The Lincoln Scholarship Program will achieve USAID’s goal of improving the technical competencies and enhancing the leadership potential of the next generation of leaders to guide Myanmar along a path of inclusive socio-economic development. Sixty percent of the population of Myanmar is under the age of 35. To date, few have had access to graduate education opportunities. The Lincoln Scholarship Program will help to close this gap and provide opportunities for scholars to study for Master’s degrees in the U.S.

Project Duration

  • August 2019 – August 2024

Type of Training

  • Master’s degrees at U.S. universities


  • Help develop a more stable, pluralistic and prosperous Myanmar by equipping young professionals and academics with technical and leadership skills.
  • Help scholars achieve Master’s level learning in diverse fields of study.
  • Provide comprehensive conflict resolution and leadership training to scholars.

Scholarship Award Benefits

  • Pre-academic training in Yangon
  • IIE will work with Lincoln Scholars to apply for university admission
  • Airfare to and from the U.S.
  • Fully covered tuition
  • A monthly stipend and other academic-related financial allowances
  • Support system while studying in the U.S.
  • Alumni support activities and alumni grants

Pre-Academic Training

Through pre-academic training, Lincoln Scholars will refine their English skills, standardized test taking skills, increase their understanding of the U.S. education system, and be prepared for life in the U.S. The scholars will also have peer mentors and professional mentors who will share their personal experiences and answer any questions scholars may have. Scholars are expected to participate  in both periods of pre-academic training as outlined below. 

Period-1: Standardized Tests Preparation

The first part of pre-academic training will be delivered online with the understanding that scholars will keep their professional jobs while preparing for the TOEFL-iBT and GRE.

Period-2: Graduate Studies Preparation

The second part of pre-academic training will be full time, in-person, and scholars are expected to be in Yangon to participate.  This period of pre-academic training includes information about the U.S. higher education system, visa application procedures, and pre-departure orientation. 

Fields of Study

Individuals who are interested in fields of study that are critical to Myanmar’s development are encouraged to apply for the Lincoln Scholarship Program. Fields of study include:

  • Agriculture: Agricultural Economics, Food Science and Management, Resource Economics, Agriculture Education, Fisheries Management
  • Business & Economics: Economics, Business Administration (MBA), Business Analytics, International Economics, Finance, Banking and Investment 
  • Communications: Journalism, Media Studies, Public Relations
  • Education: Education Management, Education Administration and Leadership, Higher Education Administration, Curriculum Development, Counseling, Teaching
  • Engineering: Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical, Biomedical, Environment, Cyber Security
  • Government, Administration, and Management: Public Administration, Public Policy, Urban Planning, Public Finance, International Relations, Political Science, Asia/Southeast Asia Studies
  • Health: Health Economics, Health Finance, Health Care Administration, Public Health, Health and Medical Informatics, International Health and Development
  • Law (LLM): Business Law, Human Rights, Comparative Law
  • Natural Resources: Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science, Forestry
  • Technology: Programming, Software Development, Data Science, E-Governance, Information Technology, Forensic Technology, Cyber Security

For more information about the Lincoln Scholarship Program, please contact:


To be eligible for the Lincoln Scholarship you must:

  • Be a citizen of Myanmar and currently reside in Myanmar
  • Must be 40 ­­­years old and under
  • Have at least the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with good academic achievement.
  • Have at least 3 years of work experience
  • Must be available to attend pre-academic training in Yangon upon selection

You do not need to meet the work experience requirement in one period of employment.

If you are currently employed, it is not a requirement of the Lincoln Scholarship Program that you resign from your position. You are advised to discuss your application with your employer, and it is your responsibility to ensure that they will release you if you are selected for the Lincoln Scholarship. IIE or USAID cannot intervene in this.

You are not eligible for the Lincoln Scholarship if you:

  • Hold a citizenship other than Myanmar.
  • Have earned a Bachelor’s degree from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, EU countries,
       Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, or Japan OR a Master’s degree from any
       country other than Myanmar.
  • Have not met the minimum 3-year work experience requirement for the scholarship before submitting the application.
  • Are a current or recent employee of IIE or immediate family members of IIE.
  • Are an employee of USAID or other U.S. Government (USG) agencies or an immediate
       family member of USAID or USG employees, including Personal Services Contracts
       (PSC) and interagency agreements with USAID. Current and former employees of
       organizations holding contracts, grants, or sub-awards with USAID are eligible to apply,
       but individuals may not continue employment if selected for the full-time scholarship


The Lincoln Scholarship Program will benefit approximately 100 scholars from diverse backgrounds split into three cohorts to begin their U.S. studies in fall 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Applications for Cohorts 1 and 2 are already closed.  For information on whether or not you are eligible to apply for the Lincoln Scholarship Program, please visit the Eligibility page.

