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World Bank Scholarships Program

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Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

The JJ/WBGSP provides scholarships for up to two-years to a limited number of Japanese mid-career professionals who are dedicated to the alleviation of poverty and enhanced shared prosperity in developing countries, and who have been admitted to or are currently enrolled in a master’s or PhD graduate degree program outside of Japan and in development-related fields.

After earning their degree, Japanese national scholars are expected to advance their professional career with a keen focus on the alleviation of poverty and enhanced shared prosperity in developing countries.

The 2025 application window for Japanese nationals will open from mid-February to mid-April 2025. Exact dates will be published in the fall 2024.

  • 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.  In general, criteria include:
  • Be a Japanese national
  • On or after the date the call for scholarship applications opens, not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of any type of appointment (including temporary and consultant) of the World Bank Group (The World Bank, International Development Association, International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and International Center for Settlements of Investment Disputes); or not be 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.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent university degree) earned at least three years before the date of the Application Deadline.
  • On or after the date the JJ/WBGSP scholarship application process opens, not be employed (as a staff or any type of employment) by the Government of Japan or its related agencies, including JICA, local governments and the Central Bank.
  • Have at least 3 years of paid development-related employment acquired since earning a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent university degree) and acquired within the past six years from the date of the Application Deadline. 
  • At the time of the application submission, be either admitted unconditionally (except for financing) or currently enrolled full-time in a graduate program outside of Japan in an area of study related to development or be currently employed full-time in development-related work pertaining directly to developing countries.

The JJ/WBGSP uses the following process to review eligible scholarship applications from Japan nationals, with the aim of identifying the candidates with the highest potential, after completion of their graduate studies, to impact international development.

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 and Recommendations (40% weight)
  2. Quality of Completed Application Form (40% weight)
  3. Quality of Education Background and Academic Recommendation (20% weight)

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

  • Maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards across gender;
  • 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 finalists to the JJ/WBG Steering Committee (composed of members of the World Bank Board of Directors and WB management) for approval. Winners are informed by mid-July, after the JJ/WBG SC approval. 

The scholarship is fully funded by the Government of Japan, and provides for each scholarship recipient the following benefits during the scholarship period:

  • If the scholar is not already attending the graduate program, the scholarship will fund one economy class air travel from his/her home country to the host university at the start of graduate degree program and a $600 travel allowance.
  • If at the end of the scholarship period the scholar has completed all requirements to earn the graduate degree, the scholarship will fund one economy class air travel from the host university to Japan or a developing country where the scholar has secured employment and a $600 travel allowance.
  • For the duration of the scholarship period, tuition for his/her graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance that can be 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.


  • Atsuhiro Oguri, Japan/Worldbank Graduate Scholarship Program

    The Scholarship Program enhanced and maximized my learning experience at school, allowing me to commit my entire energy to build my foundation in econometric analysis and statistical programming at the professional level.


  • JJ/WBGSP Scholarship Program:
  • ⇨ The 2024 application window for Japanese nationals will open from February 12 to April 19, 2024
  • Read Promotion Flyer.