January 14, 2016

The World Bank Robert S. McNamara PhD Fellowships Program for Developing Countries

World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

Course(s) Offered: Development-related
Course level: Postgraduate (doctoral, research)
Provider: RSM endowment fund (World bank, Governments)
Country to Study in: Any country

Scholarship Description
The Robert S. McNamara (RSM) Fellowships Program was established in 1982 to award fellowships for full-time study or research at the postgraduate level in any field related to economic development.

Funding was provided by US$1 million contribution from the World Bank and US$1.8 million from the governments of Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and former Yugoslavia. The income from the investment of the endowment fund set up with these contributions currently provides the funding for the fellowships.

World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

You must meet the eligibility criteria listed below in order to be eligible for this fellowship:
  • Your home country is a World Bank member developing country.
  • You are not a dual citizen of a developed country or a country that is not a World Bank member.
  • You are currently enrolled in a PhD program in a World Bank member country.
  • You will have completed all coursework and exam requirements for your PhD at the time of application.
  • You have a master’s degree or equivalent. If you do not have a master’s degree certificate you should have an official letter from your university (e.g. from your program director or admissions office) stating that your academic credentials are at a minimum equivalent to a person with a master’s degree.
  • You are 35 years or younger as of the application deadline date below.
  • You meet one of the following conditions:
    • You are enrolled in a PhD program in your home country, and not currently employed.
    • You are enrolled in a PhD program in your home country and are employed in your home country.
    • You are enrolled in a PhD program in a World Bank member country outside of your home country and are employed in your home country.
  • You are not an Executive Director(ED), ED’s alternate, staff, or consultant of the World Bank Group (the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Development Association, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes), and you do not have any relatives or in-laws who are employed by the World Bank Group in any capacity, including consulting.
  • You have not previously been the recipient of the World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowship.
  • You are accepted as a visiting scholar for a period of six to ten months by a university or research center in a World Bank member country other than your home country.
  • Your research proposal is endorsed by your PhD thesis supervisor and your host institution research advisor.
  • You can begin your fellowship between July and December, 2016.
  • You are able to complete your proposed fellowship research in 6 to 10 months.
  • You commit to working in your home country after completion of your PhD.
While not an eligibility criteria, preference is given to lecturers and researchers who are employed in academic or research institutions in their home country.

The Scholarship Program does not sponsor undergraduate studies, distance learning programs, short-term training, conferences, seminars, thesis writing, research projects, and fields of studies not related to development. All these requests will not be considered by these world bank scholarship programs.

Eligible groups
Citizens of World Bank member developing countries currently eligible to borrow

Participating Institutions
Any host institution which would designate an academic advisor to assist the fellow during his research period

Fields of study / Research
This fellowship supports developing country PhD candidates to conduct innovative, development-related, doctoral research under the supervision of a research advisor abroad.

Fields related to development such as economics, health, education, agriculture, environment, natural resource management, or other development‑related subject are welcome.

Number of awards
Not specified by provider, but several will be awarded

Sponsorship duration
A 6 to 10 month period in a renowned university or research center.

Fellows are expected to advance their research work mainly by using the facilities and resources provided by the host institution and by interacting with peers.

Fellowship benefits (Grants)
Every year, the Program provides grants of up to $25,000 to PhD candidates from developing countries.

The Robert S. McNamara Fellowship provides the recipient only the following benefits:
  • A round-trip economy class, least expensive airfare to and from your host institution and your home country;
  • Actual tuition fees, if any, charged by your host institution to carry out the research in accordance with your research and budget proposal;
  • A living stipend to cover subsistence, accommodation, basic medical and/or accident insurance. The amount of this stipend varies depending on the host country;
  • Allowance for the cost of research to cover books, materials, software, local field trips (for data collection), research expenses, seminars and other miscellaneous expenses.
These benefits are contingent on certain reporting requirements you must meet over the course of the fellowship period. These reporting requirements may include a mid-term report and a final report, as well as letters of support from your research advisor.

Method of Application
An application will be accepted and reviewed if the applicant submits only one completed application electronically through the on-line application site by the application deadline.

An application is considered complete if it includes a completed Application Form; and required reference letters. Please note that individuals who submit more than one application will be disqualified.

It is important to visit the official website (link to it is below) to access the online application portal and for complete information on this fellowship program.

The fellowship application opened on January 5, 2016; and the deadline date is noon, Washington D.C time (Eastern Standard Time/EST) on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The year 2015 was the first time that the RSMFP used an online application system. The RSMFP Secretariat will not guarantee an answer to a question submitted via email by an applicant less than three business days before the application deadline. The application process is lengthy, so to avoid any last minute issues please try to submit your application at least one-week ahead of the deadline.

Please note that the full online application, including application form, email communications and reference forms are only available in English. However, both you and your referees will be given the choice of making your responses, on the application form, and the reference forms, in English, French or Spanish.

Application Deadline: 2 February 2016
Open to International students: Yes

More Fellowship Information and Application

Related: List of Postgraduate Fellowships for International Students

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