Basic Space Technology Initiative Fellowship Programme

United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme 2018
Post-graduate study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST)
(Kitakyushu, Japan)

Update 2 March 2018: The Application is CLOSED

Please note that the selection board is not responsible for answering your inquiries on the result of selection

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs 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 Masters course (2 years duration) and up to three students in the Doctorate course (3 years duration). Successful participants will be awarded a master or doctorate degree after successful thesis defence. The successful candidates will enroll 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 (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) scholarship (Research Students) of about 145,000 yen per month for the duration of their fellowship study (2 or 3 years) to cover housing, food, local transportation, and other expenses (actual scholarship amount is subject to change). 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.

Applications for the Fellowship Programme will be accepted until 28 January 2018.


PNST Fellowship Programme Details

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 1983;
  • 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.

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: 

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) at the Web address that is in the confirmation e-mail you will receive after registering above, by no later than 28 January 2018.
  • Note: Please do not use spaces in your file names when you upload the application package, as the file server cannot handle the files correctly. Use "_" or "-" instead, e.g. "Tom.Smith.14.12.24".
  • There are also rules for naming files and you must follow the rules. Please refer to the CHECKLIST. The Referee report forms should be sent by email to the Post-graduate study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST) ( email address by the referees themselves by no later than 28 January 2018 (Sunday, 17:00 JST).
  • In exceptional cases where applicants do not have access to electronic mail, the completed application may also be sent by postal mail or through the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the applicant's country to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 500, A 1400 Vienna, Austria. For additional details, please also refer to the document "Terms of Participation".

Timeline of the Selection Process

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

  • From December 2017: Dissemination of information on the Fellowship Programme to potential candidates worldwide and application period.
  • 28 January 2018 (Sunday, 17:00 JST): Submission deadline - all application documents must be received by PNST except in exceptional cases.
  • February 2018: After the first round of selection based on the application documents, the remaining candidates will be notified regarding interviews after 7 February 2018(Wednesday , JST).
  • February 2018: The first interview based on Skype or telephone will be held on 16 February 2018 (Friday, JST). The second interview based on Skype or telephone will be held between19 February
    (Monday) and 23 February 2018 (Friday, JST). All the applicants shall make themselves available for these days. Selection of six successful candidates. At this stage all applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application.
  • February-June 2018: Discussion and finalization of research and study plan between the successful candidates and their supervisors.
  • March 2018: Selected candidates must send original certificates of graduation and original transcripts with explanation of transcripts to Kyutech. If any documents are written in any language other than English, official translations are also required.
  • July 2018: Official entrance exam to Kyutech. Formal admission and administration to obtain student visa.
  • August 2018:Travel arrangements for the candidates to Japan and temporary accommodation arrangement for candidates in Japan.
  • September 2018: Arrival in Japan and finding accommodation.
  • October 2018: Beginning of the Fellowship Programme at Kyutech.

For any further questions regarding the PNST, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Q: I am expected to graduate sometime in 2018. Am I still eligible to apply for the PNST?
A: We accept applications as long as the applicant is projected to have the degree by September 2018. However, the applicant will need to show proof of projected degree conferral date by the beginning of March, and if selected will also have to show the diploma received before receiving the fellowship in October 2018.


Q: As the topic of my Doctorate or Master thesis, am I restricted to choose something related to nano-satellite?
A: Space technology is made of many disciplines. You do not have to restrict yourself to choosing a topic too narrowly such as "nano-satellite guidance", "nano-satellite communications", etc. As long as the topic is space related, it has a possibility of being applied to nano-satellite. The important thing is that the thesis topic has suitable academic meaning as a Doctorate or Master thesis. You research topic will be determined via matching between your research interest and the academic disciplines that Kyutech faculty members can offer. We will try to find a supervisor who is able to guide you in the area of your research interest.


Q: Where can I find more information about the research work I could conduct at Kyutech?
A: Please visit which provides information about the research programmes at Kyutech, on the subjects of the Space Engineering International Course and on the faculty members and their recent publications.


Q: After a survey of the different researchers at Kyutech I am interested in working with Dr. XXX. My question is if I can apply to the United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme on Nano-Satellite Technologies even though I do
not have any agreement with any researcher yet?
A: Yes, of course you can apply! You do not need any pre-agreement with a Kyutech faculty before you apply. After the first round of down-selection, we will work on matching the remaining applicants to a professor at Kyutech. We will consider your interest in working with a particular professor if you pass this first round. Please first register for the PNST programme 2018 and then submit your application package.


Q: Who should sign the "Nomination Form"?
A: The nomination form shall be signed by the head of the nominating organization. If you are a student right now, the person who signs the form has to be the Dean or higher ranking officer. If you are employed by a company, the person who signs the form has to be the president of your company. If you are neither a student nor employed, please ask the Dean or higher ranking office of the school you attended most recently.


Q: Is it sufficient for the "Referees Report Form" to be signed by the referee or is the seal of the referee's organization also required?
A: The referee's signature is sufficient, however, for the "Nomination Form" the official seal of the nominating organization is required.


Q: Is it necessary to send the hardcopies of the application forms to PNST?
A: No, at this stage in the application process this is not necessary. However, please retain the original of the form "Application for Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship". In March the short-listed candidates will be contacted and asked to send the original of this form directly to Kyutech.


Q: Can I send additional certificates to support my application?
A: Yes, you can if you think that it will strengthen your application.


Q: I will apply for the Masters course. Do I have to fill the STATEMENT OF PURPOSE in the PNST 2018_Application Form?
A: Yes, please complete this field if you apply for Masters course as well as if you apply for Doctorate course.


Q: As an applicant do I need any help from my nominating agency during the application process? How is the nominating agency going to know about the progress in the selection process?
A: It is up to the applicant and the nominating agency how they wish to relate to each other during the application process. For example, some successful applicants have retained employment with their respective nominating agency, retained the possibility to return to their previous employer, continued to receive support or had coordinated the topic of their theses work with their nominating agency. This is handled differently in each case and so it is up to the applicant and the nominating agency how you would like to handle this. It is also up to the applicant to keep the nominating agency informed about the progress in the application and selection process.


Q: Do I need preparation for an examination to Kyutech?
A: For Doctoral students the entrance examination to Kyutech is based on documents that candidates submit to PNST when they apply to PNST. For Master students, they may have to undergo an interview. However, as long as the candidates are selected as final PNST candidates it is unlikely to fail the interview. All the application forms are prepared by Kyutech. Candidates must only send the original certificates (diplomas) and the original transcripts by express mail to Kyutech after final selection of PNST.


Q: I am going to apply to PNST Fellowship programme, but I could not find any information about English proficiency. Is TOEFL or another English proficiency certification required? If so, what score is required and where should the exam
results be sent?
A: Certification of English ability by TOEFL or other similar test is recommended but not mandatory if university education was done in English. When the certification is not available, the applicants' English proficiency will be judged based on the application materials and interview. If they so desire, applicants may submit TOEFL or any other English-test scores as addenda via email to


Please visit to obtain additional information regarding the Space Engineering International Course (SEIC), which successful candidates enroll in at Kyutech.

Links to Earlier Selection Rounds

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