Doctoral Fellowship

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1. Introduction

1.1 Doctoral Fellowships are awarded to selected Indian scholars, who are registered for Ph.D. in UGC recognized universities / deemed universities, institutes of national importance, ICSSR research institutes and colleges having approved Ph.D. programme with requisite infrastructure as defined by MoE / UGC to pursue and complete their doctoral research in any social science discipline.

1.2  The broad disciplines of study within the domain of social sciences identified by ICSSR are:

  1. Economics / Development Studies
  2. Management
  3. Commerce
  4. Sociology
  5. Social Work
  6. Social Anthropology
  7. Cultural Studies
  8. Sanskrit Studies
  9. Socio-Philosophical Studies
  10. Social Linguistics
  11. Gender Studies
  12. Health Studies
  13. Political Science
  14. International Studies
  15. Public Administration
  16. Diaspora Studies
  17. National Security and Strategic Studies
  18. Education
  19. Social Psychology
  20. Legal Studies
  21. Social Geography
  22. Environmental Studies
  23. Modern Social History
  24. Media Studies
  25. Library Science

Note: Support may also be provided to persons belonging to a discipline other than the ones mentioned above provided he/she is interested in and has in the opinion of the ICSSR the necessary competence to conduct research in social sciences or social aspects of other sciences. Projects that span across disciplinary boundaries also fall within the areas of the Council’s interests.

1.3. Categories of Doctoral Fellowship

ICSSR is providing Doctoral Fellowships under its three ‘Centrally-Administered Doctoral Fellowship Schemes’ and ‘Institutional Doctoral Fellowship Scheme’ in accordance with the prescribed guidelines. In case of Centrally-Administered schemes, the fellowships are awarded and monitored directly by ICSSR and the concerned doctoral fellows are affiliated to a university or college. Under the Institutional Fellowship Scheme, the doctoral fellows are affiliated to and monitored by an ICSSR sponsored / recognized research institute. The scholar can avail anyone of the fellowships under the following categories:

A. Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

B. Institutional Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship (administered by the ICSSR research institutes)

C. Centrally Administered Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship

D. Centrally Administered Contingency Grant

 

2. Eligibility

A) Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

2.1 The candidate must have a confirmed Ph.D. registration (Research Degree Committee (RDC) approved) at any of the institutions mentioned at 1.1. It includes the requirements of clearance of Research Entrance Test (RET); The Ph.D. topic must have been confirmed.

2.2 The candidate must not be more than 40 years of age on the last date of application. There shall be an age relaxation of 5 years for SC/ST candidates & persons with benchmark disability.

2.3 The candidate must have secured a minimum 45% marks in Graduation and 55% in Post-Graduation or equivalent grades in any social science disciplines. Five per cent (5%) relaxation of marks will be given to SC/ST candidates & persons with benchmark disability. The submission of marks sheets, particularly of Graduation and Post-Graduation are mandatory otherwise the candidate shall be considered as Not Eligible.

2.4 NET/SLET will carry weightage in the assessment of research proposal. But NET/SLET qualification is not mandatory for eligibility purposes. However, the submission of the NET / SLET Certificate is mandatory to secure weightage in assessment.

2.5 Candidates who have already availed UGC Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) / Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) / Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) / ICSSR / ICAR / CSIR / ICPR / ICMR / ICHR / Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Foundation Fund Fellowship (JNMF) or any such major doctoral fellowship are not eligible to apply. Candidates drawing UGC Non-NET Fellowship are eligible.

B)  Institutional Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

2.6 All the conditions of the Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship (2.1 to 2.5) shall apply to this category also and the fellowship shall be administered through the ICSSR research institutes.

C) Centrally Administered Short-Term Fellowship

2.7 All the conditions of the Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship (2.1 to 2.5) shall apply and, in addition, the candidate should have completed at least two years of research work for Ph.D degree at any of the institutions mentioned at 1.1 above.

