Senior Fellowships



1.1 Senior Fellowships are awarded to outstanding Indian Social Scientists for conducting full time research on themes and issues of national and social concerns. These studies are expected to contribute to theoretical and conceptual advancement in different disciplines, help in generating field work based empirical data and contribute policy making. 

1.2 The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences are:

(i) Sociology and Social Anthropology;
(ii) Political Science / Public Administration;
(iii) Economics;
(iv) International Studies;
(v) Social Geography and Population Studies;
(vi) Commerce and Management;
(vii) Social Psychology;
(ix) Social Linguistics / Socio-Cultural Studies;
(x) Law / International Law;
(xi) National Security & Strategic Studies; and 
(xii) Other allied Social Science disciplines (Library Science, Social Work, Media Studies, Modern Social History, Health Studies, Gender Studies, Environmental Studies, Diaspora Studies, Area Studies, Sanskrit-Society & Culture etc.) to promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research.


2.1 The scholar should not be less than 45 and more than 70 years of age on the last date of application. 

2.2 The scholar must possess a Ph.D. degree in any of the social science disciplines with outstanding research publications at the time of application.

2.3 Senior government and defence officers (not less than 25 years of regular service) and persons with proven Social Science expertise possessing a Ph. D. degree in any social science disciplines and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports can also apply. 

2.4 A fellow is required to affiliate himself/herself to a UGC recognized Indian university/deemed university/institute of national importance and ICSSR Research Institute, of his/her choice with the prior approval of the ICSSR. Funds are disbursed through the affiliating/administering institution. 

2.5 Faculties with regular service in institutions getting UGC pay-scales are eligible for pay protection in case their parent institution does not pay them the regular salary during the fellowship period. Those who draw their salary from the parent institution, will be eligible to get contingency grant from ICSSR as applicable to other regular senior fellows. 


3.1 Applications will be invited through advertisements in leading newspaper(s)/Association of Indian University (AIU) Newsletter and on ICSSR website each year and will be received before the mentioned deadline. 

3.2 Application in hard copy in prescribed format and duly forwarded by the affiliating institution must be sent to: In-charge, RFS Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067 before the last date mentioned in the advertisement. An advance copy of the application can also be sent through email.

3.3 Research proposals and final reports should either be in English or Hindi.


4.1 Applications are initially scrutinized by the ICSSR Secretariat. 

4.2 Thereafter Subject Group(s)/Expert Committee(s) will short-list the meritorious proposals from the eligible applications.

4.3 Such applicants would then be invited for an interaction/presentation at ICSSR before an Expert Committee. 

4.4 Post interaction recommendations of the Expert Committee will be placed before the Research Committee/Council for its final approval. 


5.1 Senior Fellowship is a full time research work.

5.2 The duration of the fellowship is strictly for two years.

5.3 The value of the fellowship for unemployed and superannuated scholars is Rs.40, 000 p.m. and contingency grant is Rs.40, 000/-p.a. irrespective of the pensionary benefit. 

5.4 Under Salary protection, a fellow is entitled to salary and allowances admissible at the parent institution and contingency grant of Rs.40, 000/-p.a. However, special allowances like children education allowance, medical reimbursement, LTC, etc. are not admissible from ICSSR. However, the parent institution may pay/reimburse the same as per its rule.

5.5 The ICSSR shall also pay the leave salary and pension contribution or contribution towards CPF and gratuity for the period for which he/she holds the ICSSR’s fellowship as per rules of the parent institution. 


6.1 The scholar has to join the fellowship within one month of the date of the award letter by submitting all the requirements through the affiliating/ administering institution. This may be extended by the ICSSR up to six months in exceptional circumstances. 

6.2 The sanction of the fellowship will be issued initially for a period of one year, effective from the date of joining of the scholar in the Fellowship. The renewal of the Fellowship for the subsequent year shall be subject to the receipt of satisfactory Annual Progress Report and statement of expenditure for the entire grant released for first year.

