1.1 The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) under its Research Fellowships programme awards Senior Fellowships (National, senior and post-Doctoral) to social science scholars for conducting research on specific themes and issues proposed by the applicants. Fellowships are awarded for conducting studies that have the potential to contribute to theoretical and conceptual advancement in the disciplines, generate field-work based empirical work and new data, and are policy relevant. The studies could be both, macro or micro in nature. The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences, are:

(i) Sociology and Social Anthropology;
(ii) Political Science/Pub. Admn. and allied subjects;
(iii) Economics and allied subjects;
(iv) International Studies;
(v) Social Geography and Population Studies;
(vi) Commerce and Management;
(vii) Social Psychology and allied subjects;
(viii) Education and allied subjects;
(ix) Socio-Linguistics/Socio-Cultural and allied subjects;
(x) Law, International Law and allied subjects;
(xi) National Security & Strategic Studies;
(xii) Any other (specify)

1.2 Within the framework of social sciences, an effort is made to promote interdisciplinary studies. In regard to other major disciplines such as natural science, medical science, agriculture science, etc., areas of interface between these disciplines and the social sciences are also covered under the Fellowships scheme. 

1.3 Despite the fact that the award of Fellowships is -- in general-- application based and demand driven, the ICSSR may from time to time indicate the priority areas of research in its advertisement to obtain desired proposals.

1.4 The Fellowships are aimed at: 

  • Providing opportunities to social scientists to engage themselves in full-time research on important themes of their choice or to write books about their research;

  • Assist young scholars who have the potential and competence for research to work full time on their approved research themes;

1.5 Three categories of fellowships are offered /awarded to scholars who are at different levels in their profession: National Fellowships, Senior Fellowships, and Post-Doctoral Fellowships.

2 Eligibility for Award of Senior Fellowship

2.1 Social scientists having a reasonable amount of 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 academic work and involvement with social science research as reflected in their published contributions.

2.2 Senior Fellowships are awarded to social scientists who have done quality research work, publications and papers in professional journals to their credit. Besides, civil servants, journalists and social workers for their academic interests are also considered. There is no age bar for this category of fellowship.

3. General Terms and Conditions

3.1 While accepting fellowships from any of the Council’s a fellow should not accept fellowship from any other organization. Also such fellow should not hold any fellowship from the same Council of research in span of five years (whether preceding or succeeding the fellowship from the Council of research) from the date of acceptance of the fellowship from the Council.

3.2 The research undertaken by fellow would be reviewed periodically/time to time and the fellowship being granted by the Council may be discontinued if research undertaken by any fellow is found unsatisfactory. Fellowship amount already released to a fellow may be recovered if the research undertaken by him/her is not found to be satisfactory. 

3.3 Extension of Fellowships of National, Senior and post-doctoral fellowships up to six months to a maximum of one year may be considered on merit in exceptional cases by the ICSSR. 

3.4 In case of fellowship is awarded to in-service scholars/academic employed in University, Government Department etc.)’ Their pay may be protected. However, in case of retired scholars/academics, pension should not be deducted from the amount of fellowships granted by the Council.

                                                     SENIOR FELLOWSHIPS


4.1 Senior Fellowships are awarded to professional social scientists that have publications in the form of books and papers in professional journals to their credit. Social workers, journalists and civil servants, known for their academic interests with record of publications in Social Science may also be considered. There is no age bar for this category of fellowship. 

4.2 The following categories of scholars are also eligible for such fellowships:

  • Indian social scientists, who would like to do full time research in India;

5 How to Apply

5.1 Applications for the Fellowships can be sent once they are invited through  advertisements in the Website of the ICSSR, Association of Universities Newsletter (AIU), Employment News, the Economic and Political Weekly, Mainstream, and some important daily newspapers. Completed applications can be sent to the ICSSR throughout the year. There is no last date for applying. 

