Summer in South Asia Fellowships

Photo courtesy of Courtney Green, 2013 SISA Fellow
Photo courtesy of Courtney Green, 2013 SISA Fellow

The Center for South Asian Studies offers a special opportunity to chart your own course in India…

Thanks to a generous donation to the Center for South Asian Studies, undergraduate students at UM have an opportunity to design and carry out their own fellowship programs in India during the summer. This fellowship is intended for non-graduating students who have not already spent significant amounts of time in India. The program is designed to be flexible: you research and choose the NGOs, tell us what you want to study, design a program to accomplish your goals, and we will fund the best and most unique proposals to cover most of your costs. 

We strongly encourage students to work with existing non-governmental organizations, but working independently may also be acceptable. Internships with for-profit companies and paid internships will not be funded.

Read about our Summer in South Asia 2014 Fellows, and stay up to date with their their blogs.

EligibilityWhat sort of students are you looking for?

  • Non-graduating undergraduate students are eligible to apply (freshman, sophomores, and juniors).
  • We accept students of all disciplines and majors at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus.
  • Applicants should have no or little previous experience traveling in India.
  • Only available to students who have not previously participated in the Summer in South Asia Program.
  • There is no GPA requirement (it is considered during the application process, but there is no minimum).

Requirements for the ProgramWhat am I getting into?

Students must initiate and implement individualized research projects; joint projects by multiple fellows will not be permitted.

Students must do their research projects only in India.

Students must spend a minimum of four weeks in India working on their research projects.

Students must prepare research reports and present the results of their research at a Colloquium open to the the University community.

Application ProcessHow do I do this, and when is it due by?

Click on Apply Now below to begin your application in M-Compass. The Stage-One application deadline will be in early-December (official date TBA). The application process requires an initial review, after which eligible candidates will move on to a second round of review.

In the Stage-One M-Compass application, students are required to submit the following application materials:

  • Online M-Compass funding application

Applicants will be notified of the first round decision in mid-January (official date TBA). Successful first round applicants will then be required to complete additional requirements in M-Compass to complete their Stage-Two application. This will include:

  • An uploaded Statement of Purpose (1-3 pages) including proposed time period, institutional affiliation, your reasons for pursuing the project, how this experience will contribute to your career goals; and budget
  • Two online recommendations - requested from M-Compass
  • An uploaded U-M transcript

Final award decisions will be issued in mid-to-late February and fellowship recipients will receive additional requirements at that time.

Apply Now

Examples of Possible Programs What do you mean by "self-directed research projects?"

All projects MUST be self-directed research projects and cannot be paid internships or jobs. 

  • Carry out research  in business, social work, government, or education
  • Work with an NGO on women's issues, diversity, deforestation, cultural or religious projects, AIDS, urbanization, or similar issues. For example, students interested in medicine might do an internship at a hospital or intern in a public health program as long as it is an independent, self-directed project and not something specified by the organization
  • Do preliminary work for an honor's thesis, also on an independent basis
  • Seek out an apprenticeship that complements your academic work. For instance, an art or art history student might apprentice with a master Indian artist or artisan.

Summary of Important DatesDo I still have time for everything?

Interested students should plan to attend the Summer in South Asia Symposium on October 24, 2014.

Applications deadline for fellowship will be in early December (official date is TBA), for travel to India in the summer of 2015. Students who wish to apply are encouraged to read blogs written by previous students and watch video recordings of previous years' presentations.

It is mandatory for students to have contacted Indian NGOs in their field of interest before they apply.

Important Dates (TBA):

  • Early-to-mid December, 2014:               Notification of stage I results
  • Mid-December, 2014:                              Meet with CSAS staff to refine proposals
  • Mid-January, 2015:                                 Stage II Applications Due (PDF's of application
                                                                     and recommendation letters from faculty)
  • Early February, 2015:                             Notification of Results
  • Late February, 2015:                              Orientation Meeting

Please visit this website for updates and for current deadline dates.