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Ph.D. Programme in Sociology and Anthropology

Application window opens on October 20, 2020

Application process closes on February 28, 2021

Shortlisted candidates appear for interview on April 2 & 3, 2021

Final list of candidates will be published here after the complete evaluation.

For inquiries, please write to phd.soa@ashoka.edu.in

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ashoka University invites applications for its Ph.D. programme for the academic year 2021-2022.

The Department acknowledges the unique relationship between sociology and social anthropology as it has developed and flourished in India. We emphasise the critical empiricism, theoretical engagement, and comparative approach central to our best disciplinary traditions. Our faculty are actively engaged in long-term fieldwork and ethnographic research in different parts of South Asia and the Himalayan region. Faculty strengths are wide-ranging and include the study of language, law, religion, violence, nature, agrarian change, the state, sovereignty, borderlands, infrastructures, markets, political economy, mobility, informality, popular culture, and mental health. Our department encourages interdisciplinary explorations with allied fields of social thought and inquiry, including history, economics, political science, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, environmental studies, computer science, planning and design, natural sciences, arts and aesthetics, law, and media.

Interested candidates should visit the department website and acquaint themselves with faculty specializations.

How to Apply

We are looking for committed and motivated individuals with a genuine interest in research. Candidates with a background in sociology or anthropology or related disciplines, including history and the humanities, and a thorough knowledge of at least one Indian language are encouraged to apply. The minimum requirement is a Master’s degree with an aggregate of at least 55 %. Required documents include a cover letter, resume, research proposal (3-5 pages, including bibliography), and one writing sample (15-20 pages). To apply, please click here.

Process of Selection

There will be two components for evaluating Ph.D. applicants:

Written and Oral 

A. Written component will consist of Writing Sample & Research Proposal + Written Test
B. Oral interview

The result of the first screening of candidates on the basis of submissions (CV, Writing Sample, and Research Proposal) will be declared by March 10, 2021 (Wednesday). The applicants are advised to keep checking this page for more information.

Final shortlisted candidates will be notified by email about the take-home written exam and interview.

The email will mention the format of the written exam. The question paper will consist of 2 open-ended questions on two texts (extracts/selections from academic books). The written test will evaluate their critical engagement, sociological imagination, and original thinking. The duration of the exam will be 12 hours. The list of 2-3 readings will be provided at the time of email notification to shortlisted candidates.

The shortlisted candidates will sit for the take-away exam (12 hours, 8 AM-8 PM). The date for submission: April 2nd, 2021, Friday. The shortlisted candidates from the written exam will be called for interviews (via Zoom due to the COVID-19). The date for oral interview: April 24, 2021, Saturday. 

The final list of selected candidates will be announced: To be decided.

Ph.D. Prospectus

Click here to view the Ph.D. prospectus.


1. Are Ph.D. students funded?

All students admitted to the Ph.D. programme will receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 35,000 for six years, including during their fieldwork semesters. In addition to this, students will be eligible for an annual contingency grant of Rs. 20,000 for research support, and medical insurance coverage upto one lakh per annum. The university may also extend additional financial support for Ph.D. students to participate in conferences. JRF and other scholarship recipients would be able to carry over their scholarship to Ashoka. The semester tuition fee is Rs. 12,500 per semester.

2. What will be the duties of the Ph.D. students?

Ph.D. students will be expected to assist in coordinating the department seminar and colloquium series. All Ph.D. students will also acquire pedagogical training as Teaching Assistants during their tenure at Ashoka University.

3. Will the Ph.D. programme involve coursework?

The tenure of Ph.D. students at Ashoka University is a maximum of 6 years. Requirements for completing the Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology include 48 credits of coursework spread over two years. The department strongly recommends language training for fieldwork competence. Ashoka University offers many language courses. Students would be encouraged to enroll in language courses during the summer semesters.

4. Does Ashoka University provide accommodation for Ph.D. students?

Ashoka University offers Ph.D. students accommodation quarters on campus, depending on availability. Students can also opt for off-campus housing and will be given Rs. 7,000 as Rent Allowance.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka