Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Rocher Foundation offers an In-Residence Research and Teaching Fellowship in Classical Indology for new PhD holders

The Foundation Board are pleased to announce Dr. Tamara Cohen, the 2024 recipient of The Ludo and Rosane Rocher Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Cohen will work on the intellectual and religious history of the Mokṣopāya, a 10th century philosophical literary text from Kashmir well known in a centuries-later recension as the Yogavāsiṣṭha. She will be in residence at the University of Virginia during her fellowship.

Applications for the next round of Rocher Fellowships are due by January 15, 2025. Applications may be submitted at any time until the deadline of January 15, 2025. The results of the competition will be announced to applicants on or about April 1, 2025.

Dr. Jean Arzoumanov is the 2023 recipient of The Ludo and Rosane Rocher Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Arzoumanov is pursuing his work on Indian sects and ascetics in Indo-Persian literature of the 16th to the 19th centuries. He is in residence at the University of Chicago for the duration of his fellowship.



For purposes of the Rocher Postdoctoral Fellowships, “Classical Indology” is defined as the humanistic study of texts and related materials (usually prior to the 19th century) in Sanskrit, the Prakrits, Pali, the premodern Dravidian languages, and other premodern Indian languages, as well as the languages of their extended cultural spheres and roles, for example Persian and Kawi. Related arts and material cultures are also within the purview of the program, as is the historiography of Indology’s development and interaction with the study of other cultures. 


Persons eligible to apply for a Rocher Post-doctoral Fellowship must have completed a doctoral degree or equivalent (typically PhD or DPhil) in a relevant field of Classical Indology at an accredited university in any country within five years before the beginning date of the fellowship. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD degree (including dissertation defense) not later than January 15, 2025.


The Rocher Fellowship is intended to provide recent PhDs in classical Indology with an opportunity to revise their dissertations and prepare them in publishable form, and/or to undertake a new, post-dissertation research project.


Rocher Postdoctoral Fellowships include:

  • an annual stipend of a minimum of $65,000 per year (the stipend will rise to the level of the host institution’s post-doctoral fellowship rate if it is higher), 
  • a research fund of up to $5,000,
  • round-trip economy airfare for the fellow from their home to the host institution,
  • an allowance for health insurance.

The Fellowship has the possibility of renewal for one year. The grant is contingent on the grantee having satisfactory affiliation with a United States institution. Continuation in the second year will be conditional on: (a) the grantee’s submission of a report documenting satisfactory progress during the first year (see Reporting requirements); and (b) a letter from an appropriate officer of a host institution indicating its willingness to continue hosting the grantee for the second year.


The fellowship period begins at the commencement of an academic session of the host institution (see Affiliation with host institution) and continues for up to 24 months of support.


Rocher Foundation Fellowships are in-residence grants. Grantees will have to be affiliated with an appropriate sponsoring university or other sponsoring institution of higher learning and/or research in the United States. At the time of application, applicants will be asked to propose and briefly justify one (or more) such institutional sponsor, including the relevant program or department and/or individual guide or mentor. It is, of course, advisable for the applicant to contact said institution(s) and/or individual(s) before submitting their application. Normally, the institution would be other than the one from which the applicant received the PhD degree, although exceptions can be made in certain cases, the importance of which would have to be explained in the application statement.


Grantees will be expected to independently teach one course and to present at least one lecture in an appropriate forum at their host institution during each year of their fellowship. Applicants who would be hosted by non-teaching institutions such as independent research centers or museums may submit a tentative program of lectures and seminars.

In no circumstance should the postdoctoral fellowship be conceived by the host institution as leave replacement, course relief, or succession of a faculty member. Applicants may not be hosted by an institution in which they have previously served in a faculty capacity.   


Grantees will be required to submit progress reports (not more than 500 words) to the board of the Rocher Foundation biannually, on December 31 and June 15 of the years during which the grant is in effect. Failure to submit reports promptly may result in suspension or revocation of the Fellowship.

A more detailed report, up to 1000 words in length, is to be submitted to the Foundation within one month after the end of the grant period. Awardees are also expected to provide to the Foundation copies of any scholarly publications resulting from research conducted during the grant period, regardless of their date of final publication.