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China-India Visiting Scholars Fellows

The CIVS Fellowship is a fully-funded opportunity for academics, policy experts, and professionals who are interested in expanding their current research to include China. The funding is made entirely by Ashoka University. The theme for our first year is ‘Economic and Development.’ Our fellows are studying China across a wide variety of topics such as - Urbanization, Public health, Economics and Finance Industrialization, Law & Governance, Environment, and Migration to name a few. Please note, the fellowship is not funded by any Chinese institution or individual. 


We are pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of the China-India Visiting Scholars (CIVS) Fellowship, 2020 – 2021!

About the Fellowship

The fellowship is aimed at giving Indian scholars an opportunity to study China and create new knowledge about China in India. The fellowship is fully-funded by Ashoka University and will provide 15 Indian scholars each year the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of China’s development experience across various fields. 


In the 21st century, India needs to invest in its ability to understand its neighbors in order to grow and prosper. China plays an important role in the region and we need to study China and understand its economic, political, social, and historical conditions to support and enhance continued engagement. Both India and China, with their massive populations, economies, and environmental impacts, have outsized effects on the trajectory of global affairs. If there were a prime moment for India to invest in its ability to understand China better, this would be it.


As we launch the program, the world is faced with an unprecedented challenge. Covid-19 has affected us all in an unexpected and difficult way. However, it has also reinforced our belief in fostering deeper knowledge within Asia and the world. The current global situation is a stark reminder of how interconnected our world is. We are committed now, more than ever, to study other countries and understand them.


The next cycle for the CIVS Fellowship will be announced in October 2020.


The fellowship is open to scholars and professionals

  • who have completed their PhD or have a Master’s with at least 3 years of work experience.

  • whose area of specialization is Economics and Development (related to the above-mentioned fields).

  • who are Indian nationals or hold an OCI/ PIO card.

Please note

  • Applicants do not require China experience, be experts in China studies, or have working knowledge of Mandarin.

  • This fellowship is not open to students.

Duration and Timing

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have pushed back the start (and eventual end-date) of the fellowship. We will only begin the fellowship period once it is safe to travel again.


In ideal circumstances, the fellowship will run for 9 months, from mid-March to mid-December of each year. Fellows are expected to spend between 4 to 6 weeks in China, either altogether or split over two trips. Ideally, fellows will take up to 2 months to prepare for their visit to China. The start and end date of the travel to China are flexible.

Host Scholars

Fellows will conduct their research with a host scholar in China. The host scholar may provide logistical support to the fellow and connect them to additional institutions and individuals who would help bolster the fellow's research. The fellow may participate in conferences, seminars, guest lectures, and any other activity that the host scholar may have arranged during their stay. 


Please note, Ashoka University does not have any institutional partner in China nor are there any MOUs signed with any organization.

Expectations and Outcomes

All funding is provided by Ashoka University; there is no funding by any Chinese institution or individual.


The travel and stay in China will be supported through a fellowship grant of INR 3,50,000. The arrangement with each host will depend on the nature of the fellow’s research plan and project, but broadly it is expected that:


  • The fellow works and conducts their research with a counterpart in China.

  • The fellow works towards a scholarly product, which could be either a working paper or a detailed report.

  • The fellow will give at least one public lecture in India on their findings.

Fellows will be expected to attend the workshop on Research Methods in China held in Delhi in April. Additionally, the fellowship will culminate in a conference, where all fellows and their research partner in China will present their findings. The conference will be announced after the health crisis has mitigated.


The China-India Visiting Scholars Fellowship can be combined with additional grants. The fellow has the flexibility to continue with their current work engagement while pursuing this fellowship, provided their home institution allows this.


The coordinating team would like to thank all those individuals who made this fellowship possible, including Aravind Yelery (Peking University HSBC Business School), Jabin Jacob (Shiv Nadar University), Rathin Roy (NIPFP), Shamika Ravi (Brookings Institution), Shekhar Shah (NCAER), T. N. Ninan (Business Standard, Ltd.), Yamini Aiyar (CPR), and Zorawar Daulet Singh (Northcap University).