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MEXT Scholarship 2012

#76
I just got my rejection-letter, still very much depressed and at a loss at what to do next, if I should bother with JET or trying again next year - but I don't know what went wrong exactly or how to improve my application. T__T

Is there anything comparable to MEXT?
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#77
Sad That's too bad man. As far as I know MEXT is the only scholarship that offers full funding. You can get other awards such as from JASSO to help out a bit, but otherwise it's either MEXT or self-funding I think.

It's always good to have a backup plan.
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#78
I got selected for the interview and exam (applied for the scholarship for Masters in Japanese Literature and Japanese Language Studies).

12 other candidates were selected apart from me for the same program.

So, based on the results of the interview/exam, there is a possibility that I might get rejected as well right?
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JapanesePod101
#79
Yes. Since every country does it differently I can't say for certain what your chances are, but you're just at the first stage (if it's like the US).
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#80
What are the remaining stages?
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#81
I've given up on the MEXT this time around (again) since I can't actually write anything concrete on the research proposal. I know nothing about the actual field (having graduated from Psychology) and reading up on the literature is next to impossible without higher level mathematics (linear algebra and discrete math). Pretty depressing.
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#82
atreya Wrote:What are the remaining stages?
If you look at the blog post I linked to on the last page I described it.
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#83
@vix: hahah what are you trying to do?!?!
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#84
Computational Neuroscience or Computer Science, probably focused in Computer Vision or machine learning. I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology though, and the highest level of math I have is integral calculus and some vector calc. You need discrete mathematics and linear algebra to really be able to start learning and understanding the aforementioned fields.
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#85
that sounds interesting!!!

My advice would be to just write something. It doesn't have to be excessively in depth, or with calculations. If you can describe what kind of research you want to do, and what you hope to achieve in detail, that should be enough. Besides which, even if you don't get it this time, it's not like you've lost anything. You can apply again.

also, http://www.khanacademy.org/ Smile
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#86
IceCream Wrote:that sounds interesting!!!

My advice would be to just write something. It doesn't have to be excessively in depth, or with calculations. If you can describe what kind of research you want to do, and what you hope to achieve in detail, that should be enough. Besides which, even if you don't get it this time, it's not like you've lost anything. You can apply again.

also, http://www.khanacademy.org/ Smile
Research proposals have to be solid. I've helped some with grants and seen first hand what they are like. A research proposal is kind of like a mini version of those really. You need to be able to describe exactly the kind of stuff you want to do. I can write the general area I want to research but coming up with something that sounds like a good idea and is a good topic for research is a different thing. Having good research papers to quote is very important in this. Plus MEXT want their recipients to basically be able to hit the ground running in terms of research and there's a good chance I can't do that. The interview process would basically show the weakness in me as a candidate. I've started reviewing my past math and will be trying to tackle Linear algebra and Discrete math on my own in the mean time. With the aid of the internet I'm hoping learning them won't be too painful. There is always next year. But it still leaves some issues with time and what not. I had wanted to start my Masters next year if possible and that put a kink in that plan. I also want to do it at Tokyo U. too so.
Edited: 2012-06-21, 6:03 am
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#87
hmm, yeah, of course it needs to be somewhat solid. Just as long as you're not overthinking it... it's really just a question of making something reasonable sounding up and being able to answer questions on it. It's unlikely that the person you speak to in the interview will have in depth knowledge on your subject either. And it's good practise for next year, at the very least. Actually, my research proposal for MEXT sounded interesting but i found out later was entirely impractical. I still got an interview though.

It seemed more important to have contacts at the university. I was also expecting that i'd have to be a lot more orginal than i actually did have to be. It seemed a lot like you could just take something a professor was interested in and research that for a masters. In fact, it seemed kind of expected.

Of course, if you can't actually get on with the research when you get there, that's a problem though. But it's sooo long before entry that it seems like you should be able to catch up before then...
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#88
Well, I'm 2 weeks out (if that) from the deadline and I would have to ask my undergrad mentor for a letter of rec and I would want to give him like at least 3 weeks to write something up. Plus, at this point I"m not even sure I could get a plane ticket back to the US for the interview (I'm in Japan after all).

I'm not letting it get me down too bad. In the mean time I'm going study my ass off though and try and expand what I know some. Simply entering 東大 might be a simpler option, but I'm still pretty paranoid about the professor I'm eyeing though. He's had no western exp. and his lab page has no English, so it screams "I have a Japanese mindset." And the worst thing I want to happen is get there and find out working with him is a nightmare because he's expecting the Japanese style master/pupil thing. Going back to the states is an option too, but doing that is committing to a 5-6 year Ph.D track if I want funding and that'll put me over 30. Where I decide to do grad school has turned into this major life altering decision in my head; its kind of stressful. /derail
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#89
I'm 32 and still not done with my PhD so don't worry about that Tongue
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#90
yudantaiteki Wrote:I'm 32 and still not done with my PhD so don't worry about that Tongue
Lol. I'd like to have at least 1 kid on the way by time I'm 32-33. Not likely in the US unfortunately.
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#91
oh, you're in Japan?? ok, yeah, then it's not really worth flying back for unless your proposal's good lol.

