Criteria for our Awards

Applications are not normally accepted from individuals seeking support for personal projects. However, an organisation may apply for a grant in support of the work of an individual which advances the aims of the Foundation, and an application from an individual may be considered if there is clear evidence of organisational support.

A proposal for funding that involves medical, psychological or sociological research on humans, or research using animals should include evidence that the project has been approved by the relevant ethical review bodies at the applicant’s institution, or an undertaking that on receipt of an offer of a grant from the Foundation, such approval will be obtained prior to beginning the research.

No grants are made for consumables, fees, salaries, or purchase of materials, nor for capital projects such as the purchase, construction or maintenance of buildings.

For projects designed to extend over more than one year, the Foundation is prepared to consider requests for funding spread over a period of not more than three consecutive years.

The Foundation will not award grants retrospectively for completed or current projects, so applications should be for future activity.

In assessing applications for awards, the Trustees will take into account any unique or innovative aspects of the project and the extent to which it will have a wide and lasting impact.

Our Funding

Grants are intended to be seed funding or partial support for worthwhile projects which would not otherwise be realised, and evidence of core funding should be available before any application is made for an award.

For projects involving travel between the UK and Japan, a maximum grant of £2,000 per person can be applied for towards flights, accommodation and subsistence, and a maximum of £2,500 per person for visits of two weeks or longer.

There are no set budgets for other categories of activity, but emphasis is placed on innovative projects and on those involving groups of people in both countries (especially young people) rather than individuals. Awards do not normally exceed £5,000-£6,000 for larger-scale projects.

The Foundation does not make grants for student fees or travel in connection with study for a qualification, however will consider support for fieldwork in Japan at PhD level only. Support is limited to a maximum travel grant of £2,000 towards a research or field trip to Japan necessary for the completion of the PhD thesis, or £2,500 for visits of two weeks or more. Limited grants up to £5,000 are also available for long-term fieldwork in Japan of six months or more. A letter of support from the PhD supervisor should also be provided with the application.

For PhD students from Japan wishing to travel to the UK for fieldwork or research, grants of up to ¥300,000 are available from the Japan office.

Trustees greatly appreciate acknowledgment of the Foundation’s support in any published material resulting from a grant.

A full list of awards made in previous years together with amounts awarded, is printed in the Foundation’s Annual Reports, which can be found here.

How to apply

Projects originating in the UK should be submitted through the London office and those originating in Japan through the Tokyo office.

Applications for UK-Japan collaborations or exchanges should be submitted as a single project through Tokyo OR London, and not as separate applications from the UK and Japanese partners.

We welcome applications from previous recipients for new projects.


Trustees make the final decisions on awards at meetings held in London three times a year (normally March, May and November) and Tokyo twice a year (normally April and October). Deadlines for these meetings are as follows:

March 31st for a decision in May
September 15th for a decision in November
December 15th for a decision in March – this is also the annual deadline for the Butterfield Awards

All applications to the UK office must be made on the form provided by the Foundation and sent by e-mail to grants [at]
For the application form for our regular grants, please click here.
For the application form for the Butterfield Awards, please click here.

February 28th for a decision in April
September 30th for a decision in October

To apply to the Japan office, please e-mail tokyo [at] for further details. Please do not use the application form above.

Likelihood of success

Normally there are requests for up to three times the amount of money available for grants. About 75% of applicants receive grants, but often much less than requested. The acceptance of an application by the Foundation does not imply any commitment to make an award and applicants should not plan in the expectation that they will receive a grant. The Foundation cannot be responsible for any loss or embarrassment caused in the event that no grant is awarded, or that the sum awarded is smaller than originally hoped.

The Foundation will not award grants retrospectively for completed or current projects, so applications should be for future activity. Grants cannot be offered in advance of the awards meetings as applications are assessed competitively on their merits by the committee of Trustees in relation to the amount of funding available.


Shortly after each Awards Meeting, the Foundation advises all applicants in writing of the result of their application. Those offered grants are asked to sign, complete and return an acceptance form as soon as possible, and are given an opportunity to say when they would like to receive their grant. The decision of the Trustees is final and the Foundation is unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

Conditions of Award

A condition of receiving a grant is that a brief report on the project or event should be sent to the Foundation within three months of completion. This should demonstrate that the grant has been spent on the purpose for which it was awarded and provide evidence of the project’s success and impact. A post project report form is sent once the grant has been paid, and the report should be submitted with a breakdown of the grant expenditure. The Foundation expects to receive acknowledgment of its assistance in any published material – our logo can be used for this purpose, and can be found with our application forms here – and welcomes lively reports accompanied by photographs where possible.