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Research Grant Programme

How to Apply

The Research Grant Programme financially supports academic and scientific research that will deepen knowledge of the nature conservation in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. With the aim of strengthening research capacity of young researchers in that region, grants are available only for individual researchers, but not for groups/organisations, to enhance their skills, knowledge, and experience through their own research work.

Programme Outline

1. Grant size and duration

The maximum grant size in this programme is 500,000 Japanese yen per project for a maximum duration of two years (minimum one year).


2. Eligibility requirements

2-1. An applicant must:

  • be a national of developing country in the Asia-Pacific region (see 3. Target countries and regions below);
  • be a researcher/scientist, who works full-time or is enrolled in a doctoral course, conducting research at a research institution or relevant organisation in one of the target countries listed in 3. Target countries and regions below;
  • have sufficient experience and skills in conducting and managing the proposed research;
  • be able to communicate in English;
  • not have another application to the NEF; AND
  • not have another on-going research or publication project funded by the NEF at the time of application submission.

2-2. A proposed research project must:

  • be a scientific research contributing to the NATURE CONSERVATION of the country where the applicant currently works or studies;
  • put its main focus on LIVING ORGANISMS;
  • be carried out in the country where the applicant currently works or studies;
  • involve fieldwork for collecting data;
  • be applicant's own research work (team projects are ineligible.);
  • achieve its objective(s) and submit reports within a scheduled project period of not less than one year and not more than two years; AND
  • be exclusively funded by the NEF Research Grant Programme, or co-funded with the applicant's institution.


3. Target countries and regions:

The target countries in the Asia-Pacific region include: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.


4. Eligible and ineligible expenses

4-1. Eligible expenses

  • expendables necessary for field survey and analysis (e.g., sampling gear, reagent, etc.);
  • local travel expenses for fieldtrip (e.g., accommodation, food, transportation, etc.);
  • reference materials (e.g., article, book, etc.);
  • limited wages and labour costs necessary for proposed research; and
  • other expenses only when the NEF Secretariat approved.

4-2. Ineligible expenses

  • salaries and tuition paid to applicants, assistants, and other people to be involved in research;
  • renovation and installation of institution’s facilities (e.g., rearing, cultivation facilities);
  • equipment available through applicant’s institution and with high versatility (e.g., personal computer, computer software/accessory, analytical equipment, microscope, projector, printer, GPS, digital camera, vehicle, motorbike) Exception might be made only when the NEF Secretariat approve the importance of purchase of brand new equipment;
  • honoraria, consultation fees, and travel expenses paid to advisors and experts;
  • participation fees to attend national and international workshops, conferences, and trainings;
  • international travel expenses;
  • expenses necessary for disseminating research results/findings;
  • manuscript preparation and publication;
  • expenses for the past activities already done;
  • general administrative expenses and overheads; etc.


5. Obligations of grant recipient

If granted, recipients should:

  • conduct the approved research projects in accordance with ethical standards as a responsible scientist;
  • submit a progress report , with photographs taken and a detailed financial report, one year after its implementation of the approved research; and
  • submit a final report , with photographs taken and a detailed financial report, upon completion of the approved research.


Again, this is a grant opportunity for young researchers to enrich themselves as a scientist through their research projects. NEF, thus, expects all our applicants/recipients to understand and follow ethical standards in science as a professional scientist. Please be sure any improper attitudes, e.g., improper grant spending, fraudulent grant acquisition, research misconduct (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism), etc. are not acceptable and subject to penalty.


How to Apply

1. What to submit

Applicants are required to submit: one completed application form bothe in MS WORD (for our screening purpose) and PDF (for confirming signatures) and one recommendation letter.

Before filling out application form, please carefully read “Guideline for NEF Research Grant Programme” and instructions inside the application form. Both the guidline and form are available at Forms & Guidelines.


2. Where to submit

All documents (one completed application form and one recommendation letter) should be submitted to the NEF Secretariat by e-mail (secretariat@nagaofoundation.or.jp).


3. Deadlines

Application deadlines for this year are twice a year: 20 April 2022 for those research projects starting from the period between July to December 2021; and 20 October 2022 for those research projects starting from the period between January to June 2022. All the application documents must reach the NEF Secretariat before/by the deadline date for either April or October. Neither incomplete application documents nor delayed submission will be accepted.


4. Evaluation

The NEF Secretariat will check applications whether all the requirements mentioned above are fulfilled. Only those qualified applications will be examined twice a year by the NEF Selection Committee for a approval/rejection decision. Please note that your final grant amount may be the same as or lower than budget amount you requested based on selection results.

The following factors will be considered during the selection process:

  • relevance and importance to nature conservation;
  • clearness of objectives and research questions/hypotheses;
  • originality and quality of proposed research;
  • appropriateness and concreteness of methodology to achieve objectives and answer research questions/hypotheses;
  • feasibility of the research design and schedule;
  • reasonableness of the budget;
  • applicant’s past achievements/experience in related research; and
  • recommender’s statement on the applicant and application.


5. Screening for plagiarism

Please note that applications will be screened for plagiarism using iThenticate plagiarism detection system during the selection process. The NEF Secretariat will reject applications leading to plagiarism or self-plagiarism.


6. Result notification

Result announcement will be made on our website by three months after each deadline. Successful applicants will receive a letter of approval, report instructions, and account information form by postal mail and e-mail.

Due to the high volume of applications received, the Secretariat will only contact the successful applicants and those ones who receive the Selection Committee’s feedback. Thank you for your understanding.


7. Fund transfer 2021

Fund transfer is usually made as soon as NEF receives applicant's account information. However, due to the outbreak of a COVID-19 pandemic, at this point, it is unsure if the proposed research can start as scheduled. Because of this, NEF may postpone grant payment until the safety of research implementation is assured. Successful applicants may also need to postpone or re-schedule their research for the pandemic. In that case, they retain the right to receive the grant up to one year from the start date of the proposed research. However, the right will be cancelled after one year even if cannot be started. Thank you for your understanding.



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Nagao Natural Environment Foundation
4-20-9 Midori, Sumida-ku
Tokyo 130-0021 Japan
Phone : +81-3-6659-2070
Fax : +81-3-6659-2272