Your browser does not support JavaScript

China-India Visiting Scholars Fellowship

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. The next cycle will be announced in October 2020.


The China-India Visiting Scholars Fellowship is an opportunity for academics, policy experts, and professionals who are interested in expanding their current research to include China. The fellowship is aimed at creating more knowledge about China in India and encourage academic exchange of early- and mid-career scholars and professionals. The fully-funded fellowship will provide 10 Indians the opportunity to develop an understanding of China’s experience with the same areas. 


The partnership between China and India is arguably becoming one of the most important partnerships of the 21st century. Today, China is the world's 2nd largest economy, has the 3rd most powerful military and is the largest current contributor to global warming through carbon emissions. Similarly, India is the world’s 6th largest economy, has the 5th most powerful military, and is the 4th largest carbon emitter. Both countries, with their massive populations, economies, and environmental impacts, have outsized effects on the trajectory of global affairs. Given all of this, there is still little understanding in India about China, and in China about India.  If there was a prime moment, this would be it.


The fellowship will run for 9 months. Through the program, fellows will have the opportunity to visit China, work with a partner institution, and collaborate with scholars. Fellows will also be able to present their findings to a larger audience. Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the start- and end-dates of the fellowship will be pushed back. We will only begin the 9-month period once it is completely safe to travel again.

The theme for 2020 is Economics and Development. This fellowship is ideal for scholars and professionals who are researching or working under the umbrella topic of economics and development, including (but not limited to) agricultural, urban development, education, vocational training, energy management, governance and performance management, rural poverty alleviation, food security, environment, public health, innovation infrastructure, and other similar areas, and are interested in developing a deeper understanding of China.


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.


The fellowship will run for 9 months. 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 but will be undertaken accommodating the schedule of the host institution and the fellow.


The fellowship application will open on November 18, 2019. Applicants may apply until 11:55pm on February 15, 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for a telephonic interview, to be held in the last week of February and first half of March.


Fellowship Committee

The fellows will be guided and mentored by a Fellowship Committee. The Committee will also be responsible for selecting the fellows, monitoring the progress of their research, providing periodic feedback, and helping disseminate the information. 


The members for the Fellowship Committee for 2020 are:


Applications have now closed.


Based on the written application, applicants will be invited for an interview with the Fellowship Committee, which will be conducted online or telephonically. Final selection will be done after the interview and is contingent on a successful match with host scholars in China. Please note that if your application is unsuccessful, Committee members will not be able to share individual feedback on your application. We will inform you if we were unable to find a match for you with a host scholar.


Fellows will attend a workshop on Research Methods in China, conducted tentatively over the weekend in May 2020. The workshop will prepare them for their project, including their visit to China. 

Host Scholars

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


Applicants, in their personal capacity, are encouraged to find scholars with a similar area of interest and collaborate on a project with them. We are also happy to connect you with scholars in our network, who you can indicate in your application. All matches will happen at the individual-level, not at an institution-level. Successful applicants will be matched with a research scholar at an institution, not with the institution itself. Areas span across public finance, development financing, public policy, environmental and sustainable development, entrepreneurship and innovation, India-China business cooperation, and more. Our current network spans across Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Tianjin. 


If the applicant is unable to find a host partner in their personal capacity, please indicate in your top 2 choices in the application. Ashoka University does not guarantee a successful match based on your choices – the final decision will be with the host scholar and their institution.

Expectations and Outcomes

The travel and stay in China will be supported through a fellowship grant of INR 3,50,000. Fellows will be hosted by a scholar in China. The arrangement with each host scholar 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

  • The fellow will assist the host scholar's institution with their requirements (such as giving a guest lecture at the institution, participating in a seminar, etc., decided by the fellow and the host institution prior to the start of the fellowship period)

Fellows will be expected to attend the workshop on Research Methods in China held in Delhi in May (tentatively). 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 once the fellowship period starts, which will be 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.



Number of Fellows



Focus Areas


Agriculture, Urban Development, Education, Vocational Training, Environment, Governance and Performance Management, Food Security, Public Health, Innovation Infrastructure

Funding Support


INR 3,50,000 for travel and stay in China



Working paper or detailed report; at least 1 lecture



Fellowship Committee will guide fellows through the different phases of the fellowship



The fellowship will culminate in an annual seminar where the fellows will present their research