D) Centrally Administered Contingency Grant

2.8 Under this scheme, a one-time grant is awarded to a registered Ph.D scholar at any of the institutions mentioned at 1.1 above, who is at an advanced stage of his/her research work. The candidate meeting all conditions of the Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship (2.1 to 2.5) is eligible to apply for Contingency Grant for the purposes of field trip, stationery and computer consumable related expenses.

 

3. How to Apply

A. Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

3.1 Applications will be invited through open advertisement on ICSSR website and should be received before the deadline mentioned in the advertisement.

3.2 The candidates shall submit an online application which includes the Research Proposal Format, namely, ‘Section IV: Details of Research Proposal’ given in the Application Form. The proposal must be submitted in the given proforma only.

N.B. At this stage, the candidates need to upload only the prescribed documents referred at the end of the application form at Annexures A & B (Annexure ‘C’ is not mandatory at the time of application).

All scholars are required to keep the hard copies of their application and annexures ready, duly forwarded by the competent authorities of the university/ college/ institute so that they may submit the required hard copies, within 15 days of asking by ICSSR. It is being done for the sake of convenience of the applicants so that they get more time for preparing the hard copies.

In case, the hard copy of application is not received within 15 days of asking by ICSSR, the candidature of the applicant shall be treated as withdrawn / cancelled.

3.3 The Research Proposal should be either in English or Hindi or Sanskrit (for proposals in Sanskrit Studies) (Use Unicode 8 (UTF-8) to fill the form in Hindi and Sanskrit)

3.4 One applicant can apply only once under a particular Doctoral Fellowship scheme. However, he / she can apply separately for another scheme.

B. Institutional Doctoral Full-Term Fellowship

3.5 The applicants seeking consideration under Institutional Doctoral Fellowship scheme must apply at the respective ICSSR research institute against their Call for Applications for Institutional Doctoral Fellowship in the prescribed format along with the annexures within the given deadline.

3.6 The ICSSR research institutes are required to follow the guidelines of the ICSSR Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship. The institutes must send the applications of their short-listed candidates to ICSSR for evaluation by ICSSR Expert Committee(s) within the specified timeline.

C) Centrally Administered Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship 

D) Centrally Administered Contingency Grant

3.7 The Application procedure for the these shall also be the same as per the conditions at Clauses 3.1 to 3.4

 

4. Procedure for Award

A) Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

4.1 Applications are scrutinized and short-listed by the Screening Committee and Expert Committee(s) of ICSSR.

4.2 Expert Committee(s) / Subject Expert Group(s) give their assessment, in terms of grades and scores, on scrutinized / short-listed proposals on objectively defined parameters of the research proposal and academic background of the candidate. Based on the assessment of Expert Committee(s), subject-wise merit lists are prepared for award of fellowship.

4.3 In case ICSSR feels the need, it may invite any short-listed applicant for presentation before an Expert Committee of ICSSR.

4.4 The recommendations of the Expert Committee(s) are placed before the requisite Committee(s) of ICSSR for their consent / approval.

4.5 The Subject-wise merit lists of selected candidates of Centrally-Administered Doctoral Fellowships are placed on the ICSSR website, normally within four to six months.

4.6 Only the selected candidates and their affiliating universities are informed individually through Award letter.

B) Institutional Doctoral Full-Term Fellowship

4.7 The ICSSR research institutes are required to follow the rules of the ICSSR Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship. The institutes are required to send, within the specified timeline, the applications of their short-listed candidates to ICSSR for evaluation by ICSSR Expert Committee(s).

4.8 The institute shall inform the selected candidates individually through their Award letter.

C) Centrally Administered Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship

D) Centrally Administered Contingency Grant

4.9 The procedure of award of these fellowships shall be same as per the conditions at Clauses 4.1 to 4. 6

 

5. Duration and Value

A) Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

5.1 The duration of the fellowship is strictly for two years or till the date of Ph.D submission at the university, whichever is earlier.

5.2 The value of the fellowship is Rs.20,000/- p.m. and contingency grant is Rs.20,000 /- p.a.

5.3 Doctoral Fellow should be a full-time bonafide Ph. D student at the affiliating university throughout the duration of fellowship tenure.

