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Winrock International


John D. Rockefeller 3rd Scholars Program

Winrock International created the John D. Rockefeller 3RD Scholars Program (JDR3) in 2004 to continue the Rockefeller family’s longstanding commitment to building the capacity and leadership skills of scholars in emerging countries. The program promotes independent social science research and strengthens analytical skills of young professionals, primarily in Asia. Research themes focus on development challenges facing disadvantaged groups, including women, youth, ethnic minorities and low-income groups.

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Why JDR3?

USAID and other donors have increasingly noted the importance of linking research and evidence-based practices to development programs to improve efficiency and effectiveness. To do this, it is imperative that donors and implementers alike address the barriers to generating high-quality social science data. The JDR3 Program uses a participatory, locally-led approach to build the evidence base for project interventions through original social science research that informs programmatic and policy decisions. Research generated under JDR3 helps establish the routine use of evidence in development planning, programming and policy.

How Does JDR3 Strengthen Local Research Skills?

Applied research grants target local, mid-career researchers and professionals who have few outside opportunities for funding. JDR3 staff and local experts provide mentoring during the grant competition process to strengthen the analysis and synthesis skills of the researchers. Local experts representing academia, government, donors and the private sector serve on judging committees tailored to each team’s needs, providing quality control and assistance, with outreach to policymakers. JDR3 staff train teams on using research results to inform policy, enabling researchers to advise key decision-makers on policy and practice.

How Does JDR3 Improve Policies and Practices in Emerging Countries?

Highlights of JDR3 research team accomplishments include the following:

Watch this video, which celebrates the legacy of the Agricultural Development Council, one of Winrock’s founding organizations, and of the JDR III Scholars program, which continues that legacy.

The Agricultural Development Council (A/D/C) Tradition

November 20-21, 1965 – A/D/C/AURP workshop – Dr. Clifton Wharton, Jr. (left.)

The Agricultural Development Council (A/D/C), established in 1953 by John D. Rockefeller 3RD, provided graduate-level fellowships to outstanding students from 16 Asian countries.

During its 31 years of operation, the A/D/C supported advanced degree studies of 588 men and women. Most attended universities in the United States; a few studied in Europe and Australia. The A/D/C also strengthened local academic institutions, sponsored conferences, and supported research initiatives.

The A/D/C was successful in identifying scholars with a deep commitment to serving their countries; more than 90 percent of A/D/C fellows returned home to assume leadership positions in academia, government and the private sector.

In 1985, the A/D/C merged with two other Rockefeller family-related organizations to become Winrock International. In 2004, on the 50th anniversary of the A/D/C, Winrock created the John D. Rockefeller 3RD Scholars Program to recognize Rockefeller’s lifelong contributions to international development and cooperation.

Today many A/D/C scholars continue to play important roles in rural development. If you were an A/D/C Fellow, or a Winrock Scholar in Asia, we want to reconnect with you.