Skip to main content

Modern Indian Studies Undergraduate Student Excellence Award

The Modern Indian Studies (MIS) Initiative is delighted to offer an undergraduate award for excellence for completed research such as a capstone paper, a thesis or major essay.

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, 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 modern India in all its various dimensions.

The MIS Undergraduate Student Excellence Award is intended to further research on modern India, broadly conceived, by recognizing the scholarship of undergraduate students. One award of $500 will be given annually for the best unpublished essay or research paper (10-20 pages) written by an undergraduate from any discipline on a topic relating to modern India. 


Any undergraduate student fully enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill from any major can submit a work produced for a UNC course or independent study over the past 2 years on a topic relating to any dimension of contemporary India, broadly conceived. Prior winners are not eligible, and only one submission per student per annual competition is allowed.

Submissions in the form of papers written for class, a thesis, capstone project or major essay must be 10-20 double-spaced pages. If the original work is longer (such as a lengthy thesis), please select 20 pages for submission and summarize in less than 1 page other necessary context for that selection.

Submissions in new media formats (such as original webpages, film, videos, podcasts, and other digital content) are also acceptable, and should include a justification of the medium chosen.

Revised versions of the work (e.g., based on feedback received at the end of the course from the professor) are welcome.


The essays will be judged by the Modern Indian Studies Initiative Award Committee. Awards will be announced at the end of the academic year, in April.


The competition is currently closed. The next deadline to apply will be April 2026.


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

Past Winners

2024 – Maitreyee Singh, AS Bachelor of Arts – Global Studies/Data Science Minor, for her paper “Communal Threats & Community Resilience: The Postcolonial Promise of Panchayat Raj Institutions.”