Nitrogen-doped bamboo-structured carbon nanotubes have been successfully grown using a series of cobalt/molybdenum catalysts. The morphology and structure of the nanotubes were analysed by transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The level of nitrogen doping, as determine by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, was found to range between 0.5 to 2.5 at. %. The growth of bamboo-structured nanotubes in the presence of nitrogen, in preference to single-walled and multi-walled nanotubes, was due to the greater binding energy of nitrogen for cobalt in the catalyst compared to the binding strength of carbon to cobalt, as determined by density functional theory.