Robert S. McNamara Postgraduate Fellowships for Developing Countries 2021

Applications are currently being invited for the Robert S. McNamara Postgraduate Fellowships (RSMFP) for Developing Countries in 2021.

The Robert S. McNamara Postgraduate Fellowships program matches aspiring development economics researchers from developing countries. This is 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).

In light of this, fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington D.C. for 8 months (September to May each year). While there, they will work under the supervision of researchers in the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) and Development Research Group departments.

Expectedly, they would engage in high-quality and policy-relevant research projects.

Key Program Features

Professional experience: Fellows will work on World Bank projects under the direct supervision of World Bank DEC researchers. In the midst of that, they will be offered training on cutting-edge research practices and technologies and engage with the World Bank operations.

Depending on the nature of projects, they will have the opportunity to contribute to DEC’s published work and potentially co-author with DEC researchers. But that’s not all, they will have the opportunity to potentially join field missions, and directly engage with clients.

See Other Fellowships HERE

Capacity building:  Undeniably, there will be a one-week technical onboarding at the start of the program, including training on reproducible research practices for fellows. In fact, throughout the program, fellows will participate in periodic continuing education training and events, to further build their skills.

Through their work with DEC economists, fellows will enhance their ability to identify, study, and write about important development policy questions.

Research dissemination: In a similar vein, fellows will be invited to write a blog based on their fellowship research with the DEC researchers. This is an opportunity to showcase research and contribution to development policy discussions. This is why each year, the top 4 blogs will be published on DEC’s Let’s Talk Development blog.

Worth of Award

  • The RSMFP competitive compensation totals $42,750. This is net of income taxes per fellow for an 8-month fellowship and it will be paid in monthly instalments.
  • Since the fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington D.C., the World Bank’s HR Operations unit will assist candidates with their G4 visa ap­plication.


However, to be considered for the Robert McNamara Postgraduate Fellowships, 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.

How to Apply

Given the fact that the window for applications is now open, you will be asked to indicate which research programs best align with your research interests. That is research programs for from the Development Research and Impact Evaluation departments.

Note that you may also be prompted to answer multiple-choice questions about your technical skills. So before starting your application, be ready to upload:

  • Your resume in PDF format
  • A statement of purpose in PDF format with no more than 500 words
  • The contact of at least one academic reference
  • Writing sample (optional): sole-authored research documents that best reflect the applicant’s English writing skills
  • Code sample (optional): sole-authored script that best reflects the applicant’s coding skills

Deadline: The window for applications is now open and will accept applications until April 30.

Click here for more details and to apply

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