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The Robert S. McNamara Fellowship call for proposals for Winter 2015 is now open, and we are accepting applications until Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

The 2015 call for the Joint Japan World Bank Scholarship Program is not opened yet. Stay tuned for a status update before end-February 2015.

What is the Scholarship Program?


The World Bank scholarship and fellowship programs contribute to the World Bank Group’s mission of forging new dynamic approaches to capacity development and knowledge sharing in the developing world.  They are also an important component of the Bank Group’s efforts to promote economic development and shared prosperity through investing in education and developing human resources globally.   

Funded by the Japanese government and other member countries, the programs provide opportunities for graduate and postgraduate studies leading to masters’ and doctoral degrees in development-related fields for mid-career professionals and researchers.  Since the programs select scholars in part due to their affiliations with agencies and institutions crucial to their countries’ development, the awards contribute to institutional capacity building as well as to individual development.  Recipients of World Bank scholarships and fellowships commit to return to their home countries to apply their increased expertise and technical knowledge to benefit their countries. 

The programs have helped to form a global network of well-trained and experienced development professionals, transforming their countries and positively impacting future generations.

WBI Scholarships Program (WBISP) comprises three separate scholarship and fellowship programs:  the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP); the Japan Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Program (JIPS); and the Robert S. McNamara Fellowship Program (RSM). The World Bank administers the Scholarship Programs through the World Bank Institute (WBI).  Each of the three scholarships is overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of a subset of Executive Directors and World Bank management. A secretariat for day-to-day administration is maintained within WBI.




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

The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is our largest. This program enables mid-career professionals from developing countries to access the latest techniques and knowledge through graduate studies at universities worldwide. It was established over 25 years ago as part of the special Policy and Human Resources Fund set up by the government of Japan to support the development of human resources in less developed countries. The annual call for new scholars takes place in February – March.  There is also a small component awarding scholarships for Japanese nationals graduate students. These scholarships provide full tuition and fees, a monthly living stipend, round-trip air tickets and travel allowance for your graduate program.

JJ/WBGSP has helped create an international community of highly trained professionals working in economic and social development through financing of graduate and post-graduate studies. To date, the Program has awarded over 5000 scholarships selected from over 65,000 applicants, disbursing over US$200 million dollars in funding from the Japanese government.

The JJ/WBGSP is quite unique among the hundreds of multilateral, bilateral and NGO funded scholarship programs offered to international students. Unlike most other well- known programs it does not focus on a specific region, group, hosting institution or country, or field of study.  Except for a small funding window for Japanese citizens, the only major restrictions are: scholars from developing countries pursue abroad graduate studies in one of our partner or preferred masters programs, and upon graduation scholars return home to contribute to the development of their country.



The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSM Fellowships)

The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSM Fellowships)The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program was established in 1982 to honor the former President of the World Bank, by contributions from the World Bank and the governments of Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and former Yugoslavia.

Every year the Program provides grants of up to $25,000 to PhD candidates from developing countries to conduct innovative, development-related, PhD research under the supervision of a research advisor at a host institution abroad. Fellows must commit to return to their home country when their fellowship ends to complete their PhD and to work.




The Japan Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Program

The Japan Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Program is also fully funded by the Government of Japan and supports PhD studies for Indonesian nationals at leading institutions in World Bank member countries, outside of Indonesia. It is part of the Presidential Scholarship Program initiated by Indonesia’s Ministry of Education as a way to upgrade the qualifications and experience of existing staff, attract new talent to a career in higher education, and foster both foreign and domestic academic partnerships. The call for JIPS applicants is closed. No new scholars will be funded out of this program.

These three programs provide scholars with a unique opportunity to strengthen their skills and knowledge and, by extension, the capacities of their countries. Through their studies abroad and their ongoing relationships with universities and other scholars, recipients gain new insights and perspectives – as well as a heightened awareness and understanding of a global community.




The World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowship 2015 Call for Applications is now open, and will close on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.


Please see updated FAQs with a fuller explanation of the educational requirements for eligible candidates.

Interested in scholarship updates? Register now!

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