Urban Fellows Programme - Developing Change Makers for Transforming Cities

The UFP is a scholarship-based, ten-month, full-time, residential, inter-disciplinary fellowship at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru.

Created On: Apr 1, 2019 17:26 IST
Modified On: Apr 2, 2019 11:38 IST
IIHS, Bengaluru
IIHS, Bengaluru

The UFP seeks to equip, nurture and prepare a new generation of graduates and young professionals committed to the common good, who can become change-makers, team players, original thinkers, reflective practitioners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to address India's complex urban challenges.

The UFP combines classroom-based teaching, site-based applied learning, work in live projects, and external internships to introduce learners to diverse forms of urban practice.

The first UFP iteration commenced in August 2016; and in May 2019 the third batch of Urban Fellows will graduate. Our fellows have gone on to intern and start their urban careers in various organisations, including practice-based consulting organisations, policy think tanks, grassroots NGOs and CBOs, among others.

Through the UFP, Fellows understand issues of urbanisation in India and the global south; learn from practice; develop skills necessary to tackle key urban issues in India; build an inter-disciplinary foundation; network with thought leaders and change makers; and learn from a diverse and experienced faculty.

The Fellowship consists of seven key Learning Elements:

The Commons: The Commons is where Fellows understand the different approaches, systems, aspects and components that make up the Urban. It is also where Fellows from different disciplinary backgrounds learn a common new vocabulary and a set of conceptual perspectives to think about the Urban.

Elective Modules: Electives build on concepts and skills taught in the Commons and allow learners to create their own trajectory through the UFP by focusing on particular sectors and focus areas they want to develop. Fellows can choose four of ten to twelve elective courses that will enable them to understand, engage and grapple with contemporary urban debates.

Applied Practica and Projects: The Practica are term-length, site-based applied learning modules. They draw on real-life cases and working problems situated in the city. The Practica enables the Fellows to integrate theory with practice as well as to deploy the skills and concepts learned in the classroom to imagine and develop appropriate, innovative and sustainable solutions for the Indian context. The Fellows are also placed with different projects’ teams within IIHS. This enables real-time application of the theory and skills they learn during the Fellowship.

Exposure Visit: Through a series of field-based exposure trips in cities of different sizes and types, the Fellows are exposed to complex problems in the real world. They observe, diagnose and conceptualise solutions to real life problems in both small towns as well as in larger, million-plus cities in India. In each of these cities, they meet with a range of stakeholders including government officials, business leaders and civil society organisations, among others.

Master Classes: Masterclasses provide Fellows with opportunities to meet thought-leaders and practitioners from India and across the world, to learn about their work and the challenges they face as practitioners in different disciplines and domains. These close interactions help Fellows learn about diverse ethical, political, and material complexities while practicing in urban contexts.

Skill Labs: Through the UFP, Fellows are equipped with the most appropriate technical, analytical and professional skills that are taught through a series of labs, as well as through assignments and the Practica and Projects.

Internship: UFP guarantees a two-month internship for all Fellows in order to facilitate the transition from classroom learning to the complex world of work and practice. Internships are offered in government departments and public institutions, private firms and practices, social movements, non-governmental organisations, research think-tanks, development sector organisations and planning and design firms, among others.

Application deadline for the Urban Fellows Programme is April 18th, 2019. Applicants should be born on or after 1 August 1989 to be eligible. More information about the fellowship is available at urbanfellows.iihs.co.in.

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