NIAS partnership

College of Humanities's successful partnership with NIAS

The College of Humanities is planning the next five years of its successful partnership with NIAS (National Institute of Advanced Studies) Bangalore, following the visit of its Director, Dr Baldev Raj and Head of Administration and Finance, Mr. Srinivasa Aithal, on 9-10 May 2016.

The first cohort of students who commenced the Exeter-NIAS split-site PhD in 2012 complete their studies shortly. The thirteen students on the programme who have all received studentships from the College of Humanities travel to India annually to work with their co-supervisors at NIAS and conduct fieldwork. The “Intangible Histories” theme is based in the Departments of Drama and Archaeology, and allows for a range of interdisciplinary research.

The warm relationship between the two institutions also supports joint research between staff in Drama, Archaeology and Geography. A collaborative grant application led by Dr Cathy Turner (Drama) has been submitted to the AHRC, with further bids expected shortly.

Exeter and NIAS have committed to extending the successful PhD programme and to investigate broadening it to other disciplines, as well as exploring other models of collaboration including staff mobility and short-term exchange of PGR students. A joint team from the two institutions will be established to take forward the vision for the next five years.

During the visit Dr Raj and Mr Aithal met with Professor Andrew Thorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities and students and colleagues in Archaeology and Drama, and as well as with colleagues in the Colleges of Life and Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Science and the Business School.

Professor Andrew Thorpe said: “The humanities have an important role to play in solving global problems. The added value of the skills the students have developed in working in such an interdisciplinary, international environment is a valuable part of the programme. Following this visit we have a roadmap for a promising future.”

At a University dinner held in honour of the NIAS visitors, Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, confirmed: “The relationship between Exeter and NIAS has deepened tremendously since it began in 2012, and I look forward with great anticipation to working even more closely with NIAS in the next phase of the partnership through the formulation of innovative and creative multidisciplinary projects.”

Visit the South Asia Research Centre here.

Date: 2 June 2016

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