Research Visits to Japan: Two Opportunities!

This week I have received information about two separate fellowship opportunities for PhD Students and post docs to work in Japan. One is with Toshiba and the other is with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Details of each can be found below and as an attachment. If you’re interested in applying I’d be happy to support you in any way I can.

Toshiba Fellowship Programme 2014

The Toshiba Fellowship Programme is a unique opportunity for recently qualified PhD level scientists, mainly from science, computing and mathematics disciplines. It offers a chance to journey alongside Toshiba into innovation, discovering a new world of research and development, as well as exploring and living a new cultural experience in Japan. The Programme has successfully operated for over 25 years, enjoying a strong and long-running collaboration with the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) as well as fostering and developing the relationship between Japanese industry and UK academia. The successful Fellow receives a generous package, including a fixed salary and relocation assistance to and from Japan, together with support and advice prior to and during their stay.

Toshiba Fellows usually remain in their team for up to two years. The type of work carried out depends mainly on which team the Fellow joins and the research project area. A normal working day is standard eight hours, Monday to Friday. So that they can settle in and feel at home in their work and a new country, Toshiba assigns a mentor to assist the Fellow in and outside of the workplace.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must:

  • Be a PhD-level researcher
  • Be of EU nationality
  • Be based in a UK academic or Government institution at the time of application (studying or working)
  • Have no more than 10 year’s post-Doctoral experience
  • Have completed their PhD by the time they begin working for Toshiba in Japan.

ICT/Software Research Topics

  • Next-generation storage system architecture for cloud data centres
  • Application data flow security processed on heterogeneous cloud systems
  • System security of the industrial internet
  • Medical image analysis and reconstruction
  • Machine learning for media data understanding
  • Software analysis with dynamic trace data mining
  • Dynamic software management technology for secure and reliable Linux systems through resource partitioning

Proposals from applicants for new advanced research topics which are relevant to this year’s Toshiba Fellowship Programme research areas are also welcome.

How to Apply

  • Visit the Toshiba Fellowship Programme website:
  • Look at the current year’s research topics
  • Register your interest online by completing the initial application questions
  • Eligible applications are then sent an application form
  • You must apply by sending the paper application form by the application closing deadline (6th December 2013)
  • You are also invited to attach up to two of your own research papers
  • You must also submit two references to complete your application

Full details of the programme can be found on the attached PDF or on their website:

JSPS London: Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers (Short Term)

This Programme provides the opportunity for short-term visits for young pre- and post-doctoral UK researchers and researchers from Europe and North America based in the UK to conduct cooperative research with leading research groups at Japanese Universities and Institutions. The Programme is designed to provide researchers with first-hand experience of the research and living environment in Japan, whilst expanding academic exchange between Japan and the United Kingdom. Researchers from all fields of sciences including humanities and social sciences are eligible to apply. Awards will cover visits of 1 to 12 months. Successful applicants are asked to start their awards in Japan between May 2014 and 31 March 2015

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must be from:

  • UK
  • All European Union countries (as of 1st April 2013) as well as Switzerland and Norway
  • USA and Canada

Nationals of other countries may be eligible to apply for funding through JSPS Headquarters. Please check their fellowship programmes and eligibility criteria by referring to the following web page:

  • Post docs must have obtained their PhD at a university outside of Japan with the last 6 years (on or after 2 April 2008)
  • PhD Students must be enrolled in a doctoral course in the UK and not Japan and be scheduled to receive their PhD within 2 years from the time of starting tenure in Japan

Research Topics

All computer science related topics are welcomed.

How to Apply

Visit the call website ( There is information there, including a guide for applicants and a checklist documenting everything you should supply. Applications can be submitted electronically to by the 5 December 2013. They must be as Word documents.

Royal Society: University Research Fellowship 2014

main-bannerNext month, The Royal Society’s University Research Fellowship call for 2014 awards will open. These awards are extremely prestigious and offer 5 years of independent funding, with an option to apply for an extension to 8 years.

Approximately 35 fellowships are available each year and in the last round, the Department was successful in securing 2 awards.