Then there's always the university MEXT recommendation though right?? It opens in January each year, so you'd have time to meet and get to know your professor first... and you can apply for the Embassy recommendation if you miss that.

btw, i really don't think you can tell without meeting the person. It's a lot more to do with how well your personalities mesh and how nice & laid back a person they are in general rather than how much English culture they've been exposed to as to whether you'll get on with them, imo...
Edited: 2012-06-21, 8:55 am
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#92
vix, I wouldn't try spending too much time on linear algebra and "discrete math" (discrete math is basically half of all of mathematics). Since you've already studied vector and integral calculus I think you can just dive into a machine learning/neuroscience textbook and look up new concepts as you come across them. Computational neuroscience would require knowing a little bit about differential equations, but machine learning really doesn't require much deep mathematics to get started.

The MEXT application doesn't need to be that technically specific. While doing some preparatory reading, hopefully you'll find some interesting areas/problems that you'd like to study in greater depth. For example, the book I mentioned before on AI has a summary of historical and recent research at the end of each respective chapter. You can poke around about what kind of research is done in those subfields, not reading the details but just getting a gist of what concepts are being explored. Then you can put together a proposal describing those concepts you'd like to look into and relate them to previous research. That's the best way of going about it I can think of, without getting a professor to write most of it for you.

What made you decide to go to grad school, by the way?
Edited: 2012-06-21, 3:30 pm
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#93
Reading how casually dizmox talks about these concepts I know nothing about makes me feel incredibly stupid. Big Grin
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#94
I'm not actually that smart. ;_;
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#95
dizmox Wrote:What made you decide to go to grad school, by the way?
It was the most logical step. The thing I found I liked best many years ago, was reading about new breakthroughs in science. I tested the waters by doing Psych. research, and while it was fine, I just had trouble getting into my mentor's field (psycholinguistics). We both decided something that was half in industry and half in research would be best for me since I immensely enjoy solving problems with computers. I think this puts me closer to engineering really (maybe). Honestly though I don't really know what CS grad work looks like. The extent of much of what I have seen from CS research programs/results has always been applications of something. I also like learning, but I think that's a given for anyone that could enter grad school. I wish I had gotten some actual exp. with CS grad work though so I could better judge.
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#96
yudantaiteki Wrote:
atreya Wrote:What are the remaining stages?
If you look at the blog post I linked to on the last page I described it.
Read your blog post. Very informative and useful. My interview & exam is on 29th June Friday. Have to shell out like 400$ >_< to get to the city where its going to be held.
Anyway, were you a research student when you entered Japan through MEXT or did you directly start with the Masters course (or was it PhD?)

The embassy has asked me to submit a "Field of Study & Study Program" document along with "Proposed programme of study" document.

Do you have any idea what's the exact difference between the two. I called up the embassy fellow and he was unable to answer my question clearly.
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#97
I don't know, sorry...

I'm just a research student; I'm not getting a degree from the Japanese university.
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#98
yudantaiteki Wrote:I don't know, sorry...

I'm just a research student; I'm not getting a degree from the Japanese university.
I see, for how long will you be given the scholarship? 2 years?
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#99
yudantaiteki Wrote:I don't know, sorry...

I'm just a research student; I'm not getting a degree from the Japanese university.
Its still the same scholarship. You just opted to not do what most people do I guess. You can take the research scholarship and reapply to the university through the regular program (入試 and all) and then continue to use the scholarship to obtain a Ma/Ph.d.

atreya. I've never heard of a "programme of study" document. The only document the US embassy/consulate want are "Field of Study & Study Programme" (http://www.studyjapan.go.jp/pdf/toj2013/05.pdf). The document for these should be on the embassy page for your country. The document should explain what you need.
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vix86 Wrote:
yudantaiteki Wrote:I don't know, sorry...

I'm just a research student; I'm not getting a degree from the Japanese university.
Its still the same scholarship. You just opted to not do what most people do I guess. You can take the research scholarship and reapply to the university through the regular program (入試 and all) and then continue to use the scholarship to obtain a Ma/Ph.d.
Well, what I'm doing isn't that unusual -- I'm working on a PhD at an American university and once I'm done here (next March, total of 18 months) I'm going to go back to the US and get my PhD from the US university. I'm done with all my coursework and my candidacy exam so all I have left (haha) is writing the dissertation.
Edited: 2012-06-22, 5:06 am
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