Research Projects

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Research Projects

Promotion of Research in Social Sciences is one of the major activities of ICSSR. Research grants is direct financial support to research projects taken up by social scientists in addition to their normal duties in an honorary capacity. ICSSR provides grants to scholars to conduct research in various fields of social sciences which have a theoretical, conceptual, and methodological or policy orientation on the subject of their choice. The research projects may belong to any of the prescribed social science disciplines or may be interdisciplinary in nature. The specific objectives of the programme are: a) to support high quality independent programme of research; b) to provide opportunities for training of future researchers; c) to contribute to the development of elaboration of new theoretical or methodological approaches to research; d) to maintain and sustain varies disciplinary research activities; e) to foster and promote collaborative, multidisciplinary research activities among researchers in the social sciences; and f) to facilitate communication of research outputs both within and beyond the academic community as well as to provide inputs to administrators and policy makes.

Two categories of Research projects: First, Major and Minor Research Projects and secondly Research Programmes, formerly known as Research Projects Responsive and Research Projects Sponsored respectively. As per the guidelines proposals are invited, scrutinized, processed and awarded every year.

General Guidelines for Research Projects and Programmes


1.1 The broad disciplines of the study within the domain of social sciences are: 

Sociology; Social Anthropology; Social Work; Gender studies; Political Science; Public Administration; Economics; International Studies; Social Geography; Population Studies; Commerce & Management; Social Psychology; Education; Social Linguistics; Cultural Studies; Law/International Law; National Security & Strategic Studies; Other allied Social Science disciplines.

  • 1.2 Applications for Research Projects/Programmes are open to Indian Nationals only.
  • 1.3 Applications and Research Proposals should be ordinarily be either in English or in Hindi.
  • 1.4 The Council reserves the right to reject any application. The Council is also not responsible for any postal loss/delays in communications.
  • 1.5 The decision taken by the Expert Committee after approval by Research Committee and Council will be final.
  • 1.6 Limits to the Number of Projects/Programmes that can be sanctioned to an Individual Scholar: 

Ordinarily, a scholar will be entitled to take up only one research project or programme concurrently, in which he/she is the Project Director. 

1.7 Plagiarism:

  • a) Plagiarism refers to the use of another’s ideas, information, language or writing, as one’s own without proper citation of the original source. Even if paraphrased, summarized or otherwise use of an idea, information, interpretation or analysis from another source without citation, it is plagiarism.
  • b) Scholars should be fully aware of the rules and norms related to plagiarism. No part of the proposal or the report prepared by the scholars should be violative of these norms. In case, the Council finds that the proposal/report has been plagiarised, the Council will reject the report/proposal, demand a full refund, and inform the parent institution of the scholar to take necessary action against him/her. The scholar will also be blacklisted for applying to ICSSR for future funding under any scheme.

1.8 General Directions for Formulation and Submission of Research Projects:

  • a) The project directors shall be personally responsible for completing their projects. The grant for the project will be made available to them through an institution, which shall agree to ( 1) administer and manage the finances; (2) provide accommodation and furniture required for the project; (3) make available all its research facilities, such as library, laboratory and other equipment; and (4) provide the ministerial and messengerial assistance necessary for the project.
  • b) The grants of the ICSSR will cover expenditure on 1) Pay of the project staff, other than the director who will be honorary. The pay of the peons will not be sanctioned as a part of expenditure on a research project. Any expenditure on this account may, however, be met out of the overhead charges; 2) Travel to be undertaken in relation to the project within the country and abroad, 3) Data processing, 4) Stationery and printing of questionnaires, schedules, 5) Equipments, 6) Books and journals photo copies, etc. 7) Contingency and any other along with 8) Overhead charges (Note: Retrospective payment for work already done will ordinarily not be permissible).
  • c) Research proposal submitted for funding should not be under consideration for funding by any other agency:

1.9 Sanction: 

The ICSSR will issue a sanction letter in respect of every approved project. The letter will be accompanied by a copy of the approved budget by the ICSSR, No change shall be made in any of the conditions laid down in the sanction letter without the prior approval of the ICSSR.

1.10 Additional Funds: 

The Institution shall not be entitled to a grant-in-aid in excess of the sanctioned amount, unless specific prior approval of the ICSSR to that effect has been obtained. The ICSSR shall accept no responsibility for any financial expenditure or liability arising out of the project except what has been specifically approved by it and conveyed to the institution through the sanction letter.

1.11 Re-appropriation: 

a) The institution may re-appropriate expenditure from one sanctioned sub-head to another, subject to a maximum of 10% in either case. All such re-appropriations should be reported to the ICSSR. No re-appropriation will, ordinarily, be permitted from the amounts provided under item-Overseas travel and Data Processing through computers.

b) Proposals for re-appropriations, which exceed 10 % of the amount sanctioned for any item, shall require the prior approval of the ICSSR.

