[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK), the Anglican Church in Japan, is offering young Anglican academics the opportunity to undertake a fully funded 18-month research fellowship in Tokyo. Applications are particularly sought from Anglicans in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The Bishop Williams Memorial Fund – named after the Rt Revd Channing Moore Williams, a missionary of the US-based Episcopal Church who made a substantial contribution to the establishment of the Church in Japan – was established by the NSKK’s General Synod in 1977. It funds both a visiting lecture programme and a visiting research scheme.
It is currently inviting applications for the research programme from graduates under the age of 35. Applicants need to be a member of a Christian church and have the endorsement of an Anglican bishop.
The successful applicant will be given airfare to and from Japan at the beginning and end of the programme; and for a return journey home midway through the 18-month term. They will also be provided with single-person living quarters and a monthly stipend of ¥100,000 (JPY, approximately £640 GBP). Tuition fees will be waived and the researcher will be also be given an allowance of ¥700,000 (JPY, approximately £4,500 GBP) for field study and research.
In creating the Bishop Williams Memorial Fund, the NSKK were mindful of the educational establishments he created, based firmly on Christian values and principles.
“More than 135 years have passed since these schools were founded by Williams, and today they occupy prominent positions among the thousands of educational institutions in Japan. Indeed, they have produced some of Japan’s most respected leaders in various fields of endeavour,” the NSKK say. “Yet when we view the overall situation of our Japanese society and education, we are made aware of the continuing need to exert every effort to carry out the mission entrusted to us by Bishop Williams: to undergird the education and research conducted at our educational institutions with the precepts of Christianity and the spirit of Christian faith.”
The programme envisages that the visiting researcher will undertake their research at the Rikkyo University or another of the NSKK’s educational institutions. But if the required facilities are unavailable at NSKK centres, arrangements will be made to use facilities at other institutions.
The researcher may be asked to give informal lectures on their research field to faculty and students in those institutions, so that “in the environment of an educational institution, there will be a meaningful interchange of thought and values in some depth,” the NSKK say.
Applicants need to be proficient in English. The programme will begin in October with a six-month intensive course in the Japanese language ahead of the beginning of the research programme at the start of Japan’s academic year in April.
- Further details and an application form can be downloaded from the NSKK website (pdf).