World Bank Scholarships for Developing Countries 2022

The World Bank Scholarships Program contributes to the World Bank Group’s mission of forging new approaches to capacity development and knowledge sharing from the growing world.

It is an important part of the World  Bank Group’s efforts to promote economic development and shared prosperity by investing in education and developing human resources in the developing world.

The World Bank (French: Banque Mondiale) is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions:

  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and
  • The International Development Association (IDA).

The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

The bank is based in Washington, D.C. and provided around $61 billion in loans and assistance to “developing” and transition countries in the 2014 fiscal year

The World Bank’s stated goal is the reduction of poverty which its Articles of Agreement define as commitments to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of capital investment.

The World Bank’s (the IBRD and IDA’s) activities are focused on developing countries, in fields such as human development (e.g. education, health), agriculture and rural development (e.g. irrigation and rural services), environmental protection (e.g. pollution reduction, establishing and enforcing regulations), infrastructure (e.g. roads, urban regeneration, and electricity), large industrial construction projects, and governance (e.g. anti-corruption, legal institutions development).

Since 1982, this program has helped to produce over 6,000 experienced and knowledgeable improved professionals, transforming their countries, and favorably influencing future generations.

Here is a table of what to expect:

World Bank Graduate Scholarships

Currently, the World Bank Scholarships Program offers just two resources of funding for graduate studies in development-related fields for mid-career researchers and professionals:

  • Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP)
  • Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSMFP)

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

JJWBGSP Since 1987 has enabled more than 5,800 mid-career professionals in developing countries and Japan to complete graduate degrees in development-related fields. The 2022 20call for scholarship applications is scheduled to open in March 2022.  

Learn more about possible future calls for applications on how to apply for JJWBGSP scholarship for Developing Country Nationals and for Japan Nationals.

Who Can Apply For the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is open to 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.

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JJ/WBGSP awards scholarships to applicants who have had at least 3 years of full-time paid employment in the applicant’s home country or in other developing countries acquired after receiving the first Bachelors (or equivalent university) degree within the past 6 years; and are employed in a paid full time position at the time of application.

The only exception to this criteria is for developing country nationals from a country on the list of Fragile and Conflict States noted in the Application Guidelines that are posted during the call for applications.   In these exceptional cases, we do take into consideration the limited employment opportunities in those countries recently or currently in conflict.

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.

#2 Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSMFP)

Since 1982, this training program has empowered Ph.D. candidates by developing countries to undertake research at institutions abroad. Fellowships are for a 6-10 month span and will be around $25,000.

The RSMFP has been established with financing from the World Bank and the governments of Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and also former Yugoslavia. The call for fellowship applications for 2022 is scheduled to start in March.

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

The scholarship covers a 6 to 10 month period. The program provides 6-10 months of funding for full-time study or research at the postgraduate level in fields related to economic development, to be carried out at a recognized institution in a Bank member country other than the applicant’s home country.

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.

How to Apply for RSMFP?

When the call for applications is open, the application guidelines, online application, and a final list of eligibility criteria will be available on this site.

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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.

Inactive World Bank Programs

Japan Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Program (JIPS)

This plan is no longer accepting applications. With a one-time $10 million award from the Government of Japan, this scholarship encouraged three cohorts (2008–2010) of 43 Indonesian Ph.D. students to study abroad under the sponsorship of 1 of the app’s ten partner Indonesian universities. This window is currently closed to new applicants.

How to be Eligible for the Scholarships

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.

Scholarship Benefits

The scholarship is fully funded by the Government of Japan, and provides for each scholarship recipient the following benefits during the scholarship period:

  • If the scholar is not already attending the graduate program, the scholarship will fund one economy class air travel from his/her home country to the host university at the start of a graduate degree program and a USD500 travel allowance.
  • If at the end of the scholarship period the scholar has completed all requirements to earn the graduate degree, the scholarship will fund one economy class air travel from the host university to Japan or a developing country where the scholar has secured employment and a USD500 travel allowance.
  • For the duration of the scholarship period, tuition for his/her graduate program, and the cost of basic medical insurance that can be 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.
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World Bank Scholarship Selection Process

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.

In total, the World Bank Scholarship is the real chance for people who wish to develop their careers in economic studies.

Nevertheless, they shouldn’t forget about the rules which are set by the World Bank. Moreover, cheating for any reason will result in disqualification. Do not forget that the World Bank Scholarship can be your way to success. The stakes are very high, and you can lose the chance. Just be ready when it will be needed and be eligible to take the scholarship.


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