Amrita E4LIFE International Ph. D. Fellowships

Do you have a passion to work in rural communities and help them attain a sustainable future?

Come and join Amrita’s PhD Program in Sustainable Development that is tailored just for you!

Calling for applications from international and Indian students for full-time admission to pursue a PhD in Sustainable Development.

APPLY NOW and avail the fully funded E4LIFE International PhD Fellowship - Limited fellowships available!

Program Background

"When we try to love or serve without understanding those whom we are serving, we often end up harming society and ourselves. In order for service to be beneficial, it needs to go hand and hand with discernment. This is the essence of sustainable development."

- Dr. Sri. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

India's socioeconomic growth and development depends upon the sustenance of its rural communities, as 70% of its population are still living in rural villages. These communities form the backbone of the country. Despite the country's overall progress, the rural population has been facing numerous pressing problems which need to be addressed. Some of the challenges they face include: extremely poor access to basic facilities and infrastructure, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, waste management, along with the unexpected impact of climate change and extreme weather conditions that result in devastating natural disasters.

At Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita), our faculty and students have a mission and a vision to work towards our country’s progress, thereby delivering a sustainable future and creating a global impact. Under the guidance of our Chancellor, Dr. Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (affectionately called as “AMMA”, meaning Mother), a world-renowned humanitarian and meliorist, we have pledged to the motto -“Education for living and Education for life”. Along with academic learning which is important to make a living, education must impart a culture of the heart—a culture based on enduring values, that is essential for life (E4LIFE). AMMA then suggested us to provide opportunities to students from all over the world to spend quality time in the villages that will help them experience, understand and solve the problems faced by the villagers.

To this end, Amrita adopted 100+ villages and got committed to use applied research as the foundation of socio economic progress and sustainability. Further, to make this accessible to the international academic community, the Live-in-Labs®, Amrita’s flagship program was launched in 2013. The Live-in-Labs® is a credit-based program which adopts a multidisciplinary theory–into–practice approach.

Related Links: Amrita Live-in-Labs®

Program Overview

Our Chancellor’s exemplary vision and untainted intent of care for people in real need, has laid the foundation for this PhD Program. This program is integrated with a comprehensive yet flexible curriculum called- the “Experiential Learning Curriculum” that aims to enroll and cater to candidates from various disciplines and work towards the sustainable development of the adopted villages.

  • Avail opportunities for a double/joint PhD in affiliation with international universities
  • Engage with the Industry
  • Work in funded projects by UN, Govt of India, European Commission, World Bank etc.
  • Join world class research centers and work with distinguished international Professors 

We work on the following thematic areas to make these villages self-reliant: 

  1. Health & Hygiene
  2. Education & Gender Equality
  3. Waste Management & Infrastructure
  4. Energy and Environment
  5. Agriculture & Risk Management
  6. Livelihood & Skill Development
  7. Water & Sanitation
  8. Other relevant areas 

A detailed study of each of these areas in every community gives rise to a combination of problem statements intertwined with dynamic challenges such as the psychosocial beliefs, language barriers, cognitive behaviour, social issues prevalent based on caste, gender, politics etc. that are very unique to every community. These problem statements and challenges are being analysed meticulously by interdisciplinary teams of students and expert researchers in order to address them.

Curriculum & Faculty

Amrita’s PhD program in Sustainable Development is a multidisciplinary and theory-into-practice PhD program. The program is designed to provide an interdisciplinary grounding with its integrative courses.

We offer this program in two modules:

  1. Academic Learning Module:

    The academic learning module will be designed and tailored to suit the need of implementing the proposed research and development. It will constitute a highly comprehensive, flexible yet  customized set of Core courses and Elective courses. Wherever applicable, we will arrange:

    • International faculty lectures to offer various specialised courses and academic workshops;
    • Technical workshops from industries to enhance technical knowledge and
    • Allow undertaking MOOCs from reputed Universities with transferable credits.
    • Funded opportunities for Joint or Dual PhD in collaboration with highly reputed international universities are available for ALL candidates.

    List of our Partner Universities:

    • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA
    • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  2. Experiential Learning Module:
    • Organized community visits
    • Theory-into-practice approaches to effective community engagement
    • Explore and feel the pulse of rural communities in India that are very diverse in terms of their culture, language, literacy, natural resources and socioeconomic development
    • Identify pressing problems of rural communities through one’s own experience by embracing and engaging with them
    • Develop sustainable solutions and ensure empowerment of the rural communities

The course structure is designed to combine flexibility to pursue an individual field of study, with the development of broad-based skills and knowledge in relation to sustainable development. The students can decide on a list of core courses and electives after discussion with their allocated guides at Amrita. The students should maintain an overall B+ average with no lower than a B in any of the core classes.

Faculty at Amrita:

For a list of Faculty at Amrita, please visit

Funding Information

Amrita is currently offering 100 fully funded fellowships for international and Indian students who wish to join for a full-time PhD program under the various thematic areas of Sustainable Development. The fellowships will be awarded purely based on academic excellence. It is mandatory for the enrolled PhD students to spend quality time in the villages selected for their study program, ensuring timely and effective outcomes.

