The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) will host the tenth edition of the Annual PhD Workshop in a hybrid format (virtually and in-person) from 8 to 10 January 2024.


With a strong interdisciplinary focus, as well as an emphasis on the relationship between research and practice, IIHS nurtures research and innovation focused on the challenges and opportunities of India’s urban transition. IIHS has built a substantive on-ground presence of direct policy and programmatic engagement across India, across middle and senior administrative levels, and in multiple urban contexts in the Global South. This makes for a globally unique opportunity for scholars intending to research the Urban where it matters – at the intersection of theory and practice. IIHS’ Post-Doctoral programme and the proposed doctoral programme emphasise the institute’s wider connections into domestic and international policy, and to overlapping communities of practice. IIHS is also building an integrated programme of quality campus-based education and research, training and lifelong learning for working professionals, distance and blended learning, as well as an array of practice and advisory services.


About the PhD Workshop

The PhD Workshop is a unique educational intervention on interdisciplinary urban research designed to provide a dedicated space for PhD candidates to expand on their work. They do this by interacting with eminent urban scholars and practitioners from IIHS and leading universities, and research institutions across the world including Yale, MIT, IIT-Madras, TISS, among others.


Initiated in 2013, the PhD Workshop has had close to 200 participants from leading global and domestic institutions including University of Oxford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, NUS, JNU, TISS, IIT-Bombay etc., across a wide range of disciplines such as Architecture, Planning, Sociology, Urban Health, Economics, Public Policy, Climate Change, Anthropology, Engineering, Governance and Law. The Workshop provides participants with an opportunity to explore emerging areas of urban research especially in India and other parts of the global South and give them the opportunity to theorise from both research and practice.


The Workshop aims to shape the trajectory of a doctoral career and enable participants to engage with the imperatives of the changing form of disciplines, and meet the substantive academic demands of the doctoral process. The foundational ethos of the Workshop is an interdisciplinary approach to the Urban, guided by theories of and from the Global South with an emphasis on grounded understandings. The Workshop provides scholars with a space to critically examine urban related issues of their interest, and their own position within it. This self-reflexive criticality allows participants to approach their field of inquiry as actors within, rather than as mere viewers of urban phenomena. In addition to guiding students through their work, the Workshop deals with specific processes of earning a doctoral degree. The aim is to create a space of convivial co-learning that opens conversations not only on fields of inquiry, but also on experiences of students navigating the path to a doctoral degree.


Structure of the Workshop

This iteration of the PhD Workshop is open to participants from across a wide range of disciplines, with a common thread being an interest in urban research and practice. The Workshop is designed to provide a platform for in-depth exploration and for early and mid-to-late stage PhD students and fine-tune their work. The structure of the Workshop and the modules within it are designed to be relevant to students from different disciplines and at different stages of their doctoral career. The structure also allows for specific attention to the needs of individual scholars and enables peer to peer learning.


In addition to thematic relevant to particular disciplines, the Workshop will also have a Commons track, and two specialised tracks. The Commons track will primarily involve engagement with eminent urban scholars and practitioners as they explore the possibilities of new methods and pedagogies in and around the Urban. This track provides an opportunity to learn about and understand a range of methods and data sources that are unique to urban India, ethical practices in research as well as the nuances of publishing in academia. Two specialised tracks will focus on early career students who are in the process of finalising their questions (Track 1) and late career students working on finalising their dissertation (Track 2).


The PhD Workshop will be in a hybrid format this year from 8 to 10 January 2024.


Click on the ‘Submit your application here’ button to submit your entry. For queries on the Workshop, write to us at