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For Basic Researchers




  

Purpose

This scheme supports excellent scientists who wish to undertake high-quality research and to establish themselves as independent researchers in an academic institution in India.
What's included

The fellowship is for five years full time and provides:

  •  The Fellow's Personal Support.
  • Research expenses, including research assistance if required (normally funding for two research staff may be requested; requests for additional research staff may be considered where field work or clinical studies are proposed)
  •  Additional allowances for scientifically justified visits of up to one year to an external laboratory either
      in India or abroad.

The total award for an Intermediate Fellowship typically amounts to INR 3.5 Crores. This 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.

Time permitted for non-research related activity during the fellowship is normally restricted to a maximum of eight hours each week.

Eligibility

You should normally have between four to seven years of post-PhD or equivalent clinical research experience. It is not essential for medical or veterinary degree holders to have a PhD. Due allowance will be given to an applicant whose career has been affected for personal reasons.

You must have made intellectual contributions to research that have been published in leading journals, and be able to demonstrate your potential to carry out independent research.

You do not have to be an Indian national, of Indian origin or be resident in India at the time of application. However, it is expected that your research will be based at an Indian host institution and that your long-term aim is to pursue a career in India.

Dual Fellowship Policy

You may apply even if you already hold another Fellowship. However, please note that if awarded, you will be required to make a choice between your current Fellowship and the India Alliance Fellowship. The India Alliance does not permit Fellows to overlap their India Alliance Fellowship with any other national or international Fellowship.

You may not apply for more than one programme fellowship scheme at any one time.

The Fellowship must be started within one year from the point at which the decision has been communicated, typically a week after the interview.

Sponsorship

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 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.

External Sponsor(s): The individual in whose laboratory you wish to utilize the “Work outside the host institution” provision. They should be able to guarantee that you will have access to the facilities required and provide the required scientific support.

Current Supervisor: Established researchers who have mentored the candidate for a significant period of time recently or under whom the applicant is currently employed. They should be able to provide signed letters commenting on the candidate's intellectual independence. They may be the candidate's Postdoctoral supervisor or the head of the department in case the candidate already has a faculty position. A signed letter of recommendation is mandatory at the preliminary stage.

Note: If the candidate has recently moved to the host institution (within last one year), an additional letter of recommendation would be encouraged. This could be from an established researcher who has mentored the candidate for a significant period of time in his/her previous position. Please also note that there is no restriction on the number of letters of recommendation that can be provided on an application.

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.

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 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 emphasise 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 give a careful consideration to 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.

Resubmission Policy

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

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

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 eitherthe 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.

Application process

  •  You should complete and submit a preliminary application through IASys by the published deadline.
  •  Your preliminary application will normally be assessed within one month of the submission deadline.
  •  If successful, you will be invited to submit a full application.
  •  Full applications are considered twice a year by the appropriate Selection Committee. If successful, you will be short-listed for interview.
  •  Short-listed candidates will be notified two weeks before the interview date.

Application advice

  • You are expected to write your own application for support of an independent project, which should normally
     be hypothesis-driven.
  • You should give careful thought to the choice of sponsor and host department/research location. Sponsors are encouraged to view their support and mentorship of you as part of a longer-term commitment to help you realise your career aspirations in research.
  • Mobility is encouraged during this award and candidates may apply to spend time in other high-quality laboratories in India or overseas for a total period of no more than 12 months. The final year of the fellowship must be spent in the host institution in India.

Reviewers typically assess:

The calibre of the candidate
The scientific merit of the proposed project
The significance of the research
The suitability of the sponsor and host environment for the candidate's development as an independent researcher.
Deadlines

This is a biannual competition.
November 2014 Competition May 2015 Competition
Preliminary application launch: 3 February 2014 Preliminary application launch: 4 July 2014
Preliminary application deadline: 18 March 2014 Preliminary application deadline: 14 August 2014
Invited full application deadline: 3 June 2014 Invited full application deadline: December 2014
Selection Committee review: September/October 2014 Selection Committee review: March 2015
Interviews for short-listed candidates: November 2014 Interviews for short-listed candidates: May 2015
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