NLU Delhi’s Project 39A Death Penalty Research Fellowship 2021-22: Apply by Apr 4

nlu delhi project 39a associate litigation job post delhi

Applications are invited from law students for NLU Delhi’s Project 39A (12-month) Death Penalty Research Fellowship 2021-22.

About Project 39A

Project 39 A is a project of NLU Delhi that is inspired by Article 39A of the Constitution of India, a provision that furthers the intertwined values of equal justice and equal opportunity by removing economic and social barriers.

They are engaged in providing pro bono legal assistance to prisoners sentenced to death across the country by using empirical research to re-examine practices and policies in the criminal justice system.

Project 39A aims to trigger new conversations on legal aid, torture, forensics, mental health in prisons, and the death penalty.

About the Fellowship

Project 39A, National Law University, Delhi believes in the importance of meaningful exposure of students to the complexities and nuances of the criminal justice system in India. They are offering a 12-month Fellowship to law students to work on issues related to the death penalty and contribute to Project 39A’s research and pro bono legal representation endeavors.


The fellows will be required to work on either/ both of the following assignments. Project 39A reserves the right to change the assignments allotted after the commencement of the Fellowship.

  • Publication of an edited volume on the death penalty in India to be published by the Cambridge University Press (CUP) in July 2022. The chapters in the edited volume will be authored by experts on various aspects of the death penalty in India. Fellows will render research assistance towards this exercise and will also be required to conduct administrative tasks, as may be required.
  • Research projects on aspects relevant to the administration of the death penalty in India. Fellows will be required to assist with archival, doctrinal, comparative, and field research (if circumstances permit) along with assistance in conducting allied administrative tasks.

At the time of submitting applications, applicants must indicate their preference (or lack thereof) between the two categories. In situations where fieldwork becomes viable and is undertaken, all associated costs will be borne by Project 39A.

Number of Fellowships and Duration

10 Fellowships are on offer for 12 months each.


III/ IV/ V-year students of a 5-year LL.B. program or II/ III-year students of a 3-year LL.B. program during the academic year 2021-2022


Rs. 35,000 for the duration of the Fellowship (12 months) to be offered on the successful completion of the Fellowship


Applications must be submitted by 11.59 pm, 4th April 2021. Applicants shortlisted for interviews will be informed within 14 days of the deadline.

To know more about the Fellowship and about Project 39A, please click here.

How to Apply?

Applicants must fill the online form available here (accessible on the website) and upload three documents

  • Curriculum Vitae,
  • Statement of Purpose of not more than 500 words explaining their interest in this Fellowship, and
  • Writing Sample of not more than 1000 words commenting on the issue of inherent arbitrariness in the administration of the death penalty in India in Justice PN Bhagwati’s dissenting opinion in Bachan Singh v. the State of Punjab, (1982) 3 SCC 24.
    Please focus on the sections in which Bhagwati J. discusses how the capital sentencing framework in India is violative of Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Applicants must indicate their preferred activity in the application form. Please select one of the options among ‘Option A- Edited volume on the Death Penalty,’ ‘Option B- Research on the Death Penalty,’ or ‘Option C- Both’ in the application form.

Only complete applications submitted in consonance with the aforementioned process will be considered. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a virtual interview and Project 39A reserves the right to conduct further rounds of assessment.

Click here for the official notification.


To apply for the fellowship, click here.


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