Senior Fellowships

This scheme is for researchers who have demonstrated their potential to lead an independent research program and want to expand it further to undertake pioneering research.  Applicants for the Senior Fellowship typically have a substantial record of publications and would have made significant intellectual contributions in their chosen area of research. Supervision of students and extra mural funding are also positively considered.

The fellowship is for five years, and provides

Personal Support for the fellow

Research expenses, including research assistance if required (normally funding for four research staff may be requested; requests for additional research staff may be considered if the proposed work involves fieldwork or if the clinical studies/laboratory work require assistance from additional support staff).

The Clinicians and Public Health Research Fellows may use this opportunity to do a PhD on the India Alliance Fellowship project. Please note that such requests are carefully scrutinized by the India Alliance on a case to case basis.

The total award for a Senior Fellowship typically includes the costs requested by the applicant as well as the set contributions by the India Alliance. For further details, see costing policies. Costs requested by the applicant must commensurate with their research proposal and should be fully justified in the full application. Inadequate justifications may result in costs being revised.

To complete a preliminary application use our online system, IASysRefer to the IASys userguide for guidance on completing the application form and the submission process. Please ensure that the form is submitted by the published deadline.

Your preliminary application is assessed and If successful, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Your full application will be peer reviewed and considered by the appropriate Selection Committee and, if successful, you will be short-listed for interview.

Short-listed candidates will be notified two weeks before the interview date.

Applicants are not permitted to apply to multiple Fellowship schemes within the India Alliance in parallel. Only one application to one scheme will be entertained, at a time.

Candidates need not be Indian nationals or of India origin but must already be pursuing or intending to pursue an academic research career in India.
It is not mandatory for those holding a medical degree and/or a MPH degree to also have a PhD in order to apply to our Fellowships.
The candidates need not be resident in India while applying but should be willing to establish an independent research career in India.
The India Alliance appreciates and understands that clinicians and public health researchers sometimes follow a different career trajectory from basic scientists. Therefore, flexible eligibility criteria are followed to determine the eligibility of researchers. 
This competition invites applications for the three schemes:  Early Career Fellowships, Intermediate Fellowships and Senior Fellowships. Hence, this common eligibility limit covers the entire range of eligibility limits indicated for the individual Fellowship schemes.
This competition is open for applicants in the final year of MD/MS/MPH or have up to 15 years of post MD/MS/MPH or equivalent clinical /public health research experience.
The Applicants are advised to choose the most appropriate scheme suitable for them based on their qualification, research experience, career trajectory and track record. Please refer to the guidance notes, provisions and mandate of the Senior Fellowship scheme for assessing your eligibility.
The following parameters are typically used to guide the Office:
• The level of qualification (MBBS/MS, MD, MPH or an equivalent degree)
• Previous research experiences
• Applicant's acquaintance with the proposed research question and if a suitable environment is being proposed for this work
If you would fit the profile of a clinician scientist or public health researcher, you have the option to contact the office with your CV and a brief write up of what you would like to do, to get advice on suitability of the scheme you wish to compete for.
Guideline to assess your eligibility
Suitable for applicants with seven to fifteen years of post-MD/post-MS/post-MPH/post-PhD or equivalent research experience. Time spent outside the research environment (i.e., career breaks) will be considered but has to be clearly mentioned in the application.

Resubmission Policy

Regardless of their previous applications to the India Alliance, all applicants have to make a preliminary application to every competition.

If you are not shortlisted at the preliminary application stage, you may apply to the same scheme, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

Normally, resubmission after consideration of a Full application is not permitted in any scheme. If the Full application has been reviewed by the India Alliance’s Selection Committee, and it was unsuccessful at either the short-listing or interview stage, the applicant may not re-apply to the same scheme. This implies that applicants would have only one opportunity to compete per scheme, once they are into the full application stage. Therefore, it is very important for applicants to carefully consider the timing of their application.

Please note that one may not apply to a scheme that is junior to his/her first full application to the India Alliance. For example, if a full application for Senior Fellowship was considered in the past, irrespective of the decision at the shortlisting or interview stage, the Office will not consider a preliminary application for an Intermediate/Early Career Fellowship from the same applicant. If a full application for Intermediate Fellowship was considered in the past, irrespective of the decision at the shortlisting or interview stage, the Office will not consider a preliminary application for an Early Career Fellowship from the same applicant.


Roles on application


You must have an eligible sponsoring host institution in India that will administer the Fellowship for the full duration of the award.

In addition, the following individuals will have a role on your application:

Sponsor: Established senior researcher at the host institution; normally the head of department or director of the sponsoring host institution. They should:

be be in a position to guarantee space and resources at the institution/department for the duration of the grant;
hold a contract of employment that extends beyond the grant;
Sign up to the Award Conditions & Policies.

They would have to provide a letter of support that indicates:

if an award is made, you will be granted the status and prerogatives of other academic staff of similar seniority.
you will not have to spend more than eight hours per week on activities unrelated to the fellowship (e.g. teaching duties).
What resources the host institution intends to provide to meet your research goals and how they will support your career development.

It is not mandatory for you to have a sponsor at the preliminary application stage, but if invited to make a full application you will have to provide information from and about your Sponsor.

Mentor: In many instances an applicant will improve the quality of their application and subsequent work by identifying a mentor. This may be their sponsor, a senior academic/clinician scientist/public health researcher` in their host institution or another institution in India or abroad.

A good mentor should be an established researcher who is in a position to provide intellectual inputs to facilitate various aspects of the application process like reviewing draft applications, suggesting experimental approaches and helping candidates to prepare for interview. He/she should also be willing to extend their support, knowledge, and guidance during the tenure of the Fellowship.

A mentor should be able to facilitate transition from a state of dependence, to a state of independence through thoughtful exchange of ideas and discussions.
A mentor must be in a position to stimulate professional growth by ensuring that the skill sets essential for advancing the performance are acquired in time.
A mentor should be willing to contribute towards broadening the scientific vision of the Fellow beyond the scope of the Fellowship. He/she should be willing to support the fellow in writing subsequent grant applications, for example, and in identifying best publication strategies for the work.


Note: We would emphasize that a mentor can be selected from any part of the world. This is not a mandatory requirement for the application, and the candidates are advised to consider the role of a mentor at the time of making an application. A signed letter of support is not mandatory at the preliminary application stage. However, if invited to make a full application, a letter indicating their mentorship plan would be required.

Collaborator(s): Scientific/medical/academic colleagues associated with a research proposal and named in the body of the application. Typically these are individuals who will supply reagents, assist in specific protocols, provide resource services etc. They should be able to provide signed consent letters detailing the extent of their participation towards your research program, for the full application.

Letter of Recommendation: A signed letter of recommendation is mandatory at the preliminary stage. It should come from an established researcher who has mentored the candidate for a significant period of time in his/her previous/current position and can comment on the candidate's intellectual independence and scientific abilities. In some cases, this may be the same as the Sponsor or the Head of Department.  

If the candidate has recently moved to the host institution (within last one year), the mentor from the previous position should be chosen. There is no restriction on the number of letters of recommendation that can be provided on an application.

Please write to for any queries.

Please find overview of the application process and associated timelines here. Note: the timelines are to aid applicants to plan their application appropriately. India Alliance reserves the right to modify competition timelines for operational convenience.

  • 9 February 2017 : 9-2-2017