Archival Fellowships: Call for Applications

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) announces up to four fellowships of Rs. 1,50,000/- each, for a duration of one year, to be awarded to artists and curators who wish to explore public and state archives for research that feeds into the creation of artworks or exhibitions.

These fellowships are a response to the urgent need to activate public institutional archives in India, while simultaneously addressing the research impulse inherent in artistic and curatorial projects. IFA aims to see archives functioning less as mere repositories, and more as sites actively influencing discourse and creativity in the arts. Through creative interventions by artists and curators keen to challenge and enrich their own arts practice, it is hoped that public institutional archives will be encouraged to recognise their role as active participants in the arts. This endeavour is also in keeping with IFA’s objective of nurturing an environment for critical and reflective arts practice.

To look at earlier work supported under the archival fellowships please click here.

IFA's Archival Fellowships are part-supported by Aditi Foundation for the Arts.


Proposals are solicited from artists and curators who have conceptualised a project (either an artistic or curatorial pursuit) that requires significant research and access to materials within public institutional archives.

To apply, please send us a proposal describing:

  • Your existing practice and your concerns and interests as an artist or curator.
  • Your project idea and how your engagement with the archive/s is central to the project.
  • The archive(s) you wish to work with and the nature of their holding—audio, video, film, photographs, objects, documents and manuscripts.
  • The proposed outcome of your project and how you imagine this outcome will be placed in the public domain.
  • Work plan for the duration of the fellowship.

Applicants may send draft proposals for feedback until September 30, 2013 by email to Rashmi Sawhney at

Final applications should reach the IFA address below no later than October 31, 2013.

Please ensure that final applications be made only in hard copy. Online applications will not be accepted. Fellowship awards will be announced by December 1, 2013. IFA’s decision on the fellowships will be final.

At the end of the fellowship period, IFA will organise a public presentation at which the fellows will be expected to share their archival research process and explain how this experience has enriched their project.

The application will be considered incomplete if you do not include the following:

  1. A covering letter addressed to the Executive Director.
  2. A list of public and state archives you wish to work within the proposals. Applicants will need to obtain an official letter from the archive giving permission to work in the archives, but this letter need not be submitted with the proposal, and can be submitted by 15 November 2013. IFA will be happy to provide a formal letter to shortlisted applicants stating they have applied for the fellowship in order to help enable access. However, IFA is not responsible for obtaining access to the archives, and the archival fellowship offer remains conditional to candidates obtaining official permission from the archives.
  3. Supporting material related to your practice. A recent bio-data including your address, telephone/fax numbers, and e-mail address.

General Information

Each fellowship will cover an honorarium, travel and archival fees. Fellows have the option of using part of the fellowship amount for the production of the proposed outcome with prior permission from IFA.

Please state your identity in the covering letter and bio data only, and do not make your name evident on the proposal. Your proposal may be assessed with the help of external evaluators. If your proposal is short-listed, you may be requested to respond to questions from evaluators.

You are responsible for the delivery of your proposal and supporting material to IFA by the closing date. Late applications will not be accepted.

Proposals may be written in any Indian language including English.

For any queries/clarifications regarding your proposal you may contact Rashmi Sawhney at


You are eligible to apply if you are an Indian national, or have been resident in India for at least five years.

Please address your application to:

The Archival Fellowships,
India Foundation for the Arts,
‘Apurva’, Ground floor, No 259,
4th Cross, Raj Mahal Vilas, 2nd Stage, 2nd Block,
Bengaluru 560094.
Tel: 080 23414681/82