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World Bank Robert S. McNamara (RSM) Fellowship 2021/2022 for Developing Countries

The World Bank funds the Robert S. McNamara (RSM) International Fellowship for Doctoral students to study at a World Bank country, in development related fields.

Application Deadline: 30th April 2021

Eligible Countries: World Bank Member Countries

To be taken at (country): Fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. 

Eligible Subject Areas: Economics, health, education, agriculture, environment, natural resource management, or other development related subject.

About Scholarship: The World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSMFP) matches aspiring development economics researchers from developing countries with World Bank research economists creating unique opportunities for the fellows to participate in rigorous policy-relevant research in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC). Fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. for 8 months (September to May each year) and work under the supervision of researchers in the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) and Development Research Group departments, engaging in high-quality and policy-relevant research projects..

By working with World Bank DEC researchers and their external academic collaborators from top universities, fellows will learn current research standards, acquire new econometric skills, and network with leading researchers in their field. They will have a unique opportunity to participate in rigorous policy-relevant research and widen their perspective on potential development questions, and how their research can address challenges in the developing world.

Type: Fellowship

Who is qualified to apply? To be considered for the RSMFP, applicants must be:

  1. Nationals of World Bank WBG member countries, with preference to nationals of developing countries;
  2. Graduates of MA level studies or currently pursuing a PhD in Economics or a related field;
  3. No more than 35 years of age (by June 30th of the year the fellowship starts);
  4. Available to relocate to Washington, D.C. for the duration of the fellowship.

Research programs

Applicants will have the option to select in the application whether they would like to be hosted by the Development research department or the Impact evaluation department in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC).

Selection Criteria: The RSMFP uses the following process to review completed applications, with the aim to identify eligible candidates with the most innovative and relevant research proposals in the area of development.

Two qualified reviewers independently review each eligible application to assess the following:

  • Quality of the proposed fellowship (70%)
  • Prospects for a productive career in research post-PhD (30%)

Selection Process: All 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.

Value of Award: The RSMFP offers a competitive compensation, totaling $42,750 net of income taxes per fellow for an 8-month fellowship (paid in monthly installments). Since the fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington D.C., the World Bank’s HR Operations unit will assist the selected candidates with their ap­plication for G4 visa.

Note: The fellowship does not cover travel expenses.

Number of Awards: Several

Duration of Award: 8 months

How to Apply: Applications for the RSMFP cohort are open annually from March 1 – April 30. To be considered, applicants must submit:

  • Resume
  • Statement of research interests
  • Contact details for a letter of recommendation (RSMFP team will contact the academic advisor for the letter)
  • Writing sample in English (optional)
  • Code samples (optional)

Visit the Fellowship Webpage for Details

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