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Graduate Student Associates

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The goal of the SAI Graduate Student Associate program is to establish a community of peers and support original and independent research in South Asia. Each Graduate Associate is offered a desk space and computer as space permits on the 4th floor of the CGIS South Building as well as priority in SAI student grants for research-related expenses. SAI invites proposals in any discipline or field in South Asian Studies and encourages work in/on all of South Asia as well as the study of South Asia in larger connective contexts.

Applications for the 2017-2018 Academic School Year are now closed.


Doctoral degree candidates from all Harvard academic departments and professional schools are eligible to apply. Applicants from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences should have completed their General Examinations and commenced research on their dissertation. The GSA program is best suited for students who have completed a dissertation prospectus.

As a member of the SAI community, students are required to:

  • Participate in monthly workshops in which they present their thesis research to one another.
  • In the spring, jointly organize a workshop to share insights about the doctoral program at Harvard. This workshop will be open to all undergraduates and graduates interested in pursuing advanced degrees. Students are encouraged to attend and learn from the GSAs about their experience.
  • Present their research at the quarterly SAI Steering Committee meetings.

The GSA program is headed by Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, and SAI steering committee member. It is expected that GSAs wil be on campus for the entire year of their fellowship to actively participate in the program.

Application Components

Apply for the SAI Graduate Student Associate Program through CARAT

  • A cover letter, including:
    • Name (First and Last)
    • Primary Email
    • School and Department
    • Field of Study
    • Thesis Title
  • A current resume or CV
  • A 1000-word description of the thesis or related project
  • A current transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with your work (these can be emailed directly by the faculty member to


Please do not submit a hard copy to our office. Please apply through the CARAT portal. For questions please contact