British Association for South Asian Studies

News & Events

16 December 2017

3 Year Funded PhD Studentship, Northumbria University

Project Description
Despite strong economic growth in India over the past twenty years, resulting in the country being placed within the top five world economies on some measurements, we have seen the intensification of economic and social inequalities within India during this period. Contemporary India is particularly economically and socially divided on the basis of caste, gender, class, religion and region. There is a clear need for inclusive economic development and welfare across forms of social differentiation in India.

The relationship between international migration and development has recently emerged as a key area of global, national and regional policy making, as well as a focus of academic research, throughout the world but particularly with reference to the global south. This is particularly the case in India. Intense and increasing scrutiny and legislation is being applied to the remittances, investments, philanthropic donations, knowledge, skills and social capital transmitted ‘home’ by Indian diasporic communities living abroad. India is famously the largest foreign remittance receiving country in the world, the value of which outstrips international aid to, and regularly exceeds foreign direct investment in, the nation. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognised that the Indian international migration-development nexus goes well beyond remittances to encompass transnational financial investments, philanthropy, skills, ideas and knowledge transfer, as well as cultural, religious and political transactions. Nevertheless, the overseas Indian as development actor is, while now hugely significant in policy terms, a relatively new phenomenon about which we have much to learn. While dominant discourses within academic and policy discussions tend to celebrate the progressive relationship between Indian migrant transnationalism and Indian development, they have recently been qualified by a number of academic studies which emphasize the complexity and ambiguity, and call for more nuanced analyses, of the international migration-development nexus. Migrant transnationalism can exacerbate and create social differentiation and inequality within India, undermining inclusive development while simultaneously promoting economic development for some. It is important to examine the impact of migrant transnationalism across transnational space, with the effects upon those who do not migrate being especially important.

We invite PhD project proposals which aim to empirically examine the relationship between international migration and inclusive development within any region of India. This is likely to involve transnational fieldwork and may examine one of the following, currently under-explored, aspects of the Indian international migration-development nexus (although this list is not exhaustive), with a regional focus: Indian Transnationalism and Caste Inequalities; Dalit International Migration and Development; Gendered Indian International Migration and Development; International Migration, Gendered Land Transformation and Development in India; Climate Change, Indian Transnationalism and Development; Changing forms of Labour and Skill Mobility from and to India. Proposals which advocate an inter-disciplinary approach, and those which aim to develop connections with non-academic partners as part of the research process, are strongly encouraged.

Eligibility and How to Apply
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see