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Tata Trusts - Partition Archive Research Grants

~Request for Proposal~


Faculty and student researchers are welcome to apply.

The Tata Trusts and The 1947 Partition Archive (hereafter “The Archive”) are pleased to re-announce a one-month immersive residency grant program for academic researchers who seek to explore and study The 1947 Partition Archive’s complete oral history collections including over 9,400 oral history accounts on video, at one of three partner universities, including Ashoka University, University of Delhi and Guru Nanak Dev University.

Nine (9) Residency research grants are currently being offered to (1) faculty, and (2) student graduate and post-graduate researchers working under faculty supervision. The collection is unexplored and will hold relevance to those pursuing research in subjects related to South Asian culture, ethnography, and history over the last century, including the pre- and postcolonial period.

Successful applicants will be awarded a generous living stipend and provided one (1) month access to The 1947 Partition Archive’s complete collections.

This research grant is presently open only to residents of India (see note below).

*Note: The 1947 Partition Archive is working to seek donor and institutional partners to support similar grants in other countries, communities in geographies. We are grateful to the Tata Trusts for supporting this work in India.

Application Description:

The 1947 Partition Archive is now accepting applications for The Tata - 1947 Partition Archive Research Grants. Applicants will be granted remote access to The 1947 Partition Archive for a month as well as a monetary grant award.


The Tata - 1947 Partition Archive Research Grant is a full-time commitment that requires that the individual focus their complete time and energy for a one (1) month period to access and study oral history interviews of Partition witnesses preserved by over 600 oral historians who make up The 1947 Partition Archive. Researchers are expected to submit one mid-point report after two weeks and a final report, summarizing their findings.



Application opening date: June 13, 2021

Application closing date: July 12, 2021

Mandatory online orientation: Upon winning this grant, grantees must attend a required online orientation.

Research Grant Length: Grantees may start their one-month grant on the 15th day of any month between August and October 2021.

Research Grant Description

  • Access to The 1947 Partition Archive’s complete collection of oral histories - a repository of approximately 9,400 video and audio interviews in their raw form
  • Receive research and discovery support from dedicated librarians and Oral History Program team members
  • A chance to uncover previously unexplored historical data. Watch, listen, and learn from eye witnesses’ life experiences of Partition to meet your research goals

Application requirements

  • A limited number of faculty awards are available to junior and senior research faculty at universities across India.
  • A limited number of student awards are available to currently enrolled graduate or undergraduate students of any discipline working under faculty supervision.
  • Indian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have secure access to a personal computer or personal laptop
  • Have stable internet connection

Proposal requirements

  • Your resume
  • Statement of purpose (max 300 words)
  • Research Proposal (2 pages maximum, Times New Roman, font size 12, single spaced with 1 inch page margins. Figures, images, photographs, other pertinent material and references may be provided in appendices. Proposals that do not meet these criteria will not be considered.)
  • Letter from your research supervisor (mandatory for students of any level; not mandatory for faculty members)
  • List of publications
  • Application Form filled and submitted online

Expectations from Grantees

  • Grantees are expected to work hard and devote their time to assessing the oral history narratives critically
  • Grantees are expected to use what they learn from the Oral History narratives in their research in a respectful and ethical manner while maintaining the confidentiality of the oral history narrators
  • Grantees must submit a 1-page preliminary research summary at the midpoint of their research period
  • Grantees are to submit a 3-page research summary at the end of the research period
  • When grantees publish their research results in the form of a paper or an article, grantees are expected to offer a copy to The 1947 Partition Archive.

Guideline for applying to the grant

  • Consider the scope of your research proposal. Too general a question may make it difficult to identify relevant interviews in a manageable number for a month’s time; too narrow a focus might restrict you to a very small number of interviews.
  • How do you plan on using The 1947 Partition Archive’s interviews? What are the unifying features of the stories you are looking for (i.e. specific geography, language, etc.)?
  • How do you plan to keep track of the information of the interviews while you work? How will this information inform understanding of the research question asked?
  • How will you adapt to the unexpected while working with The 1947 Partition Archive material? If the information you are seeking is not available, less detailed, or more numerous than anticipated, how might you adjust your approach?


Selection Procedure

The selection of candidates will be a two-tiered process:

First, assessment of the research proposal by The 1947 Partition Archive team

Second, an in-depth review of the proposal by the Selection Committee composed of peers and professionals in the field.


  • Student grant: Rs. 30,000 INR for one month
  • Faculty grant: Rs. 50,000 INR for one month

The last date for application is: July 12, 2021, 11:59 pm IST

Grant period from August 15, 2021, to October 31, 2021




Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Do students require a supervisor?

A: Yes, students require an academic supervisor who is a researcher in the field. Have your supervisor write a letter certifying their assistance to you in the course of your research project as well as oversee the work you accomplish. They must be willing to publish the findings.


Q: Who is eligible as faculty to apply?

A: Faculty of any level can apply, who come from a research university, and have an excellent track record in research.


Q: Can access be granted remotely?

A: Yes, the residency can be conducted remotely during the pandemic.


Q: Who can apply as a student?

A: Actively and currently enrolled Undergraduates, Masters, Ph.D., and Postdocs are welcome to apply.


Q: Is the application restricted to specific disciplines?

A: There are no restrictions to discipline, but the application proposal and thesis must show the relevancy of accessing Partition oral histories.


Q: Must I have to be in India to apply or must I be enrolled in an Indian university?

A: Yes


Q: Is this opportunity available in other countries?

A: The 1947 Partition Archive is identifying funders who can help bring the same opportunity to researchers in other parts of the world.


Q: Can I apply for this opportunity as an artist or an author?

A: No, unless your research project is part of an academic publication.