Students in various stages of their doctoral career are invited to submit applications by 23 November 2020


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The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) will host the seventh edition of the Annual PhD workshop from 11 – 13 January 2021. With a strong inter-disciplinary focus, as well as an emphasis on the relationship between research and practice, IIHS nurtures research and innovation focused on the challenges and opportunities of India’s urban transition. IIHS has built a substantive on-ground presence of direct policy and programmatic engagement all over India and across middle and senior administrative levels. This makes for a globally unique opportunity for scholars intending to research the Urban where it matters – at the intersect of theory and practice. The proposed IIHS doctoral programme, and the ongoing Post-Doctoral program, emphasise this connect to the institute’s wider connections into domestic and international policy worlds, and to its practice teams. IIHS is also delivering on this by building an integrated programme of quality campus-based education and research, training and lifelong learning for working professionals, distance and blended learning, as well as a whole array of practice and advisory services.


About the PhD Workshop


The PhD workshop is one such educational intervention designed to provide a dedicated space for PhD candidates to expand on their work while interacting with eminent scholars in the field of academia and policy, and practice. This will also provide participants with an opportunity to explore emerging areas of urban research (such as approaching urban development projects as these unfold in India and other parts of the Global South) and give them the opportunity to theorise from both, research and practice.


The workshop aims to shape the trajectory of a doctoral career and enable participants to both, engage with the imperatives of the changing form of the discipline itself, and also meet the substantive academic demands of the doctoral process. The foundational ethos of the workshop is an interdisciplinary approach to the Urban, guided by theories of and from the Global South with an emphasis on grounded understandings. The workshop provides scholars with a space to critically examine not only urban related issues of their interest, but also their own position within it. This self-reflexive criticality allows participants to approach their field of inquiry as actors within, rather than as mere viewers of urban phenomena. In addition to guiding students through their work, the workshop will also deal with specific instrumental processes of earning a doctoral degree. The aim is to create a space of convivial co-learning that opens conversations not only on fields of inquiry, but also on experiences of students navigating the path to a doctoral degree.


Structure of the Workshop


This iteration of the PhD workshop will host participants from across a wide range of disciplinary mix, with a common thread being an interest in research practice that engages with the Urban. The workshop is designed to provide a platform for early and mid to late stage PhD students to explore in-depth, and further fine-tune, their work over an intensive three-day period. The structure of the workshop and the modules within it are designed to be relevant to students from different disciplines and at different stages of their doctoral career.


In addition to thematics relevant to particular disciplines, the workshop will also have a common track as well as two specialised tracks that will focus on specific needs of the participants. The Commons track of the workshop will primarily involve engagement with eminent scholars in both academia and practice as they explore the possibilities of new methodologies and pedagogies in and around issues of the Urban. In addition, there are two tracks designed keeping in mind the specific trajectories of the PhD students. Track 1 will focus on early career students who are in the process of finalising their questions. Track 2 will focus on late career students working on finalising their dissertation.


Application Process


To participate in the workshop please fill and submit the online application form available here. In the application form please also upload a piece of writing which could include, but is not limited to, a research proposal, dissertation chapter or an article in progress. This will form the basis of a more focused and constructive interaction and engagement with workshop faculty, to help participants ground their learning at the workshop in relation to a tangible output.


Participants will present their work to the faculty as a part of the presentation session scheduled on day one. This session will group students into thematic clusters, the primary aim being to facilitate interaction with faculty, and peers engaging with similar thematic areas. The workshop will focus on issues of contextual research, research ethics, research methods, conducting a literature review, writing a proposal, writing for different registers, and preparing course modules from dissertations.


Application should be sent to by 23 November 2020.

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