Mina Swaminathan Fellowship for Gender and Development



The M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has a core approach of pro-poor, pro-nature and pro-women research and development. This has been particularly emphasized through the work of Prof Swaminathan and Mrs Mina Swaminathan both in the ideology and the work of the Foundation as well as in the specific focus given to key issues from female infanticide to women’s burden of labour and rights especially of rural women. MSSRF began a gendered approach to research and development especially under the leadership of Mrs Mina Swaminathan several years ago.

MSSRF also believes in bridging the link between science and society through multiple ways, especially through the media providing robust outreach related to research on development issues as well as the activities of the Foundation. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to study the impact on women’s status and work burden. 

About the Fellowship

The Mina Swaminathan Fellowship is a prestigious award for journalists focusing on issues related to gender and development, particularly in the rural context.

Theme for the fellowship 2020: “Gendered impacts of COVID”

The 2020 Media Fellow will deal with gender and health issues, focusing on post-COVID-19 situation in rural India, to explore how coronavirus changed women’s lives - in incomes, health care, mental health, increased household chores, burden of childcare etc.

The Fellowship is a consolidated cash award of Rs. 50,000. Over a 3 month period after receiving the award, the Fellow is expected publish two well-researched articles in mainstream media, produce a policy brief on the theme of the year and deliver a seminar on their work.

Eligibility for the First Media Fellowship

  1. Consistent writing on the subjects of gender, development, environment and rural concerns over the past six months
  2. Additional stories or recent published articles related to COVID and their work on gender dimension will be an added advantage
  3. Available to any full-time / part-time journalist with regular publication standing in popular mainstream media platforms – print, and / or web.
  4. Language – For 2020, one journalist each will be selected, from Tamil, Malayalam and Odia media.
  5. Each media Fellow should publish two well-researched articles over a 3-month period and deliver a seminar on their work and insights.


MSSRF will connect the fellow virtually (where possible the fellow could visit) to various sites for interviews, facilitating field and research connect. Constant exchange of ideas between the researchers and the media is envisaged towards greater science-media partnership. The journalist will also work together with the scientists to bring out a policy brief on the theme.  

Selection Criteria

The Fellows will be identified through a call / search and finalized by an expert committee set up for the purpose. The announcement will be linked every year to the MSSRF Annual conference.

The Mina Swaminathan Fellowship instituted by Prof M S Swaminathan, aims to intensify focus on a special theme related to gender in MSSRF, while recognizing Mrs Mina Swaminathan’s contribution to gender and development and the institution’s core commitment to a pro-woman approach. Last date 23 September 2020. 

Fellowship Poster

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