The World Bank Scholarships Program aids the World Bank Group to achieve its purpose of developing innovative methods for capacity building and knowledge sharing in a rapidly changing world.

It is a key component of the World Bank Group’s efforts to foster economic development and shared prosperity in developing countries by investing in education and human resource development.

This year, The World Bank Scholarships Program features two recurring scholarships that shall cater to students from developing countries interested in seeking better educational opportunities.

Read on to discover what they are.

About The World Bank

The World Bank is a multilateral financial agency that provides loans for capital projects to governments around the world. It is made up of two institutions:

  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • The International Development Association (IDA) is a non-profit organization that (IDA).

Consisting of the World Bank and its subsidiaries, the World Bank Group gave roughly $61 billion in loans and aid to “developing” and “transition” countries.

The World Bank’s stated purpose is poverty alleviation, which is defined in its Articles of Agreement as pledges to promote foreign investment and international trade, as well as capital investment facilitation.

Since 1982, this program has assisted in the development of approximately 6,000 skilled and knowledgeable professionals, who have helped to reshape their countries and positively influence future generations.

What Are The World Bank Graduate Scholarships

For mid-career researchers and professionals, the World Bank Scholarships Program currently offers just two sources of support for graduate study in development-related fields, namely: The Joint Japan / World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program and the Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program.

Further details about each scholarship offering can be found below.

Joint Japan / World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP)

Women and men from developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a master’s degree program in a development-related topic are eligible for the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP).

Since 1987, JJ/WBGSP has enabled more than 5,800 mid-career professionals in developing countries and Japan to complete graduate degrees in development-related fields. The 2022 call for scholarship applications is scheduled to open in March 2022.  

Benefits of the Joint Japan / World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

JJ/WBGSP awards scholarships to applicants who have completed at least 3 years of full-time paid work in their home country or other developing countries after receiving their first bachelor’s (or equivalent university) degree within the previous 6 years, and who are currently employed in a paid full-time position.

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:

  • Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP)
  • 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.

How to Apply for a JJ/WBGSP Scholarship

To be considered for a JJ/WBGSP scholarship, you must first apply and be unconditionally accepted for admissions to at least one of the Participating Programs. In your application, you need to upload an unconditional letter of acceptance from a participating master’s degree program. Applications are done online once the scholarship opens. There are 2 application windows depending on the participating program:

It is important to visit the Application Guidelines official website for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSMFP)

Since 1982, this training program has enabled developing-country Ph.D. candidates to do research at institutions around the world. Fellowships will last 6-10 months and cost roughly $25,000.

The World Bank, as well as the governments of Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and the former Yugoslavia, contributed to the RSMFP’s creation. In March, a call for fellowship applications for the year 2022 will be issued.

The aim of the bank is to reach the best and brightest researchers and lecturers from the highest quality institutions and region’s universities, research centers, and relevant professional networks.

Benefits of the Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

RSMFP provides up to $25,000 (US) in funding for developing country nationals to do development-related PhD research in a World Bank member country under the supervision of a host advisor at a university, research, or development institution.

The scholarship is for a term of 6 to 10 months. The program provides assistance for full-time postgraduate study or research in disciplines related to economic development at a recognized institution in a Bank member nation other than the applicant’s home country for 6-10 months.

How to Apply for the Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

The RSMFP application must be completed online by the Application Deadline date and include:

  • The completed application form
  • An agreement to the terms and conditions for an RSMFP fellowship listed on the Application Form’s Signature Page;
  • A completed recommendation form submitted online by the host university research advisor; and
  • A completed recommendation form submitted online by the PhD thesis supervisor.

All required documents must be uploaded online. Any documents an applicant provides by email, post, or any means other than the online application form will not be reviewed.

Eligibility Criteria and Selection Process

Every year, the World Bank issues the guidelines for people who seek the opportunity to acquire this scholarship. Therefore, the candidates will need to follow the strict set of rules to be applicable.

  • An applicant must be a national from a World Bank Developing country
  • Applicants with dual citizenship are forbidden to take part
  • Provide evidence of good health
  • It’s necessary to hold a Bachelor’s degree which is earned at least three years prior to the day when a candidate sends the application.
  • A candidate should have at least three years of relevant development-rated work in the field of study.
  • It’s also necessary that a candidate is employed in any development-related work which corresponds to the course of study that he /she chooses.
  • There are also exceptions to this list. For instance, if a candidate comes from the conflict zone of the country, then the term of the related work experience for the application can be reviewed.
  • It’s necessary that a person who takes the scholarship or his/her close relative is not an executive director or staff provided by the World Bank. There is no exception that can be made about this rule at all.

The overall selection process is very simple to undertake. Everything connected with a candidate will be evaluated. Two qualified assessors will undertake the whole application.

They will evaluate you upon the criteria, like:

  • The professional experience will get 30% of the weight for your mark.
  • Professional commitment to your home country that will get 30% of the weight for your mark.
  • Professional recommendations that will get 30% of the weight for your mark.
  • A professional educational background that will get 30% of the weight for your mark.

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