Under the aegis of the ICSSR Doctoral Fellowship Scheme, the ICSSR provides financial assistance to registered Ph. D. scholars to pursue and complete their doctoral thesis in social science disciplines under its Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship and Institutional Doctoral Fellowship. The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences, are:
(i) Sociology and Social Anthropology;
(ii) Political Science/Public Administration;
(iv) International Studies;
(v) Social Geography and Population Studies;
(vi) Commerce and Management;
(vii) Social Psychology;
(ix) Social Linguistics/Cultural Studies;
(x) Law/ International Law;
(xi) National Security & Strategic Studies;
(xii) Other allied Social Science disciplines.
2. Categories for Doctoral Fellowship/Support
ICSSR support for Doctoral Research shall be provided under the following categories:
1. Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship
2. Institutional Doctoral Fellowship
3. Short Term Doctoral Fellowship
4. Contingency Grant
Employed Scholars shall also be eligible to apply under these categories.
3. Eligibility for Award
3.1 Candidates who hold a Master’s degree of a recognized university in any of the social science subjects having secured second class with minimum 55% marks or equivalent grade are eligible to apply;
3.2 For SC/ST candidates a relaxation of five percent is admissible, i.e. having secured second class with minimum 50% marks or the equivalent grade;
3.3 Candidates should not be more than 40 years of age (relaxation in age by 5 years permissible in case of SC/ST candidates) as on 1 July of the year in which the Application is submitted;
3.4 For teachers and professional staff of research institutes holding regular posts, the upper age limit shall be 45 years;
3.5 The candidates must have confirmed Ph.D. registration on the date of Application for award of doctoral fellowship;
3.6 Candidates must be registered for the Ph.D. programme in either a Department of a Public Funded University/ Institute or in an ICSSR funded/ recognized Research Institute, that is recognized for the conduct and award of the Ph.D. degree;
3.7 Candidates who have earlier availed a full doctoral fellowship for a period of 3 years and above from any public agencies such as UGC (JRF), shall not be eligible to apply; An Undertaking to the effect must be furnished by the scholar in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form;
3.8 Defaulters of any previous grant from ICSSR under any scheme will not be eligible for consideration until the applicant obtains the clearance from the relevant administrative division of the ICSSR.
3.9 Preference will be given to students who are likely to complete their thesis within a period of two years. No Fellowship can ordinarily be given to a student after five years of registration.
4. Application Process for Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowships
4.1 All Applicants should apply in the prescribed Application Form, as attached with
these Guidelines, along with all the following annexures and enclosures:
Annexure-I. Abstract of the approved Research Proposal in around 500 words;
Annexure-II. Two copies of detailed Research Proposal not exceeding 5000 words;
Annexure-III. Brief Academic CV of the applicant;
Annexure-IV. Undertaking that the scholar has not availed a full doctoral fellowship for a period of more than 3 years from any other public agencies
Annexure-V. Salary Certificate from the employer, if applying under Salary
Annexure VI. Forwarding letter from the Head of the Institution where the Fellowship
will be located
Annexure VII. Consent letter from the supervisor and his/her brief bio-data
Annexure VIII. A duly attested SC/ST certificate, if applicable.
Annexure IX. A copy of Ph. D. Registration Certificate duly self-attested
Annexure X. Self-attested copies of certificates in support of all educational qualifications
4.2 Call for Applications will be made in the month of April of each year. The Application Form (in prescribed format), duly forwarded by the competent authority, along with all annexures (as per Clause 4.1) must be submitted as hard copy to the ICSSR latest by 31 July of that year addressed to:
In-Charge, RFD Division
Indian Council of Social Science Research
JNU Institutional Area
New Delhi 110067.
4.3 Incomplete Applications and those not duly forwarded shall not be considered for Doctoral Fellowship Grant. The ICSSR shall not entertain incomplete Applications.
5. Procedure for Award of the ICSSR Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship:
5.1 All the completed and duly forwarded Applications received will be first screened for their eligibility as per the prescribed guidelines. The list of eligible candidates will be uploaded on the ICSSR website in the month of September of that year.
5.2 The shortlisted Applications will be categorised and separated on the basis of their identified discipline of social sciences.
5.3 The shortlisted Applications of a particular discipline will be considered and evaluated by an Expert Committee of the relevant subject experts, constituted by the Chairman, ICSSR. These experts are generally Professors/Associate Professors of various Indian universities/Research Institutes spreading all over India. The shortlisted candidates, if necessary, may be called for an interview.
5.4 The recommendations of the Expert Committee(s) will be placed before the ICSSR Research Committee for approval and the list of selected candidates will be uploaded on ICSSR web site.
5.5 The Award letters will be issued/emailed within two months after the approval of the ICSSR Research Committee.
5.6 The scholar will be required to submit all documents mentioned in the ICSSR Award letter within the stipulated time period. In case, the awardee does not respond/ cannot join within a period of three months from the date of issue of the Award letter, the Application shall be automatically treated as withdrawn.
5.7 Overall, Applications are processed within five months of the last date of submission of Applications. The scholars who do not get any response from the ICSSR by the end of January, of the relevant financial year, should consider their fellowship Applications as not approved.
6. Conditions of the Grant
6.1 The affiliating institution shall provide the requisite research infrastructure to the Doctoral Fellow and maintain proper accounts;
6.2 The value of the fellowship will be Rs.16,000/- p.m. (consolidated) for a full time Ph.D. scholar or as revised by the ICSSR from time to time;
6.3 In case of employed scholars, salary protection will be provided. The Fellow shall be entitled to allowances as per the rules admissible at the parent institution. The leave salary and pension contribution/employer’s share of CPF contribution will also be borne by the Council;
6.4 A Contingency Grant of Rs.15,000/- per annum is admissible for all the scholars, including those in the salary protected scheme. The contingency grant is meant for meeting expenditure incurred in connection with the research work, such as field work, computer use and data processing, cartographic work and other items admissible for the purpose.
6.5 The duration for full time regular doctoral fellowship shall be two years extendable up to one more year in special cases;
6.6 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 accounts for the entire grant released.
7. Monitoring and Evaluation
7.1 The first installment will be released on receipt of the ‘Grant-in-aid Bill’ (advance receipt) duly completed, signed and stamped by the competent authority, viz., The Registrar/Principal/Director of the University/College/Institute, across a revenue stamp of usual denomination.
7.2 The second installment will be released only after completion of six months and on receipt of satisfactory detailed six-monthly progress report clearly indicating the work already done and the work to be done as well as the simple statement of expenditure incurred against the first installment released, both duly forwarded by the supervisor.
7.3 The renewal of the Fellowship for the subsequent year shall be subject to the receipt of annual progress report and statement of accounts for the entire grant released, which should be duly found satisfactory by the ICSSR. The renewal has to be sought before the expiry of the first year of the Fellowship. Retrospective Extension shall not be allowed.
7.4 Upon Extension, the third installment (Contingency Grant) of the first year as well as the first installment of the second year will be released on receipt of Grant in aid bill for both the installments.
7.5 The final installment shall be released on receipt of the Ph D thesis or Final Progress Report of the candidate which should clearly indicate the stage of completion of the thesis and an audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate (in GFR 19A form) duly signed by the statutory auditors.
7.6 Further, if the Ph D thesis or Final Progress Report and the audited Statement of Accounts are not received by the ICSSR within a period of two years after the Fellowship tenure is over, then all pending grant to the awardee shall stand withdrawn.
8. Obligations of the Forwarding Institution
8.1 The forwarding institution, where the fellowship is proposed to be located, shall furnish an Undertaking to administer and manage the ICSSR grant and provide logistical support for the research, in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form;
8.2 The institution shall be under obligation to ensure submission of the Ph D thesis or
Final Progress Report and the audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate
(in the prescribed form GFR 19-A), duly certified by a chartered accountant (Finance Officer in case of Central Universities), for the entire expenditure incurred. If any amount of grant is not likely to be utilized, the unspent balance should be refunded to the ICSSR at the earliest.
9. Rules Governing the Award of Fellowship Applicable to Doctoral Fellows
9 (A) Regular Doctoral Fellows:
9.1 The Fellow shall do full time research work under an approved Guide, unless he/she is permitted by the Indian Council of Social Science Research to work independently;
9.2 The Fellow shall not accept or hold any appointment, paid or otherwise, or receive any emoluments, salary, stipend, etc. from any other source during the tenure of the award. However, a Doctoral Fellow may undertake teaching assignment for not more than 4 hours a week (e.g., assisting in tutorials, evaluation of papers, laboratory or demonstration work, etc.) which can help him/her in future as a teacher;
9.3 The Fellow shall not, without the prior permission of the Council, join any other regular course of study.
a.) In case a Fellow wishes to leave the fellowship before the end of the tenure, he/she shall obtain prior approval of the ICSSR. Application to the effect shall be submitted through the supervisor one month in advance of discontinuance of the fellowship indicating specific reasons for same;
b.) Any change in the topic of research shall be intimated to the ICSSR after the topic is duly approved by the university concerned;
9.4 The Fellow shall submit six monthly reports on his/her work in the prescribed form
duly forwarded by the supervisor.
9.5 Every Doctoral Fellow shall submit the Ph D thesis or Final Progress Report to the ICSSR.
9.6 A fellow can avail leave for a maximum period of 30 days in a year in addition to general holidays observed by the affiliating institution may be taken by a Fellow with the approval of the supervisor. In case this leave is not utilized within a year, it cannot be carried over to the subsequent year. The general holidays, however, do not include the vacation period, e.g., summer, winter and pooja vacations. Any leave in excess of the annual limit of 30 days, taken for whatever reasons, will be without the fellowship. Women candidates will be entitled maternity leave;
9 (B) Doctoral Fellowship with Salary Protection
9.7 Ordinarily not more than 20 per cent of the Full Time Doctoral Fellowships awarded in a year shall be salary- protected fellowships;
9.8 Regular faculty members and permanent research staff in public funded universities and colleges, ICSSR funded/ recognized institutes shall be given the benefit of salary protection during the period of their doctoral fellowship. They shall continue to draw their pay and allowances which they would have drawn but for the award of the fellowship.
9.9 The applicants applying for salary-protected fellowships must have put in at least two years’ continuous service in their parent institution at the time of Application. The institution shall have to certify that their lien will be maintained on the post during the period of the fellowship and they will be allowed to join their parent institution after the fellowship period is over.
9.10 The Council shall also pay the scholar leave salary contribution and pension contribution or contribution towards CPF and gratuity for the period for which he/she holds the Council’s fellowship as per rules of the parent institution.
9.11 Salary Protected Doctoral Fellowship will be awarded for a period of two years only and will not be extended under any circumstances;
9.12 All other rules of the regular doctoral fellowships shall apply to this category of fellowships also.
10. Full-time Institutional Doctoral Fellowships
10 (A) Conditions for the ICSSR Research funded/ recognized Institutes
10.1 The Research Institute should be recognized by a University for implementing the Ph. D. Programme under an MOU/Agreement or an Ordinance/ Statutes.
10.2 The faculty of the institute should be the supervisor or co-supervisor of the scholar concerned.
10.3 In case the scholar is registered with a university with which the institute does not have regular Ph. D. affiliation, then the university should issue a NOC stating that it has no objection to the scholar’s Ph.D. being co-supervised by the faculty of the said institute.
10.4 The institute should adhere to the allotted number of Institutional Doctoral Fellowships along with the norms of Reservations and utilize the grant only for the duly sanctioned doctoral fellowships.
10.5 The institute should ensure that the Eligibility rules for award and subsequent monitoring of Institutional Doctoral Fellowships shall be followed as per the provisions mentioned in Clauses 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 of these Guidelines.
(B) Conditions for the Doctoral Candidates
10.6 The ICSSR allocates a specific number of Doctoral Fellowships to the ICSSR funded or recognized Research Institutes which are recognized by a university for implementing the Ph. D. Programme.
10.7 The Application process and other norms will be as prescribed by the Research Institute concerned, as approved by the ICSSR;
10.8 The eligibility and other conditions for award and subsequent monitoring of Institutional Doctoral Fellowships will be the same as mentioned in Clauses 3, 6, 7, 8,
9 of these Guidelines; that is, the scholar shall be a full time doctoral fellow at the institute, holding a confirmed registration of the Ph D programme and the institute shall monitor the fellowship as per the terms and conditions prescribed for the ICSSR Centrally-administered Fellowships.
10.9 Application process and other norms will be as prescribed by the Research Institute concerned and as approved by the ICSSR;
11. Partial Assistance (Short-term Doctoral Fellowship) to Ph.D. Scholars for Doctoral Studies.
11.1 A doctoral student who has completed at least two years of research work subsequent to the Ph. D. registration shall be eligible to apply for partial assistance.
11.2 The duration of the partial assistance shall not exceed a period of six months.
11.3 The value of financial assistance shall be Rs.16,000/- per month plus Contingency Grant of Rs.7,500 /- for the duration of the Fellowship.
11.4 Regular faculty members and permanent research staff in public funded universities and colleges, ICSSR funded / recommended institutes shall be given the benefit of salary protection for a period of six months. They shall continue to draw their pay and allowances which they would have drawn but for the award of the fellowship. This benefit of salary protection is, however, subject to the following conditions:
(a) The applicants should have put in at least two years’ continuous service in the institution at the time of Application and the institution shall have to certify that their lien will be maintained on the post during the period of the fellowship and they will be allowed to join their parent institution after the period of fellowship is over.
(b) The Council shall also pay the scholar leave salary contribution and pension contribution or contribution towards CPF and gratuity for the period for which the scholar holds the Council’s fellowship as per rules of the parent institution.
(c) In addition to the above, the fellowship carries a Contingency Grant of up to Rs.7,500/- for meeting contingency expenditure incurred in connection with the research work, such as field work, computer use and data processing, cartographic work and other items admissible for the purpose.
11.5 Call for Applications will be made in April each year and Applications in prescribed format can be submitted at any time of the year upto 30 September of that year.
11.6 The fellow shall submit a Report on his/her work through the supervisor;
11.7 The rules concerning the grantees shall be the same as Clause 9 of these Guidelines.
12. Contingency Grant:
12.1 This is a one-time grant awarded for pursuing research work to a registered regular Ph. D. scholar who has not received any Fellowship from ICSSR (or any other source) or who has received only Fellowship Grant without any Contingency. The amount of Contingency Grant should not exceed Rs. 50,000/-. The grant shall be sanctioned on the basis of a duly forwarded Application by the scholar and as per the modalities laid down by the Council.
12.2 The Contingency grant can be used for the purpose of field work in India for data processing, computation, cartographic work and other approved purposes.
12.3 Call for Applications will be made in the month of April each year and Applications in the prescribed form may be made at any time during the year, but at least three months before the anticipated utilization of the grant.
12.4 Books and periodicals purchased by the scholar out of the Contingency Grant sanctioned can be retained by the scholar.
12.5 The Contingency Grant shall be released to the institution (where the doctoral student is located) in two instalments. The first installment amounting to 90 percent of the total sanction grant shall be released on receipt of the prescribed documents and advance receipt. The remaining five percent of the sanctioned grant will be released on receipt of the audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate.
12.6 Any expenditure incurred before the actual sanctioning of the Contingency Grant will not be admissible for re-imbursement.