Research Topic:

Philanthropy and Social Justice Movements: A study exploring the patterns and impacts of funding movements.





About Shalini

Shalini is an educator, facilitator and a researcher with a decade of experience in the development sector along with academia. Her interests and work are at the intersections of Identity, Labour, Environmental (In)justice with a focus on Gender and Caste. Her research background is in Sociology with a focus on interdisciplinary research in the field of urban political ecology. Shalini’s skills range from community organizing, restorative justice, narrative practices, Trauma-informed practice , Non-Violent Communication and oral history. As a researcher, she is associated with various organizations like Women in Informal Employment-Globalizing and Organizing(WIEGO), National Law School India University(NLSIU) ,University of Bath. As an educator, she was a Teach for India fellow and also an Assistant Professor of Sociology teaching the under-graduates in Hyderabad. Shalini has been a recipient of various practice based fellowships for facilitations on gender sensitization, Mental Health and Education along with research based fellowships with University of Bergen, University of Massachusetts. She is passionate to work in a space where research, policy and practice intersect.

Through the fellowship, Shalini is keen to explore the patterns of funding social justice movements in India by studying the organizations and collectives that focus on community organizing and movement building.


Research Topic:

Covid-19, Sex Workers and Survival: How Did the National Network of Sex Workers Support Member Organisations?



V. Kalyan Shankar


About V. Kalyan Shankar

V. Kalyan Shankar works as Assistant Professor at the Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune. He completed his PhD from the Department of Economics, University of Pune and is a recipient of the EXIM Bank IERA Award (2014) for the best doctoral thesis by an Indian national on international trade. He was an ICSSR Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-15) and a Fulbright-Nehru scholar at The New School, New York City (2015-16). He has held visiting researcher positions at University of Wurzburg, Germany and University of Oxford, UK. In 2021, he received the Elizabeth Adiseshiah Citation for recognised contributions to development studies in India.

He co-edited the volume ‘Prostitution and Beyond: An Analysis of Sex Work in India’ published by SAGE (2008) and was the principal co-investigator for the First Pan India Survey of Sex Workers (2009-2013). His research work is published in Economic and Political Weekly, Higher Education, IDS Working Paper series, IIC Quarterly and WSQ. He is a co-founder of the Wadarai Foundation which works for the empowerment of farm widows and other marginalised single women in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra (India).


Research Topic:

Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in Organisational and Grant Making Philanthropic Landscape



Amod Khanna


About Amod Khanna

Amod Khanna, Business Economist by training, has worked in the civil society development space for the past three decades. Leading projects on issues of Governance, Rights of the Child, Livelihoods, Climate Change he has and made difference in the lives of vulnerable communities in difficult geo-cultural terrains across multiple states. He strengthens civil society by developing their strategic pathways on these issues with a focus on inter-sectionalities of gender, caste, access, and expressed needs of the communities. Amod believes in learning from communities and incorporating it in knowledge generation through qualitative research, participatory evaluations, process documentation and capacity building.





Research Topic:

Everyday charitable giving within urban healthcare landscapes in India





About Deeksha

Deeksha is a doctoral candidate at the School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her PhD dissertation is an ethnography of internal mobilities for medical care in Delhi, focusing on migration, access to public healthcare and philanthropic infrastructures in the city. She is a recent Commonwealth Scholar, completing her 12-month Split-site Scholarship at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. Deeksha is also an alumnus of the Dalai Lama Fellowship, USA. Her research interest includes migration and labour, civil society, Medical Social Work and Public Health/Healthcare in India.




Philanthropy in India is rapidly gaining momentum, yet relevant research remains scarce. Therefore, the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University launched a research fellowship in 2020 aimed at building this field, strengthening research capacity, and creating high quality, rigorous outputs.


So far, CSIP has mentored two cohorts of research fellows- Cohort of 2021 and Cohort of 2022. This call is for all interested researchers and scholars to apply for CSIP’s Cohort of 2023.


Beginning February 2023, a cohort of 10 fellows will spend 9 months conducting research on a topic related to Indian philanthropy and giving trends. The fellows are expected to undertake primary research, attend monthly calls, and participate in three online workshops to develop their skills in background research, literature review, data collection methods, analysis and writing.


The Research Fellowship can be conducted digitally with primary research undertaken via computer, tablet, or phone. At the end of the fellowship, fellows are expected to produce an 8,000-word high-quality working paper to be published on CSIP’s website.


The total fellowship amount is INR 9,00,000 per fellowship, which includes stipend and research expenses.


Research Areas

The broad areas of research for this year are as follows:


  1. What does philanthropy in India look like?
  • How do we define philanthropy in India?
  • What kind of philanthropy exists in India? Why does it look the way it looks? What are drivers of philanthropy and giving in India? 
  • What does the philanthropy and giving landscape look like outside of the main metros? Do practices differ across geographies, and urban and rural locations? 
  • How is philanthropy diversifying out of traditional sectors towards topics such as climate change, scientific research and mental health?
  • Does philanthropy fund movements, and if so, how? Do we see philanthropists joining forces to fund bigger causes?
  • How do different civil society organisations approach philanthropy in India? What are their fundraising strategies?
  • What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the philanthropy ecosystem in India?


