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Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) fellowship program

The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) is a fellowship program initiated in 1987 to support students pursuing graduate studies in humanities and social sciences disciplines. To date, endowments of $1 million each have been presented to 69 universities and consortia in 44 countries. The Sylff program aims to identify and nurture leaders who will overcome differences such as nationality, language, ethnicity, religion, and political systems to tackle global issues, and whose high integrity and drive to address issues unique to their respective countries can make a real difference. About 15,000 students have received fellowships since the launch of the program in 1987.

The Sylff Program is a collaborative initiative of The Nippon Foundation, the endowment donor, and The Tokyo Foundation, the program administrator.

In 1993 the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) received a donation from the Nippon Foundation for SYLFF (Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund) to initiate a Scholarship Program, in order to support students undertaking postgraduate or doctoral studies in fields of social sciences and humanities.

Fellowship stipends are awarded to graduate students for one academic year of their postgraduate or doctoral studies involving research and scholarly endeavours in programs and projects with an international dimension. The focus is on master's and doctoral degree-seeking students at the NKUA, who have high potential for leadership in international affairs, in public life or private endeavour. The Tokyo Foundation, as the program administrator, is responsible for the management of SYLFF fellowship program.

For the Academic Year 2016-17, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens announced the granting of eight (8) scholarships, worth 6,250 dollars each, in order to support students undertaking postgraduate or doctoral studies in social sciences and humanities. A totality of 117 applications were received until the deadline of applications submission.

The Monitoring Committee of Athens SYLFF program is responsible for selection of candidates for the granting of SYLFF scholarships based on benchmarking, taking into account at least the following criteria:

  • Academic candidates' performance (rating, references, foreign languages, etc).
  • Quality Summary Report submitted by the applicant
  • Leadership potential

The SYLFF Monitoring Committee, after several meetings decided to invite twenty-nine (29) candidates to the interview process on the 25th and the 26th January, 2017.

After the interview and the selection process, the shortlisted eight (8) nominees for the academic year 2016-17 are the following (in alphabetical order):

  1. Athanasiou Dimitrios (Department of Philosophy and History of Science)
  2. Vasileiou Andreas (Law School)
  3. Despoti Georgia (Department of Primary Education)
  4. Dimitris Karagounis (Law School)
  5. Kourtis Ioannis (Department of Early Childhood Education)
  6. Bonori Ergina (Department of History and Archaeology)
  7. Xygkis Jason-Spyridon (Department of Political Science and Public Administration)
  8. Sakellariou Venetia (Department of Communication & Media Studies)

The next call of scholarships under the SYLFF program for the academic year 2017-18 is expected to be announced in October 2017.

It should be noted that fellows who have already received the SYLFF scholarship can then apply directly to Tokyo foundation to be considered for scholarships under SRA and SLI programs as follows:

1. Sylff Research Abroad (SRA)

2. Sylff Leadership Initiatives (SLI)