Senior Japan Fellow (Academic and Policy Research, Teaching and Outreach)

Company:Institute for European Studies

Location:Belgium / Brussels

Discipline:Japanese Foreign Policy

Employment Type:3 years (renewable), full-time (or considerable part-time)



Job Function Senior Japan Fellow (academic and policy research, teaching and outreach) 
Posted Date: 27/4/2020
Deadline: 5/6/2020
Type of contract: 3 years (renewable), full-time (or considerable part-time)
Salary Competitive, commensurate with experience

Overview of the Japan Programme

The Japan Foundation (JF) and the Institute for European Studies (IES), part of the Brussels School of Governance at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), are establishing a new Japan Programme. The Japan Programme will be part of the School’s Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS), and shall serve as an independent platform to advance academically rigorous discussions on the major foreign and security policy questions Japan and Europe are currently facing.

The Japan Programme aims to fulfil the following objectives: i) increase awareness in Europe about current security and geopolitical challenges affecting Japan, East Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region through research, teaching and activities; ii) provide a platform to enhance mutual understanding between Japan and Europe; iii) solidify the strategic partnership between Europe and Japan, paying special attention to EU-Japan and NATO-Japan relations

The Japan Programme will enable the Parties to discuss major issues confronting the Japan-Europe partnership, conduct relevant research and teaching in a timely manner, and communicate noteworthy issues related to Japan and East Asia to policymakers and the general European public.

The Brussels School of Governance aims to excel at cutting-edge, multidisciplinary and applied policy research on the most urgent governance challenges confronting policymakers in Europe and the wider world. The School's Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy seeks to enhance our understanding of the key contemporary security and diplomatic challenges of the 21st Century – and their impact on Europe – while reaching out to the policy community that will ultimately need to handle such challenges.

Job Description

The IES is calling for applications for the position of Senior Japan Fellow. Prospective candidates are invited to submit their applications in accordance with the instructions below by 5 June 2020.

The Senior Japan Fellow shall conduct the following activities in addition to his/her independent research1:

  • Lead a postgraduate course on Japanese Foreign Policy
  • Academic and policy research on Japanese foreign policy and East Asian security;
  • Public conferences, activities and expert workshops;
  • Fundraising
  • Training programs for young scholars/policy experts;
  • Regular working-group meetings for key stakeholders;
  • Regular media appearances and interviews;
  • Publication of newsletter or any other type of media that provides relevant analyses and recommendations;
  • Establishment of a network of partnerships with think tanks in Europe and Japan;
  • Collaboration with relevant IES-VUB programs

In addition to the Senior Japan Fellow, the Japan Programme will be supported by two or more researchers working on Japanese foreign policy and East Asian security, and will be provided with support for its outreach, fundraising and strategic planning operations, and for its proper administrative functioning. The team will be part of CSDS.

Expected Profile and Qualifications

A Bachelor’s and Advanced Degree (MA or PhD) are both required, preferably in Political Science, International Relations, History, Economics or a related discipline.

The successful candidate will have senior-level experience with a European government, think tank or university, and experience in dealing with Japan- and East Asia-related policies, business and non-governmental communities; a proven track record of academic or policy publications in Japan and East Asia-related issues in leading journals and think tank outlets publication; and, ideally, a combination of the two.

The candidate in question must have a proven ability to conduct original policy research and analysis and disseminate it to policy audiences. He/she must be able to competently lead and undertake both research projects and issue-focused meetings, conferences, and other events, and supervise a dedicated team of researchers and professionals. He/she must also have teaching experience.

Fluency in English is required, along with outstanding written and oral communication skills.

The Senior Japan Fellow must be motivated, flexible, diplomatic, creative, trustworthy, a good team player, and must be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Strong candidates should have extensive contacts among the higher levels of the policy, academic, and business communities in Japan. Professional experience and residence in Japan, and Japanese language skills, are a plus.

Application Process

The following application documents are to be consolidated into a single PDF file sent per email to (subject heading: “Senior Japan Fellow Call 2020 ADDYOURSURNAME”):

  • A full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications and public presentations
  • A motivation letter including a description of research interests and their relevance to Japan and East Asia.

The deadline for applications is 5 June 2020.

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be expected to take up his/her position by 1 October 2020, although some flexibility is envisaged.

Salary will be competitive, and commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience.

The Institute for European Studies is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, or other factors protected by law.

Further information

For further inquiries, please visit and contact Prof. Dr. Luis Simon ( if necessary.

1 This task list is compiled for a full-time Fellow. In case of part-time employment, this list will be reduced accordingly and in consultation with the candidate.

Contact Person:If you wish to apply for this position, please specify that you saw it on AKADEUS.

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