DIRI announces the Summer Fellowship for Master’s and early-stage PhD students that addresses research issues of theoretical and practical aspects of applications and implications of the Indian Digital Identity System – Aadhaar, especially on the relevance of digital identity in welfare programmes, banking and financial inclusion, challenges in large-scale adoption of new technology, privacy and data security aspects of digital identity. The last date for submission of application is March 6, 2018. The summer fellowship begins on May 16, 2018 and culminates on August 15, 2018.
Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIR) at the Indian School of Business is pleased to announce a fellowship program to conduct field research in India during the summer of 2018 from May 16 – August 15.
DIRI is a targeted and multidisciplinary research initiative to explore key questions around digital identity systems, with focus on Aadhaar, the unique identity system in India. DIRI seeks to establish a vigorous research ecosystem on Aadhaar with a view to address critical knowledge gaps through targeted engagement and collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
The summer fellowship will provide the opportunity for Master’s and early-stage PhD students to participate in this exciting research agenda by conducting field research in India on questions broadly related to Aadhaar. Under this program, fellows have an opportunity to design and implement a research project, while interacting with and learning from peers as well as leading researchers.
Each fellow will produce a paper based on the research conducted during the fellowship to be published as part of our working papers series, and we also hope to curate edited volumes based on this body of work. We also expect that this opportunity will provide experience in both fieldwork and research design that will help to advance the fellows’ broader career trajectory. More generally, we envision that the fellowship program will foster a community of emerging scholars working in the area of digital identity in India.
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This fellowship is designed primarily for Master’s and early-stage PhD students. We are interested in receiving proposals from students in a variety of disciplines in the tradition of humanistic social sciences, including Public Policy, Development Studies, Economics and Finance, Social Studies, and cognate disciplines. A diversity in backgrounds, skills, and interests will be considered an asset to the program, but research will be field-based and could be both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Applicants need not have a specific skill-set or training to apply, but we will take account of applicant’s background in considering ‘fit’ of the applicants with our research objectives. Interest in digital identity in India especially Aadhaar is necessary, and training or experience in quantitative and qualitative or ethnographic approaches to human-environment research is desirable. Familiarity with research methods and previous fieldwork experience in India is helpful but not mandatory. It goes without saying that fellows must be able to endure difficult living conditions associated with fieldwork, including intense summer heat in India.
The fellowship will be administered by Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIRI) at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, India. We will host two workshops at ISB during the fellowship period, during which fellows will work with invited faculty mentors to design and refine projects that connect their interests and background. Fellows will spend a majority of the fellowship period in the field for data collection. In keeping with the objectives of the fellowship, we are only able to support research that is conducted in India.
The fellowship will be start on May 15, 2018 and culminate on Aug 15, 2018. At the beginning of the fellowship period, we will host a workshop at ISB on research design that will provide an opportunity for fellows to further build and refine their proposed projects with the help of invited senior researchers associated with their theme. After a two-week reconnaissance visit to the field sites, fellows will return for a shorter workshop to recalibrate their projects based on initial findings and to plan for the rest of the fellowship period. At the end of the fellowship, we will have a one week sharing and writing workshop where fellows will synthesize findings, present and receive feedback from their peers, draw comparisons among research within their themes, and produce a draft working paper. After further edits, DIRI will publish these papers in our working paper series. We also hope to submit these papers for special issues of peer-reviewed journals or edited volumes from reputable academic presses.
The fellowship will cover basic living expenses for the duration of the program as well as travel to and from field sites within India. We would also provide limited financial support for global travel to and from India for the fellows residing outside India. However, we would only consider candidates who hold Research Visa or PIO status.