  1. What do different kinds of giving look like in India?
  • What does individual giving look like? Who gives, for what, how and why?
  • What does community-based giving and volunteering look like in different communities? 
  • How do family offices give?
  • What are practices associated with giving in kind? 
  • Non-formal giving (not giving to an institution but to a family member, employee or similar)
  • How do people decide how much to give – norms on level of giving. Is it about who asks? 
  • How does giving in India differ compared to other countries? What are specific incentives and traits that affect the way giving takes place in India compared to other countries?
  • How does the diaspora give in India?  What are different drivers of giving among the Indian diaspora? Does diaspora giving to India differ to how diaspora give elsewhere? 
  • What are the different non-traditional forms of giving in India? 
  • How does online giving and crowdfunding work in India? What are the incentives or barriers to give through such platforms?


Candidates must be based full-time in India, demonstrate an interest and relevant background in philanthropy, have the capacity to undertake rigorous research during the fellowship period, and be able to produce a working paper of publishable quality (with help from workshops and support). 


For the 2023 Research Fellowship, we seek two types of fellows: 1) individual researchers, 2) individuals working with small grassroots nonprofit organisations in India, who can spend half of their time on the research project. For the second type of fellows, a fellowship may be shared between two or three individuals in the organisation. All applicants will be required to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for their parent organisation. 


Fellows will be selected based on the strength of their research proposal, previous research experience, ability to commit to the fellowship, and ability to produce the desired output. Women, LGBTQIA+, Dalit, Adivasi, people with disabilities and members of other minority and marginalised groups are particularly encouraged to apply.


Research proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the uniqueness of the proposal, its relevance to the research areas identified, coherence, rigour and methodology, and feasibility.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit the following by November 6, 2022


  1. One-page proposal of your research idea 
  2. CV
  3. One-page cover letter detailing your interest in and qualifications for the fellowship.
  4. A sample of your written work (such as a blog post, paper, article, report and NOC)


Access the application form here


Materials must be uploaded in PDF format.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by December 6, 2022, and requested to submit a more detailed proposal together with three references by January 6, 2022. Only complete

applications will be considered. Fellows will be selected after a round of interviews and  final selection by a jury of experts. The jury’s decisions will be final.

For queries, please email with subject line Research Fellowship-2023 Query.

Can undergraduate or masters students apply?

No. The individual fellowship is for individuals with several years of relevant professional research experience.

Can a group of individuals apply for a fellowship?

No, we accept only individual fellowships. The only exception is if you and a colleague already work at a grassroots-based small nonprofit and wish to apply as a group.

Who is eligible to apply as a group working for an NGO?

Only staff already working with small grassroots nonprofit organisations are eligible to apply for a shared fellowship as part of that nonprofit. Staff should have several years of working experience.

Can individuals from multiple NGOs apply together?

No. You either apply as an individual for an individual fellowship or as a member of staff of a small grassroots nonprofit organisation.

Can I apply if I already have a job or am a faculty / doctoral student /postdoc?

You may apply provided that you can make at least 60% of your time available during the workweek for working on the project AND your employer/university provides us with a No Objection Certificate (NOC) before taking up the fellowship. (NOC is not required at this stage).

Will you respond to all applicants that have applied?

No. Unfortunately, due to the expected large number of applications, we will only respond to successful applicants that go through to the second round.

Will you let me know if my application is not complete?

No, we will only consider completed applications and will not let you know if your application has not been completed. Please read the instructions carefully. Please also note that you need to put “Research Fellowship 2023 Application” as the subject line for your application. If you don’t, we cannot guarantee that we will see, or consider your application.

Will you cover research costs on top of the monthly stipend?

No, we expect fellows to cover all costs within stipend.

Should my proposed research topic cover both philanthropy and giving?

No. The list of themes is a guide as to what areas that are of interest to us this particular year, so you don’t need to cover all themes. Pick one from the list that you would like to work on.

I have an idea that is not included in any of the relevant list themes – can I submit it instead?

The shortlisted topics were drawn up after careful consideration and align with our priorities this year. It is unlikely that a topic that does not closely link to the list of themes, will align as well with our priorities.

Do you have an upper or lower age limit?

No, we don’t.

Can I live anywhere in the world?

No, you need to live full-time in India and have the right to work in India.

Are the workshops optional?

No, the workshops will be mandatory.

Can you complete the research fellowship in a shorter period of time?

No, we expect fellows to be part of the fellowship for the full duration.

What will I get at the end of the fellowship?

You will get a certificate from CSIP and your working paper will be published on our website.

Will you actually respond to all email queries?

We will respond to all queries that have “Research Fellowship 2023 Query” in the subject line. We cannot guarantee that we will see and respond to other messages.

How much is the fellowship amount?

The stipend will be INR 1 lakh per month per fellowship, for both individual and group fellowships. When two or three persons share a fellowship they also share the INR 1 lakh stipend.