United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme 2015 
Post-graduate study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST)
(Kitakyushu, Japan)

(Update 15-11-2014: FAQ update. )

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Government of Japan in cooperation with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) have established a United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme on Nano-Satellite Technologies for nationals of developing countries or non-space-faring nations. The Programme will provide extensive research opportunities in nano-satellite systems through the use of the nano-satellite development and testing facilities available at Kyutech.

Every year this "Post-graduate study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST)" Fellowship Programme will accept up to two students in the Masters course (2 years duration) and up to four students in the Doctorate course (3 years duration). Successful participants will be awarded a master or doctorate degree after successful thesis defence. The successful candidates will enroll in the Space Engineering International Course (SEIC) after passing an official entrance examination by the Graduate School of Kyushu Institute of Technology.

The selected candidates will each receive a grant under Japanese government (Mobukagakusho: MEXT) scholarship (Research Students) of about 145,000 yen per month for the duration of their fellowship study (2 or 3 years) to cover housing, food, local transportation, and other expenses (actual scholarship amount is subject to change). Each candidate will be provided, according to his/her itinerary and route as designated by MEXT, an economy class air ticket between an international airport in the country of his/her nationality and Narita International Airport or Fukuoka International Airport. Fees for matriculation, tuition and entrance examinations will be paid by Kyutech.

Applications for the Fellowship Programme will be accepted until 12 January 2015 (Monday, 17:00 JST).

PNST Fellowship Programme Details

Application Requirements

Applicants should

  • Be nationals of developing countries or non-space-faring nations (countries without an established substantial capability to develop space technology/launch space objects);
  • Be duly nominated by their institutions;
  • Born on or after 2 April 1980;
  • Should have the academic and professional background required by the specific fellowship programme. Candidates seeking a Master degree are expected to have completed studies ending with a Bachelor Degree or equivalent (4 year university degree) in engineering-related subjects. Candidates seeking a Doctorate degree are expected to have completed studies ending with a Master Degree or equivalent (5 years university degree) in engineering-related subjects. Degrees in different technological fields can be considered by the Doctor Commission;and
  • Be able to make professional use of the experience gained in the fellowship programme.

Information Note and Application Documents

Before submitting the completed application documents through the online upload-form, please first complete the electronic registration form, using the link below:

After registering for PNST you will receive a confirmation email with the web address where you will download the .doc-versions of the application forms.

Application Documents:

Application Submission Procedure

  • The fully completed application form and other required documents except the referee report forms shall be submitted in electronic format (.doc or .pdf) at the Web address that is in the confirmation e-mail you will receive after registering above, by no later than 12 January 2015 (Monday, 17:00 JST). 
  • Note: Please do not use spaces in your file names when you upload the application package, as the file server cannot handle the files correctly. Use "_" or "-" instead, e.g. "Tom.Smith.14.12.24".
  • There are also rules for naming files and you must follow the rules. Please refer to the CHECKLIST. The Referee report forms should be sent by email to the Post-graduate study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST) ( pnst@langmuir.ele.kyutech.ac.jp) email address by the referees themselves by no later than 12 January 2015 (Monday, 17:00 JST).
  • In exceptional cases where applicants do not have access to electronic mail, the completed application may also be sent by postal mail or through the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the applicant's country to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 500, A 1400 Vienna, Austria. For additional details, please also refer to the document "Terms of Participation". 

Timeline of the Selection Process

The timeline anticipated for the selection process of the Fellowship Programme is as follows:

  • From August 2014: Dissemination of information on the Fellowship Programme to potential candidates worldwide and application period.
  • 12 January 2015 (Monday, 17:00 JST): Submission deadline - all application documents must be received by PNST except in exceptional cases.
  • January 2015: After the first round of selection based on the application documents, the remaining candidates will be notified regarding interviews after 26 January 2015 (Monday, JST).
  • February 2015: The first interview based on Skype or telephone will be held on 2 February 2015 (Monday, JST). The second interview based on Skype or telephone will be held between 3 February (Tuesday) and 17 Februart 2015 (Tuesday, JST). All the applicants shall make themselves available for these days. Selection of six successful candidates. At this stage all applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application.
  • February-June 2015: Discussion and finalization of research and study plan between the successful candidates and their supervisors.
  • March 2015: Selected candidates must send original certificates of graduation and original transcripts with explanation of transcripts to Kyutech. If any documents are written in any language other than English, official translations are also required.
  • July 2015: Official entrance exam to Kyutech. Formal admission and administration to obtain student visa.
  • August 2015: Travel arrangements for the candidates to Japan and temporary accommodation arrangement for candidates in Japan.
  • September 2015: Arrival in Japan and finding accommodation.
  • October 2015: Beginning of the Fellowship Programme at Kyutech.

