and the inward courtyards inside are example of such similarity.

  9. sample.pdf

    (2) Write a brief research plan of your proposed Master's thesis in 700 or more words (

  10. 専攻分野及び研究計画 Field of Study and Research Program Plan

    Field of Study and Research Program Plan. Full name in your native language. (姓名(自国語)). (Family name/Surname). (First name) (Middle name).

  11. MEXT Scholarship Research Plan Write Up

    In this video, we discuss the basic elements to include in Section 7: Research Plan for the MEXT Scholarship Application.

  12. Topic 5. How to write good Research Proposal

    3. BEGINNING THE PROPOSAL PROCESS : · What do you want to study ? · Why is the topic important ? · How is it significant within the subject areas covered in your

  13. Research Proposal

    "Present Field of Study: meaning to present my experience on the field and what I will be researching about? or present as what I am working on or studying if I

  14. How to write a research plan for the MEXT/Monbukagakusho

    1. What is the background and the problem of current systems (Background). · 2. What is the aim of your research topic (Objective). · 3. How important is your