World Bank Scholarships Program 2017

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

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

Since 1982, the Program has helped to form a pool of over 6,000 well-trained and experienced development professionals, transforming their countries and positively impacting future generations.

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

What can an applicant do before the call?

  • Read information posted on this website and review eligibility criteria carefully.
  • Apply to one or more of the JJWBGSP preferred (.xlsx 49 KB) and partnership (.xlsx 15 KB) master degree programs.
  • Begin gathering required documentation for the scholarship application, including: your current curriculum vitae (c.v.), proof of employment for each record of employment since earning a Bachelor’s degree, and certified copy of the certificate of your most advanced university degree earned.
  • Identify two professional recommenders.

Please note that application guidelines that provide detailed application instructions will be posted on this website during the open call.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Developing Country nationals must:

  • Be a national of a World Bank member developing country;
  • Not hold dual citizenship of a developed country;
  • Be in good health;
  • Hold a Bachelor (or equivalent) degree earned at least 3 years prior to the Application Deadline date;
  • Have 3 years or more of recent development-related experience after earning a Bachelor (or equivalent) degree;
  • Be accepted unconditionally to enroll in the upcoming academic year in at least one of the JJWBGSP Preferred or Partner masters degree Programs;
  • Not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of all types of appointments 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 both Preferred and Partner Programs. The process to apply to a Preferred Program and to a Partner Program differs:

Those seeking a JJ/WBGSP Partner Program scholarship (.xlsx 15 KB) must first apply for admission to one or more of the Partner Masters Degree Program(s). Inquiries on how to submit an admissions application to a partner program should be submitted to the respective university.

After reviewing submitted applications, each Partner Master Degree Program will identify a short list of eligible candidates who will then be invited by the JJWBGSP Secretariat to apply for a JJ/WBGSP scholarship. View the complete list of JJ/WBGSP Partner (.xlsx 15 KB) master degrees offered

Those seeking a JJ/WBGSP Preferred Program scholarship (.xlsx 49 KB) must, in parallel, apply for admissions to one or more of the Preferred Program(s) and apply for a JJWBGSP scholarship through an open call typically announced within the first two months of a calendar year. The next call for applications for a JJWBGSP Scholarship to one of our Preferred Programs is scheduled to open January 25, 2017. View the complete list of JJ/WBGSP Preferred (.xlsx 49 KB) Master Degrees currently offered.  

When the scholarship applications for the Preferred Program is open, the finalized list of preferred programs, the application guidelines, online application, and a finalized list of eligibility criteria will be available on this site. The application must be completed online and include two professional references. Any documents an applicant provides by email, post or any means other than the online application form will not be reviewed.

Applicants should only submit one scholarship application. The online scholarship application will give the opportunity to list up to 5 Preferred Master Degree Programs for possible funding. At the time of submitting the scholarship application, the scholarship applicant is not required to have been admitted into one of the Preferred Programs. However, semi-finalists will be independently contacted by the JJWBGSP Scholarship Program to submit by a specific date a letter of admission for the upcoming academic year that is unconditional with the exception of secured financing from one of the JJWBGSP Preferred Program Master Degrees noted on his/her scholarship 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)

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 opportunitie in those countries recently or currently in conflict.

The JJ/WBGSP Secretariat uses the average score of the two reviewers to identify the list of semi-finalists. Semi-finalists for a scholarship to a JJWBGSP Preferred Program master degree will be required to provide supplemental documentation outlined in the “SELECTION PROCESS” of the Application Guidelines, including a letter of acceptance from a JJWBGSP Preferred Masters Degree Program noted in the submitted application that is either unconditional, or conditional only upon the securing of financing.

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

  • Maintaining a reasonably wide geographical distribution of awards, that takes into account the geographic distribution of eligible applications;
  • Maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards across gender that takes into account the distribution of eligible applications across gender;
  • Giving scholarships to those applicants who, other things being equal, appear to have limited financial resources
  • Unusual circumstances / hardships, when assessing the employment experience and other aspects of an application.

Once all documentation is received, finalists for the preferred program scholarship are presented to the JJ/WBG Steering Committee (composed of members of the World Bank Board of Directors and WB management) for final review and selection for a scholarship. The Secretariat informs the scholarship winners in July.

Finalists for partnership scholarship are presented to the World Bank’s Executive Director for Japan for approval on a rolling basis, matching the JJWBGSP Partner university’s admission cycle. The Secretariat informs the scholarship winners to a partner master degree program soon after 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 usually obtained through the university.
  • A monthly subsistence allowance to cover living expenses, 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;
  • 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.

Note: The JJ/WBGSP scholarship may only supplement, and does not duplicate, any other source of financial support/fellowship you might have. If selected as a finalist or if you are awarded a scholarship, you must inform the JJ/WBGSP if you have other sources of scholarship funds. The JJ/WBGSP stipend may be withdrawn completely or partially if during the scholarship period the Program has evidence of additional sources of support.

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