Applications Are Open for UNOOSA Basic Space Technology Initiative Fellowship Programme


The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 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 three students in the Master’s Program (2 years duration) and up to three students in the Doctoral Program (3 years duration). Successful participants will be awarded a master or doctoral degree after a successful thesis defence. The successful candidates will enrol 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 (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: MEXT) scholarship (Research Students) of approximately 144,000 JPY per month for the duration of their fellowship study (2 or 3 years) to cover housing, food, local transportation, and other expenses. 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.

The purpose of this fellowship is to help non-space-faring nations join the community of space-faring nations.  Consequently, if you are selected as a PNST Fellow through the aforementioned process and you earn your advanced degree at Kyutech, you have an immense moral obligation to return to your home country and contribute to it.  This is the central expectation of both UNOOSA and Kyutech.

Applications for the Fellowship Programme will be accepted until 24 January 2021 (Sunday, 23:00 JST).

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 1986;
  • 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.
  • The Office for Outer Space Affairs is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its programme and ensuring a balanced representation from different perspectives. Women are encouraged to apply.

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 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 or.xls) at the Web address that is in the confirmation e-mail you will receive after registering above, by no later than 24 January 2021 (Sunday, 23:00 JST). 
  • Note: For the file name, do not use any non-English characters. Moreover, each character must be a one-byte type of character. As well, do not use spaces in your file names as the file server will not handle such data correctly. Use “_” (underbar) or “-” (hyphen) instead, e.g. “01_Tom_Smith_2019.12.24”.
  • The Referee report forms should be sent by email to the Post-graduate study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST) (pnst [at] email address by the referees themselves by no later than 24 January 2021 (Sunday, 23:00 JST).

Timeline of the Selection Process

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

  • From December 2020: Dissemination of information on the Fellowship Programme to potential candidates worldwide and application period.
  • 24 January 2021(Sunday, 23:00 JST): Submission deadline – all application documents must be received by PNST except in exceptional cases.
  • February 2021: After the first round of selection based on the application documents, the remaining candidates will be notified regarding interviews about two weeks after the submission deadline.
  • February 2021: The first interview will be held in February 2021. The second interview (if necessary) will be held after the first interview. The interviews will be conducted remotely. All the applicants shall make themselves available for these days. The outcome of the remote interviews is the selection of six persons who will be offered PNST scholarships.
  • March 2021: After the interviews, all PNST applicants will be informed about the outcome of their applications to PNST. We will contact you. Please do not contact us.
  • February-June 2021: Discussion and finalization of research and study plan between the successful candidates and their supervisors.
  • Early March 2021: Selected candidates must send all the required documents including original certificates of graduation and original transcripts with an explanation of transcripts to Kyutech using a reliable express mailing service. If any documents are written in any language other than English, official certified translations are also required. For the details of the required documents, please refer to the Checklist. 
  • July 2021: Official entrance exam to Kyutech. Formal admission and administration to obtain a student visa.
  • August 2021: Travel arrangements for the candidates to Japan. Candidates need to find and book temporary accommodations in Japan by themselves.
  • September 2021: Arrival in Japan and finding accommodation. Official enrollment procedures at Kyutech.
  • October 2021: Beginning of the Fellowship Programme at Kyutech.

For any further questions regarding the PNST, contact UNOOSA.

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