Concept of the Winter School

The Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry (SSWSP) is a multi-year programme of intensive and multidisciplinary training workshops addressing theoretical and methodological issues in social sciences research. The SSWSP originates from an Indo-French cooperation in social sciences between the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) and Pondicherry University. The school provides each and every one with the opportunity of knowledge transfer, sharing experiences and research ideas.


This SSWSP has three main objectives:

  • To create a highly efficient tool in research capacity-building;
  • To strengthen the Indo-French cooperation in research in India, through the creation of an academic network of researchers in India and France working on South Asia;
  • To consolidate a community of young scholars in India.

Tangible results and outcomes are provided:

  • Development of a website in English (with digital resources);
  • Validation through delivery of certificates upon completion of the training;
  • Editing and dissemination of a scientific, pedagogical and technical booklet.


The training runs through five consecutive days and is articulated around two poles: the plenary sessions and the methodological workshops, as detailed below:

  • The plenary sessions: for one day (December 2nd 2019) there will be four talks, presented by experienced researchers from both Europe and India. The aim is to present the state-of-the-art, and overview of the theoretical and methodological issues on a particular research topic.
  • The methodological workshops: for the following three full days (December 3rd-December 5th 2019), three workshops à la carte for around 50 trainees are devoted to tutorials. It will discuss theoretical models, text analysis, analytical tools, survey methods, data collection and analysis, etc.
  • Project restitution: the training ends (December 6th) with a half-day of knowledge restitution, under the form of a simulated research project designed by each group and putting to practice what they have learnt, and the delivery of certificates to participants.

A theme is chosen every year as a guideline throughout the training workshop. Several cross-cutting themes and sub-topics in the field of social sciences were identified: environmental health (emerging diseases, health governance, public policies), social and spatial mobility (migrations, social networks, globalization),  vulnerabilities (social, economic, and ecological), inequalities and social change, gender studies, urban studies, heritage, communities and sustainability.


The team of trainers will be multidisciplinary and international, composed according to the chosen theme, while taking into account the availability of local human resources: IFP (about 5-6 permanent research scholars) and Pondicherry University (senior scientists). Other trainers will be solicited from various French institutions.

Methodological approaches in social sciences

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