Islamic Development Bank Scholarships 2023-24 for PhD and Post Doctorate

Currently, there are four programmes offered by IsDB:

  1. IsDB Scholarship Programme for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries (SPMC)
  2. IsDB Master of Science  Scholarship Programme (M.Sc.) for the least developed member countries.
  3. IsDB Merit Scholarship Programme for High Technology (MSP)
  4. IsDB-ISFD Scholarship Programme (for least developed muslim countries.)

Pakistanis are only eligible for the third program, so we will be sharing the details for that below:

Merit Scholarship Programme for High Technology (MSP) for IsDB Member Countries


The Merit Scholarship Programme (MSP) was introduced in 1992. It offers scholarships for higher study at renowned high-tech universities and institutions around the world.


The objective of the MSP is to develop technically qualified human resources in IsDB MCs by providing scholarships to promising and outstanding scholars and researchers to undertake advanced studies and research in the fields of applied science and technology needed for the development of the member countries. The main objectives are:

  • To develop technically qualified human resources in the MCs;
  • To enhance the scientific, technological and research capability and potential of scholars and researchers in MCs;
  • To help meet national needs for science and technology; and
  • To strengthen the scientific, technological and research capability of institutions in MCs.
Fields of Study

The programme covers studies and research at two levels: (i) three-year or 36 months Ph.D. study; and (ii) 6-12 months Post-Doctoral research. The duration of both Ph.D. study and post-doctoral research are in line with international standards and practice.

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Fields of studies and subjects are determined by the direct need and the purpose of meeting the countries’ developmental needs related to science and technology. The needs are categorised by the following justifications: (i) lack of expertise; (ii) emerging science; (iii) problem-solving; and (iv) science management.

For general guidance, a broad list of 17 fields of studies is drawn and outlined hereunder. However, as the field of study is chosen from this list, it must gain merit by the relevance and value to the countries’ development needs and fall within one of the above four categories.

  1. Laser and Fibre Optics
  2. Conductors/Semiconductors
  3. Polymer Science
  4. Genetic Engineering/Biotechnology
  5. Nuclear Science/Engineering
  6. Electronics/Micro Electronics/Telecommunication
  7. Computer Science (including CAD/CAM)
  8. Renewable Energy/Fuel Technology
  9. Hydrology/Water Resources
  10. Metallurgy
  11. Chemical Engineering/Material Sciences
  12. Medicine/Pharmaceutical
  13. Agriculture/Food Technology
  14. System Engineering
  15. Space Science/Technology
  16. Environmental Preservation Technology
  17. Technology Management and Innovation (For post-doctoral research only).
Institutions of Study

Priority is given to Ph.D. applicants with secured admission at universities that have concluded a cooperation agreement with IsDB, such as the University of Cambridge; the University of Oxford; the University of Queen Mary; the University of London in the United Kingdom; a number of reputable universities in Malaysia, Turkey and the Makerere University in Uganda.

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Successful candidates for the Ph.D. programme may also secure admission at one of the reputable universities in IsDB member countries listed among the top 1,000 in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) or QS international universities ranking. 

Successful candidates for post-doctoral research are invited to undertake their research project at centres of excellence in IsDB member countries that have facilities and equipment to undertake cutting-edge research projects.

Eligibility requirements

The programme is only for scholars from MCs who are attached to educational, scientific and technological institutions and research centres in their home countries and are actively working in the scientific and technological development of their countries. 

The programme does not award scholarships to sole individuals, but to individuals at the institutional level. The institutions are partners in the programme.  Promising and talented individuals are sponsored and nominated by their institutions and accepted as appropriate by the offices of IsDB Governors in terms of the developmental and scientific needs of their countries.

To be eligible, applicants for the MSP must meet set criteria, including:

  • Be up to the age of: (a) 35 years for Ph.D. study; or (b) 40 years for post-doctoral research;
  • Have an M.Sc. (for Ph.D. study) or Ph.D. (for post-doctoral research) in a field of science/technology listed under the programme;
  • Have above average (“Very Good”) academic achievement;
  • Have good command of the language of the institution of study and the ability to conduct scientific work in it;
  • Have work and/or research experience of not less than two (2) years for Ph.D. study or five (5) years for post-doctoral research in the related field;
  • Have a record of publications/research in the same field;
  • Have a proposed field of study and/or research in one of the fields listed under the approved fields of study with scientific and development relevance to the country being clearly demonstrated in a research proposal endorsed by the nominating institution;
  • Applicants for post-doctoral research who have had a post-doctoral experience outside their countries within the past two years are not eligible;

Not be an IsDB staff member or Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of any type of appointment (including temporary and consultant) of the IsDB Group nor 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.

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The scholarship may only supplement, and shall not duplicate, any other source of financial support the applicant might have. If the applicant is awarded a scholarship, he/she must inform IsDB at that time if he/she has other sources of funding

Sending the application or getting admission by the academic institution does not mean that the applicant has been accepted for a scholarship. Accordingly, the applicant should not take any action concerning his/her current employment or otherwise until notified by IsDB of having been awarded a scholarship.

Benefits and Facilities

For the successful candidates, the scholarship covers the following items:

  • Cost of tuition fees as charged by the universities and payable to the universities directly
  • Monthly stipend commensurate with the cost of living in the country of study, on a single-status basis
  • Medical insurance under the university health scheme
  • Thesis/scientific papers preparation 
  • Conference allowance for Ph.D. scholars
  • A return air ticket and installation allowance for scholars studying overseas.

The scholarship does not cover the following:

  • Visa application(s) costs;
  • Expenses to bring and/or support a scholar’s family members
  • Extracurricular courses or training
  • Language training not provided by the study programme
  • Additional travel during your study programme
  • Expenses related to research, supplementary educational materials, field trips, participation in workshops/seminars, exchange programmes conferences or internships;
  • Educational equipment, such as computers
  • Residence permit fee.

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Obligations of the Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries awarded the scholarship shall:

Sign a surety bond stating their commitment to their studies, to return to their countries upon completion of their studies and to continue work and services to science, technology and development of their countries thereafter for at least twice the period of their studies under the IsDB Merit Scholarship Programme;

Devote themselves to their studies on a full-time basis without interruption and provide IsDB with reports on their academic studies and activities on a regular basis;

Not to seek or accept any other scholarship or remunerated work during their studies under the programme that may interfere with their studies or make the fulfilment of their other obligations difficult, unless otherwise approved in writing by IsDB;

Respect the laws of the country of study and maintain good personal and professional conduct consistent with the rules, regulations and objectives of the programme and the overall mission of the IsDB as an Islamic institution.

Roles of Nominating Institutions

As a partner in the joint effort with IsDB, the institutions nominating candidates for the programme are expected to:

  • Duly nominate their candidates, assist them in all aspects of documentation preparation and secure the necessary endorsements from local authorities;
  • Assist selected candidates to prepare for departure, place them on study leave and support them in their research;
  • Help return scholars resettle and support them in their research and equipment needs.

Roles of offices of IsDB Governors

As the channel of announcement, the offices of IsDB Governors are expected to:

  • Announce the programme, as widely as possible, among the scientific and research communities in the country;
  • Disseminate information to relevant scientific and research institutions and interested scholars in the country;
  • Endorse the shortlisted applications in the proposed fields of study that are most needed for the development of the country.

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List of Member Countries
Brunei DarussalamOman
Burkina FasoPakistan
ComorosSaudi Arabia
Cote d’IvoireSenegal
DjiboutiSierra Leone
Guinea BissauTajikistan
KazakhstanUnited Arab Emirates
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