Deadline: May 21, 2021

The World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) provides scholarships to students and young researchers, contributing to the World Bank’s mission of forging new dynamic approaches to capacity development and knowledge sharing in the developing world.

It is an important component of the World Bank’s efforts to promote economic development and shared prosperity through investing in education, capacity building, and developing human resources in the developing world. 

Since 1982, the DEC’s scholarship programs have helped to form a pool of over 6,000 well-trained and experienced development professionals and scholars, transforming their countries and positively impacting future generations.

Active Programs

  • Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP): Since 1987, JJWBGSP has enabled more than 6,000 mid-career professionals from 160 developing countries and Japan to complete graduate degrees in development-related fields. On an annual basis, the Government of Japan solely funds the JJWBGSP.
  • Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSMFP): Since 1982, RSMFP has provided support to young researchers on a wide variety of topics in development-related fields. Currently, the program connects promising young researchers to World Bank research, data resources, and tech­nical expertise. Selected fellows are hosted as a cohort at the World Bank in Washington D.C. and work on DEC research projects, receiving formal training and participating in policy relevant research.

Inactive Program

Japan Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Program (JIPS): This Program is no longer accepting applications. With a one-time $10 million grant from the Government of Japan, this scholarship supported three cohorts (2008–2010) of 43 Indonesian PhD students to study abroad under the sponsorship of one of the program’s ten partner Indonesian universities. This window is now closed to new applicants.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Details on Eligibility Criteria for each call for applications are provided in that call’s Application Guidelines, and these detailed eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to. No exceptions are made.

Broadly speaking, Developing Country nationals must:

  • Be a national of a World Bank member developing country on this list
  • Not hold dual citizenship of any developed country;
  • Be in good health;
  • Hold a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree earned at least 3 years prior to the Application Deadline date;
  • Have 3 years or more of recent development-related work experience after earning a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree;
  • Be employed in development-related work in a paid full- time position at the time of submitting the scholarship application. Have at least 3 years of paid development-related employment since earning a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent university degree) and acquired within the past 6 years from the date of the Application Deadline. Please see FAQs on how to count qualified part time employment toward this 3-year requirement. Please see Annex 2 of the Application Guidelines for a suggested list of development-related topics. The only exception to this criterion is for developing country nationals from a country that is on the list of Fragile and Conflict States featured in Annex 3 of the Application Guidelines. In these exceptional cases, we do take into consideration the limited employment opportunities in those countries listed in Annex 3.
  • On or before the Scholarship Application Deadline date, be admitted unconditionally (except for funding) for the upcoming academic year to at least one of the JJ/WBGSP participating master’s programs located outside of the applicant’s country of citizenship and country of residence listed at the time the call for scholarship applications opens. The letter of admission must be uploaded before submitting your application. For details, see “How to Apply”.
  • Not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of any type of appointment of the World Bank Group or a close relative of the aforementioned by blood or adoption with the term “close relative” defined as: Mother, Father, Sister, Half-sister, Brother, Half-brother, Son, Daughter, Aunt, Uncle, Niece, or Nephew.

Please note: All eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to. No exceptions are made. Eligibility criteria WILL NOT change during an open call for applications. However, this information is subject to change between the close of one application process and the opening of the next.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply for scholarships to one of the Participating Programs. :

SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND A PARTICIPATING PROGRAM: 

ATTENTION:  The call for applications for a JJWBGSP Scholarship will open on March 22, 2021 and the deadline for applying will be May 21, 2021. Guidance for the 2021 call for applications, including the call’s: (i) instructions and requirements to submit an application, the eligibility criteria applicants must meet; and the selection process are provided  in the Application GuidelinesFAQs, and the complete list of JJ/WBGSP Participating Programs. Master Degrees currently offered.  

Inquiries on how to submit an admission application to a Participating program should be submitted to the respective university. All applicants to the JJ/WBG will need to have an unconditional offer of admission from a participating program to be eligible to apply.

Once you are familiar with the application requirements and processes, click HERE to apply, and refer to the “Accessing your online application” and “Navigating your online application” to learn how access and navigate the online application.

Selection Process

The JJ/WBGSP uses the following process to review eligible scholarship applications from developing country nationals, with the aim of identifying the candidates with the highest potential, after completion of their graduate studies, to impact the development of their countries.

Two qualified assessors independently review each eligible application and score the application on a scale of 1 to 10, taking into account four main factors and the degree of cohesion among them:

  1. Quality of Professional Experience (30% weight)
  2. Quality of Professional Recommendations (30% weight)
  3. Quality of Commitment to your Home Country (30% weight)
  4. Quality of Education Background (10% weight)

The JJ/WBGSP Secretariat uses the average score of the two assessors and the following criteria to select the finalists:

  • Maintaining a reasonably wide geographical distribution of awards
  • Maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards across gender
  • Unusual circumstances/hardships, when assessing the employment experience and other aspects of an application;
  • Giving scholarships to those applicants who, other things being equal, have limited access to financial resources for graduate studies abroad.

The JJWBGSP Secretariat presents the finalists for the Participating Program scholarship to the JJ/WBG Steering Committee (composed of members of the World Bank Board of Directors and WB management) for approval. Winners are notified soon after the JJWBG Steering Committee approval. 

Scholarship Benefits

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship provides the recipient with the following benefits:

  • Economy class air travel between your home country and the host university at the start of your study program and immediately following the end of the scholarship period. In addition to the two-way air travel, scholars will receive a US $500 travel allowance for each trip;
  • Tuition for your graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance obtained through the university.
  • While on campus during the scholarship period, a monthly subsistence allowance to cover all living expenses (accommodations, food, etc., including books). The amount of the allowance varies depending on the host country.

Please note all JJ/WBGSP scholarships cover the duration of the graduate program or two years, whichever is less.

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship does not cover:

  • VISA application(s) costs
  • Expenses to bring and/or support a scholar’s family members;
  • Extra-curricular courses or training;
  • Courses that do not meet the minimum credits required to earn the graduate degree;
  • Language training not provided by the graduate program;
  • Additional travel during the course of the study program;
  • Expenses related to research, supplementary educational materials, field trips, participation in workshops/seminars, or internships; or
  • Educational equipment such as computers.
  • Resident permit fee

Apply HERE

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