United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Basic Space Technology Initiative - Fellowship Programme 2012

United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme on Nano-Satellite Technologies
(Kitakyushu, Japan)

Udpate: The next selection for the 2013 round of th Fellowship Programme will start in November/December 2012

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Government of Japan in cooperation with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT) have established a United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme on Nano-Satellite Technologies for nationals of developing countries or countries with economy in transition. This "Doctorate in Nano-Satellite Technologies (DNST)" Fellowship Programme entails participation in a three-year PhD programme, concluding with the award of a doctorate degree in Nano-Satellite Technologies (Doctor of Engineering) after successful thesis defence. Tuition, living and travel cost for up to two candidates per year will be covered by KIT and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

The second round of the Fellowship Programme will begin in October 2012 and lasts for three years for each participant. The Programme will provide extensive research opportunities in nano-satellite systems through the use of the nano-satellite development and testing facilities available at KIT. Applications for the Fellowship Programme will be accpeted until 30 April 2012.

DNST Fellowship Programme Details

Application Requirements

Applicants should

  • be nationals of developing countries or countries with economy in transition;
  • be duly nominated by their institutions;
  • be not older than forty (40) years by 1 October 2012;
  • have the academic and professional backgrounds required by the specific fellowship programme. Candidates for the DNST Programme 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 Form

To be considered in the selection process the completed application form and all other requested supporting documents must be received by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs no later than on 30 April 2012.

Following the application deadline the United Nations will review all applications for eligibility and will make a pre-selection of the most qualified candidates. The final selection of the two successful candidates who will be offered a fellowship will be made by KIT on the basis of the evaluation of the application documents received.

Upon their notification the successful candidates will be asked to submit additional documents necessary for admission to KIT. A list of these additional documents can be found here. As these additional documents will have to arrive at KIT no later than June 4, 2012 (Japan time), all applicants are encouraged to consult the list to be prepared for the submission of these documents in case they will be selected as successful candidates.

For any further questions regarding the DNST, please contact unpsa@unoosa.org.

Timeline of the Selection Process

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

  • December 2011-April 2012: Dissemination of information on the Fellowship Programme to potential candidates worldwide and application period.
  • 30 April 2012: Submission deadline - all application documents received by UNOOSA.
  • May 2012: Selection of two successful candidates. At this stage all applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application. Telephone interviews are planned in the week of May 7th, 2012. Selection of supervisors at KIT.
  • May-June 2012: Discussion and finalization of research and study plan between the successful candidates and their supervisors. Successful candidates will submit additional documents to KIT by June 4, 2012 (Japan time).
  • July 2012: Formal admission and administration to obtain student visa.
  • September 2012: Travel arrangements for the candidates to Japan
  • October 2012: Beginning of the Fellowship Programme at KIT.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I am now longer enrolled at a university. Who should be the certifying officer for my application?
A: The certifying officer could be your former professor/thesis advisor with who you completed your masters degree. It could also be another official of your former university (director, dean, head of programme etc.). The certifying officer could also be your present supervisor or the head of the organization or institution you are presently working for. The signed application should also carry the official seal of the relevant university/organization/institution.

Q: Will the fellowship cover travel expenses and living cost of my family (2 or more people) or just myself (1 person)?
A: The fellowship covers one person only. The monthly stipend offered by KIT is enough to support the life of one person, but not of two or more persons. Accepted fellows who wish to bring their family with them need to find other financial resources to fill the gap.

Q: I am an international applicant for PhD program of Basic Space Technology Initiative - Fellowship, I checked all the details of program, I need to know, whether you consider a computer engineer applicant in your research team regarding to handle the probable programming and simulation duty?
A: If you have an MSc/Masters degree in computer engineering you qualify for applying to the fellowship programme. It is important that you convincingly explain in your application why you are interested/motivated in applying for this fellowship programme.

Q: The application rules require me to submit a "Diploma or certificate of competence in the language of the fellowship programme".  Can I send a copy of the results of my TOEFL exam instead?
A: Yes, a copy of your TOEFL exam will be perfectly fine. Candidates short-listed for the fellowship will be invited to a telephone interview which will allow us to verify their English language skills.

Q: Is there a health insurance package for the selected candidates?
A: Insurance is the responsibility of each applicant. Students are either required to buy their own overseas insurance or to enter the Japanese national insurance policy (the exact cost is determined on a case-by-case basis, but will be in the range of approximately 20.000 Yen per person and year).


This page was last updated on 31 August 2012.
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