1.12 Quarterly or Six Monthly Progress Report:

The project director will submit to the ICSSR, quarterly or six monthly progress reports of the project along with certified statement of expenditure actually incurred and an estimate of expenditure for the next quarter/six month period in the prescribed format. The statement of expenditure should be submitted quarterly, when grant is being released in quarterly instalments. The release of subsequent instalments will be subject to satisfactory progress of the project.

1.13 Changes in Approved Project:

The project director shall report to the Council changes he/she makes in the research proposal. No major change shall be made therein without the prior approval of the ICSSR.

1.14 Appointment of another Project Director and Transfer of a Project:

  • On a request from the institution, the ICSSR may permit the appointment of another project director in cases where the project director has died or is otherwise not in a position to carry on the project.
  • The ICSSR may consider appointing another project director if the Council comes to the conclusion that because of various factors, the original project director will not be able to carry out the study.
  • When the director of a project takes up an appointment in another institution before the project is completed, the ICSSR may permit the transfer of the project to the other institution subject to the institution accepting conditions for the same. It should be the duty of the project director and the original institution to inform the ICSSR immediately after the project director has left the institution.
  • Where, however, a project has been sanctioned expressly to an institution and/or a number of scholars in the institution are involved in the project jointly, the transfer of the project to another institution will not ordinarily be permitted by the Council.
  • In the light of superannuation of Project Director, if the rules of the institution require the administrative charge of the project may be transferred to a serving faculty member as suggested by the Project Director, with a prior approval of ICSSR.

1.15 Extension: 

On a request from the project director, the ICSSR may grant extension of time to complete the project. Such extension shall ordinarily be subject to the condition that no additional grant-in-aid will be involved.

1.16 Termination of Grants: 

If the ICSSR is not satisfied with the progress of the project or if it finds that rules are being seriously violated, it reserves the right to terminate its grant-in-aid for the project.

1.17 Final Report:

The Project report cannot be submitted for the award of any University degree or diploma by any member of the project staff, including the project director. The ICSSR however, will have no objection if any member of the project staff utilizes the project data for this purpose.

1.18 Monitoring and Evaluation:

Evaluation and Monitoring of Research Programmes and Research Projects will be carried out as indicated in the concerned Guidelines of Research Programmes and Research Projects (Major and Minor).

1.19 Finalization of Accounts:

a) On completion of the project or annually (whichever is earlier) the institution should submit an audited statement of accounts with an utilisation certificate for the expenditure incurred on the project during the period. The arrangement of audit of accounts of the projects shall be the same as that in the institution concerned or the audit shall be done by a Chartered Accountant approved by the institution. The amount of audit fees paid, if any, shall not be a charge on the project. It may, however, be met from the overhead charges given to the institute. Pending submission of such audited accounts, a statement of accounts and utilisation certificate certified by the Finance Officer of the institution concerned should be submitted.

b) The institution shall also submit to the ICSSR a statement showing the equipment/fixed assets purchased out of the grant-in-aid with its price, along with the audited statement of accounts. For the purpose of this rule, equipment/fixed assets shall mean items costing Rs.1.00/-lakh or more.

1.20 Publication & Copyright: 

  • The ICSSR reserves the right to publish the final report of the research projects funded by it. If it decides to do so, the decision will be communicated to the project director.
  • In all publications which are based on the projects financed by the ICSSR, an acknowledgement shall be made of the contribution of all professional staff working on the project, and also of the financial assistance received from the ICSSR, the publication should bear the following inscription:
  • “The project on which the present report is based was funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research. However, the responsibility for the facts stated, opinions expressed, and conclusions reached is entirely that of the project director/author and not of the Indian Council of Social Science Research”.
  • The copyright of all publications relating to a research project (excepting those published by the ICSSR) shall vest in the author(s). The ICSSR, however, reserves the right to make use of them in any of its publications.

1.21 Right to call for information and to inspect Documents:

The ICSSR may call upon an Institution/project director to which a grant-in-aid has been sanctioned, to supply any formation or to produce any documents or books which in the opinion of the ICSSR, are necessary to satisfy it about proper utilisation of the grant. It may also request the institution/or any other committee specifically appointed for the purpose, to hold an enquiry into a specific matter and submit its report to the ICSSR.

1.22 Right to Direct an Officer of the ICSSR to enquire into specific Issues:

The ICSSR may, at any time depute any of its officers to inspect the accounts and other papers relevant to a grant-n-aid sanctioned to an institution.

1.23 Variations to Suit Special Cases:

Depending on the merits of the case, the ICSSR shall have the authority to not apply or modify any of the conditions laid down in these rules or to impose such additional conditions as it may deem expedient. In all such variations, however, the reasons for making the changes shall be recorded in writing.

NOTE: ICSSR has not yet invited applications for research programmes / projects for the year 2018-19. After the announcement option to apply will be added on the website.

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