2 Junior Fieldwork Research Grants

2 Junior Fieldwork Research Grants

Research department: Politics and Society

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) invites applications for two Junior Fieldwork Research Grants, starting on 1 June 2019. The successful candidates will be part of the project “Intermediary Actors of Politics in India (IAPI)” led jointly by Julien Levesque and Jean-Thomas Martelli.

The IAPI project aims to unearth the centrality of the myriad of non-elected political agents who constantly reinvent contemporary Indian democracy. The ambition of the IAPI project is twofold. First, it wishes to account for the emergence of a new range of political entrepreneurs involved in India’s democratic vernacularization. These figures include the naya neta—the non-elite youth that has progressively become one of the main channels between common citizens and the Indian state. It also aims to assess and explain the emergence of “interstitial” actors in India’s civil society: digital gods and social media trendsetters, leaders of caste associations, student activists, local groups involved in the practical organization of elections, and all the other small hands playing a part in the networks that structure the broader political field. The project’s interest therefore lays emphasis on how political performance by party cadres, journalists, lawyers and social entrepreneurs shapes the public debate. It aims to make sense of the array of representative claims emerging from the public participation of political intermediaries. The project will thus help understand how such representative claims affect the balance of power and shape the functioning of Indian democracy. Particular attention will be given to the way social profiles of intermediaries inform their political actions, in particular for those emerging from Dalit, Muslim and other deprived backgrounds. The project’s events will map the spaces of political pluralism in which understandings of India are formulated and reinterpreted, mainly through narratives that differ from parliamentary politics. The project engages with the issues of collective mobilization (of youth in particular), gender representation, and the political participation of minorities.

2 Junior Fieldwork Research Grants (fieldwork to be completed between 1 May and 31 August)

The JFRG seek to support young researchers in conducting fieldwork research relevant to the IAPI project. The funding will be geared towards the production of an ethnographically rich research paper that will be presented at one of the aforementioned research workshops. While focusing on the relevance of political intermediaries in Indian politics, each paper will engage with one of the following subfields:

  • The political relevance of Naya Netas and other non-elected actors of politics;
  • Social networks/Online politics/Media influencers;
  • Caste associations in electoral campaigns;
  • Student politics/Political archives.

Requirements for the Junior Fieldwork Research Grants:

  • at a minimum, enrollment in a PhD degree in a social science discipline (preferably in political science, sociology, history, anthropology);
  • previous experience in conducting fieldwork;
  • an emerging track record of publications;
  • fluency in English with solid written and oral skills;
  • responsiveness, flexibility and ability to integrate in a cosmopolitan environment.


The amount of each Junior Fieldwork Research Grant is 30,000 INR. The recipients will be affiliated with the CSH for the duration of the fieldwork. The CSH will also provide an office space to the recipients between May and November 2019. Selected candidates will be strongly encouraged to spend part of their writing time at CSH.

Application and Selection

All candidates should send a CV and a field-research proposal of no more than 500 words to julien [dot] levesque [at] csh-delhi [dot] com, jeanthomas [dot] martelli [at] csh-delhi [dot] com, and amit [dot] arora [at] csh-delhi [dot] com. The proposal should provide details about the intended fieldwork site, the data collection method, and a tentative calendar. Applications must be received electronically by 5 May 2019. Please note that the CSH reserves the right not to fill the position if no candidate is deemed suitable. The CSH is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through gender and ethnic diversity. Women are especially encouraged to apply.

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