5.2 All applications for Fellowships have to be made on the prescribed Application form for Fellowships attached with these guidelines (Annexure-1) and forwarded by the head of the institute where the scholar is employed, along with all the following Enclosures: 

         Enclosure-1           Application Form (See Annexure I) and Academic CV of applicant/s

         Enclosure-2           Abstract of Proposal (See Annexure II)

         Enclosure-3           Full Research Fellowship Proposal (See Annexure-III Guidelines for 


                                       formulation of Research Fellowship Proposals) 

         Enclosure-4           Forwarded by the Employer (See Annexure V)

         Enclosure-5          Duly Attested .SC/ST/OBC/PH certificate, if applicable 

         Enclosure-6           Institutional Profile for Applications forwarded by Non-Public 

                                      Institutions, as per prescribed format (See Annexure IV)

         Enclosure-7           Two passport size recent photograph

         Enclosure-8            Salary Certificate from the Employer;

5.3 All application forms have to be submitted in a hard copy of the proposal is to be sent. Applications must be duly forwarded on the application form with signatures and seal of the Head of the Institution where the scholar is employed or affiliating institution in case the scholar is not employed. 
5.4 Incomplete applications and those not duly forwarded will not be considered for Fellowship. 
6. Mode of Processing

Senior Fellowship applications will be evaluated by a Committee of experts set up for each social science discipline. The committee will meet first to evaluate the proposals and second for interactions if necessary. The recommendations of the Expert Committee are placed before the Research Committee/Council for formal approval. No scholar will be considered for a second fellowship unless five years have elapsed from the date of termination of the last fellowship.

7. Procedure for Selection

7.1 All requests in response to the advertisement must be accompanied by five sets each of a detailed Fellowship research Proposal, the enclosures and forwarding letter and no objection and salary certificate from the employer.

7.2 Guidelines for formulation of Research Fellowship Proposals have been given at Annexure-3. The scholar must mention name of the affiliating organization through which the fellowship is to be disbursed. 

8. Affiliation and Overhead Charges

8.1 The fellow must be affiliated to a university/college/reputed institute (funded by central or state govt.) of his/her choice with the prior approval of ICSSR for disbursement and administration of funds. The affiliating institution will provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts. For this, the Council shall pay to the institution, overhead charges at seven and a half percent (7.5%) of the total expenditure incurred. 

8.2 However, this amount (7.5%) shall be paid only after the completion of the fellowship and on receipt of Audited statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate (in the prescribed proforma GFR 19-A) duly certified either by the Statutory Auditors of the Institute or Chartered Accountants and Director/Competent authorities.

9. Value and Duration

9.1 The amount of Fellowship is Rs.40,000/- p.m. (consolidated) for not employed & superannuated scholars.
9.2 Salary protection is given in the case of employed scholars. The fellow will be entitled to allowances admissible at the parent institution. Also, the leave salary and pension contribution/employer’s share of CPF contribution will be borne by the Council.
9.3 In addition, a contingency grant of Rs.40,000/- p.a. is admissible to not employed, superannuated and employed scholars during the entire period of fellowship.
9.4 The term of fellowship would be 2 years extendable up to I more year in special circumstances only for SC/ST and Women Scholars.

10. Mode of Payment

10.1 The sanction of the fellowship is issued initially for one year, which is effective from the date of joining. The each year 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 Statement of Accounts. The same procedure is followed for the second year The last installment will be released on receipt of the 3 copies of the final report , two copies of the summary on completion of the fellowship and Audited statement of accounts and Utilization certificate in the prescribed format GFR-19 A.

11. Final Report and Accounts

11.1 Fellows are expected to submit the Final Report in triplicate) in publishable form, within six months of completion of their fellowship.

11.2 The affiliating body is required to submit an Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate, duly certified by a chartered accountant, for the expenditure incurred.

12. Monitoring of Senior Fellowships 

12.1 All fellows will be required to submit a six monthly progress report and simple statement of accounts duly signed by the Registrar/Director of the Institute.
12.2 The Council will evaluate the final report by the expert and send the comments to the scholar.

13. Obligations of the Forwarding Institution

13.1 The forwarding institution, where the proposed fellowship research is to be located has to provide, in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form, an undertaking to administer and manage the ICSSR grant and provide logistical support for study.
13.2 Such institution will be under obligation to ensure submission of the final report and audited statement of accounts.