Practitioners in Residence Scheme

The practitioner-in-residence scheme has been established by the South Asia Centre in collaboration with the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

As part of this scheme, the South Asia Centre will host a senior serving officer of the Indian Foreign Service for six weeks, who will bring his experience of international diplomacy and dialogue to inform debates and discussions at LSE. Central to this is the belief that selected officers will have the knowledge of India, job and portfolios, and through their experienced interaction be able to highlight the importance of local, specific knowledge to wider issues of global policy and concern.

India figures prominently in this vision because of the central role it plays not only in South Asia but around the globe, in different sectors, showing how a country with complex problems such as poverty, nutrition and unemployment is yet able to emerge as a global leader. 

The Practitioner-in-residence scheme will:

  • Contribute actively to capacity-building in the government through research exercises undertaken in a world-renowned institution through focused, outcome-based research relevant to domestic administration, development and building an international profile.
  • Identify priority areas for India’s external relations through mutual academic and professional dialogue. These will include new ways of engaging with global issues like administration, development, finance and international fiscal swings, environment, climate change, etc.  
  • Act as a platform in an international hub like London to express and debate the challenges and successes in India’s emergence as a modern global power.The visiting Fellow will be expected to achieve the following outputs. 

The Visiting Fellow will be expected to achieve the following outputs:

  • Submit a paper to the South Asia Centre after due approval from the Ministry. 
  • Participate in a calendar of events including lectures, discussions, and meetings with relevant individuals and organisations across the spectrum both in London and the UK, organised by the South Asia Centre and others.
  • Contribute to the deepening interest in India’s global position, and the role of informed policy in building that profile.
  • Outline the complex conditions of India’s civil service and its workforce to others who may want to learn from it.

Requirements of the Fellow

The Fellow will be resident for 4-6 weeks at the South Asia Centrein one of the two teaching terms – Michaelmas (Oct-mid Dec) or Lent (Jan-Mar) according to mutual convenience. Fellows will be expected to spend the entire duration of their Fellowship at the South Asia Centre. 

A mandatory requirement of the Fellowship is a fully researched, written paper of 23,000 to 25,000 words, duly approved by relevant governmental authorities (if required) should be submitted to the South Asia. 

This paper must be submitted within 6 months of the end of the Fellowship. The South Asia Centre will have the right to upload the paper on its website as copyrighted material.


Serving officers of the Indian Foreign Service (Director & above) located in an Embassy, High Commission (or Assistant High Commission) or Consulate-General of India anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.

Application Process

Applications should be submitted by 1 September for consideration of Fellowship in the next academic calendar (Sep-Mar); decisions will be communicated by late October. This will give officers up to a year to make requisite arrangements for relief from work.

Applications may be made on plain paper and should include 

  • An updated Curriculum Vitae including academic qualifications and details of past and current portfolios.
  • A proposal (not exceeding two A4 pages typed in 1.5 space) clearly stating the topic of research, and its relevance to understanding India’s changing position in global politics. 


  1. Applications should ideally emphasise the relation of their portfolio experience with India’s specific regional and comparative global relevance.
  2. Applicants are strongly advised to look at the LSE website ( and profiles of teaching faculty in different departments prior to submitting their applications.
  3. The Director & Deputy Director of the South Asia Centre are happy to have informal conversations regarding topics of research over Skype or by telephone with interested applicants; these conversations will not bear on the final outcome of the application in any manner. Appointments for informal conversations may be made via e-mail (given below)

Completed applications should be submitted as PDF to both Dr Mukulika Banerjee ( and Dr Nilanjan Sarkar (

Selection Process

An expert panel comprising LSE faculty will assess all applications. Only one Fellow will be selected per academic year (either for Oct-Dec or Jan-Mar). Decisions will be communicated directly to the successful applicant and MEA by the South Asia Centre, LSE.