Fellowships from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) help cultivate new Japan-U.S. collaborations

International collaborations are most productive when colleagues work side-by-side in the same laboratory or field station. In recent years, the Anthropology department has received related collaborative grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). These awards have enabled us to not only create more bridges for KSU, but to also initiate connections more broadly between American and Japanese researchers.

As part of these efforts, Dr. Tosi encourages promising U.S. graduate students to apply for JSPS summer fellowships to conduct research projects in Japan. These competitive awards include airfare, lodging, meals, health insurance, a generous stipend, and a modest research budget. Since 2019, Dr. Tosi has helped several talented students to find Japanese hosts and develop proposals. Seven of these applicants have received awards thus far. Notably, the first three to subsequently receive their PhDs gained employment due, in part, to their experiences and training in Japan – two as museum officers (at LSU and Memphis), and the third as a researcher in a medical college (Weill Cornell Medicine).

  Recent Recipients of JSPS Summer Award.



Home Institution


Host Institution

Research Focus


Heather Lawrentz

Kent State University

Dr. Masato Nakatsukasa

Kyoto University

Forelimb evolution


Rose Leach

Kent State University

Dr. Takeshi Nishimura

Kyoto University

Bone plasticity


Elaine Miller

George Washington University

Dr. Ikuma Adachi

Kyoto University

Chimpanzee cognition


Taylor Novak

Auburn University

Dr. Misato Hayashi

Japan Monkey Centre

Primate Behavior


Amber Trujillo

New York University

Dr. Junya Yamagishi

Hokkaido University

Single cell RNA analyses


Nicholas Gala

University of Tulsa

Dr. Masami Izuho

Tokyo Metropolitan University

Stone tool technologies


Evan Miller

UTexas - San Antonio

Dr. Goro Hanya

Kyoto University

Forest Fragmentation

  • Heather and Dr. Nakatsukasa
    Dr. Masato Nakatsukasa and Heather Lawrentz at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
  • Rose closing dinner
    Rose Leach receiving certificate at the JSPS closing ceremony in Tokyo.
  • Taylor sightseeing
    Taylor Novak on the Pottery Footpath in Tokoname.

This June, Dr. Tosi visited all the host scientists to thank them for welcoming the former and current JSPS awardees. They kindly welcomed Dr. Tosi to their institutions and showed him the facilities where the JSPS students conducted (or will conduct) their research. At Hokkaido University, Dr. Junya Yamagishi and colleagues showed the genetics laboratory and parasite breeding colonies; at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Dr. Masami Izuho introduced the archaeological laboratories and collections; and, at the Japan Monkey Centre, Dr. Misato Hayashi provided a guided tour of the primate exhibits. Having visited Kyoto University on previous occasions, Dr. Tosi was already aware of the exceptional resources kindly shared with JSPS fellows, including the chimpanzee behavioral science laboratory and the primate osteological collections – facilities arguably without parallel anywhere in the world. Thus, in this visit to Kyoto University, discussions were simply focused on current research with Drs. Masato Nakatsukasa, Takeshi Nishimura, Ikuma Adachi, and Goro Hanya.

  • elaine and dr. adachi
    Elaine Miller and Dr. Ikuma Adachi at the Center for the Evolutionary Origins of Human Behavior (EHUB), Kyoto University.
  • Dr. Yamagishi's lab
    Researchers at the International Institute for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University. Top row (L-R): Naoko Kawai, Dr. Kyoko Hayashida, Dela Ria Nesti, Amber Trujillo, Dr. Junya Yamagishi. Bottom row (L-R): Dr. Yuki Eshita, Dr. Tatsuki Sugi, Patrick Reteng, Maryam Sani Lawel.
  • Dr. Hanya's lab
    Members of the Hanya Lab. Left to right: Muhammad Nur Fitri Suhaimi, Evan Miller, Fumiya Kakuta, Dr. Goro Hanya, Kazuho Funakawa, Rentaro Kimpara, Miku Minamikawa.
  • Dr. Izuho and Nicholas
    Dr. Masami Izuho and Nicholas Gala in Tokyo.

All these scientists have been excellent mentors to the JSPS summer students. Their guidance has made each a better, more well-rounded, researcher. These internships have also cultivated what are likely to be long-term collaborations between American and Japanese scientists, with dividends extending far into the future.

Dr. Tosi and colleagues at Kent State Anthropology are deeply grateful to the JSPS and the host scientists for supporting the summer research program.

  • JSPS logo 285
  • NSF logo 265
POSTED: Monday, July 31, 2023 09:41 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 3, 2023 09:16 AM