Saraswati Dalmia Scholarship

Key information

Deadline date
One award of up to £10,355

Scholarship overview

Saraswati Dalmia (1915—2010) was a scholar and a poet and belonged to the generation of women of the 1930s who contributed to the struggle for independence in India.

While she continued to do social service, in her poems she also encouraged and supported women to action with great intuition and intelligence. Her inspirational writing in Hindi evolved new forms in prose and poetry.

After her marriage to the industrialist R.K. Dalmia she also established a trust for the promotion of research and writing. In her evolution as a significant writer, at a time when women were not encouraged to enter the public domain, her life acts as a beacon for the struggle to survive against tremendous odds.

This scholarship has been established with a donation by her daughter Yashodhara Dalmia, an art historian and an independent curator based in New Delhi. She has written widely on  art and her several publications include Amrita Sher-Gil – A Life (Penguin/Viking, 2006), which is a comprehensive account of the life of one of India’s first modern artists. Her book The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives (Oxford University Press, 2001), is regarded as the definitive account of a seminal phase of Indian art history.

There is one Saraswati Dalmia Scholarship. The scholarship provides a contribution towards fees up to a maximum of £10,355. The scholarship is for one year only.

Eligible programmes

  • MA in History of Art & Archaeology or other MA with significant History of Art component within the School of Arts (excluding MA East Asian Art and Archaeology)
  • Full-time or part-time MPhil/PhD (new admissions, starting in September 2024), which involves undertaking research in the field of Indian art from 1500 up to the present day.
  • Preference will be given to those who undertake research in the field of modern and contemporary Indian art.
  • Applicants currently enrolled on the first year of the full-time (or part-time equivalent) MPhil/PhD will also be considered but preference will be given to new admissions, starting in September 2024, and to applicants who have not previously received the scholarship.
  • Open to full and part-time programmes.

Candidate criteria

  • Open to Home/EU and overseas applicants.
  • Applicants are expected to have an outstanding academic record, usually a 2:1 or first in their undergraduate degree and must normally possess or expect to be awarded a Merit or Distinction in their Masters Degree.
  • New applicants to the MPhil/PhD programme (new admissions, starting in September 2024), must:
    • Have received a firm offer to study by the time the Scholarship Panel meets to discuss applications.
    • Have demonstrated in the research proposal of their application for admission that their research is in the field of Indian art from 1500 up to the present day. Preference will be given to those who undertake research in the field of modern and contemporary Indian art.
    • Meet the English language condition of their offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible.  If your offer is conditional on English, please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible.
    • Please note that this scholarships does not cover funding or even allow for Pre-sessionals. 

Candidate assessment

  • Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel 
  • The assessment of your application will be based on the information in your application and in your on-line application for admission. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.

Scholarship application deadline

  • Scholarship applications must be received no later than the deadline of 12pm (UK local time) 29 February 2024
  • New applicants only (new admissions, starting in September 2024): You must submit a complete online application to your programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship, in order to be considered. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Notification of results

The scholarship shortlisting and awarding period is expected to be completed by the end of May 2024, at the earliest. Successful candidates will be contacted first and once all awards have been allocated, the unsuccessful candidates will be notified. 

Scholarship application procedures

Further information about PhDs at SOAS University of London is available from:

There is a two-step procedure:

Step 1: apply for your programme to study 

For guidance to apply for Research Programmes and detailed information on what makes an application, please see How to apply (research)

Step 2: apply for the scholarship by 12pm (UK local time) on 29 February 2024

You can apply for this scholarship via the online application form.