6.3 The first year fellowship and contingency will be released in two equal instalments. The first instalment will be released after receiving the Grant-in-aid-Bill (GIB) and the second after receiving a satisfactory Six Monthly Progress report along with Statement of Expenditure. 

6.4 The second year fellowship will be released in three instalments. The first instalment of six month fellowship along with contingency will be released on receiving a satisfactory Annual Progress Report and statement of expenditure. The second instalment of 03 months fellowship along with contingency will be released on receipt of a satisfactory progress report along with statement of expenditure. The final instalment of remaining fellowship along with contingency will be released after receiving the final report (revised on the basis of expert comments) along with research papers and statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-19A Form of the entire fellowship duly signed by the competent authority of the affiliating institution. However, in case of non-public funded institutions, the final instalment of fellowship will be released on receipt of the audited statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-19A Form and verification of the documents by the ICSSR. 

6.5 The 7.5% overhead charges to the public funded affiliating institution will be released only after the submission of the audited statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-19A Form and verification of the documents by the ICSSR. 

6.6 The accounts and utilization certificate will be signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Director in case the accounts of the Institution are audited by the CAG/AG. Otherwise, they need to be signed both by the competent authority of the affiliating institution along with a chartered accountant. 

6.7 In case of salary protection fellowship, the leave salary and pension contribution or contribution towards CPF and gratuity, will be released only after the completion of fellowship in all respects and on receipt of due & drawn statement from the parent organization and verification by the ICSSR. 


7.1 Regular monitoring of Fellowship is done on the basis of Six Monthly and Annual Progress Reports submitted by the scholar.

7.2 The fellowship may be discontinued if research undertaken by the fellow is found unsatisfactory or any ICSSR rules are violated. 

7.3 The ICSSR may ask for annual presentation/mid-term appraisal of the research work.

7.4 During the course of the fellowship, the scholars are required to publish at least three research papers in peer reviewed journals on the theme of the research undertaken. 


8.1 If a fellow leaves the fellowship before its tenure, he/she has to give an undertaking to submit the final report within a reasonable period but he has to submit a detailed progress report. In such cases, the ICSSR may consider to pay contingency grant for that period. In other cases, the scholar can leave by refunding the entire amount already released by the ICSSR. If the scholar leaves without completion of the work and without informing the ICSSR he/she has to the refund the entire amount of fellowship released with penalty/penal interest.

8.2 If, as a special case, a scholar remains on leave due to maternity/medical/extra ordinary circumstances (not to exceed six months) duly approved by the ICSSR, the tenure of fellowship will be extended by that period but the total amount of fellowship will not exceed 24 months.

8.3 On completion of the fellowship, the scholar should submit the following:

(a) A book-length final Report in a publishable form along-with an Executive Summary of the report (up to 5000 words) and research papers published.

(b) These documents should be submitted in hard copy (two copies of final report and three copies each of the Executive Summary and research papers) and a soft copy of these documents in a pen-drive.

(c) A certificate of settlement of assets and books purchased out of the fellowship grant issued by the affiliating Institution

8.4 A maximum of three months period can be granted for submission of the final report after completion of the fellowship term.


9.1 The affiliating institution is required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts. For this, the Council shall pay to the public funded institution, overhead charges of seven and a half percent (7.5%) of the total Fellowship (fellowship amount plus contingency).

9.2 The affiliating institution is required to give an undertaking in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form to administer and manage the ICSSR grant.

9.3 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 Competent authority of the institution. 

9.4 The affiliating institution shall make suitable arrangements for preservation of data such as filled in schedules, tabulation sheets, manuscripts, reports, etc. relating to the study.

9.5 The ICSSR reserves the right to demand raw data, or such part of it as may be specified, to be transferred to the ICSSR.

9.6 The overhead charges shall be paid only after the completion of the fellowship and on receipt of the final audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate.