Funding for international candidates:

ALL international students who successfully enroll in the PhD program at Amrita will acquire the E4LIFE International Fellowship.

Each fully funded fellowship will include:

Features of the Fellowship Cost/year Amount for 4 years
Tuition fee (100% waived) USD 1,500 USD 6,000
A monthly stipend (USD 350 per month) USD 4,200/year USD 16,800
International Research Travel Scholarship (one time travel)* - USD 2,800*
University seed grant for implementation of sustainable solution in a village -

Upto USD 14,600 (Minimum funding starts at USD 2800)

Village visits (Accomodation, Food and Travel) - USD 800
Total amount funded/Fellowship (for 4 years) USD 41,000/-

*The selection of international partners, the period and duration of travel will be subject to approval by the Amrita Centre for International Programs (ACIP) office and your PhD guide.

Terms and Conditions:

All costs towards the implementation of the proposed solution in rural communities will be borne by the University, considering the following:

  • The Fellowship is valid for a minimum of 3 years and can go upto a maximum of 4 years based purely on academic evaluation. Credibility of the candidates and competency of the projects will be given top priority.
  • Fund per fellowship: A minimum of USD 19,000 (INR 13,50,000 Lakhs) upto a maximum of USD 35,000 (INR 25,00,000) based on the scope and credibility of the proposed research and implementation of sustainable solutions.
  • It is mandatory that each PhD candidate’s research work (awarded with fully funded fellowship) results in the implementation of a sustainable technological solution, addressing a problem statement in one of the 100+ adopted villages of Amrita.

Funding for Indian candidates:

All Indian students who successfully enroll in the PhD program at Amrita will acquire the E4LIFE Fellowship.

Each fully funded fellowship will include:

Features Cost/year Minimum Funding Maximum Funding
Full tuition fee waiver 100% waiver on tuition fees
A monthly stipend INR 1,80,000/year(INR 15,000 per month) INR 5,40,000 for 3 years INR 7,20,000 for 4 years
Teaching Assistantship* INR 1,20,000(INR 10,000 per month) INR 3,60,000 for 3 years INR 4,80,000 for 4 years
International Research Travel Scholarship** INR 200,000
Sustainable solution implementation cost in a village INR 200,000 to INR 10,50,000
Village visits (Accomodation, Food and Travel) INR 50,000
Total amount funded/Fellowship (for 4 years) INR 25,00,000/-

*Subject to availability

**The selection of international partners, the period and duration of travel will be subject to approval by the Amrita Centre for International Programs (ACIP) office and your PhD guide

Funded opportunities for Joint or Dual PhD in collaboration with highly reputed international universities are available for ALL candidates.

Terms and Conditions:

All costs towards the implementation of the proposed solution in rural communities will be borne by the University, considering the following:

  • The Fellowship is valid for a minimum of 3 years and can go upto a maximum of 4 years based purely on academic evaluation. Credibility of the candidates and competency of the projects will be given top priority.
  • Fund per fellowship: A minimum of INR 10,00,000 upto a maximum of INR 25,00,000 based on the scope and credibility of the proposed project.
  • It is mandatory that each PhD candidate’s research work (awarded with fully funded fellowship) results in the implementation of a sustainable technological solution, addressing a problem statement in one of the 100+ adopted villages of Amrita.

Other funding available:

Amrita also offers a wide range of partially funded scholarships for ALL students who could not qualify for our E4LIFE international fellowships. They are open under:

  • Dean’s scholarships
  • Department scholarships
  • Short-term scholarships
  • Industry sponsored scholarships
  • Research and Teaching assistantships

Application Deadline: July 31, 2020

Who Can Apply?

International and Indian students can apply for the program with fellowship through the online Registration form. Applicants from a wide range of academic disciplines can apply, including:

  • Engineering (Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Wireless Sensor Networks & Applications)
  • Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy & Toxicology Dentistry)
  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Geography
  • Geo Sciences
  • Pure Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics)
  • Environmental Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Business & Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Others

Eligibility Criteria

  • Completed a Master's degree or must be in their final semester of Master’s program
  • CGPA above 8.0 at the preceding degree (mandatory for fellowship)
  • Age limit: Below the age of 50 years (Exceptions could be made upon discretion by the Admissions committee)
  • International students are exempted from taking an entrance exam at Amrita
  • Indian students are required to take an entrance exam. Please look for the entrance exam date on the Amrita website - Doctoral Programs

Applicants must have:

  • Good communication skills
  • Capacity to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Experience related to social work is helpful but not mandatory
  • Willingness to work in rural communities of India
  • We welcome applications from prospective full-time students ONLY. This PhD program will take 4 years to complete when enrolled as a full-time student.

How to Apply

Admission to our PhD program is now open.

