Visiting research fellows play an integral part in the research culture of the Sainsbury Institute and its partner institutions. While working on their own publication and research projects, they contribute to seminars and conferences in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. The Sainsbury Institute’s two principal fellowship programmes are designed to encourage scholars in the fields of Japanese art and archaeology to complete a substantive piece of research. Former fellows have subsequently achieved considerable success in their careers, as demonstrated by their publication records and the posts they go on to hold. They often return to the UK, to take part in Sainsbury Institute activities. Since 2001 over 40 Fellows have benefited from the Fellowship programmes, their subject specialisms ranging from prehistoric artifacts to contemporary art in every genre and medium of Japanese material and visual cultures.
Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowships
The Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowships, established in 2000 through generous funding from Lord Sainsbury of Turville, are designed to strengthen academic ties with Japanese studies programmes in the US, Canada, Asia and Europe. The Fellowships provide recipients with an opportunity to work in a scholarly environment conducive to completing a publication project. The Institute offers one Fellowship for a maximum period of one year and two or three short-term Fellowships, of three months to half a year each, to scholars who have either received a PhD or who are currently employed by an academic institution or museum. Fellows are provided with office space at the Norwich headquarters. To date the Sainsbury Institute has hosted 27 Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows, who have contributed to the Japan Research Centre weekly seminar series at SOAS and given talks in the Department of Art and Archaeology seminar series. In Norwich, the Fellows give World Art Seminars in the School of World Art Studies and Museology at UEA, as well as Third Thursday lectures at the Sainsbury Institute.
Handa Fellowships in Japanese Archaeology
The Handa Fellowships in Japanese Archaeology are for scholars from Japan working with institutions affiliated with the Institute. The Fellowships are funded through the International Jomon Culture Conference, supported by Handa Haruhisa, a Japanese philanthropist and businessman. The Fellows are usually based at the Institute’s headquarters in Norwich, and have unrestricted access to the collection of books, site reports and journals related to Japanese archaeology, unrivalled in Europe, housed at the Lisa Sainsbury Library. As well as undertaking their own original research while in the UK, Handa Archaeology Fellows past and present have worked with Institute staff on museum exhibition, conference and publishing projects sponsored by the Institute, and acted as ambassadors for Japanese archaeology in Europe.
Fellowship for Japanese Studies Young Scholars
Since its establishment one of the core objectives of the Sainsbury Institute has been to support young scholars in the furthering of their academic work and network, which in turn helps the Institute to extend its own research network. This scheme is designated specifically for young scholars who have already secured the financial means to pursue their research in UK, but are looking for a host institute and a mentor to conduct their studies in order to fulfill the criteria of their respective fellowships. It is expected that their research field would be related to the Institute’s activities, but in order to keep the scheme flexible, there would be no restriction on the origin of the scholar or the length of time they would spend in UK to conduct their studies.