1.1 Senior Fellowships are awarded to established social science scholars for conducting research on specific themes and issues proposed by the applicants. 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.
1.2 Senior Fellowships are aimed at providing opportunities to outstanding social scientists to engage themselves in full-time research on important themes of their choice or to write books based on their research.
2. Eligibility for Award of Senior Fellowship
2.1 Senior Fellowships are awarded to social scientists with outstanding research publications. Social workers, journalists and civil servants, known for their academic interests with a record of publications may also be considered. Candidate should not be more than 68 at the time of submitting the application.
2.2 Scholars who are in regular teaching/research faculty positions in publicly funded University (including government funded or aided Colleges), or publicly funded research institutions, or ICSSR funded/recognized institutions may apply under the salary protection scheme.
2.3 At least 80% of the Senior Fellowships will be awarded to scholars under the salary protection 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. In such cases, ICSSR may reimburse travel expenses directly to the scholar as per Council rules.
2.5 While accepting any fellowships from the Council, a fellow should not accept fellowship from any other organization. A fellow would not be eligible for another fellowship from the Council for five years from the date of termination of fellowship.
2.6 Defaulters of any previous grant of ICSSR under any scheme will not be eligible for consideration until the applicant has obtained the clearance of the relevant administrative division of the ICSSR.
2.7 Besides, a conscious effort shall be made to favourably consider while sanctioning grants to women, minorities, differently abled persons and persons belonging to educationally backward districts as declared by Govt of India.
3. How to apply
3.1 Applications will be invited through advertisements in leading newspapers, Economic and Political Weekly and Association of Indian University (AIU) Newsletter and on the Website of the ICSSR in April and will be received till 31 July each year.
3.2 All application must be forwarded by a public funded university or research institution or ICSSR funded / recognized institution.
3.3 All applications for Senior fellowship have to be made on the prescribed Application Form, as attached with these guidelines, along with all the following Annexure and Enclosures:-
Annexure-I Abstract of the Proposal on the Prescribed Format.
Annexure-II Brief Academic CV of applicant, along with two passport size photos
Annexure-III Two copies of Summary of Research Proposal in about 750 words
Annexure-IV Two copies of Detailed Research proposal in about 3000 words [Please use the guidelines for research ]
proposals provided in this document.
Annexure-V Institutional Profile of the forwarding institution.
Annexure-VI Salary certificate and no-objection from the employer, if applying under salary protection scheme
Annexure-VII Forwarding letter from the affiliating institution
Annexure-VIII Duly attested SC/ST certificate, if applicable
3.4 All application forms have to be submitted in soft copy either through e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> or online as the case may be before 31st July each year. Subsequently, a hard copy of the application along with two hard copies of the proposal, duly forwarded on the prescribed format with signatures and seal of the Head of the Institution where the fellowship is to be financially administered, should be sent to: RFS Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067.
3.5 Incomplete applications and those not duly forwarded shall not be considered for fellowship.
4. Procedure for Award of Senior Fellowship
4.1 All applications are initially short-listed by the ICSSR. The applications are thereafter evaluated by committee of experts, set up by the ICSSR. The Committee may invite the scholars for interaction if necessary. The recommendations of the Expert Committee are placed before the Research Committee/Council for approval.
5. Conditions of the Fellowship
5.1 The amount of Fellowship is Rs.40,000/- p.m. for those not currently employed and for superannuated scholars. Pension, if any, shall not be deducted from the fellowship.
5.2 Under Salary protection, a fellow entitled to salary and allowance admissible at the parent institution. Also, the leave salary and pension contribution/employer’s share of CPF contribution will be borne by the Council. The allowances and salary protected would not be more than the equivalent of UGC scales/allowances.
5.3 Salary protection will be applicable to scholars who fulfil the eligibility criteria laid down in Clause 2.2 of these Guidelines. The selected awardees shall have further, however, put in at least two years continuous service in the institution before they apply and the institution shall certify that it will maintain their lien on the post during the period of fellowship and allow them to return to it after the period of fellowship is over.
5.4 In addition, a contingency grant of Rs.40,000/- p.a. is admissible during the entire period of fellowship to a fellow, irrespective of whether a Fellow is employed or not.
5.5 If a Senior Fellow has to go abroad for his/her field work, the ICSSR may sanction a suitable grant-in –aid to cover his expenses on field work and international travel costs. The amount of such grant shall be determined separately in each case on merits.
5.6 The duration of fellowship is two years.
5.7 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 amounting to 40%, 40% and 20%. The third installment is released only on receipt of the annual progress report and the duly audited Statement of Accounts. The same procedure is followed for the second year.
