Online Application - Doctoral Programme

About NIAS

Doctoral Admissions 2021

The National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) was conceived and established in 1988 by the vision and initiative of the late Mr J R D Tata primarily to nurture a broad base of scholars, managers and leaders to address complex and important challenges faced by society through interdisciplinary approaches, as well as to conduct  advanced multidisciplinary research in areas of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering, as well as in conflict and security studies. The Institute promotes transdisciplinary research and builds synergy within and across disciplines with meaningful interactions. NIAS has thus been recognised as an “Institute of Exceptional Repute” by the NITI Aayog.

NIAS is looking for exceptionally motivated students, interested in pursuing interdisciplinary research in conflict and security studies, natural and engineering sciences, social sciences,   humanities or the arts. Unencumbered by the constraints of traditional disciplinary doctoral research, NIAS doctoral students have a unique opportunity to broaden their intellectual horizons,   even beyond the limits of the domains listed below. NIAS not only values such cross-pollination of ideas but encourages and strongly supports its students to develop interdisciplinary approaches to problems that span academic disciplines. This interdisciplinary ethos is also reflected in the work of its faculty and research scholars over the years


  • Please note that the word/pdf icon beside the School name provides a preview of the application form and its requirements for your reference. Please inspect these requirements before you begin filling the application online, as there is no provision to save your work during the process of filling the application.
  • Students are requested to apply for ONLY one research area within one School. Please apply independently if you would like to apply to other Schools but again in only one research area within each school that you apply for.
  • All applications must be submitted online; offline applications will not be considered under any circumstances.
  • Postgraduate students awaiting their results or appearing in their final master’s degree examinations this year can apply.  However, if selected, their admission to NIAS will be provisional, subject to their successfully being awarded the master’s degree, as may be required.
  • For any query, you may write to or
  • The last date for receiving applications, with all required documents to submit online is  CLOSED

            Short-listed candidates will be invited for an online written test and, if selected, for interviews, to be held subsequently.


    School of Conflict & Security Studies Programme     


  1. Conflict Studies and India's Internal Conflicts; Contemporary People's Movements
  2. Geopolitics and Security of the Indo-Pacific Region; Maritime Security Governance in the Indian Ocean Region
  3. Remote Sensing, Geospatial Technologies and Resource Management for National Security; Cyber Security and National Security; Simulation and Modelling in Defence and Strategic Studies
  4. Internal Politics, Inter-Ethnic Relations, Sectarian and Religious Issues and the Economy of Pakistan


School of Humanities           


  1. History of Indic Mathematics and Computation
  2. Geospatial Analysis for Cultural Heritage
  3. Ancient Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent; Indian Temple Architecture; Megalithic Structures; Archaeoastronomy
  4. Field Archaeology, Tamilnadu Archaeology, Iron Age–Early Historic Archaeology
  5. Philosophy of Science; Epistemology; Social and Political Philosophy


School of Natural Sciences and Engineering       


  1. Physics of Complex Systems; Nonlinear Dynamics and its Applications in Mathematical Modelling of Complex Phenomena in Living and Physical Systems
  2. Digital Image Processing; Geospatial Technology; Remote Sensing Applications; Geographic Information System
  3. Aquatic Ecosystems and Sustainability; Integrated Geospatial Assessment of the Environment
  4. Energy Policy; Green Energy Transition; Environmental Governance
  5. Energy Transitions in Developing Economies; Energy Modelling 
  6. Systemic Analysis of Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems in India; Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Technology and Sustainable Utilisation of Indian Domestic Coal
  7. Primate Cognition; Behaviour and Ecology; Human-Wildlife Conflict; Human-Animal Relations
  8. Mathematical and Computational Modelling in Primate Demography and Life-History Studies; Social Network Analysis; More-than-Human Cognition, Culture, Performance and Heritage
  9. Social Cognition; Collective Intelligence; Science Communication


School of Social Sciences       


  1. Gender, Education and Employment; Vocational and Higher Education; Sociology of Education; Special and Inclusive Education
  2. Higher Education Policy; Globalisation and Higher Education
  3. Education for Sustainability; Collective Memory and Social Identity
  4. Education, Nation and Identity Formation; Social Exclusion and Education; Education Policies; Education, Livelihoods and Sustainable Development Goal
  5. Development Studies; Rural and Agrarian Change, Rural and Urban Livelihoods; Migration, Urbanisation and Rural-Urban Connections; Food and Nutrition Security, Social Policy
  6. Technology in Inequality and in the Political Economy of Development; Sociological Variables, Social Mobility and Subaltern Enquiries in Technological Change; Technology Policy in India