For any further questions regarding the PNST, please contact pnst@unoosa.org.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I am expected to graduate sometimes in 2015. Am I still eligible to apply for the PNST?
A: We accept applications as long as the applicant is projected to have the degree by September 2015. However, the applicant will need to show proof of projected degree conferral date, and if selected will also have to show the diploma received before receiving the fellowship in October 2015. 

Q: As the topic of my Doctorate or Master thesis, am I restricted to choose something related to nano-satellite?
A: Space technology is made of many disciplines. You do not have to restrict yourself to choosing a topic too narrowly such as "nano-satellite guidance", "nano-satellite communications", etc. As long as the topic is space related, it has a possibility of being applied to nano-satellite. The important thing is that the thesis topic has suitable academic meaning as a Doctorate or Master thesis. You research topic will be determined via matching between your research interest and the academic disciplines that Kyutech faculty members can offer. We will try to find a supervisor who is able to guide you in the area of your research interest.

Q: Where can I find more information about the research work I could conduct at Kyutech?
A: Please visit http://cent.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/seic/seic_web.html which provides information about the research programmes at Kyutech, on the subjects of the Space Engineering International Course and on the faculty members and their recent publications.
You can also find the abstracts of the Master thesis completed at the Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering over the past 10 years at http://laplace.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/title-e.html. This information may be helpful for defining your own study proposal.

Q: After a survey of the different researchers at Kyutech I am interested in working with Dr. XXX. My question is if I can apply to the United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme on Nano-Satellite Technologies even though I do not have any agreement with any researcher yet?
A: Yes, of course you can apply! You do not need any pre-agreement with a Kyutech faculty before you apply. After the first round of down-selection, we will work on matching the remaining applicants to a professor at Kyutech. We will consider your interest in working with a particular professor if you pass this first round. Please first register for the PNST programme 2015 and then submit your application package.

Q: Who should sign the "Nomination Form"?
A: The nomination form shall be signed by the head of the nominating organization. If you are a student right now, the person who signs the form has to be the Dean or higher ranking officer. If you are employed by a company, the person who signs the form has to be the president of your company.If you are neither a student nor employed, please ask the Dean or higher ranking office of the school you attended most recently.

Q: Is it sufficient for the "Referees Report Form" to be signed by the referee or is the seal of the referee's organization also required?
A: The referee's signature is sufficient, however, for the "Nomination Form" the official seal of the nominating organization is required.

Q: Is it necessary to send the hardcopies of the application forms to PNST?
A: No, at this stage in the application process this is not necessary. However, please retain the original of the form "Application for Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship". In March the short-listed candidates will be contacted and asked to send the original of this form directly to Kyutech.

Q: Can I send additional certificates to support my application?
A: Yes, you can if you think that it will strengthen your application.

Q: I will apply for the Masters course. Do I have to fill the STATEMENT OF PURPOSE in the PNST2015_Application Form?
A: Yes, please complete this field if you apply for Masters course as well as if you apply for Doctorate course.

Q: As an applicant do I need any  help  from  my nominating agency during the application process? How is the nominating agency going to know about the progress in the selection process?
A: It is up to the applicant and and the nominating agency how they wish to relate to each other during the application process. For example, some successful applicants have retained employment with their respective nominating agency, retained the possibility to return to their previous employer, continued to receive support or had coordinated the topic of their theses work with their nominating agency. This is handled differently in each case and so it is up to the applicant and the nominating agency how you would like to handle this. It is also up to the applicant to keep the nominating agency informed about the progress in the application and selection process. 

Q: Do I need preparation for an examination to Kyutech?
A: For Doctoral students the entrance examination to Kyutech is based on documents that candidates submit to PNST when they apply to PNST. For Master students, they may have to undergo an interview. However, as long as the candidates are selected as final PNST candidates it is unlikely to fail the interview. All the application forms are prepared by Kyutech. Candidates must only send the original certificates (diplomas) and the original transcripts by express mail to Kyutech after final selection of PNST.

Q: I am going to apply to PNST Fellowship programme, but I could not find any information about English proficiency. Is TOEFL or another English proficiency certification required? If so, what score is required and where should the exam results be sent?
A: TOEFL certification is not required.  The applicants' English proficiency will be judged based on the application materials and interview, if granted.  If they so desire, applicants may submit TOEFL or any other English-test scores as addenda via email to pnst@langmuir.ele.kyutech.ac.jp.

 

Please visit  http://cent.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/seic/pdf/seic_faq.pdf to obtain additional information regarding the Space Engineering International Course (SEIC), which successful candidates enroll in at Kyutech.

Links to Earlier Selection Rounds

This page was last updated on 15 November 2014.

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