B) Institutional Doctoral Full-Term Fellowship

5.4 The duration and value of fellowship will be the same as mentioned under the Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship. (5.1 to 5.3)

C) Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship

5.5 The duration of the Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship is strictly for six months or till the date of Ph.D. submission at the university, whichever is earlier.

5.6 The value of fellowship is Rs.20,000/- per month plus contingency grant of Rs.10,000 /- for the six-month duration of the Fellowship.

D) Contingency Grant

5.7 5.7 This scheme provides for a consolidated grant for meeting the contingency expenses of Ph.D., not exceeding Rs.62,500/-, that are incurred during the period of joining the fellowship and date of submission of thesis at the university.

 

6. Joining and Release of Fellowship

A) Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

6.1 The scholar must join the fellowship within two weeks of the date of the award letter by submitting the prescribed documents including an Undertaking for mandatory Ph.D thesis submission to ICSSR forwarded through the affiliating / administering institution. This may, however, be extended up to a maximum period of six months in exceptional circumstances with the prior approval of the ICSSR. If the scholar does not intend to join /continue the fellowship, he/she must inform ICSSR immediately.

6.2 The sanction of the fellowship will be issued initially for a period of one year, effective from the date of joining of 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 Expenditure for the entire fellowship grant released for first year (within the year).

6.3 The first-year fellowship and contingency grant will be released in two equal instalments. The first instalment will be released after receiving the documents prescribed in the Award letter along with the Grant-in-aid-Bill (GIB) and Registration Mandate Form of PFMS Account of those affiliating / administering institutions, which have not linked their accounts to PFMS for ICSSR grant. The second instalment shall be released after receiving a satisfactory Six-Monthly Progress Report in the prescribed format along with Statement of Expenditure.

6.4 The second-year fellowship grant will be released in three instalments:

6.4.1 The first instalment will be released on receiving a satisfactory Annual Progress Report of the first year and Statement of Expenditure.

6.4.2 The second instalment will be released on receipt of satisfactory First Six-Monthly Progress report of the Second Year in the prescribed format along with Statement of Expenditure.

6.4.3 The third and final instalment will be released on receipt of one hard copy of Ph. D thesis, same as submitted to the university, and its summary in 3000 to 4000 words along with the audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate for the admissible grant (in GFR 12A Form).

6.5 The Statement of Accounts and Utilization certificate should be signed by the Finance Officer / Registrar / Principal / Director in case the accounts of the institution are audited by the CAG/AG. Otherwise, they need to be signed both by the competent authority of the affiliating institution along with the chartered accountant.

6.6 The requisite documents at every stage should be submitted within the prescribed time frame.

B) Institutional Doctoral Full-Term Fellowship

6.7 Same as mentioned under the Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship. (6.1 to 6.6)

C) Centrally Administered Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship and

D) Centrally Administered Contingency Grant

6.8 The Short-Term Fellowship and Contingency Grant are released in two instalments. The first instalment of upto 70% is released on receipt of the documents prescribed in the Award letter along with the grant-in-aid bill (GIB) and Registration Mandate Form of PFMS Account of concerned affiliating / administering institution. The second and final instalment of the admissible grant shall be released after receiving one hard copy of Ph.D thesis same as submitted to the university and its summary in 3000 to 4000 words along with the Statement of Accounts with Utilization Certificate (in GFR-12A Form) for the admissible amount duly signed by the competent authority of the affiliating institution.

6.9 The Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate will be signed by the Finance Officer / Registrar / Director in case the accounts of the Institution are audited by the CAG/AG. Otherwise, they need to be signed by the competent authority of the affiliating institution along with a chartered accountant.

 

7. Monitoring of Fellowship

A) Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

7.1. Regular monitoring of Fellowship is done on the basis of Six Monthly and Annual Progress Report in the prescribed format submitted by the scholar and duly forwarded by the supervisor.

