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Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program
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Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

The JJ/WBGSP is open to citizens of certain 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.

Subject to available funding, JJ/WBGSP offers scholarships for 53 Participating Master’s Programs in 27 universities in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Oceania and Japan in key areas of development, including economic policy management, tax policy, and infrastructure management.

Please note that if you are not admitted to one of these 52 Participating Master’s Programs, you are not eligible to apply for a JJ/WBGSP Scholarship in 2024.

The link to the JJ/WBGSP application form will only be communicated to candidates shortlisted as eligible JJ/WBGSP applicants by participating universities. Potential candidates are invited to reach out to the university offering the JJ/WBGSP participating master program they are targeting to find out if they meet this requirement.

To accommodate the academic calendar of JJ/WBGSP Participating Programs, the next application process will be organized in two rounds:

After earning their degree, developing country scholars commit to return to their home country to use their new skills and contribute to their countries’ social and economic development.

A JJ/WBGSP scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance. View a detailed list of benefits.

Who is eligible to apply?

Details on Eligibility Criteria for each call for applications are provided in that call’s Application Guidelines, and these detailed eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to. No exceptions are made.Broadly speaking, Developing Country nationals must:

  • Be a national of a World Bank member developing country on this list;
  • Not hold dual citizenship of any developed country;
  • Be in good health;
  • Hold a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree earned at least 3 years prior to the Application Deadline date;
  • Be employed in development-related work in a paid full- time position at the time of submitting the scholarship application. Have at least 3 years of paid development-related employment since earning a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent university degree) and acquired within the past 6 years from the date of the application deadline. Please see FAQs—Window 1 on how to count qualified part time employment toward this 3-year requirement. Please see Annex 2 of the Application Guidelines for a suggested list of development-related topics. The only exception to this criterion is for developing country nationals from a country that is on the list of Fragile and Conflict States featured in Annex 3 of the Application Guidelines. In such cases, we do take into consideration the limited employment opportunities in those countries.
  • On or before the scholarship application deadline date, be admitted unconditionally (except for funding) for the upcoming academic year to at least one of the JJ/WBGSP participating master’s programs located outside of the applicant’s country of citizenship and country of residence listed at the time the call for scholarship applications opens. The letter of admission must be uploaded before submitting the scholarship application. For details, see “How to Apply”.
  • Not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of any type of appointment 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.
  • Individuals who have previously been offered a JJ/WBGSP scholarship but declined it, or have previously received a JJ/WBGSP scholarship but did not graduate, are not eligible to apply again.

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?

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)

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

  • Maintaining a reasonably wide geographical distribution of awards
  • Maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards across gender
  • Unusual circumstances/hardships, when assessing the employment experience and other aspects of an application;
  • Giving scholarships to those applicants who, other things being equal, have limited access to financial resources for graduate studies abroad.

The JJ/WBGSP Secretariat presents the list of finalists to the JJ/WBGSP Steering Committee (composed of members of the World Bank Board of Directors and WB management) for approval. Winners are notified soon after the JJ/WBGSP Steering Committee 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 $600 travel allowance for each trip;
  • Tuition for your graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance 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.

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;
  • 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

Note: The JJ/WBGSP scholarship may only supplement, and does not duplicate, any other source of financial support/fellowship you might have. If you are notified to be a semi-finalist or if you are awarded a scholarship, you must inform and document to the JJ/WBGSP Secretariat at that time if you have other sources of scholarship funds.

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