Call for Proposals: National Gender Fellowships on Gender and the Digital Economy

The Call for Proposals under the IT for Change National Gender Fellowships (Track 1 and 2) is now closed for further applications.
We are overwhelmed with the response we've received and wish to thank each one of you for your application. We are still going through all of the submissions and will be announcing a shortlist in the coming week.

As part of our ongoing projects on gender and the digital economy, IT for Change invites proposals and pitches under two National Gender Fellowship tracks.

  1. Research Fellowships, under our European Commission supported project, Centering Women in India’s Digitalizing Economy. This Fellowship seeks original research papers. The authors of selected research papers will have the opportunity to present their work at a National Policy Event to be hosted by IT for Change in April 2022. 10 Fellowships of INR 2,29,000 each will be awarded under this track for a total duration of 6 months.
  2. Fellowships for Longform Essay, as part of The Feminist Observatory of the Internet, our collaboration with the World Wide Web Foundation. This Fellowship seeks analytical longform essays. 10 Fellowships of INR 60,000 each will be awarded under this track for a total duration of 3 months.

What are the National Gender Fellowships?

The National Gender Fellowships are an opportunity for early-career researchers to contribute rigorous research and analysis on key questions that concern the future of women’s work in India, catalysing a body of knowledge that engages with existing scholarship, while exploring new horizons in the domain of digitalisation. The objective is not only to build critique, but also propose ways forward. The evidence generated through the Fellowships, we hope, can support policy makers, worker organisations, cooperative federations, social intermediaries, training institutes, etc. to rethink their strategies and work to promote the rights of women in the digital economy.

The Fellowships are an exciting opportunity for early-career researchers to undertake paid research in an emerging domain and benefit from avenues for peer interaction and mentorship. 

Who can apply to the Fellowships?

Independent researchers, feminist scholars, postgraduate or doctoral students, development professionals, legal practitioners, journalists, civil society activists and others who are Indian citizens below the age of 35 with an undergraduate degree qualification are invited to apply. To be eligible, you must NOT be 35 years of age as of 1 September 2021.

The Research Fellowships are open only to women, while The Fellowships for Longform Essay are open to people of all genders.

Read the full Call for Proposals for both Fellowships here.

Apply to the Research Fellowships here.

Apply to the Fellowships for Longform Essay here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

i) Who is eligible to apply for these Fellowships?

Applicants for both Fellowship Tracks must be below 35 years of age, i.e. applicants must NOT be 35 years of age as of 1 September 2021. Only women are eligible for proposals under Track 1. Track 2 is open to all genders. Anyone with an undergraduate degree who is able to demonstrate interest in the indicated themes is encouraged to apply.

ii) How do I choose between the two Fellowships?

If you wish to pursue primary research and are able to produce a research report of 10,000 words in a 6-month time period from October 2021 to March 2022, you may apply for Track 1. If you wish to author a shorter 4,000 to 5,000 word analytical piece that is accessible and journalistic over a 3-month time period from October to December 2021, you may apply for Track 2.

iii) Can I apply for both Fellowships?

Yes, you can. However, Fellowships will be awarded to selected candidates in only one track.

iv) I am currently a postgraduate student. Can I apply for these Fellowships?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for these Fellowships.

v) I am currently an undergraduate student. Can I apply for these Fellowships?

No, you are not eligible to apply for these Fellowships. An undergraduate or bachelor’s degree qualification is necessary in order to apply.

vi) Can I submit my graduate thesis or an existing research output?

No. Previous research undertaken for a different purpose may not be used for these Fellowships. Proposals that build on pre-existing work may be considered only if it establishes a new direction of inquiry. You must also share this previous work in the application form so that the originality of your proposal can be evaluated. Furthermore, the research you undertake as part of the Fellowship can be developed into a MA dissertation or postgraduate research project after submitting it to us.

vii) I am not an Indian citizen. Can I still apply for these Fellowships?

Only Indian citizens may apply.

viii) On what criteria will my application be evaluated?

All proposals will be evaluated for:

  • Strength of application (including research/writing credentials of applicant and clarity of
  • research question);
  • Originality of the proposal idea;
  • Methodological rigour;
  • Potential contribution to field building.

ix) Are comparative studies or case studies involving countries other than India something I can pursue?

Yes, comparative research, case studies and any other method is welcome, on the condition that your research provides insights that are directly pertinent to the intent of the call, that is, deepening digital economy analysis and action for gender equality in India.

x) Can I apply for this Fellowship on behalf of my organisation?

No. The Fellowships are for individuals only. However, if you are affiliated to an organisation or an academic institution, you may be required to take consent from your employer/supervisor to receive the Fellowship in your name.

xi) Can I submit the final draft in any language?

No, all documents – including the application form, any supplementary documents including previous work, and the final draft – must all be submitted in English only.

xii) Will the Fellowship amount be a one-time payment or a monthly stipend?

The Fellowship amount will be awarded in two lump-sum instalments.

xiii) Can more than one person apply for a Fellowship?

No, the Fellowships will only be awarded to individuals. During the course of a Fellowship, a Fellow may reach out to external contacts as it benefits their work, but applications for the Fellowships themselves and the subsequent grants will be awarded only to one person.

xiv) My 35th birthday will occur before the cut-off date of 1 September 2021 / I will be turning 35 years old before the cut-off date of 1 September 2021. Can I still apply for the Fellowship(s)?

If you wish, you may submit a proposal for the Fellowship(s) through the application form, but the decision regarding your eligibility for the Fellowship will depend on the selection committee. We cannot guarantee that your application will be considered, given the age threshold criterion.

In case of queries, write to us at with the subject line "National Gender Fellowships".

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Call for Proposals: National Gender Fellowships on Gender and the Digital Economy