7.2. The fellowship may be discontinued / terminated if research progress is found to be unsatisfactory or any ICSSR rules are violated or the research topic is changed without the permission of ICSSR.

7.3 The ICSSR may ask for annual presentation / mid-term appraisal of the research work.

7.4 In cases of delayed Progress Reports by over six-months, the scholar will be required to give the justification of the delay on which the final decision shall be taken by ICSSR. The scholar may be asked to furnish an Undertaking specifying the date of Ph.D. submission to ICSSR.

7.5 During the course of the fellowship, the scholars are required to publish at least two research papers in reputed journals preferably in SCOPUS / UGC CARE journals and / or edited books by reputed publishers, on the theme of the research undertaken and submit a copy of these to ICSSR.

7.6 The scholars must acknowledge ICSSR while getting their research paper published. A near standard acknowledgement can be like the following:

_______ (name of the scholar), is a recipient of Indian Council of Social Science Research Doctoral Fellowship. His/her article is largely an outcome of his/her doctoral work sponsored by ICSSR. However, the responsibility for the facts stated, opinions expressed and the conclusions drawn is entirely that of the author.

B) Institutional Doctoral Full-Term Fellowship

7.7. Same as mentioned under the Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship.

C) Centrally Administered Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship and
D) Centrally-Administered Contingency Grant

7.8. The fellowship may be discontinued / terminated if any of the ICSSR rules are violated or the research topic is changed without the permission of ICSSR.

 

8. Completion of the Fellowship

A) Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship

8.1 If a fellow leaves the fellowship before its full-term, he/she has to inform ICSSR in advance.

8.1.1 The scholar shall be permitted to retain the grant released from date of Joining till the date of leaving / discontinuing the ICSSR fellowship (period of availing of the ICSSR fellowship must be minimum 3 months) subject to submission of the following:

(i) An updated Progress Report for the said period duly forwarded by the Supervisor.

(ii) An Undertaking for submission of Ph.D thesis within a reasonable time on a Non-Judicial stamp paper of Rs. 100/- (in prescribed format).

(iii) Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate (in GFR-12 A form) for the admissible amount.

(iv) Refund of the unspent balance, if any, the payment may be made by sending a cheque/ DD in favour of ICSSR, New Delhi or though PFMS /RTGS.

8.1.2 In such cases, the ICSSR may consider to pay contingency grant subsequent to submission of thesis to ICSSR.

8.1.3 In other cases, the scholar can leave the fellowship by refunding the entire amount already released by the ICSSR.

8.1.4 The scholars leaving the fellowship before completion of their fellowship tenure without informing ICSSR shall be required to refund the entire amount of fellowship released with penalty/penal interest.

8.2 The scholars who are not in a position to submit their Ph.D thesis to ICSSR within two years after the completion of their fellowship term shall be required to refund the entire amount of fellowship released. However, ICSSR may consider extension of time period for thesis submission to ICSSR without financial implications and subject to the affiliating university rules regarding time period or extension thereof. A copy of such rule / extension will be required for permission of ICSSR.

8.3 If, as a special case, a scholar remains on leave due to maternity / medical / extra ordinary circumstances (not exceeding six months) with due approval by the ICSSR, the tenure of fellowship shall be deferred by that period but the total amount of fellowship sanctioned shall not exceed 24 months.

8.4 Again, as a special case, a scholar can avail a foreign fellowship and re-join ICSSR Fellowship on return with due approval by the ICSSR, the tenure of fellowship may be deferred by that period.

8. 5 After the thesis is submitted to the concerned university, the scholar must submit the following to ICSSR at the earliest within a year:

(i) A hard copy of the Ph. D thesis, same as submitted to the university, along-with a Summary of the thesis (in 3000 to 4000 words) and the research papers published.

(ii) The audited Statement of Account and Utilization Certificate (in GFR-12A Form) for the admissible grant as per clause 6.5 and 6.9.

(iii) In case a thesis is revised and re-submitted, a copy of the same should also be submitted to the ICSSR.

