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Ph.D. Programme in History

The Department of History runs a PhD Programme under the guidelines of Ashoka University and the rules and regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The Programme provides students with a robust training in source-based, research-driven, serious academic history-writing. All History PhD candidates are expected to devote their full time to the PhD Programme.

The Faculty in the Department of History combines a passion for innovative teaching with cutting-edge research. It has an expertise in a wide range of specializations: the history of ancient and early medieval India, with a focus on archaeology, heritage, society, politics, religion, texts, and ideas; the history of medieval and early modern India with an emphasis on states, empires, political culture, 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; the history of late imperial and modern China, with a focus on borderlands and space, science and statecraft, society and economy, textual and historiographical cultures, transregional and global sinophone histories, history of Tibet, and China-India history; and global history. For further details about the research profiles and areas of interest of the History faculty, see this page.

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 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 Persian 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.
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  • 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

    The Department of History, Ashoka University, invites applications for its PhD Programme for the academic year 2022-23. The department is looking for motivated, committed, and bright young scholars, who will be expected to carry out high-quality research.

    •  Applications can be submitted between 15 February 2022 and 15 March 2022.
    • All applicants should submit applications only online 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, both in the PDF format.
    • The length of the research proposal should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words excluding the bibliography. 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 to be analysed, and
      (d) a detailed bibliography of secondary literature.
    • 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 to be one of their best works.
    • All applicants are required to appear for a mandatory qualifying entrance examination which will be held online on 26 March 2022. They will be intimated about the logistical 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 papers, click here.
    • Applicants shortlisted on the basis of the entrance examination, the research proposal, and academic record will be invited to appear for an online interview. The list of shortlisted candidates will be published on this webpage by 18 April 2022. Shortlisted candidates will also be informed by email. The interviews will be held online on 25-26 April 2022.
    • Following the interviews, the final list of applicants selected for admission to the History PhD programme for the academic year 2022-2023 will be displayed on this webpage by 5 May 2022. Selected candidates will also be informed by email.
    • The academic session for the new batch of PhD students will begin in mid August 2022.
    •  All queries related to the PhD application and admission process should be directed to phd.history@ashoka.edu.in.
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  • Applicants Selected for History PhD Admissions 2022

    Name Application Number
    Ashoka Vardhan Manchala 52-2022-10112
    Mariyam Siddiqui 52-2022-10136
    Navoneel Ray 52-2022-10128
    Saanika Patnaik 52-2022-10008
    Vighnesh P 52-2022-10046


    These applicants will be contacted individually for further details regarding the admission process.

  • Contact

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

Applications for Ph.D. Programme in History are now closed

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