Step 1: Register with us online

Step 2: Email us the following documents (as attachments)

    1. Statement of Purpose (upto 1000 words):

      To be considered for the E4LIFE International PhD fellowship, applicants must submit a Statement of Purpose along with their application. Applicants are expected to write about the following:

      • Mention your area of interest clearly and specifically (you can choose one or more of the thematic areas listed above)
      • Also please mention any work you have undertaken with respect to community engagement, any field work or data collection or implementation of a solution in a RURAL SETTING.
      • What interests you to do your PhD at Amrita?
      • Why would you like to do a PhD in Sustainable development based in Indian villages?
      • Your professional and/or academic qualifications must be in line with your area of interest.
      • You must also be able to associate your area of interest with sustainable development.
    2. Master’s Thesis

      It is mandatory to submit your Master’s thesis as a part of your application. This cannot be exempted.

      1. CV or Resume:

        Applicants must include the following in their CV:

        • Relevant professional experience - could be work, internship or study abroad experience
        • Academic history to be clearly stated and proven
        • Research paper publications - It is not mandatory. However applicants with paper publications in conference (Tier A) and journals (scopus-indexed) will be given priority over others.
        • Please mention your complete contact details on your CV - Email, Mobile Number, Skype ID (we recommend you have one if you do have it), and Postal address.
        • Also please mention - Passport Number, Country (you are residing at present) and Nationality.
    3. Academic transcripts & Educational certificates:

      You must have one set of transcripts sent to Amrita directly from every college and university from which you earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Amrita accepts unofficial transcripts as part of the online application, but not transcripts that are emailed or sent in after the application is submitted.

      To be emailed to: internationalphd@am.amrita.edu

      OR

      Postal Address to send us the transcripts:

      Dr. Maneesha V Ramesh,
      Center for International Programs,
      Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
      Amritapuri, Clappana (P. O.)
      Kollam - 690 525. Kerala, India
      +91-476-280-4160
      +91-476-280-4152
      Office Hours: Monday - Saturday (9:00 am to 5:30 pm)

    4. Recommendations/References

      A maximum of two recommendations are required. Applicants will enter the names and email addresses of recommenders in the online application. Amrita will then invite recommenders to complete an online form which includes short answer and ranking questions. Attaching a letter is optional. References should be from educators (preferred) or professionals familiar with the applicant’s experience and capacity for graduate work. At least one recommendation should be from a faculty member. References cannot submit letters until the online application is complete. Applicants are encouraged to submit the application early to give their references enough time to submit their recommendation.

    5. English Proficiency Requirement (For International applicants ONLY)

      Applicants from a country where the native language is not English (regardless of current nation of residence) must provide proof of English proficiency. Applicants from an English-speaking country who earned a degree in a non-English speaking country may also be subject to the English proficiency requirement. This is absolutely mandatory and cannot be exempted for any reason. Either of the following English Language Certificates are accepted:

      1. IELTS overall score minimum 6.5 or equivalent (require a minimum score of 6 in each section); (OR)
      2. TOEFL score minimum 90 or equivalent
    6. Scanned copy of your Valid Passport (For International applicants ONLY)

      This document will serve as a proof of your Identity.

      Important Dates to Know

       

      Fellowship Application Deadline July 31, 2020
      Processing Deadline
      (Review of applications and Interviews will be completed)
      October 31, 2020
      Program Commencement Date March 2021

Register Now

CAPTCHA
Testing whether you are a human or bot to prevent spam submission.
Image CAPTCHA

Preparing for Your Interview

You will be assessed based on the following points:

What Happens After the Interview?

Candidature:

  • The applicants who are rated “Good” after the interview will be offered an E4LIFE International PhD Fellowship Offer Letter.
  • The students are required to print, sign the acceptance letter and send it back to us as a scanned copy.
  • This will be treated as a confirmation that the student has accepted the offer.
  • We will then issue an Admission Confirmation Letter and a Visa Letter, with which the candidates can apply for their Visas.
  • Any other formal document(s) required by the Embassy should be intimated to us, along with the Embassy Email ID and we will send it directly to the Embassy.

Waiting List:

The applicants will be intimated about the results of their interview.

  • Those who are rated “Average” after the interview will be added to the “Waiting List”.
  • They will either be considered again for candidature upon discretion by the admissions committee or will be offered an Internship for 6 months to 1 year with the Live-in-Labs® program at Amrita.
  • This will be a paid internship and the students need to bear a cost of USD 315 per month. This internship is intended to help students build their capacities to pursue their PhD in Sustainable Development going forward. For more details on the Live-in-Labs® program, please visit the embedded link.

Contact Us

Dr. Maneesha V Ramesh,
Dean, International Programs
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

If you have any questions or queries, please go through our FAQs PDF file available online. In case your question is not answered in that list, please contact:

Ms. Archana Venkatesh / Ms. Pooja Pushparaj

Email: internationalphd@am.amrita.edu

Follow Us on LinkedIn

You can join this program at
Degree: 
Doctoral Programs
Center: 
International Programs
Campuses: 
Amritapuri