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5 (2+3) Year Integrated Doctoral Program

“When you are doing the right thing for the Earth, she gives you great company.” - Vandana Shiva

“We cannot create regenerative cultures without creating more equitable cultures. For the transition to be successful we need the widespread participation of informed citizens collaborating in the creation of regenerative communities at every scale, empowered and enabled by global collaboration.” - Daniel Christian Wahl

Sauparnika explains her designed gallery showcasing the transitions in the craft of Mridangam making. Picture Credit: Divyarajsinh Rana


Our vision is to nurture motivated and enthusiastic young people, to create spaces of vital new research and practice. We want to draw upon the deep passion and universal grief that brings us together as a community, to build a planetary society and an ecological civilization.

The challenges we face today are deep rooted, systemic, related to justice and hope, economics and survival. At the same time, there are hopeful, beautiful and deeply motivating relationships and experiences that support us through reimagining, reinterpreting and replenishing the world that we, as human beings have brought into the climate crisis.

We invite  aspiring young practitioners with either a bachelor’s or master's degree to bring deep commitment to reimagine human societies that are inclusive of the more-than-human, for the now and for the future. We welcome students from diverse backgrounds such as engineering, commerce, international studies, general sciences and life sciences, cultural studies, rural management, education, economics, social sciences, technology, literature, art and design. This is not a comprehensive list, and we are open to candidates from any background  keen for systemic restoration of the natural health of the planet and its people.

Towards this vision this Integrated Doctoral Program provides a distinct edge; it places aspirants on an intensive and focused trajectory to delve deep into a critical new area of research in design.

The framework for the Specialized Five Year Integrated Doctoral is located in the idea that there are alternate realities and other ways of being that exist in parallel with our own, providing lots of scope to explore hidden voices, untold stories, and local cultural practices and ways of being, rather than studying only the dominant systems of knowledge.

Designed to focus on consciousness as integral to transitions, this program is the first and only academic program in the world that brings to light the role of consciousness in self, community and environment as a key factor in designing transitions. Drawing upon Asian traditions of thought, the program emphasizes the critical importance of consciousness based approaches to make sense and research into the most pressing problems of our time.

Students’ engagement in system mapping of socio-cultural-technical transitions of Anegundi, Karnataka – picture courtesy team of CRT.

This program has been emerged with the critical thought that

  • We need to explore the plurality of South Asian cultures, their knowledge systems and practices to find out how to respond to the entwined socio-economic and environmental challenges of our times
  • We need to look at how art and design frameworks can add to new knowledge and understanding of ecological transitions and relationships we have with the natural world.
  • We need a civilization response to the ecological crisis that has its roots in action, practice-based and practice-led inquiries, thereby capturing hidden ways of being and doing.

Practice-based and Practice-led research is encouraged in this program where practice may refer to media, art or design practices, ecological practices that are site based and immersive, textual/epistemological traditions, study of diverse forms of practice. At Srishti Manipal we endeavour to bring together the disciplines of art, design, humanities and social sciences, science and technology to create new transdisciplinary, inter and multi and sometimes anti-disciplinary approaches. For those who are drawn to both practice and research, the integrated doctoral program provides a vibrant and exciting space for engaging with both, building new practice, and practice-based knowledge. The goal is to create a self-motivated community of practitioners in these new areas of study.

Field visit to Pampa Sarovar, Anegundi for the study of development induced transitions of the community and place.

An Integrated Doctoral Program is useful for students who have academic interests, but do not have the necessary background to enter a doctoral program. You could be someone with one of the following situations.

  1. You are currently an undergraduate student or only hold a Bachelor’s degree
  2. You have a Masters degree, but your focus is in a different field from what you want to pursue
  3. You have a relevant Masters degree, but feel that your research skills are not well developed
  4. You are interested in a practice-based immersive research degree

To reimagine and revitalise old settlements, streets, nullas and markets of inner cities; Image Credits: Vishwesh Vishwanathan

Intended Audience:

This program welcomes aspiring practitioners-scholars who are interested in generating knowledge, understanding, and new ways of creating in fields of practice and research areas such as:

  • Living Heritages, Critical Geography, Landscape based Conservation, Urban Planning and Sustainability Design, Human-Animal Conflict
  • Cultural Studies, Knowledge systems, Peace and Conflict, Translation Practices,  Digital Humanities, Public History
  • Ecological Consciousness, Ecosophy, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Education, Defuturing Design Education
  • Documentary Film-making, Visual and Media studies, Artistic practice and Aesthetics, Communication Design
  • Agroecology, Ethnobiology, Land and Livelihoods, Small Farm Cultures, Hybrid and Appropriate Technologies
  • Public Policy and Advocacy, Decolonising Design, Entrepreneurship for Impact, Creative and Ecological Economy

To nurture motivated and enthusiastic young people, to create spaces of vital new research and practice drawing upon the deep passion and universal grief that brings us together as a community towards a planetary society and an ecological civilization.

Srishti Manipal responds to the climate crisis and invites aspiring young practitioners with either a bachelor’s or master's degree in any field to bring deep commitment to reimagine human societies and participate in systemic restoration of the natural health of the planet.

This program provides diverse platforms to enable those who are interested in the evolution and application of intuition, intelligence and imagination in the regeneration of our cities, in creating sustainable living and livelihoods for its inhabitants.

The outcomes will provide insights for planners, policy makers, investors and economists thereby  generating the possibility of  “creative impact ahead of the curve”.

Develop creative research practices to build custodianship of fragile ecologies and unfold critical narratives.
Western Ghats (L), Image Credits: Srivi Kalyan and Hessarghatta Lake, Bengaluru (R), Image Credits: Mahesh Bhat

Program Structure

Candidates will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) award at the successful completion of the program requirements over a minimum period of study (5 years).

There are three distinct stages that all aspiring practitioner/scholars need to complete the program successfully and be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). For simplicity of reference, the part during the first 2 semesters is called Postgraduate Studies, and the remaining as Pre-Doctoral and Doctoral studies, though the Integrated Doctoral program, in principle, is a single program.

Research and Collaborations

Research Scholars and Mentors will guide our scholars through the following centres and labs


The Integrated Doctoral program allows new imaginations and possibilities for graduates of the program to design their own career paths. Some possibilities include: Academia, Policy and Planning, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Livelihood Generation, Socially and environmentally engaged Art and Design, Urban Design and Sustainability.

This program provides an opportunity for students to either pursue scholarship, define their own collaborative practice as well as find a position in a variety of workplaces, i.e. cultural organisations, government bodies, not-for-profit initiatives, art and design practices, research institutions and others.

At its core, the Integrated Doctoral program at Srishti Manipal offers you the chance to build both active practice and research towards fulfilling careers in shaping an equitable world in active real world scenarios as well as academia.

Program Offered

Integrated Doctoral Program (Reimagining Transitions)