8.6 ICSSR shall not consider any request for release of fellowship grant or any part thereof two years after the completion of fellowship term or submission of thesis at the university, whichever is earlier. However, final decision shall be taken by ICSSR considering the merit of the case.

8.7 ICSSR gets every report checked for plagiarism and the Similarity Report is also generated. As a policy, ICSSR does not accept contents beyond 15 percent on Similarity Index. Scholars are required to get their final report checked on their own for Similarity Index and attach a report of the same at the time of submission. Scholars may enquire from ICSSR (NASSDOC) about the software being used by it at any point of time.

B) Institutional Doctoral Full-Term Fellowship

8.8. Same as mentioned under the Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship including the conditions mentioned in the Clauses 8.1 to 8.7. Further, the concerned research institutes must also submit the scholars’ thesis and prescribed documents to ICSSR well in time.

C) Centrally Administered Short-Term Doctoral Fellowship and

D) Centrally Administered Contingency Grant

8.9. Same as mentioned under the Centrally Administered Full-Term Doctoral Fellowship including the conditions mentioned in the Clauses 8.1 to 8.7.

9. Expectation from the Affiliating Institution 

9.1 The affiliating institution is required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts.

9.2 The affiliating institution is required to give a Forwarding letter in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form to administer and manage the ICSSR fellowship grant.

9.3 The affiliating institution shall open / maintain a dedicated bank account for ICSSR grant (Scheme Code 0877) that is duly registered at PFMS portal for release of the Doctoral Fellowship Grant without any delay.

9.4 The affiliating institution is expected to immediately release the sanctioned fellowship grant released by ICSSR to the scholar.

9.5 The affiliating institution is expected to ensure submission of the Ph. D thesis and an audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate with respect to admissible grant, (in the prescribed GFR- 12A) duly certified by the Competent authority including the refund of any unspent balance within one year.

9.6 In case a scholar leaves / discontinues his fellowship before completion of fellowship tenure, the affiliating institution shall inform ICSSR within 15 days and settle the accounts including the refund of any unspent balance within three months.

 

10. Other Conditions

10.1. The ICSSR will follow the ceiling imposed by the UGC on number of doctoral supervisions under a particular category of guide (Professor/Associate Professor/Assistant Professor).

10.2. The Doctoral Fellows must stay and work full time at the affiliating university / institute. However, they may go on field work with the express approval of their supervisor but for rest of the period, they must continue to work at the concerned university / institute and follow their rules.

10.3. 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 of fellowship. However, a fellow may undertake teaching assignments of not more than six hours a week.

10.4 The tenure of fellowship is strictly for two years. Any extension can be granted under exceptional circumstances without any additional financial implications to ICSSR. The ICSSR reserves the right to determine exceptional circumstances.

10.5 The contingency grant may be utilized for books, stationery, computer consumable costs and field work expenses related to the research work.

10.6 The ICSSR reserves the first right to publish the Ph.D thesis funded by it, provided the work is recommended for publication by the ICSSR expert(s).

10.7 ICSSR follows Government of India rules and directives with regard to SC/ ST candidates and persons with benchmark disability.

10.8 Defaulters of any previous ICSSR fellowship / project / grant will not be eligible for consideration until the applicant obtains the clearance from the concerned administrative division.

10.9. A fellow is not entitled for same type of fellowship more than once.

10.10 While accepting Doctoral fellowships from the ICSSR, a fellow should not accept job or any other fellowship from any other university / institute. However, ICSSR, shall encourage and support the ICSSR fellowship awardees getting prestigious foreign fellowships. Therefore, they shall be permitted to re-join their fellowships after their return from abroad as special cases, provided they had sought prior approvals.

10.11 During the tenure of fellowship, the fellow will be governed by the rules of the affiliating/ administering institution in all matters including drawls of TA, attendance, holidays/leave and contingency grant, etc.

