Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy’s Samvidhaan Fellowship 2020 on Constitutional Law: Apply by August 17

About Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (‘Vidhi’) is an independent think-tank doing legal research to make better laws and improve governance for the public good.

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy do this through high quality, peer-reviewed original legal research; through engaging with the Government of India, State governments and other public institutions to both inform policy-making and to effectively convert policy into law; and through strategic litigation petitioning courts on important law and policy issues. The abiding values are non-partisan engagement, research excellence and independence.

About the Samvidhaan Fellowship

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.

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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.

Eligibility

Samvidhaan Fellows are required to be law graduates with at least 3 years of full-time work experience. They 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. They 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.

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:

  1. Electoral reforms
  2. Federalism
  3. Minority rights

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

  1. Produce a piece of academic work, or
  2. Engage in strategic litigation on questions of constitutional law, or
  3. 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:

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

How to Apply?

The application form for the fellowship is here.

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.
  • The 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.

Important Links

  • Call for applications: 18th July 2020
  • Deadline: 17th August 2020
  • Interviews: 26th to 27th August 2020
  • Offers to selected fellows: 31st August 2020
  • Commencement of the Fellowship (starting with Orientation week): 21st to 25th September 2020

Contact Information

Queries about the Fellowship may be sent to samvidhaanfellowship[at]vidhilegalpolicy.in.

Important Links

For the brochure of the fellowship, click here.

For the full details of the fellowship, click here.

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