Samvidhaan Fellowship

Samvidhaan Fellowship is a one year, full-time and paid fellowship which will support six legal scholars to sustainably work on key issues of Indian Constitutional Law.

The basics 

The Constitution of India, while remaining the cornerstone of the Indian republic, has limited significance in the lives of ordinary citizens. While the Indian Constitution is taught in law schools, lawyers do not get adequate opportunities to sustainably work on constitutional law issues in their professional lives. As a result, the study of the Indian Constitution is restricted to academic settings. 

Conceptualised by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (‘Vidhi’) and supported by the Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (‘APPI’), the Samvidhaan Fellowship aims to promote constitutional culture in India by encouraging lawyers to take up constitutional work.

The Samvidhaan Fellowship will facilitate lawyers to work on constitutional law, and promote awareness, knowledge and scholarship on the Constitution in different parts of India. Samvidhaan Fellows will be lawyers with an interest in constitutional law, with a minimum of three years’ work experience. To promote constitutional law research at the grassroots level, these scholars will work across different parts of India. 

The six Samvidhaan Fellows will be selected for one year. They will be free to pitch their own project proposals on one of the three themes identified for the Fellowship. The Samvidhaan Fellows will form part of a community of lawyers who will be ambassadors of constitutionalism. 

The mechanics 

The Samvidhaan Fellowship is a one-year, full-time, and paid fellowship that will allow fellows to undertake constitutional law research through diverse activities. Fellows will be free to pitch their own project proposals within one of the following broad themes:

  • Electoral reforms
  • Federalism
  • Minority rights  

Within the broad contours of the three themes, Samvidhaan Fellows can choose to: 

  • Produce a piece of academic work, or 
  • Engage in strategic litigation on questions of constitutional law, or
  • Conduct evidence-based research on issues of constitutional law.   

Fellows must actively consider the following while choosing a sub-theme and drafting their project proposals:

  • The proposals made by the Fellows must address an issue of contemporary relevance in constitutional law in India;
  • Their proposals should aim towards broadening the work on the Constitution and enriching constitutional research by bringing in perspectives from the grassroots, wherever possible;
  • The work undertaken by the Fellows must aim at promoting awareness, knowledge, and scholarship on the Constitution in different parts of India. 

Interested candidates must submit a proposal (not exceeding 2500 words) for the project they wish to undertake under the Samvidhaan Fellowship addressing the following aspects:

  • Statement of the problem;
  • Proposed methodology to address the problem;
  • Proposed research methodology;
  • Expected outputs at the end of the project;
  • Expected impact of the research findings.

During the Fellowship, Vidhi will provide extensive monitoring and support to all Samvidhaan Fellows. Mentorship support from and periodic check-ins by Vidhi are intended to build capacity and advise the fellows to scale their impact both during and after the Fellowship. Fellows will also be encouraged to build networks which can translate into meaningful collaborations beyond the Fellowship duration.

The Samvidhaan Fellow

Samvidhaan Fellows are required to be law graduates with at least 3 years of full-time work experience. We are looking for practitioners, academics, and grassroots activists, who have a passion for constitutional law and are committed to promoting constitutional culture in India. 

Samvidhaan Fellowship is an equal opportunity employer and does not tolerate any discrimination. We strongly encourage people from diverse backgrounds, especially from the SC/ST communities, minority religions, LGBT+ community, persons with disabilities, and persons from the North East to apply.

Be a Samvidhaan Fellow 

Applications for selecting the six Samvidhaan Fellows are now open. Candidates desirous of applying must submit their CV (not exceeding 2 pages), a statement of motivation (not exceeding 500 words), one letter of recommendation (professional or academic), and their project proposal (not exceeding 2500 words).  

Please note that if you are unable to procure a signed copy of the letter of recommendation, your referee should email the letter directly to samvidhaanfellowship@vidhilegalpolicy.in through their email id. Your application will only be considered complete once we have received the letter. Applicants whose referees will be emailing the letter of recommendation directly can upload a document on the Application form stating the same.

Please find the link to the application form below:

The last date to submit the application has now been extended to 24 August 2020. Please note that no further extensions will be granted.

Queries about the Fellowship may be sent to samvidhaanfellowship@vidhilegalpolicy.in

For more details on the Samvidhaan Fellowship, preparing the project proposal, and indicative sub-themes, download the Samvidhaan Fellowship Application Brochure (2020-2021).

Timeline

Call for applications – 18 July 2020  

Deadline – 24 August 2020

Interviews – 5 – 10 September 2020

Offers to selected fellows – 14 September 2020

Commencement of the Fellowship (starting with Orientation week) – 1 October 2020