Application Information for Cohort 3 

Phase One: Application (Open May 24, 2021)
Applicants register, complete, and submit their applications online at The application includes:

  1. Personal Information
  2. Education History
  3. Academic Interest
  4. Professional Experience & Employment History
  5. Contact Information
  6. Two documents:
    1. A copy of both sides of National Identification Card (NRC) and front face page of passport if available
    2. Copy of degree certificate/s

Once the applicants complete and submit their applications, each applicant’s information is reviewed to ensure the applicant meets all the eligibility criteria to apply for the Lincoln Scholarship.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants will move on to the next phase as soon as they are deemed eligible.

Phase Two: English Diagnostic Test (Rolling basis from May 24, 2021 to June 20, 2021)
Applicants who pass phase one of the application will be invited to take the English diagnostic test.  Applicants can begin to take the English diagnostic test as soon as they pass phase one and any time after but no later than June 20, 2021. Applicants who earn 460 or higher on the English diagnostic test will move on to phase three.

Phase Three: Essays and Supporting Documents (rolling basis from June 20, 2021)
Applicants who pass phase three will be provided with essay prompts they must respond to. Applicants will also be asked to provide three recommendation letters and official transcripts. Each applicant’s essays, recommendation letters, and supporting documents are reviewed by the review panel and applicants who are deemed to fit the profile of a Lincoln Scholar will be asked to participate in an in-person interview in phase four.  

Phase Four: In-person Panel Interviews
Approximately 100 applicants will be selected by the review panel for an in-person interview.  The program will inform those who are selected for an interview via email.

Required Documents

  1. Official Academic Records
    1. Degree certificate of all degrees earned (Phase One)
    2. Transcripts with complete record of grades from all the universities attended and all the years attended (Phase Three)
  2. Both sides of a copy of national identification card (NRC) and /or a copy of passport (Phase One)
  3. 3 letters of recommendation. 2 must be professional, 1 can be from a community leader (Phase Three)

Recommendation letters in English are preferred but if your recommender cannot provide one in English, the letters can be written in Burmese for phase three. If an applicant is selected for an in-person interview, the recommendation letters need to be translated into English before the interview date.

Selection Criteria

  • All applications are checked against the eligibility criteria, language skills, and
       assessment of the essays as follows.
    •  Clarity of academic and career goals
    • Concrete and measurable plan to contribute to the development of Myanmar
    • Evidence of leadership skills or community involvement
  • In addition, recommendation letters are carefully reviewed for the description of an
       applicant as someone who fits the Lincoln Scholarship profile.

Application Submission

We strongly encourage applicants to apply for the Lincoln Scholarship online. In circumstances where an applicant faces significant difficulty applying online, hard copy applications may be accepted.  Please email with the subject: Lincoln Scholarship Application to receive a fillable pdf application form that you can receive via email. 

Please do not submit more than one application.

Application Timeline for Cohort 3

Phase 1 (Eligibility Criteria)May 24, 2021June 20, 2021
Phase 2 (Language Skills)May 24, 2021June 20, 2021
Phase 3 (Selection Criteria)May 24, 2021August 1, 2021
Phase 4 (Interview Announcement)September 16, 2021September 20, 2021
Phase 4 (In-person Interview)September 27, 2021October 1, 2021
Awards announcementOctober 20, 2021
Deadline to accept the awardOctober 27, 2021 

Post-Selection Timeline

Applicants selected to be awarded a Lincoln Scholarship will follow the following post-selection timeline.

EnrollmentOctober 29, 2021October 29, 2021
Virtual OrientationOctober 30, 2021October 30, 2021
Online TOEFL iBT courseNovember 1, 2021December 10, 2021
Take TOEFL iBT at home testDecember 13, 2021December 17, 2021
Online GRE courseJanuary 3, 2022February 4, 2022
Take GRE at home testFebruary 7, 2022February 11, 2022
BreakDecember, 2021Mid-June, 2022
Pre-academic training and pre-departure orientationMid-June 2022July 31, 2022

Applicants who are selected for the Lincoln Scholarship will have to take the official test and earn at least 6.5 on each component for IELTS or 550 on TOEFL-ITP/PBT and 85 on TOEFL-iBT. 

Resource Links

TOEFL ITP Diagnostic Test Preparation Resources

For more information about the Lincoln Scholarship Program, please visit: