UK-India Initiative on Social Sciences PhD Partnering launched

A new UK-India PhD Partnering Initiative in the Social Sciences has been launched with funding from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

This pilot scheme is designed to generate new partnerships and develop existing links between the ESRC’s Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) and centres of research excellence in India.

This initiative will support the development of a UK-India community of early career researchers with the skills, links and contacts to operate in the global research environment. This initiative will enable strong, long term, sustainable research collaborations.

Around 50 researchers will be involved in the UK-India exchange programme this initiative supports. The research topics include linguistics, health and wellbeing and history and culture.

ICSSR Chairman Professor Sukhadeo Thorat said, “Experience shows that mobility at the doctorate level works best and offers greatest added value when it operates through existing networks and relationships. There are numerous valuable consequences of successful cross-border research collaboration at the doctoral level. Doctoral researchers benefit in terms of intellectual development, career progression, access to existing and emerging world class facilities and access to comparative research and populations”.

ESRC Chief Executive Professor Paul Boyle said: “The initiative recognises the UK’s desire to be India’s partner of choice especially with regard to the fast developing research infrastructure in India. The historical and cultural links between India and the UK are a strong basis for collaborative research on shared issues. This initiative will create network of UK-India early careers researchers with a desire to work together beyond their PhDs”.

Director, British Council India Rob Lynes, said, “Through UKIERI, we are supporting collaborations that are enabling the best social science researchers in the UK and India to collaborate to tackle global issues and advance the frontiers of knowledge.”

This initiative is part of a growing collaborative research relationship between the UK and India, which has grown from £1 million in 2008 to over £100 million today. The UK-India research partnership has not only grown in terms of research funding but also in scope, addressing key global challenges including food security, climate change, energy, health and economic and social research.

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