If you are interested in applying please first check that you meet the eligibility criteria and then email me with your expression of interest:

Eligibility requirements

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD (note we will not consider applicants who have just submitted their PhD)
  • be in the early stages of their research career (between 3 to 8 years of research experience since their PhD) by the closing date of the round
  • not hold a permanent post in a university or not-for-profit organization in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • be a citizen of the EEA or a be a Swiss citizen (or have a relevant connection to the EEA or Switzerland)

The deadline for this call is in September so if you are eligible and interested, it is wise to start planning now!

I hope to hear from you.

Peer Review Workshop for Early Career Researchers

Peer Review workshop 5 July – open to all early career researchers

Peer Review: The Nuts and Bolts is a free half-day workshop for early career researchers and will explore how peer review works, how to get involved, the challenges to the system, and the role of peer review in helping the public to evaluate research claims.

Find out about peer review.
Debate challenges to the system.
Discuss the role of peer review for scientists and the public.

Sense About Science is now taking applications for a free peer review workshop in Brighton on Friday 5th July. To apply, email Victoria ( with a CV and short cover letter. Application deadline: 21st June.

Peer Review: The Nuts and Bolts is a free half-day workshop for early career researchers and will explore how peer review works, how to get involved, the challenges to the system, and the role of peer review in helping the public to evaluate research claims.

Should peer review detect plagiarism, bias or fraud? What does peer review do for science and what does the scientific community want it to do for them? Should reviewers remain anonymous? Does it illuminate good ideas or shut them down?

Full details about the Brighton workshop

More information about Peer Review: The Nuts and Bolts

Career Planning for Researchers – Residential Programme 15-17 May 2013

I’ve been forwarded details of a course for research staff which is being hosted by Imperial. It is aimed particularly at those of you who have been on fixed term contracts for 4 years of more.

Researchers from Oxford have attended on three previous occasions and have found it very worthwhile. Imperial offers Oxford some discount on places (£400 rather than £450 – which is still expensive, I know!). Full details are below if you’re interested.

Making well informed decisions about where you’re going and how to get there is essential if you want to succeed in your career.

Building on the past four years—what next? is a residential course designed specifically for postdocs who have been on fixed term research contracts for 3 or more years. This course will help experienced researchers explore career choices and options before developing an action plan to achieve the next step.

Working with your peers you will explore sessions on reviewing your skills, job-hunting, CVs, applications and job interviews, as well as one-to-one coaching and much more.

The next course takes place on: 15th – 17th May 2013.

For more information and to register onto the course, please follow the link or contact

If you attend, please do let me know as it would be great to get feedback from you.

Marie Curie Info and Proposal Writing Events

Registration is now open for the Marie Curie Individual Fellowships and Career Integration Grants General Information and Proposal Writing event, organised by the Marie Curie UK National Contact Point.

There will be three separate events, which will take place at the following locations:

  • University College London, 17 April 2013
  • Durham University (part of a NE Regional event) 8 May 2013
  • Queen’s University, Belfast, 13 May 2013

Registration for each event will start at 9:30. The events will start at 10:00 and close at around 13:00.

The aim of the session is to provide participants with an overview of the Marie Curie Individual Fellowships (Intra-European Fellowships (IEF), International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF), and International Incoming Fellowships (IIF)) and the Career Integration Grants (CIG). These sessions will also provide those wishing to submit an application with a deeper understanding of the proposal format and the key issues they are required to address in planning and writing their proposal.

Who should attend:
The sessions will be of particular interest to UK-based researchers who are interested in and/or are planning to submit a proposal to the Marie Curie Individual Fellowships’ calls, which open on 14 March and close on 14 August, or the second cut-off date for the Career Integration Grants on the 18 September.

The session will include a presentation on the schemes, which are the last calls under FP7. It is also hoped that the session will provide a forum for discussion, and to answer questions that applicants may have relating to these schemes and preparing a proposal.

Programme outline:
Each session will provide an outline of the Marie Curie Actions, specific details on the fellowships and grants action and the application form and guidance on planning and writing your Marie Curie proposal. There will be the opportunity to ask questions throughout the sessions. The agenda and venue for each session will be available closer to the time of the event, and will also be sent to registered participants via email.

Additional Information
  • To register, please fill in the online registration form available from the Marie Curie NCP website. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Those wishing to register for the NE Regional event at Durham University should register by email to: