PhD in International Relations and Governance Studies Announcement

The Department of International Relations and Governance Studies at Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence (Deemed to be University), Delhi-NCR invites applications to its PhD programme 2024. Coursework for the incoming batch will commence mid-August 2024.

This announcement contains the necessary information related to the programme and the application process. Applicants are expected to read this document carefully before making their applications.

Areas of research

The Department offers wide-ranging expertise within the broad domains of International Relations and Governance. Specific details related to research interests of individual faculty members can be accessed on the Department’s website:

Availability of supervision will be a key criterion for selection. Applicants are therefore advised to carefully peruse faculty research interests from their profile pages as available on the Department website. Excellent candidates with research interests broadly congruent (but not exactly matching) in-house faculty research expertise and interests are also encouraged to apply.


The Doctoral Programme at the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies provides research scholars an excellent opportunity to acquire and consolidate a diverse set of skills. Scholars will get a ringside view of the discipline of International Relations – covering disciplinary history, theory and empirics – as well as of governance and development. They will participate in debates on the philosophy of science/social science while developing a 'nuts and bolts' pragmatism when it comes to operationalizing their doctoral projects.

The threads that run through the PhD programme are, first, an understanding of the significance of context – historical, cultural, economic, among others – when it comes to thinking about the world and, second, a keen awareness of the need to address asymmetries and deeper imbalances of knowledge production, circulation and consumption between the global North and the global South. The objective at the Department is to develop a contextual approach to studying international relations and global governance.

Duration and structure

The PhD programme at the Department spans ten semesters (five years). Doctoral candidates will spend at least the first two semesters on course work, while the remaining time shall be spent on research work and writing of the thesis. Progression from the course work to the thesis writing stage is contingent on performance. Doctoral candidates are expected to reside on campus for at least two years and actively participate in the Department’s activities.

Fees and Assistantship

Detailed information about the fee structure and the nature of assistantships is available on the SNIoE admission’s website.

All full-time Ph.D. students admitted into the program shall receive a doctoral award (teaching and research assistantship) consisting of tuition-fee waiver (as per department recommendation) and a monthly stipend of 40,000 for the first two years, and 45,000 for the next three years, subject to benchmarked performance. Continuation of the award is subject to satisfactory performance in the program evaluated continuously and compliance with all University regulations. Support will be available for deserving Ph.D. students to disseminate their work through conferences and publications. Students with CSIR, UGC, INSPIRE, ICMR fellowships shall receive 100% tuition fee waiver.

Application Details

Minimum eligibility criteria

A master’s degree in any discipline with a minimum of 55 percent or its equivalent in grade point from a UGC recognized university or an equivalent foreign university.

A four-year bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum CGPA of 8 or 80% from a UGC recognized university or an equivalent foreign university.

Application fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of ₹ 1,200.00 (Rupees One Thousand Two Hundred Only). The application fee may be paid online or through a Demand Draft (drawn in favour of “Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence” payable at NOIDA) sent to the address mentioned at the end of this document.

Application process

The applicant must register at our online application portal:

Click Here to Apply

On entering the portal, the applicant will need to:

  1. Register themselves on the portal
  2. Fill all the mandatory fields
  3. Upload the following documents:
    • Passport-size colour photograph
    • Latest CV
    • Photocopy of marksheets of all previous degrees and certificates from class 10 onwards. Marks/grades as well as name of awarding institution must be clearly visible on each document.
    • Standardized Examination certificate such as UGC-NET (if applicable)
    • A Statement of Purpose (SoP) that clearly spells out the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a PhD at the department (in 500 words)
    • A Doctoral Proposal spelling out the what (topic), why (significance/motivation), and how (methodology/method) of their PhD research interests (in 1000 words).

Additionally, the applicants are required to send a writing sample (of minimum 3,500 words) to the IRGS Department on the email id: [email protected]

Also, two academic Letters of Recommendation will need to be emailed directly by the referees to the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies on the email address [email protected]. Referees must mention ‘LoR – IRGS PhD – Name of the Applicant’ in the email subject field.

Note: For an application to be considered complete, online registration, filling up of mandatory fields, uploading of required documents and emailing of recommendation letters, and writing sample must be ensured. An application will be considered incomplete if any of these requirements are not met. Incomplete applications will be rejected at the screening stage by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

Written Examination and Interview

Candidates whose applications are complete in all respects will be invited to take a written exam. Those shortlisted on the basis of the written exam will subsequently be invited to individual interviews. Shortlisted candidates will be informed of the mode of examination and interviews (online/offline) based on the situation prevailing at that time.

The written exam will be of 150 minutes duration and consist of two questions—an essay type question and a short answer question.

Areas covered for the written exam:

Contemporary International Politics 

International Relations Theory

Indian Foreign Policy

Global Political Economy

Strategic and Security Studies

Political Theory

Current Debates in Governance

Indian Government and Politics

Political Philosophy

China Studies

Research Methodology

The interview will be of approximately 30-minute duration and involve conversations about the candidate’s academic trajectory, domain knowledge, and research idea as articulated in the Statement of Purpose and Research Proposal.

Selection Process

The Department follows a four-stage selection process overseen by its Graduate Admissions Committee.

Stage one involves screening of received applications for completeness, accuracy, and authenticity. Screening is done to ensure that the applicant has met the minimum eligibility criteria for applying and that an application is complete in all respects. Applications that are found to be incomplete are rejected at this stage.

Stage two consists of a written exam. Those applicants whose applications pass the first stage are invited to take a written exam. Candidates shortlisted at this stage will be invited to continue to the next stage of the process.

Stage three consists of an interview of candidates shortlisted based on the written exam.

Stage four involves the creation of a merit list based on the following criteria: quality of the candidate’s Statement of Purpose (10%), Research Proposal (20%), performance in the written exam (40%), and interview (30%). The selection process also involves careful examination of whether the department can provide suitable supervision to the candidate. Candidates selected on this basis are sent offer letters.

Key dates

  • Last date for applying online: 9th June 2024
  • Intimation to candidates invited for the written exam: 30th June 2024
  • Written exam: 7th July 2024 (online mode)
  • Intimation to shortlisted candidates: 14th July 2024
  • Interview: mid-July 2024
  • Intimation to selected candidates & release of offer letter: 20th July 2024
  • Selected candidates to communicate acceptance of offer and pay fees by: 5th August 2024
  • Coursework commencement: mid-August 2024

Contact for queries:

Email your queries to the email id: [email protected]