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Ph.D. Programme in History

The Department of History, Ashoka University, invites applications for its Ph.D. Programme for the academic year 2021-2022. The department is looking for motivated, committed, and bright young scholars, who will be expected to carry out high-quality research..
The Faculty of the Department of History at Ashoka University has expertise in the history of ancient India, with a special focus on archaeology, heritage, society, politics, religion, texts, and ideas; the history of medieval and early modern India with an emphasis on states, empires, warfare, and environment; the history of modern India and the Indian Ocean with a focus on political violence, space, environment, and intellectual history; contemporary history and international history of modern South Asia; and global history.

List of Candidates Selected for History Ph.D. 2021

Application Number
Barathy MG
Bidisha Sengupta
Jyotishman Mudiar
Karil Soral

Highlights of Ashoka’s Ph.D. Programme in History

  • Liberal Arts:  Centred on its stimulating Liberal Arts model of education, Ashoka University offers a unique environment for pursuing historical research in India. Its rich intellectual environment fosters inter-disciplinary thinking and research.

  • Library: Ashoka University has a world-class library. It has an expanding collection of books and journals of South Asian and global history. It provides access to a wide range of digital resources, like JSTOR and South Asia Archive. The Department of History is deeply committed to expanding its library resources further for supporting serious research and pedagogy.

  • Seminars: For several years, the Department of History has been running multiple seminar series throughout the year. Both eminent and upcoming scholars of History and allied disciplines regularly present their latest research here. The main series – titled  Ashoka History Seminar – runs through the year with the active participation of our Ph.D. scholars.

  • Language Training: The History Ph.D. Programme offers tailor-made language training to cater to the research needs of its students. Currently, Sanskrit and Arabic are offered. Depending on the research requirements of incoming students, new options for languages will be introduced.

  • Teaching Opportunities: All History Ph.D. students will be able to gather some pedagogical experience as Teaching Assistants during their tenure at Ashoka. This will give them an opportunity to mentor Ashoka’s undergraduate students and thereby acquire teaching skills.

  • Stipend: All History Ph.D. students, who are not recipients of other financial aids already, will receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 35,000. In addition, they will be eligible for an annual contingency grant of Rs. 20,000 as support for their research. Students holding an MPhil degree will receive this stipend for the first 4 years, while students without an MPhil degree will receive this stipend for the first 5 years. The university may also extend additional financial support for Ph.D. students to participate in conferences

  • Accommodation: History Ph.D. students will be able to take up accommodation at the Ashoka campus, depending on its availability. They can also opt not to stay on campus and avail an extra sum of Rs. 7,000 as Rent Allowance towards off-campus housing.

  • Ph.D. Timeline: The tenure of Ph.D. students at Ashoka University is a maximum of 6 years. Out of this, all students will focus on coursework during their first one or two years, depending on their academic needs. During their second year, students will be required to submit their final Ph.D. Research Proposal. The semester fee is Rs. 12,500 per semester.

Eligibility for Application

Students with Masters in History or a related discipline with 55% or more marks are eligible to apply. In admission, preference will be given to students who already have a research degree (like MPhil) or have experience in research work otherwise.

Application Process and Timeline

  • Applications can be submitted between 15 March 2021 and 20 April 2021.
  • All applicants should submit online applications using the official University website portal. For this, click here.

  • As a part of this online application, applicants will need to upload a research proposal and a writing sample in PDF format.

  • The research proposal should include
    (a) a concrete discussion on the proposed field of research and the research questions,
    (b) a survey of the existing historiography of this field,
    (c) indication of potential primary sources, and
    (d) a detailed bibliography of secondary literature.
    The length of the research proposal should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words excluding the bibliography.

  • The writing sample does not have a word limit. It should be a piece of writing – an article, an assignment, or a chapter – that the applicant considers being one of their best work.

  • All applicants are required to appear for a qualifying entrance examination which will be held online on 8 May 2021. They will be intimated about the details of this once their forms have been submitted and accepted.

  • In the examination, applicants will be required to answer a few essay-type questions. These will test the applicants on the basis of their analytical capability, historical understanding, and the ability to articulate their thoughts clearly. To see past years’ question paper, click here.

  • Applicants shortlisted on the basis of the entrance examination and the research proposal will be invited to appear for an online interview which will be held on 27-28 May 2021.

  • The final list of applicants selected for admission to the Ph.D. programme for the academic year 2021-2022 will be displayed on this webpage by 10 June 2021.

  • The academic session for the new batch of Ph.D. students will begin in mid-August 2021.

  • All queries related to the Ph.D. application and admission process should be directed to phd.history@ashoka.edu.in.


For any queries please email phd.history@ashoka.edu.in.

Ph.D. Students

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka