Global India European Training Network

In the next 15 years, India is projected to become the world’s third largest economy and the next e-commerce giant. India is one of two nuclear powers in the volatile South Asian region, and shares a disputed land border with China. India is also a key player in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), facing territorial disputes and the impact of global environmental pressures on coastal and marine resources. India is also facing challenges to the development of its democracy – a radical shift in its political party system and ongoing major social challenges in the context of its rapid economic growth.

In spite of the potential importance of India for Europe, the European research community’s expertise on India is weak, with a shortage of PhDs in this area and with few modules on India being taught on either undergraduate or postgraduate programmes. The increasing importance of India as a world economic and political power means that Europe needs to train a new generation of experts who understand the political, economic and social developments in India, have experience of living and working in the country, and have the cultural awareness, languages and research skills necessary to observe and analyse how India’s engagement with the world is changing.


The network will create the knowledge and expertise required for the EU’s engagement with the new global India. It brings together six leading European universities, with six leading Indian universities, and six non-university partners (one as a beneficiary) to develop an integrated, multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral PhD programme.

The programme strategy is to provide an integrated training programme that develops research skills along with complementary skills associated with an awareness of the needs of potential non-academic employers and the capacity to translate information and analysis into a variety of forms to suit the needs of a range of recipients. It also aims to make researchers culturally aware and adaptable both in terms of their capacity to move between India and Europe and also to move between different work environments. This will provide researchers with a set of transferable skills that can be adapted to other regional contexts and global relationships. Its capacity to do this is based on interdisciplinary research teams in Europe and India. These teams in a number of different configurations have a track record of working together. Most European and Indian academics in the network already work in interdisciplinary environments rather than traditional departments. The interaction with non- academic sectors is central to the Network and its training process, and non-academic partners will be fully integrated into the training of the researchers from the beginning so that at all times researchers will be aware of, and will have to work with, public policy, commercial and advocacy perspectives.

The Focus

The focus of the programme incorporates the triple ‘I’ dimension of the EC Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training in Europe

International: ESRs will spend an extended period at an Indian university and conducting field research under the supervision of one of our partner Indian universities. All training events will be international in scope and supervisory panels will have an international mix.

Interdisciplinarity: The programme involves existing interdisciplinary research teams. Joint supervisory arrangements between experts from different disciplinary backgrounds including – IPE, business, international law, international relations, gender studies, security, and foreign policy analysis will provide an interdisciplinary support structure for all ESRs.

Intersectoral: Non-academic experts will be fully integrated through –

  • Secondary supervision and mentorship of ESRs
  • Active participation in all the main training events
  • Providing all ESRs with placements in non-university organisations

Research Programme Overview

India’s actions as a global power are central to the interests of the EU. In contrast to China, India is a democratic state that could potentially be an ally for the EU on international issues that will impact on the welfare and security of Europe. This research programme is based on the understanding that India’s internationally focused actions and policy will be shaped by its internal development, and how it deals with its internal challenges, as well as regional and international factors. It therefore simultaneously examines the key domestic challenges and the key international actions of India that are most relevant to its relationship with Europe. Several of the individual projects cross this divide and link India’s domestic policy processes to its external actions. The project also moves away from viewing India as a single state to exploring the impact of its federal structure on policy outcomes and on its international engagement. To reflect this conceptualisation of India, the research has four themes. The first deals with the challenges for the quality of Indian democracy and its problems of social inequality. The second deals with external economic relations and trade and the third deals with Indian foreign policy and security policy focusing on India as a regional power as well as its relationship with the EU. Global environmental politics is the fourth topic – an issue of major concern to the EU and a problem for all developing economies. The ‘Global India’ project will be recruiting PhD fellows for each of these topics. Fellowships will be advertised in April with a deadline in May. The fellows will be enrolled in the European Universities in the network and each participating university will advertise the fellowships separately.