For masters degree, I have contacted one of the professor of university of Tokyo. He told me in his 1st email reply that he would not like to have students only for 2 years. He wanted a student for 5 years(MS+Phd). Then I emailed him saying that I am ready to study for longer time. He replied for the 2nd time writing that, he is very happy to hear it, that I want to pursue both MS+Phd. But next he asked me if I have a concrete plan for my financial support as there is no salary paid by the PI or University. In my first email, I didn't mention about any scholarship. What should I write to him now? How should I ask him for University recommend MEXT scholarship?

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    What should I write to him now? If you just want information on the MEXT scholarship, then you probably needn't contact him (in the first instance), you can contact whoever is responsible for the scholarships. (You might like to respond to his question, mentioning that you are looking into a scholarship.)
    – user2768
    Aug 7, 2019 at 15:07
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    @user2768, your comment is probably better as an answer.
    – Buffy
    Aug 7, 2019 at 15:26
  • @Buffy It remains somewhat unclear to me what the OP wants to achieve, so I don't know whether my comment answer's the OP's question
    – user2768
    Aug 7, 2019 at 15:40
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    Please read through this forum if it is a good idea to work as a phd student without getting money and then decide if you want to do this.
    – user111388
    Aug 8, 2019 at 5:47
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    A Japanese university professor's view. People sometimes contact me and tell how they want to join my lab and so on. In the past I used to involve myself into lengthy conversations just to realize they will do it only on condition of winning a competitive MEXT scholarship. So now I quickly ask about their financial situation, too, just to save my time. If you want to have your application supported, put this topic forward as soon as possible. What's the point of discussing your future research activities if the chances of them to come true aren't high? Aug 8, 2019 at 6:59

2 Answers 2


Dear Professor X,

Thanks for your email. Regarding your question about financial support, I am planning to apply for a MEXT scholarship. If I receive this scholarship, it will provide me with [explain the terms of the scholarship]. Would you be willing to support my application for this scholarship? If so, I would need [explain what you would need from him].

If I do not receive the MEXT scholarship, I would plan to finance my graduate education by [explain your backup plan].

If you are aware of other funding opportunities, I would be glad to hear about them.


[your name]

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    If the professor does not already understand MEXT scholarships very well, I would guess they are not a good supervisor. I believe MEXT is the main funding agency in Japan. Aug 8, 2019 at 10:13
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    @AnonymousPhysicist Even so, showing that the student understands the aspects of any funding is good.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 8, 2019 at 22:23

What’s wrong with just reply describing your situation:

Dear Sir, In regards to your question on financial support I do not have access to funding now,


Dear Sir, In regards to your question on financial support I already have access to funding for the next xxx years.

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