Final selections of Fellows for 2024 have been completed 

Applications for 2024 now closed. 

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About the Fellowship

Due to economic pressure, the norm in India is for young graduates to join the workforce immediately, which inhibits sufficient self-exploration and often leaves young people with little space to develop critical thinking and a broader view of the world. This impedes many talented individuals from engaging with society in a meaningful way.

The  Inlaks Shivdasani Fellowship for Social Engagement  will give graduates and early to mid-career professionals the confidence and security to explore alternatives and make independent choices about their lives while contributing to social change. The fellowship aims to increase participation in public life among young people while encouraging them to challenge the status quo.

The fellowship will give young people the opportunity to work with a mentor of their choice and involve themselves in a process where knowledge drives social change. The fellowship will give participants the chance to build a diverse worldview and establish long-lasting connections to issues of public importance.

The work pursued may take many forms, including action-oriented research, cause lawyering, grassroots journalism, ecological efforts, minority rights, public health, archiving, reviving, or reporting on dying arts, culture, language etc. (Applicants proposing to work on art installations, photo books etc. are not eligible to apply for this fellowship. They are encouraged to apply for the Inlaks Fine Arts Award for which more details can be found here).

A brief profile of fellows selected for the 2022 and 2023 cohort is available here.

The fellowship is committed to supporting equality of opportunity, social inclusion, freedom of expression, and respect for individual and constitutional rights.


Upto 12 fellowships will be awarded across the following two categories:

1. Graduates – born on or after 1st January 1994 are eligible to apply for the 2024 fellowship and must have a bachelor’s degree; and
2. Early to mid-career professionals – born on or after 1st January 1989 are eligible to apply for the 2024 fellowship and must have at least 3 years of relevant work experience.

Equal consideration will be given to candidates from urban and rural areas. The applicant for this award must be an Indian citizen currently resident in India.

Those enrolled in academic studies/PhD for the duration of the fellowship are not eligible to apply.

Fellowship Award

Depending on the geographical location of the fellow, the fellowship stipend will be as follows:
1. 45,000 per month if the fellow is living and working in a “X” category area.
2. 35,000 per month if the fellow is living and working in a “Y” category area.
3. 25,000 per month if the fellow is living and working in a “Z” category area.*
(Please note that the final stipend amount is at the foundation’s discretion).

In exceptional cases, additional funding up to a maximum of Rs. 20,000 can be granted for special projects undertaken by a fellow. This will be approved on a case-by-case basis upon submission of a proposal describing the particulars of the said initiative and the expenses involved.

The fellowship will last for 2 years subject to satisfactory completion of a probation period and quarterly and annual review of the fellows’ work. The probation period will be for the first 6 months of the fellowship. The stipend will be disbursed every quarter in advance. The stipend is subject to timely receipt of quarterly reports in which fellows self assess their progress. These reports will be reviewed and commented on by their mentor before submission. A separate half yearly report from mentor will be required as well.


Application Requirements

The application process is designed to facilitate an easy understanding of your candidature and to assess whether your vision is aligned with the fellowship. Please answer all the points listed below or your application may not be considered. Applicants are expected to submit the following five documents:

1. Work Plan, which must include:
A title of the proposed work along with a concise description of the work or research the applicant plans to undertake during the fellowship period.
· The expected outcomes of the work or research.
· The work plan should not exceed 1000 words.

2. Statement of Purpose, which must include:
How does your work plan contribute to social change?
· How do you plan to contribute to the public discourse on your chosen issue? You could employ any medium such as writing for publications, publishing reports, filmmaking, photography, blogging, archiving, theatre etc.
· The statement of purpose should not exceed 1000 words.

3. Letter of Endorsement from the Mentor (on their official letterhead), which must include:
· A brief description of the mentor’s work experience.
· Mentor’s contact details (email and official address).
· A statement by the mentor as to why they endorse the applicant’s work plan.
· The mentor must also state that they agree to supervise the applicant’s work during the fellowship period, as well as indicate their willingness to review and comment upon the applicant’s quarterly and annual progress reports.

4. Letter of Recommendation (on their official letterhead)
· A letter from a person who has supervised the applicant’s work for at least 6 months. This cannot be the same person as your mentor.
· For fresh graduates an academic letter of recommendation is acceptable.

5. Resume

Application form is available HERE


Application Timeline

Applications for the fellowship can be submitted latest by 15 January, 2024 by 11.59 pm IST. Shortlisted candidates will be announced by first week of March following which they will be invited for a final interview by a selection committee within a fortnight. The final fellows will be announced by last week of march. Fellows will be expected to begin work from 1 May, 2024.


Expectations from Fellows

1. A commitment to a 2-year fellowship term subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement with Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation.
2. Fellows are expected to carry out their work in good faith and to the best of their abilities comporting with the highest standards of ethics, inclusion and fairness.
3. Fellows are expected to abide by the working policies of their host organization.
4. Fellows shall submit progress reports to the foundation for quarterly review. This will be reviewed and commented on by their mentor.
5. An annual presentation of the fellows’ work.
6. To enable the fellows to build a diverse worldview, fellows are expected to engage with their peers in the fellowship, participate and contribute to orientation and reflection workshops conducted by the foundation from time to time. This is mandatory.



We can be reached at fellowships@inlaksfoundation.org  Please note that we will be unable to respond to individual queries regarding the status of your application.



Please note that by submitting the application you undertake and declare that all information provided by you is true to the best of your knowledge and belief and nothing therein has been concealed or fabricated. That you have no criminal conviction or criminal proceedings pending against you. That you are liable to be terminated from the fellowship, without payment, if any information provided by you is false.

You consent to your data being used by ISF in a manner conducive with administering and facilitating this fellowship, which may include:
i.         Publishing your name and credentials online during the announcement of the shortlist and final list of fellows.
ii.         Featuring you, your work and any output produced by you during the fellowship program on the ISF website, blog, social media channels, alumni mailing lists, other publications etc. ISF retains the right to publish this material even after expiry of the fellowship program.
iii.         Sharing data related to your work and work output with people and partner organizations that will engage with ISF and the fellows during the fellowship program, such as for the orientation and reflection workshops.

Please note that your data will not be sold to any third party or be used for any commercial purposes

* https://doe.gov.in/sites/default/files/HRA%20Eng_1.pdf


For any further questions please reach out to fellowships@inlaksfoundation.org