10.1 The applicants under salary protection should have been in regular service for two years in an academic institution. The institution shall certify that it will maintain their lien on the post during the period of fellowship and allow them to return after the fellowship period.

10.2 The duration of Senior fellowship shall be strictly for two years. In no case the fellowship beyond two years will be considered. However, extension for submission of final report may be granted in exceptional circumstances without any additional financial commitment by ICSSR.

10.3 The contingency grant may be utilized for research and office assistance, books, stationery, computer related costs, research assistance and the field work expenses related the research work.

10.4 The ICSSR reserves the right to publish the fellowship report funded by it, provided the work is recommended for publication. 

10.5 The scholar shall acknowledge ICSSR’s support in all publications resulting from the research output of the fellowship and should submit a copy of the same to the ICSSR.

10.6 All fellowships are subject to income tax deductions as per the Government of India rules at the level of the affiliating/ administering institution.

10.7 ICSSR follows Government of India Rules & Directives with regard to SC & ST categories. 

10.8 Defaulters of any previous fellowship/project/grant of the ICSSR will not be eligible for consideration until the applicant obtains the clearance from the concerned administrative division. 

10.9 A fellow is not entitled for the same fellowship or pay protection more than once.

10.10 The research proposal/final report of the fellowship cannot be submitted for the award of any University degree/diploma or funding by any institution. The ICSSR however, will have no objection if the scholar utilizes the research data for this purpose.

10.11 The fellowship may be transferred from one affiliating institution to another on the request of the scholar under special circumstance with ICSSR approval, subject to submission of the following documents:

(1) Satisfactory progress report;
(2) No objection certificate from both previous and the proposed university/institute;
(3) Audited statement of account and utilization certificate along with unspent balance, if any.

10.12 A gap of minimum 03 years is required from submission of Final Report of Post-Doctoral Fellowship and application of Senior Fellowship and submission of the Project Report (Major/Research Programme/Sponsored Project).

10.13 While accepting Senior fellowship from the ICSSR, a fellow should not accept any other fellowship or research project or regular financial benefit/assignment from any other institution. 

10.14 During the tenure of fellowship, the fellow will be governed by the rules of the affiliating/administering institution in all matters including drawls of TA/DA, holidays/leave and contingency grant, etc.

10.15 The selected fellows are expected to do full time research in India. They could, however, undertake data collection outside India in exceptional cases and if warranted by the needs of the proposal. For this they are required to apply separately for consideration under the Data Collection Scheme of the International Collaboration Division.

10.16 ICSSR makes positive effort for considering fellowship grants to women, minorities, differently abled persons and persons belonging to educationally backward areas/districts as declared by Government of India. 

10.17 The scholar should not have been subjected to any disciplinary/legal action/proceedings/financial penalties in his/her career/ research career.

10.18 The final report submitted by the scholar will be considered satisfactory only after its evaluation by the ICSSR.

10.19 Books/periodicals/equipment purchased by the scholar out of the contingency grant should be deposited with the affiliating/administering institution and a certificate to this effect may be submitted along with the final report. 

10.20 Application submitted against one Call will not be considered for the subsequent Calls. 

10.21 The Council reserves the right to reject any application. It is also not responsible for any postal loss/delays in communications.

10.22 Incomplete applications in any respect shall not be considered for fellowship.

10.23 Research proposal/final report submitted for fellowship should not be under consideration for funding/ award of the degree by any University/ Institution.

10.24 The final authority related to the interpretation of the guidelines or any issue left is vested with the ICSSR.


An indicative outline for the detailed research proposal is given below: 

1. Title: The research proposal should have a clear, meaningful and concise title reflecting the scope of the investigation.

2. 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.

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. Review 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. 

7. 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 research design, data to be collected and 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.

8. 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 to society and policy making. It should also describe the proposed outputs from the study (Books, research papers, occasional papers with themes etc.)

9. Tentative Chapterisation.
Details chapterisation should be clearly spelt out in the research proposal

10. Bibliography: Bibliography should be prepared in Chicago Manual Style.

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