Japan Government and World Bank Joint Fully Funded Scholarship Program

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Overview of Joint Japan Graduate Scholarship Program

Established in 1987 with funding from the Government of Japan, the World Bank Joint Japan Graduate Scholarship Program has helped create an international community of highly trained professionals working in economic and social development through financing of graduate and post-graduate studies.

To date, the Program has awarded over 5000 scholarships selected from over 65,000 applicants, disbursing over US$200 million dollars in funding from the Japanese government.

The JJ/WBG Scholarship Program is quite unique among the hundreds of multilateral, bilateral and NGO funded scholarship programs offered to international students. Unlike most other well- known programs it does not focus on a specific region, group, hosting institution or country, or field of study. Except for a small funding window for Japanese citizens, the only major restrictions are: scholars from developing countries pursue abroad graduate studies in one of our partner or preferred university graduate programs, and upon graduation scholars return home to contribute to the development of their country.

The World Bank administers the Scholarship Programs through the Learning Leadership and Innovation (LLI). Policy guidance for the Program is provided by a Steering Committee comprised of three Executive Directors and five managers of the Bank. A secretariat for day-to-day administration is maintained within LLI.

Joint Japan World Bank Graduate (JJ/WBG) Scholarships for Developing Country Nationals


To apply for this JJ/WBGSP scholarship you must be a developing country national, not be a dual citizen of any developed country, hold a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent university degree) earned before 2013, and have at least 3 years of development-related experience since earning a Bachelor’s degree. Most importantly, you must commit to returning home to your country on graduation in order to use your enhanced knowledge and skills towards your community’s, country’s or region’s development.Those receiving a scholarship are barred from working at the World Bank Group for three years following graduation from the preferred masters program.  A complete list of eligibility requirements will be available when the call for applications opens in February 2016..

There are two ways citizens of developing countries can apply for this scholarship:

  1. For scholarships to one of our partner masters programs, applicants must first apply to at least one of our partner university masters programs. The university will provide the JJ/WBGSP Secretariat with a short list of eligible candidates and only those candidates will be invited to apply for a JJWBG Scholarship through our partnership window.
  1. For scholarships to one of our preferred masters programs, you need to apply to the university and meet their application deadline to get accepted into their program and in parallel also apply directly to JJ/WBGSP for the scholarship. The call for our scholarship application will not be open before February 2016.

Selection Process

JJ/WBGSP uses the following process to review completed applications, with the aim to identify the candidates with the highest potential after completion of their graduate study to impact the development of their country through the public and/or private sector delivery of public goods and services.

Two qualified assessors independently review each eligible application and score the application on a scale 1 to 10, taking into account four main factors and the degree of cohesion among them:

       (i)   Quality of Professional Experience  (30% weight)

       (ii)  Quality of Professional Recommendations  (30% weight)

       (iii) Quality of Commitment to your Home Country (30% weight)

        (iv) Quality of Education Background  (10% weight)

In terms of assessing the quality of professional experience, with the exception of applicants living in countries in conflict, we seek to award scholarships to mid-career applicants who have at least 3 years recent of full time paid employment in development-related work in the applicant’s home country or in another developing country acquired after receiving the first Bachelors (or equivalent university) degree; are currently employed in a paid and full time position at the time of application. For those applicants living in countries in conflict, the professional experience we seek does not have to be paid or fulltime.

The JJ/WBGSP Secretariat uses the average score of the two reviewers and the following other aspects of JJ/WBGSP’s objectives to select the finalists:

    ·maintaining a reasonably wide geographical distribution of awards, that takes into account the geographic distribution of eligible applications
    ·maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards across gender that takes into account the distribution of eligible applications across gender
    ·giving scholarships to those applicants who, other things equal, appear to have limited financial resources
    ·Unusual circumstances / hardships, when assessing the employment experience and other aspects of an application.

The finalists are then requested to provide supplemental documentation (Please see “ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF FINALISTS FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP” in the Application Guidelines).

The finalists are presented to the JJ/WBG Steering Committee (composed of members of the World Bank Board of Directors and WB management) for final review and selection of the winners of the award.  The Secretariat informs the scholarship winners by end July.

Scholarship Benefits


The scholarship is fully funded by the Government of Japan, and provides for the recipient only 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, you will receive a US $500 travel allowance for each trip;

   • tuition for your graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance usually obtained through the university. Please note that all our partner and preferred masters programs are 2 years or less and the scholarship covers the duration of the program;

   • a monthly subsistence allowance to cover living expenses, including books, while you are on campus studying at the preferred masters program. The amount of the allowance varies depending on the host country.

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship does not cover:

   • expenses for the scholar's family;

   • extra-curricular courses or training;

   • language training that is 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.

Note: The JJ/WBGSP scholarship may only supplement, and does not duplicate, any other source of financial support/fellowship you might have. If selected as a finalist or if you are awarded a scholarship, you must inform the J/WBGSP if you have other sources of scholarship funds. The JJ/WBGSP stipend may be withdrawn completely or partially if during the scholarship period the Program has evidence of additional sources of support.

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Publish Date
November 05, 2015
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