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.
Fellow 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.
The window for applications is now open and will accept applications until April 30. For more detailed information regarding the application please go to “apply” page.
After completing the program, fellows will return to their home country or university to continue their studies and/or use their new skills to contribute to economic development issues.
To be considered for the RSMFP, applicants must be:
- Nationals of World Bank WBG member countries, with preference to nationals of developing countries;
- Graduates of MA level studies or currently pursuing a PhD in Economics or a related field;
- No more than 35 years of age (by June 30th of the year the fellowship starts);
- Available to relocate to Washington, D.C. for the duration of the fellowship.
Key Program Features
Professional experience: Fellows will work on World Bank projects under the direct supervision of World Bank DEC researchers and 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, join field missions, and directly engage with our clients.
Capacity building: Fellows will receive a one-week technical onboarding at the start of the program, including training on reproducible research practices. Throughout the program, fellows will participate in periodic continuing education trainings and events, to further build skills. Through their work with DEC economists, fellows will enhance their ability to identify, study, and write about important development policy questions.
Research dissemination: 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. Each year, the top 4 blogs will be published on DEC’s Let’s Talk Development blog.
Compensation & Benefits
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.
The RSMFP governance includes a Steering Committee, Selection Committee and a Secretariat. The Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from the World Bank Executive Director offices of the donor countries, meets annually to review progress. The Selection Committee, comprised of World Bank DEC directors from the research and impact evaluation departments, makes selection decisions based on the selection criteria and fellowships development objectives. The Secretariat supports the Selection Committee in all of its work and manages day-to-day operations, prepares policies and procedures, oversees onboarding, and manages development partner relations.
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).
Applications for the fellowship are open annually between March and April for cohorts starting in September of the same year. Applicants must submit a resume, a statement of research interests, contact details for a letter of recommendation, a writing sample (optional), and a code sample (optional). The statement of research interests should describe research interests and indicate the research programs of interest within DEC. Fellowships will be awarded based on application materials and demonstrated skills in required software. Cohort formation will seek to achieve geographical and gender representation.
Method of Application
Filling the application form takes approximately 20 minutes. You will be asked to indicate which research programs in the Development Research and Impact Evaluation departments best align with your research interests and may be prompted to answer multiple choice questions about your technical skills. 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 reflect the applicant’s coding skills