India Initiative

What is the India Initiative?

The Duke India Initiative (DII) builds and fosters collaborations at Duke and with partners across India. The initiative supports research and educational activities related to India, from distance learning classes to India-related seminars and working groups.In doing so, the DII aims to:

  • Develop deep and sustaining ties with Indian partners
  • Foster multidisciplinary research collaborations on India at Duke
  • Encourage dialogue about India among research communities on campus and abroad

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The application deadline for the 2023-2024 term is now closed.

Be on the lookout for the next round, opening up later in 2023!

Duke India Initiative: Call for Graduate Student Travel Grants

The Duke India Initiative (DII) is opening a call for applications to fund full-time Ph.D. and graduate student travel for scholarly activities related to India. Travel can be to present a paper at a conference, attend a workshop, conduct field research or other relevant activity. We envision supporting proposals in the $500-$2000 range subject to the following guidelines:

  • Applicant must be full-time PhD or Master’s student at Duke
  • If travel is to attend a conference, student must have formal acceptance for a presentation at the event. If paper presentation or poster is pending acceptance, funding will be contingent upon formal acceptance of presentation
  • Travel must preferably occur between March 2023 and December 2023 (exceptions can be made).
  • Travel does not have to be to India, but travel must be related to India and aligned with the mission of the Duke India Initiative
  • All Duke full-time PhD and graduate students are eligible to apply; DII encourage applications from students from all Duke schools and colleges. Applications by Undergraduate students will not be considered.

Deadline: 5 pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Applications should include the following (items 1 and 2 should be a maximum of two pages, 11-point font, single line spacing and with 1” margin):

  1. Name, department/unit and contact information of applicant
  2. Description of the proposed travel activity
    • Brief background and rationale for the travel
    • If travel is for a conference or workshop, name of event and URL for the event
    • Dates of travel
    • Benefit to the individual
    • Benefit to DII (how the activity contributes to advancing DII’s mission)
  3. Itemized budget with brief justification (0.5 page maximum). Airfare must be in economy class. Only direct costs are allowed.
  4. Overlapping activities (one half-page maximum): include a statement indicating whether or not this travel is already funded or pending funding (include source). If additional funding is necessary for the travel, indicate source of funding and amount.
  5. One-page CV for the applicant.
  6. Brief letter of support from the student’s adviser indicating how the travel will benefit the applicant.

Funding requests should be sent as one single pdf file to Rohini Thakkar ( by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Use “DII Travel Funding Application” as the subject line. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged within 48 hours.

Students will be required to give a brief presentation at a DII event in Fall 2023 and deliver a brief report on their activities after completion of travel.


Duke India Initiative
John Hope Franklin Center
2204 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27708

Rohini Thakkar
(919) 681-3262