1.1 National Fellowships are aimed at providing opportunities to eminent social scientists to engage themselves in full-time research on important themes of their choice or to write books based on their research.
1.2 They are awarded to scholars of repute to conduct studies that have the potential to contribute to advancement in social sciences. The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences, are:
(i) Sociology and Social Anthropology;
(ii) Political Science / Public Administration;
(iv) International Studies;
(v) Social Geography and Population Studies;
(vi) Commerce and Management;
(vii) Social Psychology;
(ix) Social Linguistics / Cultural Studies
(x) Law / International Law
(xi) National Security & Strategic Studies;
(xii) Other allied Social Science disciplines.
1.3 National Fellowships fall into two broad categories:
1.4 Specific Category:
These are special theme based fellowships offered to eminent scholars, who have made outstanding contribution in the fields mentioned under each of the Fellowship:
• Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship for studies on peace building, social reforms, empowerment and environment;
• Jawaharlal Nehru National Fellowship for studies on State, democracy, governance, public policy, leadership, and foreign policy;
• B.R. Ambedkar National Fellowship for studies on Social Justice;
• J.P. Naik National Fellowship or studies in Education and Culture;
• Maulana Azad National Fellowship for studies on Religion and Society;
• Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan National Fellowship for studies on Education
• Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for studies on Development.
• Vina Mazumdar National Fellowship in women’s studies.
1.5 Non-Specific Category:
Open category for all themes in Social Sciences.
2. Eligibility for Award of National Fellowship
2.1 Renowned Indian Social scientists with outstanding academic work and having a significant amount of high quality research publications to their credit are eligible for the Fellowships. However, civil servants, journalists, social workers, action researchers, etc. may also be considered under this scheme provided they have an established record of outstanding academic work and involvement with social science research as reflected in their published contributions.
2.2 There is no age bar for this category of fellowship.
2.3 Scholars who avail of National Fellowship should either not be in service or should have superannuated at the time of award of the fellowship. No salary protection is available under this scheme.
2.4 The selected fellows are expected to do full time research in India. They could however undertake field trip outside India, if the Expert Committee finds it to be necessary for their research.
2.5 While accepting any fellowships from the Council, a fellow should not accept fellowship from any other organization.
2.5 Separate allocation under this scheme shall be made for the SC/ST candidates as per allocations made in the ICSSR plan under SCP/TSP Grant.
2.6 In case of selection of persons with disabilities, the Council may consider providing additional resources as per special requirements.
3. Procedure for Award of National Fellowships
3.1 The awards are made by the Council on its own initiative after following a prescribed selection procedure. Direct applications for National Fellowships are not accepted. Nominations are invited by the ICSSR in April each year from Vice-Chancellors of Universities, Directors of the ICSSR Research Institutes/ICSSR Regional Centres, all present and former members of the Council and National Fellows of the ICSSR. Nominating individuals should not forward more than two nominations to the Council. All nominations are to be accompanied by curriculum vitae of the scholar and should reach the Council before 30th June each year.
3.2 The nominations received are initially short listed each year by the ICSSR. The Selection Committee, constituted by the Chairman of the ICSSR, after due scrutiny and deliberations, recommends the final list to the Council for approval. The selected scholars are required to submit a brief proposal of 1500 words on the theme on which they propose to conduct their study.
3.3 National Fellows are expected to affiliate themselves to a public funded university, academic institution, ICSSR funded / recognized institution of their choice with the approval of the Council. Funds are disbursed by the ICSSR through the affiliating institution and administered by it.
4. Conditions of the Fellowship
4.1 National Fellows will be paid a fellowship amount of Rs.55,000 p.m. irrespective of the fact whether they are getting any pensionary benefit. The pensionary benefit will not be deducted from their monthly fellowship.
4.2 In addition, a Contingency grant of Rs.60,000/-p.a. is also provided to a fellow during the entire period of fellowship. This is irrespective of whether a fellow is employed or not.
4.3 National Fellow are expected to join within a period of one year from the date of the offer of the fellowship.
4.4 The term of fellowship is two years.
4.5 The sanction of the fellowship is issued initially for one year, effective from the date of joining. Each year’s grant is released in three installments in proportion of 40%, 40% and 20%. The third installment (First year) is released only on receipt of the annual progress report and Statement of Accounts. The same procedure is followed for the second year. The last installment is released on receipt of 3 copies of the final research report, summary and the audited statement of accounts, utilization certificate in the prescribed GFR-19-A format.
4.6 Monitoring of National Fellowships is done by the ICSSR, New Delhi. During the course of the fellowship, national awardees may be requested by the ICSSR to give lectures at appropriate forums on the findings of the research with a view to disseminate the scholar’s work among the Social Science community. The arrangements shall be made in consultation with the National fellow.
4.7 Every six months, a Fellow is required to submit the progress report of his/her work and a simple statement of accounts duly signed by the Registrar/Director of the affiliating institution.
4.8 A National Fellow is expected to submit a book-length unpublished Final Report and summary (2000-5000 words) within six months of the completion of the fellowship. This report has to be in triplicate (a soft copy and two hard copies).
5 Obligation of the Affiliating Institution
5.1 The affiliating institution has to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts. For this, the Council shall pay to the institution overhead charges of seven and a half per cent (7.5%) of the total amount (fellowship and contingency).
5.2 The affiliating institution, where the proposed fellowship research is to be undertaken, has to provide, in the prescribed format an undertaking to administer and manage the ICSSR grant and provide logistical support for conducting the study.
5.3 All fellowships are subject to income tax deductions which the affiliating institution will be required to do.
5.4 Every six months the affiliating institution is required to submit a simple statement of accounts to the Council so that the next installment of funds may be released.
5.5 The affiliating institution will be under obligation to ensure submission of the final report and an Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate, (in the prescribed Performa GFR 19-A) duly certified by the Director/Competent authorities. The report must be in form and content acceptable to the ICSSR. The overhead charges shall be paid only after the completion of the fellowship and on receipt of the final Statement of Accounts.