The School of Human Ecology aims to foster interdisciplinary research in areas at the intersection of human society, non-human beings and the biophysical environment. The research programme at the School is guided by the idea that environmentalconcerns and challenges such as resource depletion, ecological degradation and conflicts result fromcomplex interactions of social and environmental factors, and therefore meaningful intervention inthese debates should be informed by knowledge and skills on a wide range of subjects. Theuniqueness of the PhD programmestems from its proposal to synergistically link the natural sciences and social sciences to explore and understand environmental issues as well as its emphasis on field-based learning and research.
The aim of PhD coursework and the dissertation is to create multi-disciplinary range ofknowledge as well as to create depth in a core discipline. A successful PhD candidate at SHE is thusexpected to develop understanding of a specialised subject area which is enriched, strengthenedand informed by other disciplines that may have a bearing on her/ his research question.
The period of enrolment of duration of a doctoral candidate is normally 3 to 4 years, as described in the University Research Studies Regulations. Any extension of that period will be in accordance with the same regulations.
Mentorship and Monitoring
A candidate is admitted given satisfactory performance in admission activities. There must be a satisfactory match between the research interests of the student and the ongoing research activities of faculty within the SHE (and affiliated faculty). No matter how excellent her/ his previous academic career, an applicant should not expect to be admitted to the programme if AUD faculty members are unable to supervise the proposed research. A supervisor for every PhD student should be appointed soon after admission, subject to University regulations.
A School-level Research Advisory Committee (RAC), consisting of the supervisor and two other members, will be set up for each admitted PhD candidate within the first semester of a candidate’s enrolment for the purposes of close mentoring and monitoring of his/her progress. Apart from the supervisor, at least one other member of the Committee should be a regular faculty member of AUD.
The PhD programme has two distinct components: course work and dissertation.
The course work of PhD programme shall normally consist of several courses of two or four credits each, totaling 16 credits. A minimum of 16 credits of coursework is mandatory for students entering with an MA/MSc degree. However, the coursework requirement for PhD students entering with an MPhil (or equivalent) degree can be waived partially or fully by the SHE Research Studies Committee (RSC) depending on his/her educational background and the specific skills required for his/her research topic.
Pre-Dissertation Requirements: Synopsis Defense and Pre-Submission Viva
In terms of pre-dissertation requirements, the SHE RSC requires the presentation and defense of the PhD research proposal at a meeting of the RSC within three full semesters of enrolment. The number of semesters required for defense of the PhD research proposal may be extended to five semesters if recommended by Research Advisory Committee and approved by the RSC. After completing their research, doctoral students shall also be required to present and discuss their research findings, prior to dissertation submission, in one or more formal meetings (‘pre-submission viva’) as stipulated by the RSC. At least one of these events must be a public function open to members of the University. The purpose of such exercises is to elicit comments and feedback on the research project that may be incorporated into the dissertation with the help of the Supervisor(s). The timing of the pre-submission viva shall be decided by the RAC and the RSC as per the research studies regulations.
Completion and successful defense of a doctoral dissertation is the ultimate requirement of the
programme. The SCR and statutory bodies of the University shall announce criteria with respect to length and format of doctoral theses, to stylistic matters and citation of research materials. The candidate is expected to follow the advice of the doctoral supervisor/co-supervisors in such matters as accumulation, analysis and writing up of research material, as well as communication and publication of results.
Select List of Courses offered to PhD candidates
Bridge courses or independent study/ seminar courses are also offered to PhD candidates, as per the requirements of the candidate and following advice of the Research Advisory Committee.