5.8 The last installment is released on receipt of the final satisfactory report, a Summary of the report (2000 to 5000 words), and Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate in the prescribed GFR-19-A format.
5.9 The final report submitted by the scholar will be considered satisfactory only after its evaluation by the ICSSR.
6. Monitoring of Fellowships
6.1 Research undertaken by a fellow will be reviewed periodically and the fellowship may be discontinued if research undertaken by the fellow is found unsatisfactory.
6.2 All fellows are required to submit a six monthly progress report and simple statement of accounts duly signed by the Registrar/Director of the affiliating Institution. Non-receipt of periodic progress report may lead to termination of the fellowship
6.3 Senior fellows are expected to submit the following within six months of the completion of their fellowship:
• A revised final Report in a publishable form along-with a Summary of the report (2000-5000 words) within six months of the completion
of their fellowship.
• Both documents should be submitted in hard format (two copies each) and a soft copy.
7. Obligation of the Affiliating Institution
7.1 Senior Fellows are expected to affiliate themselves to a publicly funded university or research institution or 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.
7.2 The affiliating institution is required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts including deduction of income tax as may be required under the rules. For this, the Council shall pay to the institution, overhead charges of seven and a half percent (7.5%) of the total Fellowship (fellowship amount plus contingency).
7.3 The affiliating institution where the proposed fellowship research is to be undertaken is required to give an undertaking in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form to administer and manage the ICSSR grant and provide logistical support for conducting the study.
7.4 All fellowships are subject to income tax deductions which the affiliating institution will be required to do.
7.5 Every six months the affiliating institution is required to submit a simple statement of accounts to the Council so that the next instalment of funds may be released.
7.6 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.
Guideline for Research Proposals
Other than the mandatory information accompanying each application, candidates should submit their research proposal in two parts:
A) A concise summary of the research proposal in about 750 words giving in brief: i) Statement of the problem and context of the study; ii) Its aims; iii) research questions / hypotheses; iv) proposed methodology; v) time frame; vi) Relevance of the study and proposed outputs
B) A detailed research proposal in about 3000 words in the case of responsive research projects and Fellowships or about 5000 words in the case of large research projects or sponsored research programmes.
An indicative outline for the detailed research proposal is given below:
1. Introduction and / or Statement of the Problem
The research proposal should begin by clearly stating the research problem to be investigated in the light of its theoretical and/or empirical context in the relevant area.
2. Overview of Literature
The proposal should summarize the current status of research in the area and major findings, including the researcher’s own work in the area. Existing empirical findings may also be discussed. The overview should clearly demonstrate the relevance as well as inadequacy of existing findings or approaches and provide a rationale for the proposed study.
3. Aims and/or Objectives of the Study
The general aim of the study as well as well as its specific objectives should be clearly stated in the proposal.
4. Conceptual Framework
Given the problem and the theoretical perspective for investigation of the problem, the proposal should clearly bring out the concepts to be used and demonstrate their relevance for the study. Besides, the dimension of empirical reality that needs to be explored for investigating the problem should also be specified.
5. Research Question or Hypotheses
Given the conceptual framework and the specification of dimension, the specific questions to be answered through the proposed research should be sharply formulated. In the case of an explanatory research design, specification of variables and positing of relationship among them through specific hypotheses must form a part of the research proposal.
6. Scope and Methodology
The researcher must describe in detail (a) the scope and coverage of her/his study; and (b) approach and methodology with adequate justification. Emphasis should be given to bringing out innovativeness in approaches proposed to be followed. The detailing of the methodology may include her/his proposed research design and all aspects of survey design including sampling design and sample size (wherever relevant), data to be collected, empirical and analytical methods to be used. The description of the methodology must be clearly linked to the aims of the research and the research questions/hypotheses of the study.
7. Relevance, Anticipated Outcomes and Proposed Outputs from the Research
The proposal should include a statement on the relevance of the study and the anticipated outcomes. It should bring out the significance of the research problem, the contribution which the proposed study is expected to make to theory and to methodology as well as its practical importance and national relevance. It should also describe the proposed outputs from the study (Books, research papers, occasional papers with themes etc.)
8. Time Frame
The research proposal should include a phased time frame for different components of the study.
9. Estimated Budget [Not required for Fellowship proposals]
The budget for the study should be formulated within the guidelines and parameters given by ICSSR. It should be clearly linked to other elements of the proposal and must include a detailed justification of each item that is proposed.
All references used in the proposal should be listed.