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FAQ on Subsidies

For course students who were employed up to FY2018 (Except decliners).

Q1 Is the subsidy available to students who are also receiving other fellowships or scholarships?

A: The subsidy is not available to students receiving support from the Japanese government (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellowship for Young Scientists [DC] awardees, Japanese Student Services Organization [JASSO] scholarship loan recipients, international students receiving Japanese Government [Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology] scholarships or JASSO Honors Scholarships), students receiving scholarship support from their home country governments, or students receiving scholarships provided by the university itself.
However, the university may approve students to receive the subsidy concurrently with subsidies designed to assist with tuition fees (tuition exemptions, tuition support scholarships provided from university funds, etc.).
(Taken from FAQ on the Program for Leading Graduate Schools)
Subsidies are expense support grants, not tied to household income levels, that can be provided to enable students selected for programs that attract outstanding students from within and beyond Japan and award new types of academic degrees to concentrate on their learning and research at Doctoral level.
(Taken from FAQ on the Program for Leading Graduate Schools)

Q2 The answer to Q1 seems to suggest that scholarships from private-sector bodies are not prohibited. Is this correct?

A: The types of funding that are considered inappropriate to receive concurrently with the GCL subsidy are “expense grants” and “expense support grants.” Please read the following statement concerning concurrent receipt of scholarships, extracted from university regulations and the rules of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
“Subsidies may not be received concurrently with any other type of funding of the same nature as the subsidy in question; regardless of whether it is called a ‘subsidy’ or not, if it is in the nature of grant-based expense support, concurrent receipt will not be possible.”
However, we have confirmed with MEXT that the subsidy can be received concurrently with following types of funding:
・Cash prizes such as academic paper prizes
・Research subsidies for students (however, subsidies for overseas travel that include support for living expenses may be considered scholarships that cannot be received concurrently)
We can seek confirmation for specific cases, so please consult with us as necessary.

Q3 What is the value of the GCL subsidy for second-year Master’s students?

A: The answer is as follows.
◊ JASSO scholarship payments ceased in March 2014:
GCL subsidy awarded from April => 120,000 yen x 12 months (1.44 million yen)
◊ JASSO scholarship payments ceased in April 2014:
April: JASSO scholarship
GCL subsidy awarded from May => 120,000 yen x 11 months (1.32 million yen)

Q4 What about the subsidy for first-year Doctoral students?

A: Monthly stipend of 200,000, 180,000, or 150,000 yen (amounts are amended annually)

Q5 What should I do if I want to stop receiving my subsidy for personal reasons?

A: Please submit a Subsidy Withdrawal Notification to GCL Office. Please consult with us again if your circumstances change, as it may be possible to resume your subsidy payments.

Q6 I want to have my subsidy payment amount reduced for personal reasons.

A: Please submit a Subsidy Amount Change Notification to GCL Office.

Q7 When should I submit forms such as the Subsidy Withdrawal Notification and Subsidy Amount Change Notification?

A: Please submit the form to GCL Office at least one month prior to the requested change. Late submissions may not be processed in time for the next month’s payment.

Q8 I need to stop receiving the subsidy mid-way through the academic year for personal reasons.

A: Please consult with GCL Office promptly when your circumstances change. You need to submit documents at least one month in advance to allow time for necessary procedures relating to bank transfers, etc.

Q9 Are subsidy payments treated as non-taxable income?

A: Under income tax law, subsidies are considered to be “miscellaneous income” and are taxable. You will be issued with a certificate of payment sometime between late January and early February, so please file a tax return at the tax office in your place of residence. When reporting your scholarship income on your tax return, please note that the amount of miscellaneous income from the subsidy is calculated by totaling the subsidy payments received for the calendar year (January to December), then deducting from this total any tuition fees, textbook expenses, and other necessary expenses incurred for research purposes. You therefore need to retain payment records, receipts and other documentation as proof of your expenditure. If you have any questions about tax return procedures or necessary expenses, please inquire at your local tax office.

Q10 Currently I am a dependent family member. How is my subsidy income treated for taxation purposes?

A: Subsidies are considered to be “miscellaneous income” under income tax law, so if the annual amount received exceeds 380,000 yen, you will no longer be eligible for the spouse or dependent family exemption. For social insurance, conditions vary depending on the insurance program to which your supporter is subscribed. Please check with the applicable social insurance office.

Q11 Is the subsidy available to working adults?

A: Working adults who are being paid a salary by their employer cannot in principle receive the subsidy. This prohibition is consistent with the general rule applying in the Leading Graduate School Program that the subsidy will not be paid to those concurrently receiving income from other scholarships, part-time work, and the like.

However, subsidy payments may be approved pursuant to a review process if your income derives from activities necessary for research in GCL (for example, establishment of a venture company in line with the ideals of GCL, hospital work required in the course of a medicine-related GCL project, etc.).
If this applies to you and you wish to receive the subsidy, you need to lodge a request by submitting a Grounds for Request form (format prescribed separately) stating how the income is generated inescapably in the course of your GCL activities.

Q12 Is paid-work permitted for the GCL subsidy recipients?

A: GCL subsidy recipients are not allowed to receive remuneration for work, in general.
However, the following cases are exempted up to 40 hours per month.

Please make sure to contact GCL Office for the administrative process before you receive it.

1. TA or RA indispensable for education/research in the GCL program.
2. Qualified medical staff (physician, dentist, or nurse) providing medical care that is indispensable for the student’s education/research at a hospital affiliated with a research institution.
3. Part-time lecturer at higher education institutions (university, college, or college of technology).
4. Supplementary work for an academic conference related to the student’s research (one-off events only).
5. TA, such as research activities, at high schools including Super Science High Schools.
6. Specific cases approved by the GCL program coordinator.

Q13 What about if I’m being paid in April for part-time work undertaken in March?

A: This is not a problem as it does not interfere with your studies beginning in April.

Q14 This is a question about the GCL system. If the number of years I take to complete my Master’s or Doctoral course is extended for some reason, how is my GCL participation and subsidy affected?

A1: Basically, subsidy payments cease either at the end of four years after you become a second-year Master’s student (M2).
A2: As a rule, subsidies payments will be discontinued for any GCL student who is unable to proceed to their third year of the program (D1) one year after they became a second-year Master’s student (M2).
A3: Subsidy payments will be discontinued if you take leave of absence, withdraw, or are otherwise unable to continue your studies in the program.
A4: Subsidy payments may be discontinued in the event that your performance in research, practical activities, etc. is considered unsatisfactory.
A5: Subsidy payments may be recommenced if the grounds for discontinuation under either of the previous two items lapse.
A6: Subsidy payment amounts are amended each academic year in accordance with a detailed multifaceted assessment of participants’ research and practical activities.

Q15 I will be changing my specialization when I advance from the Master’s to the Doctoral course, and my standard period for Doctoral completion will therefore change to four years. Can I still receive the GCL subsidy?

A: Yes, basically you can receive the subsidy until the end of the standard period for completion.

Complementary Explanation

Please click here to refer the continuation of subsidies after the completion of the subsidized project.

Those who are officially registered as GCL course students as of Mar. 31, 2019 will continue to receive the subsidies in the same way as so far, as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria.