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An opportunity for visionary biomedical scientists to lead and nucleate a cutting edge research programme in India.

This scheme is for scientific leaders who already lead their own research laboratory/group, and wish to relocate from their current institution (in India or overseas) to a not-for-profit research institute or university in India.

The underlying philosophy in launching this fellowship is to replicate global standards of scientific excellence, and minimize disparities in scientific and administrative capacity, among research institutes and universities across India.


The Fellowship is for five years, and provides:

•  Generous personal support for the Fellow
•  Salary support for personnel, which may include Assistant Professors
•  Equipment, animals and consumables
•  Funds to attend scientific gatherings, for collaborative visits and to organize meetings.
•  Overheads for the Host Institution

Detailed budgets are not required at the time of application. However, if short-listed, the India Alliance will seek a detailed justified budget from the applicant prepared in consultation with the Sponsor.


It is mandatory for interested applicants to relocate with a vision to lead a vibrant group of young scientists and collaborators. Please note that those, who have already moved to the chosen place, will not be eligible to apply to the competition.

Applicants would have to detail the reasons for leaving their current institution and how the proposed relocation will augment their scientific activities in the Application Form. Please note that the proposed host institution should be administratively distinct from the current institution.

Candidates need not be Indian nationals or of Indian origin but must already be pursuing or intending to pursue an academic research career in India.

There is no age limit to apply for this Fellowship. Applicants would normally be expected to be running an independent laboratory for 10 years or more, and have a strong scientific record.

Clinicians and public-health researchers, with equivalent qualifications and experience, are also eligible to apply.

The following attributes would be expected of eligible candidates:

•  demonstrated leadership skills
•  made significant contributions in research
•  mentored young scientists and students
•  attracted extra mural funds from peer-reviewed competitive sources
•  established collaborations
•  successfully initiated programmes of advanced scientific research
•  maintained high ethical standards.

Note: Applicants may not apply for more than one India Alliance fellowship scheme at any one time. Resubmission following consideration of application for Margdarshi Fellowship is not permitted.


It is mandatory to have a Sponsor at an eligible Host Institution in India at the time of applying. Hosting a Margdarshi Fellow could enhance the Host Institution's recognition and reach by -

•  Attracting high-calibre scientists, scholars and students to build inter-disciplinary teams and
•  Developing infrastructure and drawing additional funding support.

An eligible Sponsor is expected to hold a senior administrative position (for e.g., Directors/ HoD) at the Host Institution and would have to fill a separate
Sponsorship Form. The form aims to understand -

•  how the applicant's research interests and scientific leadership will enhance the research programme at the    Host Institution, and
•  type of support and commitment the Host Institution is willing to make if the Fellowship were to be awarded.

The Sponsor's form must be sent confidentially by emailing directly to margdarshi@wellcomedbt.org

Sponsors are not restricted from sending multiple nominations from their institute.

Application Process

Applicants are encouraged to contact India Alliance at margdarshi@wellcomedbt.org, with their CV and relocation plans, to be advised of their suitability for the Fellowship.

To apply, applicants should download the Application Form and email a PDF copy of the completed form to margdarshi@wellcomedbt.org by the published deadline.

The Sponsor has to complete and email the Sponsorship Form to margdarshi@wellcomedbt.org. Please note that the Sponsor form has to come directly from the Sponsor and not from the applicant. A breach of confidentiality on this matter will disqualify the applicant.

Hard copies of either form are not necessary. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be screened for eligibility, remit and competitiveness and those applications found suitable by the Margdarshi Selection Committee will be short-listed for further consideration.

If short-listed, the India Alliance will inform the applicants and seek a detailed justified budget from the applicant prepared in consultation with the Sponsor.

Applications of short-listed candidates will be sent out for international peer review to experts in the broad area of the applicant’s field of research.

Note: Applicants may inform us of names of reviewers with potential conflict of interests. However, the choice of reviewers will rest with the Office and will not be disclosed to the applicant. Also, reviewer comments will not be shared with the applicant at any stage of the application.
All the applicants shortlisted for interview will be invited to an interview with the Margdarshi Selection Committee which will be the final decision-making body on an award.

Fellowships must be started within one year of award.

Note: Applicants are reminded that this is a competition and the India Alliance’s decision will be final. Applicants are not allowed to write directly to Margdarshi Selection Committee members. The Office withholds the right to disqualify an applicant who has breached this condition.

Deadlines and Form

Current Competition
Launch: 15 January 2014
Application Deadline: April 2014
Interview: November 2014

Contact Us

Queries and completed preliminary forms should be sent to margdarshi@wellcomedbt.org
Recently Awarded Margdarshi Fellows

Professor Vaskar Saha,
Tata Medical Center, Kolkata


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