Centre for Development Practice and Research, Patna

Mentoring Young Researchers Programme for 2018-19

Applications Invited

Date and time: Feb. 13, 2018 10:00AM - March 31, 2019 6:00PM

Venue: Centre for Development Practice and Research, Takshila Campus, TISS, Patna

Announcement of Mentoring Young Researchers Programme for 2018-19

Call for Applications


Theme: Cultural Practices of Labour in Migration

Applications are invited under Mentoring Young Researchers Programme for the year 2018-19. The theme for the year is Cultural Practices of Labour in Migration. Young researchers who are eligible and interested in enrolling in the mentorship programme may send their application form by e-mail to patnacentre@tiss.edu. For the application form, click here.

Total Seats: 15


Deadline for application submission: 15th March 2018

Announcement of selection: 25th March 2018

Registration: 26th March to 5th April 2018

[Registration Fee: Rs. 2500/- (includes course material, lunch and refreshments during masterclass and workshops). Online link to be open from 26th March 2018]

Masterclass: 19th April 2018 (to be held at TISS Patna Centre)

Workshops: June and December 2018, and March 2019 in Patna (dates to be announced later)


Introduction to the Masterclass on Labor Migration and Cultural Practices

 After the crisis of 2008, the wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and other small scale conflicts around the world, and subsequent tightening of the borders and making of the “fortress Europe,” the issue of migration has taken a new sense of urgency among academics, policy makers, and activists of all hues. Words like “refugee,” “border,” “sovereignty,” “citizens,” etc. have come to the center of the concern of social sciences. Despite agreements and disagreements, difference in approaches and methodology, and disciplinary concerns, social scientists agree on one thing: old methods and understanding of borders and migration, in fact, capitalism, are failing to explain these new phenomena. This Masterclass is aware of the historical conjuncture in which it has to make a substantial contribution along with the participating students who will, hopefully, take up study of migration and culture with newer perspectives and methods.

The Masterclass will acquaint the students with the development of cultural theories and cultural research and their preoccupation with issues of labor and migration, and how they have evolved together in terms of their research questions and methodologies. The idea is to acquaint the students with the “exiled” beginning of the Frankfurt School, the Birmingham School with Stuart Hall as the leader who broke new ground in understanding of the rise of a new society in Britain with migrants from the Caribbean islands, Asia, and Africa from decolonizing nations and Capitalism taking a new neoliberal turn, and also some selected cultural theories which emerged in the process of decolonization and colonial struggles. Some of the theorists and artists this Masterclass will engage with are Frantz Fanon, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Homi Bhabha, Fredric Jameson, Raymond Williams, E P Thompson along with the scholars who worked under the Subaltern Studies project. This list of theorists is indicative and can go beyond it. At the end of the Masterclass, the students are expected to get the knowledge about the terrain of cultural studies, theory, and research and the position of labor migration in its epistemological moorings. The Masterclass would also provide some knowledge about the current debates and give a pointer to new questions and method that should be taken up in the study of cultural practices and labor migration.


Mentoring Young Researchers Programme

Concept Note


Located in Bihar, the Patna Centre of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences is primarily focused on carrying research on migration. Towards this end, the TISS Patna Centre is committed to promoting critical research in the field, deploying varied theoretical perspectives and addressing multiple issues. As a facilitator of critical research on migration, the TISS Patna Centre has also been making strategic yet regular interventions in academia by organising lectures, conferences, publications and training young researchers in academic writing and research methodology. To further deepen its pedagogical intervention, the TISS Patna Centre proposes to start a programme of Mentoring Young Researchers. Such mentorship is crucial for the health of social science research as a space for dialogue and sharing within university system is rapidly shrinking. In this manner, we hope to both supplement the resources provided by the traditional university system and also transcend them in terms of addressing emerging issues and experimenting with new forms.


  • To promote critical social science research on migration among young researchers;
  • To provide a platform for sustained mentorship of young researchers over a long period;
  • To bring together young researchers and the professional scholars working on common areas and with common concerns;
  • To build a network of young researchers with a focus on different dimensions of migration;
  • Provide an environment for experimentation with form of research, inculcate a spirit of empirically rigorous and theoretically sound social science research on migration;
  • Provide academic support in the form of readings and lectures;
  • Encourage public rendition of work through email based discussion forum and through the use of new media technologies;
  • Encourage a culture of peer review among young researchers by inviting researchers to comment on postings and drafts of fellow researchers; and
  • Generate a corpus of research works on migration.

To achieve these objectives

  • A group of young researchers will be selected consisting of both university students as well as early career professionals. Preference will be given to researchers from the marginalised communities.
  • They will work on their proposed topic for the entire period of one year of the programme.
  • Researchers will be provided academic resources to carry out research, present their work and interact with the wider academic community.
  • Apart from organizing workshops, the TISS Patna Centre will also be coordinating with the group throughout the period and will also try to facilitate public rendering of their research in print form.

Eligibility and Selection Process

Following a call for applications, a group of fifteen (15) young research scholars will be selected from among the applicants. The applicants may be regular students enrolled in masters, MPhil or PhD programmes in a university from across the state of Bihar. Along with them, independent researchers or early career professionals working in civil society organizations and involved in research activities in Bihar may also apply. The selection committee will comprise of faculty members from the TISS Patna Centre.

Masterclass and Workshops

It is proposed that TISS Patna Centre will conduct a masterclass and three workshops to give orientation, to review the work in progress and finally for the presentation of research outputs. While the masterclass will be of one day, the workshops will be of two days and will involve in-house and external resource persons who will be scholars of repute in field of migration.


In the very beginning of the programme, a masterclass, will be organized to with the following objectives:

  • To discuss the overall architecture of the research mentorship programme;
  • To hold preliminary discussion on the research interests of the participants.
  • To give orientation on the theory and research questions on the theme of the mentoring programme for the year;

First Workshop

The first workshop will be conducted within two months of the masterclass. The activities will include:

  • Group discussions in which researchers will be divided into small groups. Each group will be assigned a resource person who would be expert on their specific research topics. Researchers will discuss their proposals with the expert and will receive detail comments specific to individual proposals. This close dialogue may continue for the entire period of the programme. 
  • Lectures on areas of common learning such as research methodology, field work and literature review.
  • An email based discussion forum will be created and researchers will be encouraged to share their research experiences with the fellow researchers on this forum. The group will be moderated by the coordinator of the programme.
  • A lecture on new media tools for doing research in contemporary times and also on how to use web based forums, i.e. blogs and email discussion forums to disseminate research and network with global community of researchers.

Second Workshop

This will be a review exercise of the work in progress and will be conducted in the sixth or seventh month of the programme.  The activities will include:

  • A thorough discussion of the work in progress
  • Presentation of at least one book review by each researcher on a book of significant merit in his/her area of research.
  • Submission of work in progress report
  • Lecture on how to format references and write a research paper

Third Workshop

At the culmination of year-long programme, researchers will make public presentation of their works to an audience consisting of academicians, researchers and members of civil society. A publication plan will be drawn during the workshop.

In order to keep the dialogue between researchers and resource persons a continuous exercise, the structure of the programme will be kept flexible having provisions for facilitating the publication of research articles in vernacular and English journals.