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The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff)

Sylff, the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund, was established in 1987 to support graduate students in fields falling within the parameters of the social sciences, humanities, and the performing arts. Endowments of $1 million each have been provided to 69 universities and consortia in 44 countries. These endowments are invested to produce revenue for the provision of fellowships at each institution. Fellowships are awarded to graduate students selected by each endowed institution. These “Sylff fellows” are selected not only for their academic achievements but for their potential as future leaders. Since the launch of the Sylff program, more than 15,000 Sylff fellows have received fellowships. The Sylff Program is a collaborative initiative of The Nippon Foundation (the donor of endowments) and the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research (the program administrator).

(For details, please visit the Sylff Website.)

Vision and Mission


“The world is one family and all mankind are brothers and sisters. All have the right to fulfill their basic needs for food, health care and education."

——Ryoichi Sasakawa


To support the education of outstanding students pursuing graduate level study in the social sciences and humanities with high potential for leadership and commitment to exercising leadership in local, national, regional and international affairs, in public as well as in private endeavors. To nurture future leaders who will transcend geopolitical, religious, ethnic, cultural and other boundaries and will contribute to peace and the well-being of humankind.

The Sylff Program is an outgrowth of the vision of the late Ryoichi Sasakawa, the founding chairman of NF and a philanthropist. To contribute to the fulfillment of the vision and mission of Sylff by establishing endowments at selected institutions of higher learning throughout the world, a scheme ensures a sustainable source of fellowships in perpetuity.

Applications and Selection

The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research does not receive individual applications for fellowships. Sylff Steering Committees established at Sylff-endowed institutions are responsible for the implementation of the fellowship program including announcement and selection. Information on each Sylff institution is available on the Sylff website.



Program officer(s):

  • Sugai, Keita PROGRAM OFFICER
  • Yamada,Tomoko PROGRAM OFFICER

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