Apply Now: Abhijit Sen Rural Research Internship

The National Foundation for India is inviting applications from students pursuing undergraduate/post-graduate studies, for the Second Cohort of the Abhijit Sen Rural Internship. NFI’s rural internship programme aims to promote rigorous academic scholarship among university students towards the rural economy, and sensitise them to the challenges faced by rural communities in the country. The programme was named after (late) Prof. Sen to honour his legacy and work towards rural development and informed research.

This 50-day research internship aims to provide students the opportunity to visit rural areas for field research, interact with the community and understand their socio-economic conditions and challenges. The internship will also initiate the interns in appropriate research methodology, and will help introduce them to relevant secondary literature. Interns are expected to define a topic of interest which they will explore through small surveys, interviews and focused group discussions with farmers/villagers on different aspects of the rural economy and produce a short research report based on their study.

Led by a senior development economist, the research process will be guided by a panel of experts who will work with the interns as academic mentors. The interns’ stay and fieldwork will be facilitated by local community organisations working in those areas. All research reports and supporting documents produced from this effort will be disseminated widely amongst NGOs and policymakers to ensure the sharing of learnings, better programme implementation, and policy advocacy.

  • Field locations in: Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra
  • Positions: Up to 100 internships will be provided to students across India
  • Eligibility: Students pursuing undergraduate/post-graduate courses from any Indian public university/college/technical educational institution
  • Selection Process: Written application, a brief essay exam, and final in-person interview. Women students and students from Dalit, Adivasi, Tribal and minority communities are encouraged to apply
  • Application Deadline: 11:59 PM, 31st December 2023

1. In-person Orientation and Formation of Cohort – 5 days
2. Field Visit – 30 days
3. Report Writing – 15 days

  • Capacity building for guided and informed research, and advance knowledge in a topic of your choosing
  • Opportunity for exposure to rural India and civil society organisations working on rural issues
  • Fieldwork and Research Report writing experience
  • NFI will cover all travel, food and accommodation expenses
  • A stipend of Rs. 20,000 will be paid to the intern upon completion of the research report

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For doubts/clarifications, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here. If you have any further queries, contact us at

Prof. Abhijit Sen was one of India’s most distinguished development economists, teachers, and policymakers. He was a Professor of Economics at JNU, Chairperson of CACP (1997-2000) and Member, Planning Commission of India (2004-2014) amongst other positions. His most important contributions include the recommendations towards remunerative MSP for farm produce and universal PDS, and his role in framing NREGA, NFSA and the Forest Rights Act, the backbone of social protection in India. He believed in the core principle of growth with equity and dignity for the poor and was a powerful advocate of decentralised governance. Prof. Sen was always keen on encouraging students to explore developmental issues and develop a scholarship that is rigorous, committed and informed by experiences on the ground.

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