Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program provides support to young researchers working in academic and research institutions from eligible countries preparing a doctoral thesis. Research grants cover residence costs for a 5 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.
Who Can Apply?

Only lecturers and researchers from eligible countries working on their doctoral thesis can apply for the fellowship. Candidates should be under 45 years, and have completed any course work or exams required for their doctoral program.

What Does the Program Support?

The purpose of the grant is to help fellows advance their doctoral research work through a residency period of five to ten months in a host institution in a country other than their home country or country of residence.

During the research period at the host institution, the fellows are expected to have access to essential resources such as reference books and research publications, databases, and software; attend seminars and eventually courses; and to benefit by interacting with peers.

Host Institution

Candidates should be accepted or invited by a host institution which would designate an academic advisor to assist the fellow during his research period. Host institutions should also commit to provide the fellow with basic amenities such as office space and access to a computer, and to facilitate his/her research activities.

Fellowships Award

Eligible candidates are evaluated by external reviewers based on three criteria: academic performance, teaching and research experience, and relevance of the proposed research program. The top candidates are submitted to the Selection Committee, which includes World Bank senior experts and Donors representatives, for final selection. In addition to the merit criteria, the Selection Committee takes into account other factors such as availability of budget, geographical diversity and gender balance.


Candidates are requested to submit a budget for their fellowship covering the costs related to their research program: travel; insurance and living expenses; fees for courses and participation to seminars; and a books and software allowance.

The grant amount to be awarded to each fellow will be decided by the Selection Committee. The maximum amount of the grant is US$ 25,000.

Fellow’s Commitment

Fellows are required to issue two reports, a mid-term report during the fellowship period and a final report containing the results of the research. The results of the McNamara fellows research work may be considered for publication by the World Bank.

Fellows are expected to return to their home countries and resume their academic or research position upon completion of the fellowship. They are also expected to mention the McNamara fellowship award in any publication related to their doctoral research work, including their thesis, and to provide the Program with a copy of their thesis upon graduation.

How to apply:

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the following general criteria to be eligible for a fellowship award:

Be a national and resident of a World Bank member country which is currently eligible to borrow;
Candidates should be under 45 years. Candidates born before January 1, 1964 will not be considered;
Must have completed and been awarded at least a Master’s degree, or equivalent, at the time of application;
Be regularly registered in a development related doctoral program in their home or another country;
Must have completed all coursework and exam requirements for their doctoral program;
Be employed as full time lecturer or researcher by an academic or research institution in their home country;
Be accepted as a visiting scholar by a renowned university for a period of five to ten months.
Application Procedures

Application forms for Robert S. McNamara (RSM) Fellowships Program are available in English, French, and Spanish in PDF format.

Each application consists of the three documents: 1) 2008 RSM Application Form; 2) Letter of Reference (Professional or Academic), and 3) Statement of Acceptance by Host Institution & Research Adviser

Applicants should download and fill-in the application forms, then submit their application packages including all the required documentation. To be considered for the 2008 cycle, all completed application forms must be received in Washington, DC, by March 31, 2008. Late applications will not be considered. The awards will be announced in June 2008.


Applications and correspondence should be mailed to:
The World Bank
Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program
1818 H Street, NW – MSN J2-204
Washington, DC 20433

The Program Office can also be contacted at:

Tel.: +1 (202) 473-6849:
Fax: +1 (202) 522-4036
email: [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *