World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowship Program for Developing Nations (2023)

Closes: 3 April 2023

The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSMFP) of the World Bank pairs aspiring development economists from developing nations with World Bank research economists, providing the fellows with exceptional opportunities to take part in rigorous research that is pertinent to policy at the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC). Fellows will be housed at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., for eight months (September to May each year), where they will conduct high-quality, policy-relevant research projects while working under the direction of researchers in the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) and Development Research Group departments.

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Fellows will learn about contemporary research practices, pick up new econometric skills, and connect with top researchers in their field through working with World Bank DEC researchers and their external academic collaborators from prestigious universities. Students will get a special chance to take part in rigorous research that is relevant to policy, broaden their view on potential development issues, and learn how their research might help solve problems in the developing world.

SponsorsWorld Bank
Host NationWashington, USA
Official Website
Closing Date3 April 2023
Eligible CandidatesStudents from Developing Nations
World Bank Fellowship Program

Major Program Elements

Professional experience: Fellows will participate in World Bank operations and work on World Bank projects under the direct supervision of World Bank DEC experts. They will also receive training in cutting-edge research techniques and technologies. Depending on the projects, fellows may co-author with DEC researchers, participate in field missions, or communicate directly with World Bank clients. They may also contribute to DEC’s published work.

Building capacity: At the beginning of the program, Fellows will get a one-week technical onboarding that includes instruction in reproducible research techniques. To further develop their skills, fellows will take part in practical trainings and seminars led by leading economists throughout the program. Fellows will improve their capacity to identify, research, and write on crucial development policy issues through their collaboration with DEC economists.

Dissemination of research: Fellows will be asked to create a blog within DEC based on the research they conducted during their fellowship. This is an opportunity for them to highlight their research and contribute to discussions of development policy.

Paid Time Off & Benefits

  • The RSMFP provides a competitive salary of $44,888 per fellow for an 8-month fellowship, net of income taxes (paid in monthly installments).
  • The World Bank’s HR Operations unit will help the chosen candidates with their G4 visa application since the fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
  • Travel costs are not covered by the fellowship.

By resolution of the Executive Directors, the RSMFP was created in 1982 to provide fellowships to young researchers pursuing studies in areas important to economic development. The governments of Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and the former Yugoslavia initially funded the program. This year, the Government of Japan is supporting a two-year pilot initiative through a partnership with the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) that will provide funding for fellows from the pool of recent JJ/WBGSP graduates to compete for a fellowship opportunity with RSMFP.

A steering committee, selection committee, and secretariat make up the RSMFP governance. The Steering Committee, which is made up of officials from the donor nations’ World Bank Executive Director offices, meets once a year to discuss progress.

The selection decisions are made by the Selection Committee, which is made up of World Bank DEC directors from the research and impact evaluation departments, based on the selection criteria and development goals for the fellowships.

Click here to apply

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