10.12 The selected fellows are expected to do full-time research in India. They could, however, undertake data collection outside India, if warranted by the needs of the proposal. For this, they are required to apply separately for consideration under the Data Collection Scheme of the International Collaboration Division of ICSSR. However, ICSSR will not be bound to support such data collection from abroad and the decision of the ICSSR will be final. In either case, the completion of study should not be consequent upon such data collection support.

10.13 The scholar should not have been subjected to any disciplinary / legal action / proceedings/ financial penalties in his/her research career.

10.14 Application submitted against a Call will not be considered for the subsequent Calls on its own.

10.15 ICSSR reserves the right to reject any application without assigning any reason. It is also not responsible for any postal delay / loss.

10.16 Incomplete applications / applications not accompanied by its hard copy when asked by ICSSR shall not be considered for fellowship.

10.17 No queries regarding the awards will be entertained by the ICSSR secretariat until the final declaration of results which will be placed on ICSSR website.

10.18 The final authority for the interpretation of the guidelines or any such issue is vested with the ICSSR.

 

Research Proposal Format

The complete format for research proposal consisting of the following contents/sections is a part of the Application Form, namely, Section IV: Details of Research Proposal. No separate research proposal or a section thereof, needs to be submitted separately.

In all, the research proposal shall be in about 3,000 words comprising of the following sections:

  1. Title of the Research Proposal: The research proposal should have a clear, meaningful and confirmed topic reflecting the scope of the study.
  2. Abstract of the research proposal should be summarized (in about 300 words).
  3. Introduction: The introduction should clearly state the research problem to be investigated in the light of its theoretical and/or empirical context in the relevant area. The proposal should include a statement on the relevance of the study and the anticipated outcomes (in about 300 words).
  4. Review of Literature: (National and International): A Survey should have been undertaken involving at least 20 major research literature related to the theme of study under investigation and their list must be given in this section (in about 400 words).
  5. Identification of Research Gaps:  The scholar should summarize the current status of research in the area and major findings, including the researcher’s own work in the area. Existing empirical findings may also be discussed. The overview should clearly demonstrate the inadequacies/ gaps in the existing findings or approaches and its relevance (in about 200-300 words).  
  6. Objectives of the Study: The general aim of the study alongwith the specific objectives to be accomplished should be clearly stated while providing a rationale of the proposed study in the present context (in about 100-150 words).
  7. Research Questions or Hypotheses: Given the conceptual framework and the specification of dimension, the specific questions to be answered through the proposed research should be sharply formulated. In case of an explanatory research design, specification of variables and positing of relationship among them through specific hypotheses must form a part of the research proposal (in about 250-300 words).
  8. Research Methodology: The researcher must describe in detail (a) the scope and coverage of his/her study; and (b) approach and methodology with adequate justification to conduct the research. The details of the methodology may include research design, data to be collected and empirical and analytical methods to be used. The description of the methodology must be clearly linked to the aims of the research and the research questions/hypotheses of the study (in about 300 words).
  9. Innovation/Pathbreaking aspect of the research: Here, the emphasis should be laid to spell out the innovativeness in approach and novel concepts that have been envisaged in the study (in about 150-200 words).  
  10. Proposed Outcomes of the Study:  A brief note on the proposed plan of publications, during the course of research and after its completion, must be provided, in that, the section should enlist the proposed outputs from the study in terms of publications in the form of research papers / articles in journals, particularly Scopus/ UGC’s Care-listed journals, books, monographs, etc.) (in about 150 words).
  11. New Data to be Generated:  A note on deficiencies/inadequacies found in the existing data and description of the new data to be generated for the proposed research (in about 100 words).
  12. Expected Contribution of the Study: A concise note needs to be given on the significant contributions the research work is expected to make to the theory and methodology on the subject as well as its practical importance to the society and its implications for policy-making (in about 300 words).
  13. Duration of the Study with Quarterly Timelines: A note on the present stage of doctoral work, expected duration for the completion of the work. Timelines must be set for each successive quarter and its completion (in about 200 words).