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Modern Indian Studies Graduate Student Conference Travel Award

The Modern Indian Studies (MIS) Initiative of UNC is delighted to offer a Graduate Student Conference Travel Award for a student making a research presentation on any dimension of contemporary India at an academic conference.

MIS was established in 2018-19 with funds from the University of North Carolina and the Indian American Community to serve as a platform to bring together activities, research, courses, and engaged scholarship and outreach related to understandings of contemporary India. The goal is to provide students, faculty and the community with a deeper engagement with contemporary  India in all its various dimensions.

The MIS Graduate Student Conference Travel Award is intended to further research on contemporary India, broadly conceived, by supporting a graduate student’s travel costs to  present original research at an academic conference.


Applicants must be currently enrolled at UNC Chapel Hill in a post-baccalaureate degree-granting program in the Graduate School or a Professional School at the time of application. While doctoral level research will be given preference, Master’s students with strong proposals are also invited to apply.

Recipients will be awarded $1,500 towards travel and conference accommodation costs.  MIS encourages applications from students working on a wide range of diverse topics related to modern India – and across fields. Comparative research is also encouraged. 

Application format

Awards are made biennially. Applications are due in September of odd-numbered years.

Applicants must submit the following information:

  • A current CV
  • Information regarding the intended conference (such as the conference name, location, dates, and proposal status [in progress, submitted, or accepted]).
  • A one-page description of the research to be presented, written to be accessible to scholars in other fields.
  • A one-page justification for attendance at the conference, including how participation in this conference specifically will advance the applicant’s graduate research or professional career.


Students must remain in good standing in their program to receive the award funds, and travel to conferences must comply with all UNC regulations.

Upon completion of the conference presentation, the awardee should submit a conference report to the Associate Director of the Carolina Asia Center.


The essays will be judged by the Modern Indian Studies Initiative Award Committee. Awards will be announced in November.


The competition is currently closed. The next deadline to apply will be September 2025.


Questions or problems? Contact Dr. Kevin Fogg, Associate Director of the Carolina Asia Center, at

Past Winners

2023 – Sumatra Sinha, Department of City and Regional Planning, for the presentation of “Eliciting People’s Views on Fairness of Alternate Water Subsidy Policies and Comparing them with their Preferences for Implementation in Delhi” at the 2024 Urban Affairs Association Conference in New York City.

2023 – Sugandh Gupta, Department of Anthropology, for the presentation of “‘The Goddess will take care of me’: Competing Faiths of Drug recovery in Jammu and Kashmir, India” at the 2024 American Anthropological Association Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada.