La Trobe University’s association with Bollywood is not new. It has been a sponsor of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne for the past few years, actors from Bollywood and Indian celebrities have called in at the university and Salaam Namaste, the first Bollywood film shot entirely in Melbourne in 2005, featured the sprawling La Trobe campus. More recent visitors have included Kiran Bedi (2013), Malaika Arora Khan (2011) and Kapil Dev (2010).
This year, in a bid to take the relationship to a newer level and to honour India’s most famous film personality, La Trobe University will be announcing its first Shri Amitabh Bachchan Scholarship in May. Those interested must apply before April 18. Details can be seen at: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/international/fees/scholarships/research.
Although the PhD thesis topics must be closely aligned or related to India with topics related to digital technology, communication or media, that is only a preference, says Abizer Merchant, Associate Director (International Marketing & Recruitment), La Trobe International. “If a prospective student comes up with a thesis topic related to India but is not in the media or digital communication field, it will still be considered for the scholarship,” says Merchant, adding, “The aim is to attract high quality Indian students to do their PhD which is fully funded by the University.”
The scholarship will provide the successful candidate with tuition fees and a living allowance for up to four years or on completion of their candidature. The tuition fees coverage will be between A$22,960-27,800 p.a. and the living allowance will be A$24,653 p.a. paid over four years. “So, they only have to pay for their air ticket, health insurance and for any family members that accompany them,” says Merchant.
Those eligible to apply are Indian citizens only and applicants must meet La Trobe University’s academic and English requirements for Higher Degrees by Research (latrobe.edu.au/research). Those having permanent residency status but have retained Indian citizenship and living in Australia can also apply. While there are no criteria for age, applicants should have completed a research thesis in line with La Trobe’s requirements for PhD enrolment. Those currently doing Masters by research and wanting to go to PhD are also eligible to apply.
Those not eligible to apply are international students wanting to undertake a course other than a PhD and continuing La Trobe University students already enrolled in a PhD.
Although the scholarship award ceremony is scheduled for May, the selected candidate need not start immediately as he/she would need time to arrange a student visa and also settle matters at home, says Merchant.
Those interested and meet La Trobe’s PhD requirements can apply detailing proposed PhD thesis topic to [email protected], with the subject line, “Application for Shri Amitabh Bachchan Scholarship”.
By Indira Laisram