Applications are open for a limited period twice a year for admission to the Summer and Winter semesters. The specific areas of studies for PhD research vary every semester. The updated list can be found on the IISER Bhopal PhD admissions page

For more details and call for applications please check the  IISER Bhopal PhD admissions page. For any further queries, write to


1. What are the minimum eligibility requirements to apply for a PhD in the HSS department?

For requirements regarding age and educational qualifications, please refer to the IISER Bhopal PhD admissions page (

2. What are the areas of PhD research offered in the HSS department?

The disciplines currently represented in the HSS department are English Literature, Linguistics and Philosophy. Please check the department webpage and the individual profiles of faculty members for details about specific areas of research.

3. How do I make an application to HSS, IISER Bhopal?

Applications are open for a limited period twice a year for admission to the Summer and Winter semesters. Please regularly check the IISER Bhopal webpage for updates. Applications must be submitted via the online form for HSS provided on the IISER Bhopal PhD admissions page.

4. What is the format of PhD admissions selection procedure at HSS, IISER Bhopal?

The PhD selection process consists of an online application followed by an interview.

5. What will happen at the interview?

The interview will consist of the following components:
i. Written component: 1 hour test of analytical writing skills, which will test the candidate’s ability to read and write critically, and their facility in using techniques specific to their chosen discipline (English Literature/Linguistics/Philosophy).
ii. Oral component: An in-person interview with the HSS admissions committee

* In case the interview is held online only (due to Covid-19 restrictions), the format may be different, about which the shortlisted candidates will be informed separately.

6. What is expected in the research proposal?

The Research Proposal is an integral part of the admission process. The proposal should outline a viable research problem that the candidate is interested in pursuing for doctoral studies. Your proposal should delineate the context of your research, your research questions, your aims, your methodology (especially if you’re using specialised tools, archives, etc.), and a preliminary bibliography that indicates the sources and resources you plan to use. Your proposal should be accompanied by an abstract that briefly outlines the area and topic of your research. Please make sure that your research proposal is your own work, as any plagiarism will disqualify your application from being considered.

7. How long should the research proposal and the abstract be?

The research proposal should be maximum 1500 words and the abstract should be maximum 2000 characters (approximately 300 words).

8. Does my project have to fit in one of the disciplines specified on the department website (English Literature, Linguistics and Philosophy), or could I propose an interdisciplinary project?

It is possible to work on an interdisciplinary project, provided the current HSS faculty can provide supervision in the broad areas represented. In such case please mention this explicitly in your research proposal.

9. Do I need to have a supervisor already in mind?

Not necessarily. However, it will help your application if you familiarise yourself with the current research interests of the faculty members, and give some thought to which potential supervisor(s) you would like to work with. You are welcome to get in touch with a particular faculty member in advance.

10. What documentation would I need?

Please check the IISER Bhopal PhD Admissions page for the list of documents that you will need to bring with you to the interview, if shortlisted.

11. What kind of references will I need to provide and whom can I nominate as an academic referee?

All applicants will need to give details of two referees who can provide academic references written in English. If you are either currently pursuing or have recently completed a degree, a teacher or a supervisor on your course will be the most appropriate academic referee. You can also nominate someone who has taught/supervised you in your previous degree. Your referee must be able to attest to your academic abilities. You will need to provide the name, official designation, and contact details of your referees. Institutional email addresses are preferred.