JISPA is a Scholarship for Young Officials

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia (JISPA) supports graduate studies in macroeconomics or related fields in leading universities in Japan. It provides educational opportunities to promising junior officials from central banks, ministries of finance and other economic agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, aiming to build their capacity in economic policymaking to support sustainable growth and development in their own countries and the region.

The program was first introduced in 1993, and is funded by the Government of Japan and administered by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

More than 840 officials have graduated since its inception, and many alumni play a key role in policymaking in their countries.

Download JISPA Brochure

Two-Track Scholarship

The program offers a partnership track with tailored master's programs in several partner universities, and an open track with graduate programs, including PhD degrees, in any university in Japan. About 30 new scholarships are awarded every year for the partnership track, and only a small number of scholars are selected for the open track.

Partnership Track

The JISPA partnership track allows scholars to study specially designed master's courses in macroeconomics at one of the few IMF partnership universities. Currently four partnership universities offer the following programs:

Detailed academic programs at each partner university can be found in the JISPA e-brochure.

Open Track

The open track provides support for graduate studies in macroeconomics or a related field at either the master’s or PhD level at any leading university in Japan. Priority is given to PhD candidates.


The scholarship covers tuition-related costs and most living expenses for the scholar herself/himself.[1] Benefits include:

  1. Full university admission and tuition fees
  2. Reserach related allowance and monthly living allowance
  3. Medical insurance
  4. A round-trip airfare and travel allowance
  5. Orientation Program tuition fees (partnership track only)
  6. Annual field trip fees (partnership track only)
  7. Computer/software allowance (master's program only)
  8. Research related fees, including field research and conference attendance fees (open-track PhD program only)

No expenses incurred by accompanying family members of the scholar are covered. No other scholarship can be accepted by JISPA scholars.

 [1] Disbursement of scholarships is made through the university in which scholars enroll.


To be eligible for the scholarship, an applicant must meet the following criteria[1]:

  1. A national of one of the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pacific Island Countries, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam
  2. Working for a key economic agency such as central bank, ministry of economy, ministry of finance, or financial regulatory agency[2]
  3. A Bachelor’s degree
  4. Fluent in English[3]

In addition, for the open track, applicants are expected to be studying at, have been admitted into, or be applying to a graduate program in economics in Japan.

[1] Priority is given to applicants: (1) whose age is below 40; (2) who have not yet obtained a master’s degree from a university outside of their own country; and (3) who have the minimum of two-three years’ work experience in the public sector.

[2] The program will also consider officials working in other areas of government that have a significant impact on the formulation or implementation of macroeconomic policy.

[3] An applicant must present either a TOEFL or IELTS score report. Kindly register the JISPA institution code as listed below when applicants take the test. 

               TOEFL: “C626 – Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia”
               IELTS: “JISPA: Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia” 


Selection Criteria

Scholarship awards are made on the basis of the candidate’s academic record and work background, mathematical and statistics skills, English language proficiency, and potential for contributing to the macroeconomic and financial management and economic development of their countries. The assessment also includes qualities such as the candidate’s commitment to public service, willingness to learn, and openness to new ideas. For the final selection, regional balance and gender balance are also taken into consideration.

Activities for JISPA Scholars

New incoming scholars are invited to a two-and-a-half-month orientation program before the official commencement of their academic programs. Throughout the duration of the scholarship, JISPA scholars are offered opportunities to attend various exclusive events and activities, including a series of policy dialogues with Japanese policy makers and IMF economists, a summer workshop, welcome and farewell receptions, and a thesis presentation. An annual field trip is arranged for the scholars by the partnership universities. In addition, the IMF occasionally extends an invitation to JISPA scholars to participate in public seminars and high-level regional conferences. 

Voices from Scholars

Follow-up Activities for JISPA Alumni

More than 840 Asian officials have benefited from the scholarship program since its inception in 1993. The JISPA graduates are invited to alumni gatherings in various countries and encouraged to maintain friendship and professional dialogue on an online alumni networking site. Selected alumni are also offered a two-week alumni training course, Continuing Education Program (JISPA-CE), to brush up macroeconomic management and analytical skills.